Skip to content
moewew edited this page Aug 31, 2021 · 41 revisions


  • INCOMPATIBLE CHANGE The behaviour of index-less granular xdata references to list fields has changed. Before, a reference to an XDATA list field would select the first element in the XDATA field list if no index was given but now this will splice in all elements of the XDATA list field. To ensure the previous behaviour, simply add "-1" (assuming the default value of "-" for the biber 'xdatasep' option) to the end of all granaular list XDATA references.
  • Added helper macros to enable calculations with non-ASCII numerals. This is necessary to properly support languages like Marathi. At the moment the 'translation' is very basic and uses a one-to-one correspondence of US-ASCII (Arabic) digits and non-ASCII digits. The translation also needs additional post-processing steps. Use \blx@defcomputableequivalent{<numeral digit>}{<ASCII digit>} to make <numeral digit> an equivalent of <ASCII digit> (presumably this command will be used in .lbx files if the language requires it). \hascomputableequivalent{<string>} can be used to check if <string> is a number that can be converted to a number with ASCII digits. \getcomputableequivalent{<string>}{<macro>} does the conversion and saves the number in <macro>. There is \ifiscomputable{<string>} to check if a <string> is an ASCII number OR has a computable equivalent. There are analogous macros for fields instead of strings.
  • Added \textouterlang to select the last active language that was not selected by biblatex itself. This may help in multilingual setups where biblatex also changes the language quite heavily.
  • Added \DeclareBibstringSet, \DeclareBibstringSetFormat etc. to allow injecting additional formatting for a set of bibstrings. Sets can be defined arbitrarily. These commands are primarily intended for use in localisation modules.
  • Changed the definition of \bibnamedelimi to \isdot\addnbspace. Previously the definition was just \addnbspace, which meant the . would be treated as a period/full stop.
  • CRITICAL CHANGE biblatex no longer writes tracking and refsection initialisation code to aux files. Instead the \...cite commands are redefined locally to do that on demand. This should keep the auxiliary files much cleaner of biblatex intervention.
  • CRITICAL CHANGE Generalised season date part to yeardivision. It can now also hold quarter, quadrimester, semestral or seasons with hemisphere designation. Helper macros have been renamed accordingly. Limited backwards compatibility is in place.
  • (Possibly) CRITICAL CHANGE \nocitecite and friends no longer issue an explicit \nocite. Since the commands are defined with \DeclareCiteCommand, they already issue a normal cite request. The additional \nocite from the loop code was superfluous and would result in slightly instable .bcf files.


  • Fixed an infinite loop caused by excessive aliasing of the volcitepages format. Reverted the alias \DeclareFieldAlias{volcitepages}{postnote} and again define
  • Fixed .lbx file loading behaviour. All .lbx files are now loaded \AtBeginDocument. Languages that were not requested explicitly by packages are recorded in the .aux file and loaded on the next run. This may require a further LaTeX run in some situations, but now we can be sure when .lbx files are read.
  • Added label option to \printbibliography.
  • Added more name wrapper aliases to make name aliasing smoother.
  • Deprecate \mainlang switch in favour of the text macro \textmainlang.
  • Deprecate \mkrelatedstring (which is defined as \mainlang) in favour of \mkrelatestringtext (defined as \textmainlang).


  • Fixed bug with long argument for \DeclareFieldFormat and friends.


  • Fixed a long-standing issue with \intitlepunct. The old definition


    would print \intitlepunct directly and not via the punctuation buffer. Since the \add... punctuation macros guard against undesired double punctuation, this would usually not show as an issue (except in edge cases, The new definition uses the punctuation tracker to print \intitlepunct.


    \printunit is needed instead of \setunit to stop subsequent \setunits from overriding \intitlepunct in case of missing fields.

