I'm looking for some reference manual online listing the available options for the command:


and other commands within the same family such as \parencite[]{}.

Is there one I can find? Otherwise, can someone give coverage on how to make proper use of the options for \cite.

I'm particularly interested in citing the title of a section within a book along with the pages. I'm using biblatex with bibtex as the back-end in MLA style.

  • 3
    Have you looked in the manual for biblatex? – Torbjørn T. Sep 8 '17 at 14:09
  • @TorbjørnT. Yes. Maybe you can reference the specific section, if there is anything to find there. I search for the term cite within the manual opened in Adobe Acrobat. Found nothing. Maybe I missed it. – useranonis Sep 8 '17 at 14:12
  • 2
    The term "cite" must have come up quite a lot, but look in the table of contents instead: In chapter 3 User Guide there is a section 3.8 Citation commands. – Torbjørn T. Sep 8 '17 at 14:17
  • @TorbjørnT. It gives a comprehensive list of templates for the different citation commands but not how to properly implement those "pre" and "post" arguments nor what the available arguments are. – useranonis Sep 8 '17 at 14:31
  • There are no arguments, just the text that you want printed. – Torbjørn T. Sep 8 '17 at 14:32

The manual would be logical place to look, in that for the current version (3.7) of biblatex citation commands is described in section 3.8 Citation commands.

As you can see there, all single cite commands are basically the same:


the prenote is printed before the citation, postnote after. If you provide just one of them, that becomes a postnote. If you want just a prenote, add an empty postnote.

As mentioned by moewe in a comment, note also that if the postnote contains only a number/number range, many styles will format it as e.g. "p. 42" or "pp. 42-43", not just "42" or "42--43".

Quick example to demonstrate:

output of code

\verb|\cite[foo][bar]{aksin}| & \cite[foo][bar]{aksin} \\
\verb|\cite[foo]{aksin}|      & \cite[foo]{aksin} \\
\verb|\cite[foo][]{aksin}|    & \cite[foo][]{aksin} \\
\verb|\cite[foo][42]{aksin}|  & \cite[foo][42]{aksin}
  • So in my particular case I have to type: \cite[``sectiontitlewithinbook''][pages]{bookreferencedinbibfile}? Yes? – useranonis Sep 8 '17 at 14:42
  • 1
    @RichardSantiago Hard to answer when I don't know what output you want ... But if you want <section title> <citation>, <pages>, then yes. – Torbjørn T. Sep 8 '17 at 14:46
  • 3
    The only thing to mention is that many styles format the postnote as a page reference if it is a range of numbers. So it is often unnecessary to write \cite[p.~12]{sigfridsson}, \cite[12]{sigfridsson} is enough. – moewe Sep 8 '17 at 14:55
  • @moewe Thank you, I'll add a note about that in the answer. – Torbjørn T. Sep 8 '17 at 14:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.