I use in the report class literature like this (simplified):

\documentclass[12pt, a4paper, titlepage, twoside, openright]{report}
\usepackage[round, semicolon, authoryear]{natbib}

No other extra special settings. I like the look of the bibliography, with the only change: I'd like to have the title of the referenced work printed in bold in the biobliography. Is this (easily) possible?

How to get bold title in the bibliography?

  • I have removed the tags irrelevant for your question (you are using natbib and so you can't be using the alternative, but incompatible biblatex, XeTeX has nothing to do with the formatting of the bibliography in general, ...). You'll probably have to hack plainnat.bst to get bold titles.
    – moewe
    May 13, 2018 at 13:39
  • 2
    Please note that your code snippet does not constitute a full MWE/MWEB. Your question is already fairly clear without a fully compilable example, but it makes the lives of those who are willing to help just a tad easier to not just post some code, but fully compilable code. Do you want all titles in bold, or only those of @articles, or something even more fancy?
    – moewe
    May 13, 2018 at 13:43

1 Answer 1


To change the format of @article titles, you'll have to modify the .bst file directly.

  1. Locate plainnat.bst on your machine. You can do this by typing kpsewhich plainnat.bst into the command line/terminal. Alternatively, obtain a copy of the file from CTAN http://mirrors.ctan.org/macros/latex/contrib/natbib/plainnat.bst
  2. Copy the file to a location where TeX can find it. The document directory will do fine.
  3. Rename the file to plainnat-bftitle.bst
  4. Open the file and replace the block starting with FUNCTION {format.title} (ll. 299-304 in my version) by

    FUNCTION {format.title}
    { title empty$
        { "" }
        { "\textbf{" title "t" change.case$ * "}" * }

    The only change is in the fourth line.

  5. Add your name and date and explain the modification in the comments at the top of the file.

  6. Use \bibliographystyle{plainnat-bftitle} instead of \bibliographystyle{plainnat} in your document.

With the new file


\usepackage[round, semicolon, authoryear]{natbib}



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