  • Define volcitepages and multipostnote as a field alias of postnote and multiprenote as an alias of prenote. That should make it easier to change all post- and prenote formats at once. A change to postnote will automatically apply to multipostnote and volcitepages as well. Similarly for multiprenote. In case that is not desired, the original definitions can be restored with

  • Unified DOI, eprint and URL printing across all entry types. The fields doi, eprint, eprintclass, eprinttype and url are now valid for all entry types. @online and @unpublished now also use the bibmacro doi+eprint+url. This means @online now responds to the url option. That does not mean, however, that a global url=false, suppresses URLs for @online entries, since url=true, is set on a per-type level to ensure backwards compatibility as far as possible. In case eprint information should be suppressed for @online and @unpublished, add

  • Added eid to more entry types. To avoid issues with backwards compatibility of widely used bibmacros, the bibmacro chapter+pages was redefined from



  • Added \bibeidpunct in analogy to \bibpagespunct.

  • Added issuetitleaddon and journaltitleaddon fields.

  • Added options backreffloats and trackfloats to enable/disable citation tracking and back references in floats. Note that citation tracking in floats can lead to undesirable results in case the float objects floats too far from its "natural" position.

  • INCOMPATIBLE CHANGE numeric-comp compresses subentry set references now. This behaviour can be disabled with subentrycomp=false.

  • Added subentrycomp option to numeric-comp citation style. The option is only relevant with subentry=true. With subentrycomp=true set citations will be compressed to "1a-c" instead of "1a; 1b; 1c". The option is mainly intended for backwards compatibility; the behaviour of previous biblatex versions can be restored with subentrycomp=false.

  • Added \multiciterangedelim, \multicitesubentrydelim, \multicitesubentryrangedelim, \superciterangedelim, \supercitesubentrydelim, and \supercitesubentryrangedelim for finer control over (compressed) subentry citations in numeric-comp.

  • CRITICAL CHANGE The structure of the bibmacros in numeric-comp has been reworked to make it easier to customise the printed output. Documents that relied on patching internal bibmacros or heavily redefined them may have to adapt.

  • CRITICAL CHANGE Implemented better @set support for BibTeX, @sets should now sort properly. This is achieved with a two-pass structure and (hidden) copies of the set entries. The two-pass structure means that the compilation sequence becomes LaTeX, BibTeX, LaTeX, BibTeX, LaTeX, LaTeX.

  • CRITICAL CHANGE The case change functions now make use of the expl3 module l3text if the available expl3 version is recent enough. If expl3 is too old the old LaTeX2e implementation is used. If desired the implementation of the case changing functions can be selected at load-time with the casechanger option, which accepts the values expl3, latex2e and auto (which selects expl3 if the expl3 version not older than 2020-04-06, this is the default).

    The expl3 implementation of the case changer is slightly more robust than the home-grown latex2e code.

  • The option bibtexcaseprotection can be used to turn off the case protection via curly braces. This allows for a saner approach to case protection where text is protected solely via a macro like \NoCaseChange, e.g.

    title = {The Story of \NoCaseChange{HMS \emph{Erebus}}
             in \emph{Really} Strong Wind},

    instead of

    title = {The Story of {HMS} \emph{Erebus}
             in {\emph{Really}} Strong Wind},
  • Added \mautocite and \Mautocite.

  • Added \NumsCheckSetup and \PagesCheckSetup for finer control of the \ifnumerals and \ifpages checks.

  • Deprecate the starred \DeclareDelimAlias* in favour of \DeclareDelimAlias with optional arguments.

  • INCOMPATIBLE CHANGE biblatex no longer falls back to English for unknown languages. Warnings will be triggered if undefined language strings or extras are used.

  • INCOMPATIBLE CHANGE Bibliography strings and bibliography extras can now be written either to \captions<language> or to \extras<language> (this is controlled with the langhook option). Previously, they were written to \extras<language>, but upon reflection \captions<language> appears to be a more sensible place for these definitions. The new default is to write to \captions<language> (i.e. langhook=captions). The previous behaviour can be restored with langhook=extras.

  • INCOMPATIBLE CHANGE Moved \delimcontext{bib} to \AtUsedriver, this makes it easier to override the delimiter context in \usedriver calls. \AtUsedriver* calls may have to be amended to include \delimcontext{bib}. The new default is


    Note that this definition is backwards compatible and can be used in older versions as well (down to v3.4 2016-05-10).

  • biblatex now tests if a requested backend (re)run happened by comparing the MD5 hashes of the new and old .bbl files.

  • Added file hooks \blx@filehook@preload@<filename>, \blx@filehook@postload@<filename> and \blx@filehook@failure@<filename> to execute hooks before or after a file is loaded or if the loading fails. \blx@lbxfilehook@simple@preload@<filename>, \blx@lbxfilehook@simple@postload@<filename> and \blx@lbxfilehook@simple@failure@<filename> as well as \blx@lbxfilehook@once@preload@<filename>, \blx@lbxfilehook@once@postload@<filename> and \blx@lbxfilehook@once@failure@<filename> are the equivalents for .lbx loading, where files may be loaded several times in some situations.

  • Added limited support for 'nodate' with BibTeX.

  • Improved babel and polyglossia interfacing (avoids more or less unsupported patches). This should work with babel at least v3.9r (2016/04/23) and polyglossia polyglossia v1.49 (2020/04/08) or later.

  • INCOMPATIBLE CHANGE Removed list and name index wrappers (\DeclareIndexNameWrapperFormat, \DeclareIndexListWrapperFormat and friends). Those wrappers make no sense, since the indexed names are not printed 'together' in any useful sense of the word and were never working anyway.

  • CRITICAL CHANGE Generalised some keyval macros. biblatex-related uses of \define@key should ideally replaced with \blx@kv@defkey. Style authors are advised not to rely too much on the internal implementation of certain keyval interfaces. Users who want to experiment with using a different underlying keyval parser need only provide replacements of the \blx@kv@... macros (which are defined via \provide... so that they will not overwrite existing definitions; in particular users can define those replacements before loading biblatex).

  • Deprecate \ifkomabibtotoc and \ifkomabibtotocnumbered. With newer versions of KOMA-Script these tests are no longer used and their implementation was always a bit shifty (they would only pick up globally set options).


  • biber from version 2.14 has extended, granular XDATA functionality to allow referencing from and to parts of fields. This makes XDATA entries into more general data sharing containers.
  • Biber applies Perl's Unicode case folding to normalise the capitalisation of field names and entry types when reading from the .bib file. The output in the .bbl (what comes out on the biblatex side uses the capitalisation from the data model; the only exception are unknown entry types which are passed on exactly as they are given in the .bib file - of course it is strongly recommended to define all entry types one intends to use in the data model).
  • biblatex now interfaces with polyglossia much better and can deal with language variants. Note that polyglossia v1.45 (2019/10/27) is required for this to work properly, it is strongly recommended to update polyglossia to this or a later (current) version.


  • INCOMPATIBLE CHANGE Any custom per-entry options in datasources must be defined with \DeclareEntryOption in order for biber to recognise them and pass them out in the .bbl. This should not adversely affect any code using the documented \Decalare...Option interface, so should be uncritical for most users.
  • Added \DeclareBiblatexOption as a convenient interface to declare the same option in different scopes. This should help avoid code duplication. For example
    can be replaced with
  • Following the introduction of \DeclareBiblatexOption extend the scope of a few options (abbreviate, citetracker, clearlang, dataonly, dateabbrev, <namepart>inits, ibidtracker, idemtracker, labelalpha, labelnumber, labeltitle, labeltitleyear, labeldateparts, loccittracker, opcittracker, singletitle, skipbib, skipbiblist, skipbiblab terseinits, uniquelist, uniquename, uniquetitle, uniquebaretitle, uniquework, uniqueprimaryauthor).
  • Furthermore, the standard style options doi, eprint, isbn, url, related are now available also on a per-type and per-entry level. The same holds for mergedate, subentry and the options of reading.bbx. This change has the potential to clash with custom styles that already define the standard options at these scopes.
  • Promote @software to regular entry type and define @dataset. @software is aliased to the @misc driver, @dataset has a dedicated driver.
  • Add \ifvolcite test to check if the current citation is in a \volcite context.
  • Add the special fields volcitevolume and volcitepages for finer control over the \volcite postnote.
  • Add \AtVolcite hook to initialise \volcite commands.
  • Add \mkbibcompletename as well as \mkbibcompletename<formatorder> to format complete names. The commands are analogous to \mkbibname<namepart> but apply to the entire name printed in format order <formatorder>. By default the predefined macros all expand to \mkbibcompletename.
  • Add multiprenotedelim and multipostnotedelim and make all (pre|post)notedelim-like commands context sensitive.
  • Add rudimentary support for labelprefix with BibTeX backend. Biber implements labelprefix via refcontexts, but BibTeX does not actually support refcontexts. The user interface is retained, but BibTeX's "refcontexts" support only the emulation of labelprefix and nothing more. There might be subtle differences between Biber's and BibTeX's labelprefix behaviour, but it should be better than nothing. If you need full labelprefix support, please consider switching to Biber.
  • Add \thefirstlistitem, \strfirstlistitem and \usefirstlistitem to grab and use the first item of a field.
  • Add \isdot to the format for journaltitle so that .s at the end of the journal(title) field are automatically treated as abbreviation dots and not sentence-ending periods. To restore the old behaviour add
    to the preamble.
  • Add second optional item post processing argument to \mkcomprange, \mknormrange and \mkfirstpage. It can be used to post process every number item in the formatted range separately. It can for example turn cardinal ranges into ordinal ranges (this is done in the Latvian localisation module).
  • Add further customisation options for strings typeset with url's \url command (mainly URLs and DOIs). It is now possible to add a bit of stretchable space after characters with biburlnumskip, biburlucskip and biburlucskip. The previously hard-coded (stretacheble) space \biburlbigskip as well as the penalties biburlbigbreakpenalty and biburlbreakpenalty are also configurable now.
  • Add \DeclarePrintbibliographyDefaults to set default values for some option keys to \printbibliography and friends.
  • \nocite is now enabled in the bibliography (previously it was deactivated in the bibliography). Please report any issues that this may cause.
  • The internals macros \abx@aux@cite, \abx@aux@refcontext and \abx@aux@biblist are now called every time an entry is cite (and appears in a bibliography or biblist, respectively). This helps to avoid unwanted side-effects when writing to aux files is disabled.
  • \nohyphenation and \textnohyphenation now rely on a (fake) language without hyphenation patterns instead of \lefthyphenmin, which means that the command can now be used anywhere in a paragraph, see also Note that switching languages with babel within those commands removes the hyphenation protection.
  • Allow doi field for @online entries. This field was previously not printed in the @online driver. In case DOIs appear where they should not appear the output of earlier versions can be recreated with
    since the doi option is now available on a per-type level.


  • INCOMPATIBLE CHANGE The syntax for defining data annotations in the BibLaTeXML data source format has changed to accommodate named annotations. Annotations are no longer attributes but are fully-fledged elements. It is not expected that this will impact any current users.

  • INCOMPATIBLE CHANGE The field/fieldset argument to the \translit command is now mandatory to allow for a new optional argument which restricts transliteration to entries with particular langid fields.

  • The field sortyear is an integer field now and not a literal. This is because the sortX fields should be the same datatype as the X field as sorting depends on this. This fixes an issue where years were not sorted properly as integers. sortyear was sometimes used to tune date sorting as in "1984-1", "1984-2" etc. for multi-volume collections with the same year. However, this is really an abuse of the sorting template system since this should be done by having a semantically more granular sorting item to differentiate below the year level (typically, volume does this for multi-volume works and this is already part of all default sorting templates). The example .bib that comes with biblatex has been changed to remove such sortyear abuses and the sorting is not impacted as they examples using this already have either volume or sorttitle which made this abuse of sortyear unnecessary anyway.

  • The field number is a literal field now and not an integer. This allows for a wider range of possible input such as "S1", "Suppl. 1", "1-3". If you want to sort by number and only have integers in there, you should consider using a custom data model to turn number back into an integer type field, since sorting integers as literals has performance implications and might lead to undesired sorting such as "1", "10", "2".

  • INCOMPATIBLE CHANGE Removed the 'semi-hidden' option noerroretextools. If you want to load noerroretextools now, you need to define the macro \blx@noerroretextools instead. This can for example be done with




    You still need to make sure that all macros used by biblatex are restored to their etoolbox definitions before loading biblatex.

  • New macro \abx@missing@entry to style missing entrykeys in citations.

  • Added field format deprecation macros \DeprecateFieldFormatWithReplacement and friends.

  • Add \ifdateyearsequal to check if two dates have the same year and era date part. Since years are always non-negative integers and the 'sign' is stored as the era, you should use \ifdateyearsequal instead of a simple \iffieldequals{#1year}{#2year} to compare years. The latter can lead to undesired results if the years have opposite signs, but are otherwise the same.

  • New values part+, chapter+, section+ and subsection+ for 'section'- valued options refsection, refsegment and citereset. These options are then executed at not only the specified level of sectioning, but also all higher levels.

  • Add second optional argument to \DeclareDelimAlias*.

  • Allow keywords for dataonly/skipped entries as well.

  • Added maxcitecounter.

  • Deprecate \labelnamepunct in favour of the context-sensitive nametitledelim. For compatibility reasons \labelnamepunct still pops up in the code here and there, but nametitledelim should be preferred now.

  • The xstring package is not loaded by default any more. Style developers whose styles make use of that package should load it explicitly.

  • authoryear.bbx now has a macro bbx:ifmergeddate that can be used to check whether the date has been printed at the beginning of an entry and can thus be suppressed later in the date and issue+date macros. The macro works like a test and expands to the <true> branch if the date has been merged and can be suppressed, it expands to <false> if the date has not been merged. In practice \printdate should then be issued if and only if the test yields false.

    This change means that the definition of the date macro can be the same for all mergedate settings and that only bbx:ifmergeddate is redefined for each different value. No backwards compatibility issues are expected, but style authors are encouraged to test the changes and see if the new macro could be useful for their styles.

  • For a long time biblatex has defined \enquote if csquotes was not loaded. This behaviour was not documented, the official command intended for quotation marks was always \mkbibquote. Because biblatex should not (re)define user-level commands that are not primarily associated with citations or the bibliography, from this release on \enquote is not defined any more, instead the internal command \blx@enquote is defined and used. The same holds for \initoquote, \initiquote, \textooquote, \textcoquote, \textoiquote, \textciquote. biblatex still defines the internal commands \@quotelevel, \@quotereset and \@setquotesfcodes if csquotes is not loaded.

    Users are encouraged to use csquotes for proper quotation marks, but can get back the old behaviour with



  • Add new list wrapper and name wrapper formats (\DeclareListWrapperFormat, \DeclareNameWrapperFormat) to style a (name) lists in its entirety. This is useful because name and lists formats normally style only one particular item of the list. The wrapper format can be used to easily format the entire list in italics, for example.

  • \DeclareCitePunctuationPosition can be used to configure the punctuation position for citation commands similar to the optional position argument of \DeclareAutoCiteCommand.

  • If the \pdfmdfivesum primitive is available (via pdftexcmds' \pdf@mdfivesum) the labelprefix value is hashed for internal use, making it safer for construction of macro names and the like. If you don't like that you can turn off the behaviour by redefining \blx@mdfivesum. The fallback in case \pdf@mdfivesum is unavailable is


    As before the labelprefix value is fully expanded before use. If its contents are unexpandable you need to avoid expansion with \detokenize.


  • \printbiblist now supports driver and biblistfilter options to change the defaults set by the biblistname.
  • Add \mknormrange to normalise page ranges without compressing them.
  • INCOMPATIBLE CHANGE The format for postnote (multipostnote, volcitepages) normalises page ranges with \mknormrange. Since \mknormrange acts only on page ranges as detected by \ifpages, this does not affect text other than page ranges. Hyphens and dashes in page ranges will be transformed to \bibrangedash, commas and semi-colons to \bibrangesep. This is analogous to Biber's treatment of page-like fields. If you always separated page ranges with -- or \bibrangedash anyway, this should not change the output you get. If you used a single hyphen to separate page ranges (e.g., 23-27) you will now get the arguably more aesthetically pleasing output with \bibrangedash. In case you want to restore the old behaviour where page ranges were not normalised add the following three lines to your preamble.
    Style developers may note that the field format for pages was not changed to include \mknormrange because the contents of that field are prepared by the backend and Biber already does the page range normalisation out of the box.
  • The standard definitions for headings were changed to be as close to the defaults of the standard document classes or KOMA/memoir as possible. PLEASE CHECK if your document headers relied on the behaviour of older versions.
  • The @unpublished entry type now also supports type, eventtitle, eventdate and venue.
  • A long-standing bug with punctuation before eventdate and venue was fixed. Originally the round brackets were supposed to be preceded only by a space, the addition of other fields caused this space to be replaced by new unit punctuation. PLEASE CHECK if you can accept the changed output.
  • Added \ifdateannotation. Added optional argument for field and item to \iffieldannotation, \ifitemannotation, and \ifpartannotation.
  • \DeclareSourcemap can now be used multiple times.
  • INCOMPATIBLE CHANGE Language aliases are now also resolved when loading localisation files, only infinite recursion is avoided. Assuming \DeclareLanguageMappingSuffix{-apa}, loading ngerman localisation causes ngerman-apa.lbx to be read. If that file inherits from german, german-apa.lbx will be read. Previously only german.lbx would have been read at that point. Of course if german-apa.lbx inherits from german, german.lbx is loaded at that point, so infinite recursion is avoided.
  • CRITICAL CHANGE The code to load localisation files was changed. This is a an internal change and should not influence document output, save for a few bug fixes. Style authors should check if the changes introduce any bugs for their localisation handling and report them.
  • Added \begrelateddelim and \begrelateddelim<relatedtype> for punctuation before the related block. PLEASE CHECK that this change does not interfere with your punctuation settings. The change should be backwards compatible, but might give different results if \usebibmacro{related} is used in unusual positions.
  • Added locallabelwidth option to control the label spacing in bibliographies, if set to true, the label width will be calculated locally for the current bibliography and not globally from a list of all citation.


  • INCOMPATIBLE CHANGE The recent ISO8601:201x standard supersedes the draft EDTF (Extended Date Time Format) extensions. Biblatex therefore now supports the ISO8601-2 Clause 4, Level 1 Extended Format which is equivalent to the draft EDTF standard but with different syntax. This syntax is in some cases not backwards compatible. Biblatex will not support backwards compatibility for the draft EDTF syntax because it is too messy to do so and few people were using this anyway since it is a relatively new and specialised feature. Please note these syntax changes which effect only the formatting of DATE fields in bibliography datasources:
    • The "unspecified" marker "u" is now "X"
    • An approximate+uncertain date is now indicated with "%" rather than "?~"
    • Open dates are now marked with ".." instead of "open" or blank start/end dates.
    • Unknown dates are now indicated by blank start/end dates rather than "unknown" or "*"
  • Unicode support code that is problematic for non-Unicode engines, but useful for XeTeX and LuaTeX now resides in blx-unicode.def. That file is only read by XeTeX and LuaTeX.
  • The option noerroretextools demotes the incompatibility error for etextools to a mere warning if set to true. Users still need to make sure that \forlistloop has the definition from etoolbox and not the completely incompatible definition from etextools. This option is meant as a last resort for people who must at all costs load etextools or a package that uses it. noerroretextools=true will always cause a warning even if etextools is not loaded.


Bug fix release

  • Fix \mkpagetotal
  • Fix issue with refcontexts not appearing in some circumstances
  • DEPRECATION NOTICE The coming update to the ISO8601 standard supercedes the draft EDTF (Extended Date Time Format) extensions. When the new ISO8601 standard is public, biblatex will therefore support the ISO8601-2 Clause 4, Level 1 Extended Format which is equivalent to the draft EDTF standard but with different syntax. This syntax is in some cases not backwards compatible. Biblatex will not support backwards compatibility for the draft EDTF syntax because it is too messy to do so and few people were using this anyway since it is a relatively new and specialised feature. Please note these syntax changes which will effect only the formatting of DATE fields in bibliography datasources:
    • The "unspecified" marker u is now X
    • An approximate+uncertain date is now indicated with % rather than ?~
    • Open dates are now marked with .. instead of open or blank start/end dates.
    • Unknown dates are now indicated by blank start/end dates rather than unknown or *


Bug fix release

  • Documentation version fix and loop fix in certain styles



Biber version 2.8 is required for biblatex 3.8

In order to standardise terminology, some commands and options have dropped the "scheme" naming convention and switched to "template"

  • \DeclareSortingScheme is now \DeclareSortingTemplate
  • \DeclareSortingNamekeyScheme is now \DeclareSortingNamekeyTemplate
  • The "sortingnamekeyscheme" option is now "sortingnamekeytemplate"

\DeclareLabelalphaNameTemplate no longer has entrytype scope

  • INCOMPATIBLE CHANGE The optional first argument to \DeclareLabelalphaNameTemplate was previously an entrytype but is now an arbitrary template name, as with \DeclareUniquenameTemplate. This is to allow multiple definitions which can be referred to at different scopes. It is unlikely that anyone used this with entrytype scope anyway.

origlanguage is now a list instead of a field.

  • INCOMPATIBLE CHANGE Since this is mostly used to generate localisation strings like 'Translated from the ' via the internal macros lbx@lfromlang and \lbx@sfromlang, users and style authors should not see any differences. However, if your style prints origlanguage directly using \printfield, this will need to be changed to \printlist.

Name handling enhancements

  • Name handling is now fully generalised to cover arbitrary name parts. The final few pieces have been completed to allow fully customisable name handling, allowing for better internationalisation. The code for name uniqueness calculation and label generation for names is now fully abstracted: templates created with \DeclareUniquenameTemplate and \DeclareLabelalphaNameTemplate may now be specified at per-refcontext, per-entry, per-namelist and per-name scope, which allows complete control over all aspects of name usage. See the comments in the enhanced 93-nameparts.tex example file.

extrayear is now extradate and the information used to track this can be customised

  • INCOMPATIBLE CHANGE extrayear is called extradate now. Limited backwards compatibility is in place to allow a smooth transition, but style developers should use the new name.
  • The new \DeclareExtradate command allows users to track authoryear disambiguation in arbitrary ways now, for example allowing disambiguation at month or day level instead of just year. See the PDF doc for details.
  • INCOMPATIBLE CHANGE Some bibmacros from the authoryear style family were renamed, cite:labelyear+extrayear becomes cite:labeldate+extradate, cite:extrayear is cite:extradate now, and date+extrayear is date+extradate. Some backwards compatibility code is present, but developers should make sure their code works as expected.

Date formatting

  • The mergedate output has been restored to its earlier form, it has also been extended to cover all EDTF date parts. In order to facilitate this, a few date-related tests were introduced \iflabeldateisdate, \ifdatehasyearonlyprecision, \ifdatehastime and \ifdateshavedifferentprecision.
  • The authoryear citation styles now use \printlabeldateextra instead of \printfield{labelyear}\printfield{extrayear}. This should have no consequences for end users (except that dates in citations and bibliography don't differ any more - previously there were subtle differences when many EDTF features were used), but style developers should check if they assume anything about the bibmacros that have now changed. Style developers are invited to have a look at the changes and to get inspired to offer full EDTF format for their styles as well.

Set handling

  • Static entry sets used to have the behaviour that when citing a member of a set, the data for the citation came from the set parent which was in turn taken from the first member of the set. In most use cases, the only part of the set parent data that was actually used was the labels but in certain edge cases, other data was used which results in confusing citations for set members. This has been refactored so that when citing set members, the member data is used along with some labelling data injected from the set parent. This means that things like \citeauthor{somesetmember} now give the expected results. PLEASE NOTE that this means that citing sets directly in default styles not based on labels (authoryear, authortitle, verbose etc.) will result in blank citations as it is not envisaged that sets are useful in such styles.
  • The members of a set can now be sorted according to the active sorting scheme, this is enabled via the sortsets option. By default the option is set to false and set members appear in the order given in the data source.
  • The alphabetic style family now also supports the subentry option.

Localisation and styles

  • Styles which supply their own location strings in .lbx files typically use \DeclareLanguageMapping to map a document language to the supplied language files. This is not ideal because the mapping has to be done by the user depending on the specific language. For example, for the APA style, in a document using American English, this line is necessary in every document:
    so that the style supplied america-apa.lbx file is loaded. In a document using the German language, the user would have to use:
    A new macro \DeclareLanguageMappingSuffix is now supplied which allows styles to register a global localisation file suffix which is appended to any document language automatically. This removes the need for \DeclareLanguageMapping in user documents as it ensures that the correct localisation file will be read nomatter what the document language. For example, the APA style (from version v7.5) now has this in apa.bbx:
    which means that for a given document language <lang> the localisation file <lang>-apa.lbx will be loaded. \DeclareLanguageMapping, if present, will override \DeclareLanguageMappingSuffix.

