I'm using apalike-letters bibliography style and when citing multiple sources a comma is used to separate them:


How can I modify this to use semicolon instead of comma? I've changed every comma to semicolon in the class file but it didn't help :/

Any ideas? Please note that I don't want to use natbib because I have very large document and natbib generates some strange errors while compiling…

You can find the whole project (with the style file in it) at http://piec.info/apalike-letters_test.zip [76 KB].

1 Answer 1


It's really quite easy; well, almost. Just remove


and substitute that line with

    {\@citea\def\@citea{;\penalty\@m\ }%
     \@ifundefined{b@\@citeb}{\mbox{\reset@font\bfseries ?}%
         {Citation `\@citeb' on page \thepage \space undefined}}%
       {\csname b@\@citeb\endcsname}}}{#1}}

It's just the same definition make by breakcites, but with a semicolon instead of a comma.

If this mysterious code scares you, use


that does the same.

  • You're a genius! Works as a charm. I didn't realize that it was caused by the breakcites package (which I use to properly hyphenate and break cites). Thanks!
    – bpiec
    Jun 24, 2012 at 16:54
  • @bpiec Without breakcites it would have been the same; the package modifies the \@citex command in the LaTeX kernel, which has a comma in the corresponding place. But the \patchcmd trick would work the same. :)
    – egreg
    Jun 24, 2012 at 17:48

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