I've a huge database of books in .bib files. Are there any ways to import this database into Microsoft Word, Open Office, Libre Office etc.?

  • 3
    Do you mean directly (for example ee.ic.ac.uk/hp/staff/dmb/perl/index.html), or by importing it into a Word-focussed tool such as Endnote? Either way, I suspect this is close to the border for 'off-topic' for us as what's primarily needed is knowledge about Word/LibreOffice rather than about the TeX side.
    – Joseph Wright
    Dec 25, 2012 at 19:26
  • JabRef has a plugin for OpenOffice: jabref.sourceforge.net/OOPlugin-jabref.php Dec 25, 2012 at 20:00
  • Actually, I need to have all latex-processing power (I use biblatex + biber + custom styles for biblatex) to be used during referencing.
    – Georg
    Dec 26, 2012 at 5:03

4 Answers 4


Bibtex4word can be used with word and you can insert citations in word from .bib files.

I think I forgot to mention Mendeley which offers some functionality.

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Disclaimer I never use word, hence I don't give any assurances.

  • Just a note: latest update of Bibtex4word is from 2016. Sep 10, 2020 at 12:13

I know this is a tad old but I've just pass through this experience now and might be useful to someone.

I use JabRef as my Reference Manager on TeX, it does enable to export to Ms Word easily:

File... Export - Select MS Office 2007 xml.

It works perfectly with my MS Office 2010 and should work with recent versions too. I do recommend using UTF8 as Database Encoding as this is what MS xml expect.

JabRef exporting to word

Inside MS Word go to the References tab, then click Manage Sources. MS WORD references sources

Press the Browse... button and select your exported file

browse... button

  • how do you then import into word? Jun 14, 2016 at 11:02
  • @MonsterMMORPG See my edit, I've added information on how to import.
    – G. Bay
    Jun 14, 2016 at 13:20
  • 1
    Great answer. Everything worked as expected with my original bib file with no surprises.
    – vefthym
    Oct 15, 2018 at 3:20

Zotero.org also provides bibtex plugins for Libreoffice and MS Word.

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    This isn't quite right. Zotero allows import and export of Bibtex files into your Zotero database, and Zotero offers macros that allow you to insert/edit references from your Zotero database in Word and Open/Libre Office and to make reflists from them, but it is tricky to keep your Zotero and Bibtex databases in sync, because Zotero has a different internal representation of reflist items than Bibtex. You will find yourself managing two bib databses in parallel. May 28, 2013 at 12:54
  • Better-Bibtex has more or less provided a very convenient solution to the sync issue.
    – Sati
    Oct 19, 2020 at 5:41

I have tried couple of above approaches on Mac OS. None worked. However, steps provided by Yifan Peng worked like a charm (took less than a min).

Here are the steps:

  1. Go to following location ~/Library/Containers/com.microsoft.word/Data/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office
  2. See if Sources.xml file exists. If so, create a back up of this file (e.g., Sources.xml.bak)
  3. Use JabRef to export your .bib file to Word supported .xml file. Name it as Sources.xml.
  4. Move it to the above location.
  5. Restart word and start working. :-)
  • Any update for MS Word 16.15? There is no Sources.xml in that location, and creating one there seems to have no effect
    – tdc
    Jul 16, 2018 at 14:45
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    Here's the new location: ~/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office
    – tdc
    Jul 16, 2018 at 16:13
  • 1
    For Word 365 on BigSur and newer ~/Library/Containers/com.microsoft.word/Data/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office Mar 10, 2022 at 20:18

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