I'm trying out biblatex which so far seems wonderful when it works. The process creates a plethora of files, and when I make a mistake (e.g. referring to a bibliographical entry incorrectly), I get to a point where I can't run either LaTeX or biber without an error. The only way I can figure out to get out of this mess is to remove the .bbl file.

Some details:

  • I'm using biblatex v1.1 and biber 0.7.2.
  • the error I get in latex is "Undefined control sequence...\missing {referencex} and then it seems that the .bcf file is incomplete
  • I'm running LaTeX with whatever the defaults in TeXShop are, and using biber from the command line

Some questions:

  • Is this the correct workflow?
  • Is there an easier way to have it automatically deal with errors or do I manually have to remove these files when things get messed up?
  • Can I get texshop to remove .bbl files using the trash .aux files menu command?
  • 1
    what happens when you force the compilation when dealing with an error message? you force a compilation with the letter "r" at the prompt.
    – pluton
    Jan 8, 2011 at 21:12
  • ahh, that takes care of the second and third questions; if you want to write up a quick answer that also touches on the first question, I'd be happy to consider that as an answer to the question
    – Noah
    Jan 8, 2011 at 21:24

1 Answer 1


The remove aux files functionality of TeXShop is configurable through the command line defaults command: (from the TeXShop help panel:)

When documents are typeset, auxiliary files are created with extensions .aux, .log, .bbl, etc. Occasionally these files can become corrupt and lead to unexplained typesetting errors. TeXShop has a menu command "Trash AUX Files" which will remove all such files so typesetting can proceed. There is a similarly named button on the Console window. If either of these items is activated, TeXShop will move to the trash all files in the current source directory with the same name as the source file and extension aux, blg, brf, ccs, ent, fff, glo, idx, idv, ilg, ind, ioa, lg, log, lot, mte, mlf, out, pdfsync, toc, ttt, wrm, xref, 4ct, 4tc, or fdb_latexmk.

Additional extensions can be added to this list. To add "dvi" to the list, activate the Terminal and type

defaults write TeXShop OtherTrashExtensions -array-add "dvi"

So to get TeXShop to remove biblatex created files, you'll need to add any of the extra files that it creates to the removal list.


defaults write TeXShop OtherTrashExtensions -array-add "bbl"
defaults write TeXShop OtherTrashExtensions -array-add "xml"

biblatex also creates a -blx.bib file. Do not add .bib to the trash list, however, since that might delete your actual bibligraphy file, if it were in the same folder as your document. I don't think it's possible to add -blx.bib to the list of trashable files.

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