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Bibdesk comes with apalike as an available style. It is not an APA 6th edition style. I tried changing it to apa6 in the preference pane, but the rendering generated an error. In reading the apa6 documentation it seems like biber is required. So, I changed the path from bibtex to biber instead and still got a render error. Then it seemed like the template was the problem - it appeared to require a different syntax for the bibliography when using apa6. I made some changes to the template, but my changes failed and I got render errors. I provide the template here and the error below in case someone knows what the problem is and has a suggestion to get it working:

\documentclass[doc]{apa6}
\usepackage[american]{babel}
\usepackage{csquotes}
\usepackage[style=apa,sortcites=true,sorting=nyt,backend=biber]{biblatex}
\DeclareLanguageMapping{american}{american-apa}  
\pagestyle{empty}
\textwidth = 6.5in
\voffset = -105pt
\hoffset = -120pt
\renewcommand{\refname}{}

% The following command is provided for LaTeX2RTF compatibility with amslatex.
\newif\iflatextortf
\iflatextortf
\providecommand{\bysame}{\_\_\_\_\_}
\fi
\addbibresource{<<File>>}

\begin{document}
\nocite{<<CiteKeys>>}   
\printbibliography  
\end{document}

the error is:

---------- BibTeX log file -------
File: "/var/folders/vr/fwjbwhb160l3qmz99dzy70th0000gn/T/bibdesk.s5ktTv/bibpreview/bibpreview.blg"
[0] Config.pm:354> INFO - This is Biber 2.7
[0] Config.pm:357> INFO - Logfile is 'bibpreview.blg'
[47] biber-darwin:303> INFO - === Sun Sep 24, 2017, 00:22:00
[71] Biber.pm:359> INFO - Reading 'bibpreview.bcf'
[181] Biber.pm:835> INFO - Found 1 citekeys in bib section 0
[198] Biber.pm:3670> INFO - Processing section 0
[217] Biber.pm:3840> INFO - Looking for bibtex format file 'bibpreview' for section 0
[330] bibtex.pm:1435> INFO - Decoding LaTeX character macros into UTF-8
[335] bibtex.pm:1292> INFO - Found BibTeX data source './bibpreview.tex'
[336] Utils.pm:180> ERROR - BibTeX subsystem: /var/folders/vr/fwjbwhb160l3qmz99dzy70th0000gn/T/GsV72aJ0Om/bibpreview.tex_43038.utf8, line 24, syntax error: at end of input, expected "@"
[336] Biber.pm:113> INFO - ERRORS: 1
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    Would you be willing to read the very basics to better understand what you need to run, in which order and what to expect? -> en.wikibooks.org/wiki/LaTeX/… – Johannes_B Sep 24 '17 at 5:29
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    Right now, the questions seems to be unrelated to BibDesk (unneeded external tool), or BibTeX (you are using biber). The title is even more confusing. – Johannes_B Sep 24 '17 at 5:30
  • @Johannes_B - I wrote the question that way because that is exactly how it is laid out in the dialog in BibDesk, where the problem occurs. I agree it is confusing vernacular, but it isn't mine. In prefs - BibTeX style: apa6 - Path to bibtex: /Library/TeX/texbin/biber - just as described in the question. – decuser Sep 24 '17 at 13:32
  • @Johannes_B with respect to your initial suggestion, done and for those who follow - although it won't help much with this problem is to run latex, biber, latex and possibly latex again depending on whether or not you have in text citations. All that respecting that your input files are correct, which they weren't in this case. – decuser Sep 24 '17 at 13:39
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    You're also mixing up things by using the apa6 document class (which has nothing to do with the apa bibliography formatting.) There is nothing to be gained from using the apa6 class in your BibDesk template. Just use the article class. See What is the relationship between natbib, apacite package, and apa document class?. – Alan Munn Sep 24 '17 at 16:27
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The problem is that biber expects the full name of the bibtex file including the extension. So you have to use

\addbibresource{<<File>>.bib}

instead of

\addbibresource{<<File>>}

Also, the offset looks wrong to me

  • The first sentence could be a bit misleading if one thinks it refers to the command line arguments expected by Biber. In fact \addbibresource expects the full file name with extension regardless of whether you use Biber or BibTeX. (Of course Mico's point about s/\printbibliography/\addbibresource/g is spot on.) – moewe Sep 24 '17 at 8:06
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    The hint in the .blg file about this problem is INFO - Found BibTeX data source './bibpreview.tex', that line should read something like INFO - Found BibTeX data source './<<File>>.bib', i.e. Biber should find the .bib file, not the .tex file. – moewe Sep 24 '17 at 8:09
  • I didn't mess with the offset. But adding .bib allowed it to "work". No doubt, I will be learning more about the template, but for now it's godd that it works. @moewe you are correct, it was looking for the .tex file incorrectly. – decuser Sep 24 '17 at 13:34
  • @Guido the offset was a little off, but it was because the font size was larger than the default template. The workable offsets were \voffset = -90pt and \hoffset = -80pt. The offsets are negative because it's a preview window, not a regular document. – decuser Sep 24 '17 at 13:59

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