TeXnicCenter and portable
MiKTeX. Are there some internal dependencies between
BibTeX or can I safely delete it?
Thank you for your help and effort in advance!
If you use
biblatex together with Biber,
bibtex.exe) is not needed any more. You could use
biblatex together with
bibtex via the
backend=bibtex option, but that is general not recommended because some functions depend on the Biber backend, and so
bibtex is considered a 'legacy backend' for
In theory, then you could delete
bibtex and your bibliographies would continue to work. There is no hard dependency in MikTeX on the program layer that would require
bibtex be installed. Unfortunately, though, the package
miktex-bibtex-bin-... is marked as 'required', so it will always be installed again whenever you run the updater. So you can remove
bibtex, but it will be re-installed after an update. Of course you can then remove it again.
But you don't really save a lot of space if you delete
bibtex binary comes in the package
miktex-bibtex-bin-x64-2.9 on my system and is not even 300 KB (that's right kilobytes) heavy, the standard
.bst styles and documentation live in the MikTeX package
bibtex with a bit more than double the size at about 640 KB. So overall you hardly manage to scrape together 1 MB of saves. That's not really an overwhelming result.
On the other hand, if you delete
bibtex, you can't produce bibliographies with normal
.bst styles any more. What if someone sends you their document using
plain.bst? You should also keep in mind that the publishing industry has not (fully) embraced
biblatex (yet?, at all?). Many journals that accept
.tex submission do not or can not accept bibliographies produced with
biblatex. Some journals even offer
.bst files that you should use. See Biblatex: submitting to a journal. Even the arXiv, undoubtedly one of the more progressive outlets, makes it much easier to submit BibTeX-generated bibliographies.
biblatex submissions are possible, mind you, but they require fiddling and going back to outdated releases of
biblatex and Biber.
So all in all: Yes in theory, it is possible to get rid of
bibtex if you only ever use
biblatex with Biber, but it is not worth the hassle (1MB, one
.exe, a couple of
.bst files saved) and puts limits on how you collaborate with others or how you publish your work. So I close with CarLaTeX's advice: don't do it!