I'm trying to get started with biblatex-chicago, and have got stuck on how to refer to citations as nouns in the footnote style (that is, I want to say 'as \citeasnoun{lamport} says...').

[I think the short version of this question is: "why doesn't my \smartcite expand to \parencite in a footnote?"]

If I start off as the biblatex-chicago manual suggests


then everything's fine: I can use \textcite{foo} as a noun, and \autocite{foo} parenthetically. If, however, I start off with the manual's suggested alternative


then I don't have \textcite (that's slightly surprising, since the biblatex manual says that '[\textcite] commands are provided by all non-verbose styles which ship with this package,' and I would have guessed that the 'notes' style was a 'non-verbose' style).

That's OK, since I can apparently fake it with \def\textcite#1{\citeauthor{#1}\autocite{#1}}. That almost works: in the text I get 'as Lamport^1 says ...', and a reasonable footnote with the full reference.

If, however, I try this within a footnote, I get 'as LamportLeslie Lamport ... says ...' -- that is, the \autocite appears to act like plain \cite in a footnote, whereas I would have expected something more like 'as Lamport (Leslie Lamport ...) says ...'.

Things I've tried:

  • I can specify autocite=footnote and autocite=inline in the \usepackage command, but that changes it in both contexts -- the body text and the footnotes.
  • I could potentially look in the biblatex.sty for clues, and hack up something which is somehow sensitive to its context so that \autocite acts like \parencite in a footnote, but (a) that style is ... quite clever in places, and (b) I'm doing this on behalf of someone else, so a partial goal is to say 'look, LaTeX can do this more easily than doing it by hand' -- an argument which 'use the source, Luke' would rather undermine. And anyway (c) I thought this was supposed to happen automatically.
  • \DeclareAutoCiteCommand looks like it could help, but doesn't have the footnote/bodytext alternative I'd have expected.
  • Replacing \autocite with \smartcite effects no change, even though \smartcite is '[l]ike \parencite in a footnote and like \footcite in the body,' according to the biblatex manual (\parencite by itself does produce a citation in parentheses).

I've been through the manual enough times now that I believe I'm missing something obvious, or else I'm asking the wrong question.

  • Perhaps the answer is to use \parencite explicitly in footnotes. Perhaps, but I rather got the impression that that was what \autocite was supposed to take care of.
  • Perhaps the answer is that I shouldn't want to do this. I'm not in the Humanities, so perhaps Everyone Knows (except me) that one simply doesn't refer to references like this, in footnotes.






The primary aim of this essay is to refer to \textcite{wittgenstein53}
in the text.\footnote{And refer to \textcite{wittgenstein53} in a footnote}


I get "Wittgenstein^1" in the first case, and "Wittgensteinibid." in the footnote.

I'm using biblatex version 1.7, biber version 0.9.9 (and up-to-date versions of pdftex and xetex).

  • 1
    Up to date means: biblatex 2.2 and biber 1.2 ;-) Aug 19, 2012 at 18:35
  • 1
    Hrmph: I was using the versions in TeXLive 2012. But you're right -- I see biblatex 2.2 is available. So tlmgr updates me to biblatex-chicago 2.0, biblatex 2.2 and biber 1.2, but unfortunately I see exactly the same behaviour. Aug 19, 2012 at 19:26

1 Answer 1


Style-related content in the biblatex manual doesn't necessarily apply to contributed styles. One example is biblatex-chicago's \smartcite command. It doesn't generate parenthetical citations.

The notes style is verbose; you get full citation labels on the first citation. Version 1.7 of biblatex introduced \textcite and friends to all its verbose styles. To incorporate similar commands into biblatex-chicago you can adapt definitions from verbose.cbx.






Here citation command arguments are processed twice. The first pass generates output like \citeauthor. The second pass generates a footnote or parenthetical citation. I've tailored the code to handle citations inside footnotes and work with \parencite, \footcite and friends from notes.

The resulting commands don't move punctuation for you. To incorporate this feature into \textcite, you can use a low-level definition.

  • thanks, this works for me. One meta-question: would be regarded as an omission in biblatex-chicago? Or put another way, ought I not to want this -- am I misusing the style by wanting \textcite in these contexts? (like I say, I'm not myself familiar with the Chicago style, and haven't read that manual). Aug 19, 2012 at 23:03
  • @NormanGray Since the standard verbose styles have a \textcite command, I'd consider it an omission. You could try contacting the biblatex-chicago author to request this feature.
    – Audrey
    Aug 19, 2012 at 23:12
  • @NormanGray No problem. Feel free to update my answer if the author ends up adding citation commands for you - I don't follow the development of this package too closely. I'll correct the biblatex manual re: \textcite and verbose styles.
    – Audrey
    Aug 20, 2012 at 15:37

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