I need to apply the 7th edition of the APA citing guidelines for my thesis. So, recently I switched from natbib-apa to biblatex-apa according to the answers for this question Is there a way to apply Apa 7th references and citation style in latex? and the references therein. However, my bibliography is still in APA6th format.

I use these packages:


\hypersetup{colorlinks=true, citecolor=black,
            filecolor=black, linkcolor=black,
            urlcolor=blue, linkbordercolor=1 0 0}

% For APA7th edition
\usepackage[style=apa, natbib=true, backend=biber]{biblatex}

with the main document as


This is a test where I cite the work of \citep{wilmott_paul_2007}.



And this is the output then:

Output bibliography

I linked my references.bib file directly with Zotero, so I can't make any changes manually within the .bib file. This works actually fine, I don't have any error messages. But the output is not in APA7th format (for books: the location of the publisher is not required any more and should be omitted if I apply biblatex-apa).

My first guess was that maybe hyperref causes issues, since I first had issues with compiling when switching to biblatex-apa. Figured out that I need first to load the package hyperref before loading bookmark, i.e., without loading bookmark I wasn't able to compile in the first place. I am working on Overleaf btw. What am I missing here?

  • Check your version of biblatex-apa. Only versions from v9.0 (2019-11-23) onwards will give you 7th edition APA style (you'll definitely want the current v9.13 [2020-05-30], though, some earlier versions had small bugs). Older versions of biblatex-apa will produce 6th edition APA style. You can easily find out your version of biblatex-apa by adding \listfiles to the top of your .tex file. LaTeX will then write the package/file versions to the end of the .log file. – moewe Jun 18 '20 at 17:23
  • Ah, I only just saw you are are using Overleaf. Make sure to switch your TeX Live version to 2019 in the menu (see de.overleaf.com/blog/…). This will not give you the current version 9.13 of biblatex-apa, which has all the bugfixes, but will at least give you something that in principle produces 7th edition APA style (see also tex.stackexchange.com/q/546484/35864). – moewe Jun 18 '20 at 17:26
  • Completely unrelated to the actual issue, but still: With a current version of biblatex-apa you won't need the \DeclareLanguageMapping{british}{british-apa} any more. – moewe Jun 18 '20 at 17:27
  • @moewe thank you for your quick reply! According to the .log file, Overleaf uses 2019/11/29 v9.2 APA biblatex references style. I switched also to the TeX Live version 2019, thanks for this hint! Checking out your answer to the linked question means I will have to wait until Overleaf updates the biblatex package I guess? ... I think there is no other way if I want to stay on Overleaf? Just saw your answer, I will try this out then. Thanks! – eldorado Jun 18 '20 at 17:44

Only biblatex-apa versions from v9.0 (2019-11-23) onwards will give you 7th edition APA style. Older versions still produce 6th edition APA style.

If you want to easily find out your version of biblatex-apa, put \listfiles at the top of your .tex file loading biblatex-apa and compile it. LaTeX will list all package versions in a neat little table at the end of the .log file. For example on my machine


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


Lorem \autocite{sigfridsson}


 *File List*
 article.cls    2019/12/20 v1.4l Standard LaTeX document class
  size10.clo    2019/12/20 v1.4l Standard LaTeX file (size option)
inputenc.sty    2018/08/11 v1.3c Input encoding file
   babel.sty    2020/06/10 3.45 The Babel package
 bblopts.cfg    2005/09/08 v0.1 add Arabic and Farsi to "declared" options of b
 british.ldf    2017/06/06 v3.3r English support from the babel system
csquotes.sty    2019-12-06 v5.2j context-sensitive quotations (JAW)
etoolbox.sty    2019/09/21 v2.5h e-TeX tools for LaTeX (JAW)
  keyval.sty    2014/10/28 v1.15 key=value parser (DPC)
csquotes.def    2019-12-06 v5.2j csquotes generic definitions (JAW)
biblatex.sty    2019/12/01 v3.14 programmable bibliographies (PK/MW)
pdftexcmds.sty    2020-06-04 v0.32 Utility functions of pdfTeX for LuaTeX (HO)
infwarerr.sty    2019/12/03 v1.5 Providing info/warning/error messages (HO)
   iftex.sty    2020/03/06 v1.0d TeX engine tests
 ltxcmds.sty    2019/12/15 v1.24 LaTeX kernel commands for general use (HO)
kvoptions.sty    2019/11/29 v3.13 Key value format for package options (HO)
kvsetkeys.sty    2019/12/15 v1.18 Key value parser (HO)
  logreq.sty    2010/08/04 v1.0 xml request logger
  logreq.def    2010/08/04 v1.0 logreq spec v1.0
  ifthen.sty    2014/09/29 v1.1c Standard LaTeX ifthen package (DPC)
     url.sty    2013/09/16  ver 3.4  Verb mode for urls, etc.
  blx-dm.def    2019/12/01 v3.14 biblatex localization (PK/MW)
     apa.dbx    2020/05/30 v9.13 APA biblatex style data model
blx-compat.def    2019/12/01 v3.14 biblatex compatibility (PK/MW)
biblatex.def    2019/12/01 v3.14 biblatex compatibility (PK/MW)
standard.bbx    2019/12/01 v3.14 biblatex bibliography style (PK/MW)
     apa.bbx    2020/05/30 v9.13 APA biblatex references style
     apa.cbx    2020/05/30 v9.13 APA biblatex citation style
l3backend-pdfmode.def    2020-06-03 L3 backend support: PDF mode
 british.lbx    2019/12/01 v3.14 biblatex localization (PK/MW)
 english.lbx    2019/12/01 v3.14 biblatex localization (PK/MW)
american.lbx    2019/12/01 v3.14 biblatex localization (PK/MW)
american-apa.lbx    2020/05/30 v9.13 APA biblatex localisation
english-apa.lbx    2020/05/30 v9.13 APA biblatex localisation
british-apa.lbx    2020/05/30 v9.13 APA biblatex localisation
  t1cmtt.fd    2019/12/16 v2.5j Standard LaTeX font definitions

