# References when using only notes in beamer

I use notes in my slides, what's good for my lectures. I also like to pass the notes to the students (with handout and show only notes).

When using biblatex's \printbibliography, however, the references are not processed correctly for the notes.

Here's my MWE:

\documentclass[12pt,a4paper]{beamer}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}

\setbeameroption{show only notes}

\usepackage{filecontents}
\begin{filecontents*}{mybib.bib}
@book{knuth1979tex,
author = "Donald E. Knuth",
title = "Tex and Metafont, New Directions in Typesetting",
year = "1979",
publisher = "American Mathematical Society and Digital Press",
}
\end{filecontents*}

\usepackage{biblatex}

\begin{document}

\begin{frame}
Citation: \textcite{knuth1979tex}\\
Reference:\printbibliography

\note{
Citation: \textcite{knuth1979tex}\\
Reference:\printbibliography
}
\end{frame}

\end{document}


Unlike thread 60671, I do have \cites in the notes.

Biber works successfully (returns 0) and the entry is present in the bbl file:

...
\entry{knuth1979tex}{book}{}
\name{author}{1}{}{%
{{hash=fcbea740aeb72b8e941e0d4aa9f6a9c6}{%
family={Knuth},
familyi={K\bibinitperiod},
given={Donald\bibnamedelima E.},
...


In fact, the bbl file is not used when show only notes is used, ignoring the \cite and failing to generate the references. Here's the log:

LaTeX Warning: Citation 'knuth1979tex' on page 1 undefined on input line 30.


Is there a way to get the bibliography working when generating only the notes?

• Very good question! I hope you will get an answer to your question. In the mean time maybe the workaround from tex.stackexchange.com/a/60688/36296 could help – samcarter_is_at_topanswers.xyz Oct 29 '18 at 13:59
• AFAICS biblatex does not work within \note. Its citation requests simply don't make it to the .aux and .bcf files. Indeed no command is allowed to write to the .aux files in \note (within \if@filesw yields false) and with show only notes file writing is disabled globally. Whether that is necessary or useful for a beamer note I can't say. – moewe Oct 29 '18 at 20:58

As explained in the comments, the problem for biblatex is that beamer's show only notes option issues \nofiles. That command usually suppresses writing of .aux files and similar, but with biblatex it actually also inhibits loading of the .bbl file (it should not do that and that might be considered a bug in biblatex which will be resolved in the upcoming version 3.12 https://github.com/plk/biblatex/commit/9ccd26105820eb11c7c38302123e9a0408c0189d).

As a quick workaround you can tell beamer not to call \nofiles in show only notes.

\documentclass[12pt,a4paper]{beamer}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}

\makeatletter
\defbeameroption{show only notes}[]%
{
\beamer@notestrue
\beamer@notesnormalsfalse
}
\makeatother

\setbeameroption{show only notes}

\usepackage{biblatex}

\begin{document}
\begin{frame}
\textcite{sigfridsson}
\printbibliography

\note{
\textcite{worman}
\printbibliography
}
\end{frame}
\end{document}

• Perfect. This workaround will do the job while we wait for the new version. Also, you live, you learn: I didn't know about biblatex-examples.bib and have just learned about the package filecontents :-) – Jander Oct 30 '18 at 17:04