It seems to me that there are several ways of quoting. I know of these:

  • package csquotes: commands like \enquote
  • package BibLaTeX: commands like \autocite, \autocite and \textcite
  • package quoting
  • package cite
  • general(?) commands like \cite, \begin{quote}...\end{quote}

Is there an advice what package(s) to use? Is something more modern or even deprecated? Is there something like a "good quoting technique"?

I am using BibLaTeX and Biber, the desired language is German. Mainly I have the following cases:

  1. direct quote of a sentence, inline ("... ." [AUT19, S.1])
  2. direct quote of a paragraph, with an indent ("... ." [AUT19, S.1])
  3. indirect quote of a sentence (... [AUT19].)
  4. indirect quote of a paragraph (... . [AUT19])

Also: Is there a citation command that can distinguish between the cases of a citation of a sentence and of a paragraph and automatically places itself before or after the period? Or do I have to place the period by hand?

  • quoting convention often depend on the language/country
    – harryparp
    Jun 19, 2019 at 14:29
  • Thanks for the note, I will add this to my question :-)
    – TeXlearner
    Jun 19, 2019 at 14:29
  • 2
    Can you please add an short tex code showing what you do to get your 4 quotes? Then we do not have to guess what you are doing. I'm germany, you can use german text. At last it depends on your situation: is that an academic work you are doing? technical orientation or other? Which? Have you considered to ask that on graphicsdesign.SE (theme typography) or academia.SE? Only a small part of your question belongs to LaTeX at last ... And it is personal opinion (what does "good quoting technique" means? What is "more modern"?) ...
    – Mensch
    Jun 21, 2019 at 1:04
  • Thanks for the suggestions, I will keep them in mind for my next question (now that there already is a good answer)!
    – TeXlearner
    Jun 22, 2019 at 21:48

1 Answer 1


Quoting and citing are two different things and the commands used for the two jobs are mostly independent.


I wrote about the 'evolution' of \cite and related commands in A design question: citation commands. Roughly speaking you could say that originally LaTeX only had \cite and that new commands were added to new packages as people realised that other citation commands would be useful and found a way to implement them.

Nowadays you probably have a choice between vanilla LaTeX's \cite, cite, natbib and biblatex (there are other specialised packages such as apacite, jurabib, ...). As a general rule you can only load one of the three packages cite, natbib and biblatex in your document. Each package has its advantages and disadvantages and there are many comparisons on this site that you could consult for your decision. bibtex vs. biber and biblatex vs. natbib

If you are using biblatex I suggest you try and use \autocite as your go-to citation command. \autocite is intended to be flexible and allow for easy changes of your citation style.

Very related: Universal `\cite` commands or defining new cite commands.


Standard LaTeX defines the quote and quotation environments for longer (indented) block quotes of text. The quoting defines the environment quoting that is slightly more flexible than the standard LaTeX environments.

Then there is csquotes (by the same author as biblatex), which defines commands for short citations of a few words, longer block-quote citations and even has commands that allow you to combine quoting and citing into one (\textcquote, \blockcquote, ...). Have a look at the documentation for all commands csquotes defines (I will show some important commands below).

Very related: "direct" quotations and "entire paragraph" quotations.


biblatex's \autocite and some csquotes commands have limited ability to move around punctuation marks. In almost all cases this can only happen if the punctuation mark comes after the command in question. But there is no command that knows if your citation is relevant only for a sentence or the entire paragraph. So in the end you have to decide where the punctuation should go.

\usepackage[style=authoryear, backend=biber]{biblatex}



\SetCiteCommand{\autocite} % tell csquotes to use biblatex's \autocite for citations

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet \autocite[380]{sigfridsson}.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. \autocite[380]{sigfridsson}

Lorem ipsum \enquote{dolor} sit amet.

Lorem ipsum \textcquote[380]{sigfridsson}{dolor} sit amet.


Lorem ipsum dolor


\blockquote{Lorem ipsum dolor}

\blockcquote[18]{kant:kpv}{Lorem ipsum dolor}


Example output

  • Thank you very much, that gave me a very good starting point!
    – TeXlearner
    Jun 22, 2019 at 21:46

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