I'm trying to switch to biblatex/biber. I started using the authortitle style for the bibliography. For my thesis I need lots of changes in the style. Along the way I changed the separator between entry fields in the bibliography to be a comma and not a dot. For that I used the following command:


Later when I added an article with a question mark in it's title, I realised that my redefinition of \newunitpunct must've destroyed some automated punctuation recognitions. Or at least, that's what I think the problem is. Because when I remove the redefinition I end up with dots as separators but the "punctuation recognition" works.

Any idea how I can solve this?


P.S. I've included a working sample.

\renewbibmacro{in:}{% kein 'in' bei @article
% ==== This is the problem, I think...When I delete this line it works.

% === BIB
    author  ={Test Author},
    title   ={Interesting Title?},
    journal ={Journal},
    year    ={2018},
% ===
    This is an example.\footcite{test}\\
I wanted the separator between entry fields to be a comma not a dot. Thats why I changed it to \verb|\addcomma|.\\ But it seems like \verb|\newunitpunct| was configured to \enquote{know} if there were punctuations in the title. Now because of my changes it \verb|\newunitpunct| doesn't recognise those punctuations anymore. Thus I end up with \enquote{\textbf{?,}}
instead of \enquote{\textbf{?}}.\\  
    How can I make it work?
  • 1
    This is the intended behaviour. biblatex tries to avoid a full stop/period running in with other punctuation marks, but a question mark and comma are considered OK.
    – moewe
    Apr 25, 2018 at 13:12
  • @moewe Understood. Any ideas how I can configure that "punctuation recognition" for commas as well?
    – texnewbie
    Apr 25, 2018 at 13:16

1 Answer 1


\DeclarePunctuationPairs is the command you are looking for. That command is language-specific and must therefore live in \DefineBibliographyExtras.


This set-up always swallows the comma after all punctuation except an abbreviation dot.

The command is documented in §4.7.5 Configuring Punctuation and Capitalization on pp. 246-247 of the biblatex manual

The syntax is \DeclarePunctuationPairs{<identifier>}{<characters>}

The command declares the punctuation marks that <identifier> can follow without being dropped.

The <identifier> selects the command to be configured. The identifiers correspond to the names of the punctuation commands from §4.7.3 without the \add prefix, i.e., valid <identifier> strings are dot, comma, semicolon, colon, period, exclam, question. The <characters> argument is an undelimited list of punctuation marks. Valid <characters> are comma, semicolon, colon, period, exclamation mark, question mark, and asterisk. A period in the <characters> argument denotes an end-of-sentence period, an asterisk the dot after an abbreviation.

The default value


for the comma allows the combinations "!,", "?," and ".," (if the dot signifies an abbreviation). You don't want the "?," and "!,", so you want the setting

  • Your additional explanation helped a lot. Thanks!
    – texnewbie
    Apr 25, 2018 at 13:38
  • What about ")"? How can I tell biblatex to put a comma after a closing bracket?
    – rsa-krypto
    Mar 14, 2019 at 10:46
  • 1
    @rsa-krypto Normally commas after closing brackets should not be swallowed, so I don't think \DeclarePunctuationPairs would help here. I'm not quite sure what you are after, though. Would it be possible to ask a new question with MWE that shows the use case that you have in mind?
    – moewe
    Mar 14, 2019 at 10:48

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