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After years with LaTeX, I need to take control over the output formatting of my citations in various projects. I've referred to the manual as well as the otherwise excellent tame the BeaST but I'm looking for a more pedagogical less manual-like approach.

The web is full of hacks for specifics, but provides no overall systematic understanding of the rules that govern how .bib-files are turned into footnotes and bibliographies with dots, italics and what information from bib-files are included where. I would like to and never again feeling the need to google stuff like "remove initials in name in from footcite".

I don't want to be given a fish; I want to learn how to be a fisherman.

Does anyone know of a good book to read?

marked as duplicate by siracusa, The old JouleV, Stefan Pinnow, flav, Raaja Mar 26 at 6:19

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    I think Paul Stanley's tutorial is a very interesting resource for an introduction to biblatex, which does sound quite appropriate to what you are looking for. See github.com/PaulStanley/biblatex-tutorial/releases/download/0.2/… – gusbrs Mar 26 at 2:10
  • Ah, he does have an answer in the link provided by Herohtar: tex.stackexchange.com/a/360660/105447 – gusbrs Mar 26 at 2:13
  • Some of the documents linked in the "nutshell question" have an additional section that explains some advanced customisation, some explain some general ideas about how biblatex works as well. But as soon as it gets to serious customisations, there is no tutorial. In that case I recommend to look at the source (biblatex.def, standard.bbx as well as <style>.bbx and <style.cbx>) along with the bibliography and start learning by doing: Questions on this site can help you start learning what is going on. – moewe Mar 26 at 7:19
  • Note that some resources out there were written a while ago. Usually the overall approach and broad overview those resources give still applies, but details may have changed, things get easier with new interfaces. This does not only apply to tutorials and longer introductions, but also to answers and questions on this site. – moewe Mar 26 at 7:27
  • Thank you all. I'm a few hours in to reading Paul Stanley's guide, and it really opens doors. Not enough to be able to define one's own formatting since it's based around commonly desired examples. Yet, the approach is rather more pedagogical than the manual. I still have some days to go to be able to make proper sense of the bib latex.def, and style.cbx-stuff, but I guess you're right about the trial and error, moewe. But I will get there! Thank you all! – nJGL Mar 26 at 17:19