While running BibTeX file I got the following warnings.

Overfull \hbox (9.74615pt too wide) in paragraph at lines 1--19 \tenrm Hatami, P., jour-nal=Australasian Jour-nal of Com-bi-na-torics, vol-ume= 40, num-ber=, pages=253--264, year=2008|

Underfull \hbox (badness 10000) in paragraph at lines 1--19

Overfull \hbox (12.66283pt too wide) in paragraph at lines 20--91 \tenrm Kiyoshi and Avis, David, booktitle=North-Holland Math-e-mat-ics Stud-ies , vol-ume=87, pages=13--23, year=1984,| ) *

I copied the BibTex code from Google scholar page. Can anyone let me know how to fix these warnings? Thanks for your help.

  • 1
    As far as I can see neither of the three messages actually is an error, all of them a warnings. But of course one should also try to strive to minimise the number of warning, especially about overfull/underfull boxes. Can you show us a minimal working example that reproduces these messages. See I've just been asked to write a minimal example, what is that? and since were talking bibliographies How to write a MWEB.
    – moewe
    Jul 12, 2018 at 13:52
  • 2
    You seem to be inputting filename.bib instead of processing it with BibTeX.
    – egreg
    Jul 12, 2018 at 14:53

2 Answers 2


This warning (not an error) is caused by LaTeX being unable to find a good way to format (fully-justify) your text. For example this scenario where the main text is bleeding into the right margin:

text in right margin

One way to fix this is to find the exact line that is causing the problem and rephrasing or reordering it in a way that LaTeX has enough segmented "words" on which it can introduce a linebreak.

  • 3
    Rephrasing or reordering does not seem like a good method to apply to bibliography entry metadata.
    – epR8GaYuh
    Jul 13, 2018 at 8:16
  • Yes, that is correct. I had encountered this exact problem myself a couple days ago and it was caused by the title of the publication containing year, month and more information that was also in the rest of the metadata. Thus leading to duplicate data and a title so long that LaTeX didn't know how to properly format it. In this scenario rephrasing might be a logical solution. Sadly BibTeX citations aren't as consistently formatted as they could be, which means that making manual tweaks sometimes will yield better results.
    – Flexo013
    Jul 13, 2018 at 8:24

This answer is a bit of a guess (not having a MWE). It seems to me that the problems of the two warnings are due to the TeX hyphenation mechanism not being able to find/knowing suitable hyphenations for the word "Australasian" and "North-Holland". For the problem with "Australian" you can add the specific hyphenation (adding the following to the preamble of your document).


For the problem with "North-Holland" see the following question and the related answers.

Adequate hyphenation of words already containing a hyphen

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .