In the following simple document, the bibliography does not work :



\cite[voir][chap. 12]{2009solar}

I want to do this because my main documents are in latin-1 and the .bib file is in utf-8. The idea of using \inputencoding was recommended in this question : How to convert UTF-8 to latin-1 on the fly?.

The file references_utf8.bib looks like this :

address = {New Delhi},
author = {Solanki, Chetan Singh},
booktitle = {Solar Photovoltaics: Fundamentals, Technologies and Applications},
chapter = {12},
edition = {1},
isbn = {9788120337602},
pages = {478},
publisher = {Prentice-Hall of India},
title = {{Solar Photovoltaics: Fundamentals, Technologies and Applications}},
url = {http://books.google.ca/books?id=hdvYA9KsI2YC},
year = {2009}

But it has to be encoded in utf-8.

How can I make this setup work?

  • it does make sense to input a bib. Put the \inputencoding command before the \bibliography command (which loads the bbl) – Ulrike Fischer Aug 20 '12 at 21:59
  • I think I narrowed down the problem : commands like \input{references_utf8} inside the environment filecontents are NOT executed by latex, but simply copied verbatim in the file \jobname.bib. This is not what I want : If the command culd be executed, I think the whole code would work. – jul059 Aug 20 '12 at 22:38
  • No. You are on the completly wrong track. You don't need a \jobname.bib. bibtex will use your original references.bib to create a \jobname.bbl. And your document will then input this bbl when you use the \bibliography command. Open the bib and the bbl in your editor to see the differences! – Ulrike Fischer Aug 21 '12 at 8:03
  • If your bib file is as you show with all ascii characters you do not need any encoding switch. That file is already ascii, utf8 and latin1: the encodings are identical in that range. What made you think you needed to change the input encoding? – David Carlisle Aug 21 '12 at 20:55

bibtex cannot handle utf8 characters. With bibtex8 some utf8 characters are possible, eg umlauts. However, you can change the inputencoding:


\cite[voir][chap. 12]{2009solar}

| improve this answer | |
  • As you can see, the .bib file does not contain any special characters. It seems to be simply a matter of what type of encoding is specified in the file (is this how it works? is there a "specified type"?). In my .bib file, if I have special special characters they will we coded with the latex command. For example, é will be coded \'{e} so this should not be a problem. – jul059 Aug 20 '12 at 21:01
  • it should be coded as {\'e} – user2478 Aug 21 '12 at 5:16

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