I am basically ignorant about biblatex but many have recommended it to me. I am trying to do something too tricky or too stupid (How to make footcite look like textcite with biblatex?). Since I got no feedback on my first attempt, maybe I could check the definition of the \textcite command and learn from it in order to replace the \autocite command accordingly. My problem with this step is that I do not even find the citation commands on my machine. If I understood correctly, these are .cbx files. Does any one know where to find them on a macOS running TeX Live?

  • I slightly edited the title and the tags to make the question less macOS-centric, since the approach is the same for all OSes and big TeX distributions.
    – moewe
    Commented May 7, 2020 at 6:23

1 Answer 1


biblatex's citation commands are usually defined in <style>.cbx, the bibliography setup in <style>.bbx.

Run kpsewhich authoryear-icomp.cbx on the command line to find the location of authoryear-icomp.cbx on your machine. You can also find it the current release version of the file online on GitHub https://github.com/plk/biblatex/blob/master/tex/latex/biblatex/cbx/authoryear-icomp.cbx or on CTAN http://mirrors.ctan.org/macros/latex/contrib/biblatex/latex/cbx/authoryear-icomp.cbx.

When you are manipulating bibliography and citation styles you probably also want to have

open, since they contain many basic definitions.

.bbx and .cbx files can load other .bbx files with \RequireBibliographyStyle{<bibstyle>} and .cbx files with \RequireCitationStyle{<citestyle>}, so in some cases you may have to chase the definitions in different files.

Most author- and user-facing biblatex core commands are defined in biblatex.sty, but it should usually not be necessary to look up their definition there. The documentation is more helpful for those commands.

  • Be aware that the definition of \textcite in authoryear-icomp is probably the second most complex citation command in all of standard biblatex: It uses a two-pass structure that processes each citation key twice to get the comp bit right.
    – moewe
    Commented May 3, 2020 at 13:31
  • Thanks a lot for your feedback. That makes me worried because I use just that style. I guess I am trying to take a sledge hammer to crack the nut. All I actually want is brackets around the year number including the page number as in Knuth (2000, 34). Currently it shows Knuth 2000, 34. Is there a simpler way to achieve this?
    – Daniel
    Commented May 3, 2020 at 13:37
  • @Daniel Give me a few minutes. I'll see what I can do.
    – moewe
    Commented May 3, 2020 at 13:39
  • Thanks for trying.
    – Daniel
    Commented May 3, 2020 at 13:40
  • @moewe: What is the meaning of .bbx and .cbx and .lbx?
    – Balaji
    Commented Apr 17, 2021 at 13:20

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .