I am using BibDesk to organise my bibliography which includes a paper with the author Caitríona.

BibDesk automatically converts the í to {\'\i}. However, the biber command translates {\'\i} to the dotless i (U+0131) and the accute accent (U+0301) which latex subsequently struggles with. In particular, it complains about the accent character:

Package inputenc Error: Unicode char ́ (U+301) not set up for use with LaTeX.

Manually changing {\'\i} to {\'i} makes biber translate to a single character (U+00ED) which latex is happy with.

Unfortunately, I cannot redefine the character translation that BibDesk uses internally. How do I work around this problem without having to manually replace {\'\i} by {\'i} before I can compile my document?

  • 1
    Related: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/345476 I'm not sure why BibDesk is so stubborn in using \'\i.
    – egreg
    Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 18:28
  • Tell the BibDesk maintainers that they should change the conversion: \'i for “i with acute” has been in LaTeX for 20+ years.
    – egreg
    Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 18:32
  • sourceforge.net/p/bibdesk/bugs/1523 Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 18:38
  • There is also 1492, I left a comment there.
    – egreg
    Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 18:43
  • 1
    If you use JabRef instead, you won't have these problems.
    – Bernard
    Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 19:07

1 Answer 1


Combining the answer from @egreg's comment with this suggestion for adding arguments to biber in latexmk, I created a .latexmkrc file in the project directory with the following content

$biber='biber --output-safechars %O %S';

which solved the problem.

  • 2
    I've been using UTF-8 Unicode with biblatex/biber and the \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} under latexmk and have had no problems with direct input of í. I use BibDesk to create the .bib file and enter these characters directly. This won't work with bibtex but biber is fine. Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 20:03

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