which shows that my machine is running biblatex-apa v9.13 (2020-05-30).

If you need 7th edition APA style, ensure that your system is fully up to date and that biblatex-apa is at least at version v9.12. Previous versions of biblatex-apa had bugs (in particular for @incollection and @inproceedings entries).

Overleaf only

The most recent version of biblatex-apa you can get on Overleaf is v9.2 (2019/11/29). In order to get that version, you need to switch your project TeX Live version to 2019. There are some images about how to do that at the Overleaf blog https://www.overleaf.com/blog/new-feature-select-your-tex-live-compiler-version.

Older TeX live versions than 2019 will not provide biblatex-apa versions that produce 7th edition APA style.

But as mentioned above v9.2 still contains some errors. At the moment the only way to get a bug-free biblatex-apa version on Overleaf is to

  1. download biblatex-apa from CTAN (https://ctan.org/pkg/biblatex-apa, specifically http://mirrors.ctan.org/macros/latex/contrib/biblatex-contrib/biblatex-apa.zip)
  2. unzip it, and
  3. upload all files with the extension .bbx, .cbx, .dbx and .lbx into the root directory of your Overleaf project (the files should be on the same level/in the same folder as your main .tex file).
  4. Finally, make sure you have TeX Live 2019 selected in your project settings. To avoid trouble with leftover temporary files, clear the cache (https://www.overleaf.com/learn/how-to/Clearing_the_cache).

The project would then look roughly like this https://www.overleaf.com/read/wpmfncnzzfkd.

Note that this procedure works at the time of writing this answer, but is not guaranteed to work in the future, since future versions of biblatex-apa may require future versions of biblatex or Biber that may not be available on Overleaf.

  • Thanks for the clear answer! Uploading the files and importing into the root directory did not help in my case. I'll just stick to the APA6th format then. Thank you again! – eldorado Jun 18 '20 at 18:27
  • @tanasrad Can you be a bit more specific than "did not help"? Do you get errors or warnings? Did you make sure to upload the files into the root directory of your project? Did you make sure your TeX Live is set to 2019. – moewe Jun 18 '20 at 18:31
  • So, I uploaded the .bbx, the .cbx and the .lbx files into a folder in my project and imported then in the preamble of my main.tex file (I suppose this is the root directory). I changed the TeX Live version to 2019 and compiled. As a result, I get in the first line of the bibliography the message @lasthash while the source itself appears, albeit with some @ signs in between the name, year and journal. However, the location is not listed anymore, but stuff like @colon@search and @savepunctstate@restorepunctstate mess up the entire source – eldorado Jun 18 '20 at 18:43
  • I just realised, if I switch TeX Live back to 2017 (Legacy), the source appears correctly within the bibliography, only at the end of the source there is (Cit. on p. 1). which is not APAstyle I guess? I actually tried out all TeX Live versions, and the 2017 is by far the best, if only the ending with the indication on which page it is cited could be omitted. – eldorado Jun 18 '20 at 18:48
  • @tanasrad The "root folder" is the folder where your main .tex file is located. Ideally the .bbx, .cbx, .dbx, .lbx should be at the same level as your main .tex file (they should not be in a separate folder). You should then not have to specify anything special in your main .tex file/preamble. Just say style=apa, (do not try to do things with relative paths). If you are fed up with biblatex-apa and 7th edition APA style, switch to TeX Live 2019 and take style=apa6, instead of style=apa,. – moewe Jun 18 '20 at 18:59

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