I've now looked into this topic for quite some time, but can't seem to find a proper solution or pre-defined style that fits my needs. Maybe you guys can help or point towards a solution, because I'm kinda stuck right now.

I'm currently using Biblatex for my bibliography and want to cite my sources in footnotes like the following, where the firstname is shortened to only the first respective letter:

Lastname, Firstname (year), p. from-to

So an example would be:

Clark, A. (2003), p. 30-45

If I understand correctly, I need to alternate the citestyle option passed when loading the biblatex package.

I've found various styles that include the lastname and year in the format I want. However, I failed to find a style that includs the shortened version of the first name.

1 Answer 1


You don't need to use a completely different citation style, it should be enough to redefine the labelname name format.

In the example I use biblatex-ext's ext-authoryear as a simple way to obtain parentheses around the year in the footnotes, but there are other methods to do that as well.


\usepackage[style=ext-authoryear, backend=biber, autocite=footnote]{biblatex}





Fn 1: Sigfridsson, E. and Ryde, U. (1998), p. 380.//Fn 2: Nussbaum, M. (1978), pp. 12–34.

  • This seems like exactly what I was looking for. However, when I try to load the style ext-authoryear for bibtex I get an error "biblatex Error: Style 'ext-authoryear' not found". I have included all the required packages from your minimal example. Could there be a problem since I'm writing on Overleaf? Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 19:52
  • @RobinSchmidt Yes, biblatex-ext is not available on Overleaf, because their TeX system is outdated. The core of the answer is the \DeclareNameFormat{labelname} bit, which should work on the older version of biblatex that Overleaf has as well. I only used biblatex-ext as an easy way to get the parentheses as desired.
    – moewe
    Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 19:54
  • Ah I see thanks for the clarification, the \DeclareNameFormat{labelname} bit works like a charm! I've approved your answer for now, because it helped a lot! Do you have any hints on how I can achieve the parentheses on the older Overleaf TeX system? Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 20:09
  • @RobinSchmidt tex.stackexchange.com/q/39919/35864 would be a more complicated alternative, tex.stackexchange.com/q/298778/35864 shows a solution with biblatex-ext and an alternative for authoryear-icomp. Maybe now is the time to install an up-to-date TeX system (MikTeX or TeX live 2019) locally on your machine? Or maybe you can send Overleaf support an email that it would be great if there was an option to use a current TeX live system instead of the now quite outdated TeX live version they have. If enough people bother them about it, maybe they'll consider it.
    – moewe
    Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 20:16
  • Thanks for the help! I got it running now using This answer on the older TeX System. Will definitely write an email though! Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 20:40

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