I am getting an error, TeX capacity exceeded, sorry [text input levels=50]. \backcite {refone}{{1}{1}{section.1}}, TexStudio points to the brf file.

I suspect the error comes from \usepackage[backref=page]{hyperref}; as it works when I remove backref=page from this.

The current file is too big to post here, and I don't know how to write a reasonably short file that generates too many back references.

My question is, how do I increase the limit so that it works with more back references? I looked at the texmf.cnf file, but couldn't find any option to increase this limit.

  • <bla><bla> sounds like TeX got into serious trouble. Honestly, you are using LaTeX for long enough to know that you probably just got a simple typo in your code that lets TeX trip over. A missing brace maybe.
    – Johannes_B
    Dec 3, 2018 at 8:20
  • 1
    "text input levels" indicates a bug in the code (you are opening too many files). Look in the log-file if you find a clue. Beside this: It is rather easy to write a loop that creates lots of backcites. Dec 3, 2018 at 8:20
  • @Johannes_B I did not copy that part. It is, indeed, TeX capacity exceeded, sorry [text input levels=50]. \backcite {refone}{{1}{1}{section.1}}. I'll update the question.
    – hola
    Dec 3, 2018 at 10:56
  • what did you expect \cite{~\cite{ref}} to do? Or was it simply a typo? Dec 3, 2018 at 11:29
  • 2
    as the cause of the problem wasn't shown in the question, and you have added a solution to the question, this question isn't really answerable, do you want to delete it? Or post a self-answer? or? Dec 3, 2018 at 11:30

1 Answer 1


Eventually, solved the issue. Just in case anyone has a similar problem, the problem was \cite{~\cite{ref}} (just a typo).

  • Accepted just to remove it from the pool of unanswered questions.
    – hola
    Dec 14, 2018 at 15:49

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