I am trying to convert a very large .bib file with approximately 500 references produced by mendeley into a readable text via TexStudio. I've cleaned up all the non latin characters and & signs from titles etc, but there seems to be a problem with two particular lines of the bib file since I get two kinds of errors in those lines:

line 766: Missing $ inserted.

line 766: Missing } inserted.

line 766: Extra }, or forgotten \endgroup.

line 3297: Missing $ inserted.

line 3297: Missing } inserted.

line 3297: Extra }, or forgotten \endgroup.

My question is how can I find these lines in the bib file to check manually for any misplaced characters?

I've tried to open the .bib file with TexWorks, but the line numbers in there seem to be different.

Other suggestions on how to solve this issue are also more than welcome. Thanks!

Below is my code, in case it helps:



    \date{\vspace{-5ex}} % omit date
    \title{Reference List}



1 Answer 1


The error in the log file will give a lot more information than you are showing, but the line numbers relate to the generated .bbl file.

So look at line 766 of xxx.bbl

 line 766: Missing $ inserted.

you will probably find a _ that should be \_ From there you can see which entry it is, and fix the original .bib source for that entry.

  • Thanks, this is exactly what I am trying to do, but the when I open the .bib file the lines appear to be different.
    – Floyd
    Oct 4, 2022 at 11:32
  • @Floyd do as I said in the opening para (I had a typo in So look at..) you want the bbl file not the bib for line numbers: it is the bbl that is read by tex. The error message you have not shown will show the line of text from the bbl not just the number. Oct 4, 2022 at 11:36
  • thank you so much. I was looking at the bib file indeed instead of the bbl. The problem is fixed now.
    – Floyd
    Oct 4, 2022 at 11:53

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