biblatex is a sophisticated bibliography system for LaTeX users. It has considerably more features than traditional bibtex and supports UTF-8
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This package provides advanced bibliographic facilities for use with LaTeX.

The package is a complete reimplementation of the bibliographic facilities provided by LaTeX. A custom backend Biber is used by default which processes BibTeX format data files and them performs all sorting, label generation (and a great deal more).

Biblatex does not use the backend to format the bibliography information as with traditional BibTeX: instead of being implemented in BibTeX style files, the formatting of the bibliography is entirely controlled by TeX macros.

This package supports subdivided bibliographies, multiple bibliographies within one document with different sorting, separate lists of bibliographic information such as abbreviations of various fields. Bibliographies may be subdivided into parts and / or segmented by topics.

Just like the bibliography styles, all citation commands may be freely defined.

With Biber as the backend, features such as customisable sorting, multiple bibliographies with different sorting, customisable labels, dynamic data modification and custom data models are available.

The package is completely localised and can interface with the Babel and Polyglossia packages. Read below for how to update and/or add translations.

Copyright and Licence


  • Philipp Lehman
  • Philip Kime, Joseph Wright, Audrey Boruvka (since 2011)


  • Copyright 2006 --- 2011 Philipp Lehman
  • Copyright 2011 --- ... Philip Kime


This work may be distributed and/or modified under the conditions of the LaTeX Project Public License, either version 1.3 of this license or (at your option) any later version.

The latest version of the license is in and version 1.3 or later is part of all distributions of LaTeX version 2003/06/01 or later.

This work has the LPPL maintenance status "maintained".


biblatex is bundled with TeXLive and its variants as well as MikTeX. Normally you can install and update biblatex through your TeX distribution.

biblatex starts life on Github where you can always find development releases:

From here, it is packaged for general consumption to SourceForge:

this is where users can download the current development version.

The latest official release is then put onto CTAN, which is where users can get the latest stable version:

Installation from github

For this you'll need to be on a UNIX-like system (use on Windows) that has bash and perl.

You should only install from github if you want to check out the bleeding edge of development or if there is absolutely no way to obtain either the official historical releases from SourceForge or the current release from CTAN. Remember that you will need a matching Biber version (the binaries are distributed on SourceForge).

First clone the repo:

git clone

Then from the clone root:

obuild/ install <version> <texmf root>

for example, say the currently released version is 3.3 and you want to try the 3.4 development version. Suppose your personal texmf root is at ~/texmf:

obuild/ install 3.4 ~/texmf

If this is the first time you are installing biblatex into ~/texmf, you will have to tell TeX that it can find the files in this new location with texhash or the equivalent command from your TeX distribution.

Note that the install script does not fetch and install the official biblatex release version corresponding to the version argument supplied. It just takes the files that are currently checked out, moves them and changes their version identifications so that they identify as the version given in the argument. If you want a specific version, you must check out the corresponding tag or obtain the corresponding sources otherwise before running the script.

Obviously, its is easier to get the TDS format package from the Sourceforge development folder and just unpack it into your ~/texmf but this might not be quite as recent as the git development branch (but is usually very close).


The language files (*.lbx) are located in tex/latex/biblatex/lbx. To add a new translation copy english.lbx (or another existing translation that is closer to your language; note that english.lbx and german.lbx are reference translations, all other files are not guaranteed to be complete) to languagename.lbx, where languagename is the name used by Babel for the language.

To debug or verify that a translation is complete, copy doc/latex/biblatex/examples/03-localization-keys.tex to tex/latex/biblatex/lbx. Edit 03-localization-keys.tex so Babel (and hence Biblatex) uses the language you are translating. Compiling the file will warn you about missing strings, and looking at the generated file will help you to proofread your translation.

If you are translating for an upcoming release, i.e., you have cloned the Git repository, please remember to build and install the package as described above before trying to compile 03-localization-keys.tex.

If your language inherits from another, you'll have to take extra care as new strings aren't reported if they are already translated in the inherited language.


  • biblatex comes with example files in the doc/latex/biblatex/examples directory in the distribution. There are a lot of practical examples here along with comments in the source .tex files which help to explain details not dwelt on in the PDF manual.
  • StackExchange

Debug and feature requests

Suggestions and bug reports are welcome.