I've spent a good deal of time searching the forum and couldn't find a user-friendly guide to citations with biber using TeXShop or TeXworks on a Mac. I'd like to successfully reproduce a slightly modified version lockstep's MWE found on another thread:





  author = {Author, A.},
  year = {2001},
  title = {Alpha},



Some text \autocite{A01}.



Unfortunately, TeXShop and TeXworks only return the following:

Some text [A01].

I believe the problem resides with typesetting. Specifically, I understand that I must compile by calling pdflatex, biber, pdflatex. Unfortunately, biber is not listed as an engine under either TeXShop or TeXworks. First, I've verified that the appropriate packages are all installed using Tex Live Utility. I then tried to follow the biber manual to add the engine to TeXworks but didn't know how to browse my file directory to locate biber (assuming its somewhere under the /usr folder tree) nor could I add any 'arguments' as shown in the manual.

With respect to TeXShop (my preferred program) there seems to be some complication with adding biber. I did note Mark S. Everitt's script (In TeXShop, is there a directive to select biber or BibTeX on a per-document basis?) but didn't know where to place his script. I tried placing it in '/usr/texbin' but to no avail (assuming that I still need to compile by calling pdflatex, biber, pdflatex).

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

[Please bear with me. As a polisci doc candidate I have little understanding of computers, esp scripts/programming. :( ]



As of TeXShop version 3.21, TeXShop now accepts !BIB directives without the need of the script described in Mark Everitt's answer. You can simply put:

% !BIB TS-program = biber


% !BIB program = biber

(or bibtex as required).

Original answer

Mark Everitt's script is by far the most convenient way to switch between biber and bibtex in TeXShop automatically. As Caramdir suggests in the comments, if you want to use biber exclusively, then all you need to do is change the default BiBTeX engine from bibtex to biber in the TeXShop preferences.

I suspect that the reason Mark's script didn't work for you is that you didn't make it an executable file. Assuming you have save the script in /usr/texbin as Mark suggests in his answer, you also need to do the following (in the Terminal):

sudo chmod +x /usr/texbin/TeXShopBib.sh

Then you need to add the line

% !BIB TS-program = biber

to your document to have it use biber.

  • Success! I am embarrassed to admit that I fumbled with Terminal just as did with Alan's code below. Nevertheless, I obtained the correct output via TeXShop. Thank you. – gravityflyer Jul 14 '12 at 17:45

I can't answer for TeXshop, but for TeXworks adding Biber is easy if we are talking about the version which comes with MacTeX. This is added to the path, and so there is no need to worry about locating the executable. I have the very simple set up enter image description here

Notice that the only argument needed here is $basename, which will be filled in to contain the name of the file in use.

(The same set up is usable for recent TeX Live systems on Linux and Windows)

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