How can I make a small modification to the style of citation numbering (i.e., for the \cite command) in a LaTeX document while at the same time using a bibliography management system that supports manual entry of bibliography entries? (To my knowledge, BibTeX and BibLaTeX do not support this, as it runs counter to their philosophy of automated bibliography creation. If they do support this, I would accept that as an alternative answer to my question.) Specifically, I want the citation numbers to be superscript: the default looks like


and I would like



My question is distinct from the question of changing the style of the \bibitem labels; this is easy to do by redefining \@biblabel, and I would hope that there is a similarly easy solution for changing citation numbers.

(I'm translating a document and trying to replicate the original style as closely as possible. It's easier to just copy the old bibliography entries than to identify a bibliography style that matches them, if one exists at all.)

  • 2
    Can you add an example and show what you want to modify? Commented Jun 2, 2018 at 14:53
  • 1
    You could try to load the cite package with the superscript option: \usepackage[superscript]{cite}. It should work with manual bibliographies as well.
    – moewe
    Commented Jun 2, 2018 at 15:54
  • @moewe, this is close to what I need, but I would also like to retain the brackets around the citation number.
    – user134824
    Commented Jun 2, 2018 at 17:33

1 Answer 1


Depending on whether you want the brackets in the superscript or outside you can use

\def\@cite#1#2{[\hbox{\@textsuperscript{\normalfont #1}}]}


\def\@cite#1#2{\hbox{\@textsuperscript{\normalfont [#1]}}}

The former places the brackets around the superscript to yield


while the latter places the brackets in the superscript to yield


Alternatively you can load natbib with the options square and super


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