Context-sensitive delimiters

  • Several delimiter macros now use the context-sensitive delimiter interface introduced in version 3.4 (\DeclareDelimFormat). This change is fully backwards compatible, but style developers should feel encouraged to use the new commands \DeclareDelimFormat and \printdelim.
  • Three new delimiters are introduced. authortypedelim, editortypedelim, and translatortypedelim control the delimiter between the respective name and the following <name> bibstring. This together with \DeclareFieldFormat{<name>type} allows one to go from 'E. Ditor, ed.' to 'E. Ditor (ed.)' more easily without the need to redefine entire bibmacros.
  • \DeclareDelimAlias allows one to alias one delimiter to another. E.g. \DeclareDelimAlias{finalnamedelim}{multinamedelim} will make finalnamedelim an alias for multinamedelim. The starred version \DeclareDelimAlias* is local to the specified contexts.

Misc changes

  • The initialisation code for \usedriver can now be modified via \AtUsedriver, the code can be executed with \UseUsedriverHook. The default settings retain backwards compatibility with earlier versions.
  • The field urlraw contains the unencoded, raw version of the URL. If the URL includes Unicode characters, urlraw will show them unencoded while the standard url field will contain them in percent-encoded form.
  • \mkpagetotal now has its own bibstrings <pagination>total(s) Previously it relied on the <pagination>(s) bibstrings.
  • sortyear is now a literal field and not an integer.
  • The etextools package is now officially incompatible.
  • bidi-support for footnotes was improved.
  • \ifentryseen, \ifentryinbib, \ifentrycategory and \ifentrykeyword can now be used outside of biblatex macros directly in the document.
  • \letbibmacro can be used to create bibmacro aliases as if using \let.
  • \DeprecateFieldWithReplacement, \DeprecateListWithReplacement and \DeprecateNameWithReplacement can be used to deprecate a field, name or list and replace it with a new one.



Biber version 2.7 is required for biblatex 3.7

Bugfix release.



Biber version 2.6 is required for biblatex 3.6

This is a minor bugfix release.



Biber version 2.6 is required for biblatex 3.5

Name support

  • INCOMPATIBLE CHANGE The labelling system has been generalised to be able to deal better with names. \DeclareLabelalphaTemplate no longer uses hard-coded name parts (prefix, family) when extracting label parts from name fields. Name field label extraction now obeys the new \DeclareLabelalphaNameTemplate specification which details how to extract label information from each namepart known to the data model. The default setting is backwards compatible with the old hard-coded behaviour. However, if you have custom \DeclareLabelalphaTemplate specifications, you should note that the "pcompound" and "pstrwidth" options to \field are now gone and replaced with the relevant settings on \namepart in \DeclareLabelalphaNameTemplate. The old options will generate warnings. It is too complex to provide backwards compat for this, sorry - please update your templates if necessary. This is one of the last changes needed to fully generalise name handling.

Date input and output

Major enhancements to the dates parsed by biblatex and the output formats available. Biblatex now supports [[][EDTF]] level 0 and 1. This is an enhanced ISO8601v2004 format suitable for bibliographic data. The new support is a superset of the previous limited ISO8601 support. Times are now fully supported in various formats as online sources become more common and time specifications for such sources are increasingly important. Tests and localisation strings are provided to use EDTF information about date uncertainty, era, approximation etc. in styles. A new example document (96-dates.tex) is provided which demonstrates the new features. See the PDF manual and its changelog for details of usage. The new date format functionality is backwards compatible. The following changes are more detailed and mostly of interest to style authors:

  • The iso8601 date output format is now called edtf. The old name will automatically use edtf and issue a deprecation warning.
  • \bibdatedash is now \bibdaterangesep as this name is more informative and more descriptive of how it is actually used. A backwards compat alias is provided.
  • Pre-biblatex 2.0 legacy sorting scheme definition macros \name and \list are now deprecated with warnings.
  • INCOMPATIBLE CHANGE The labeldate option is renamed to labeldateparts. The datelabel option is renamed to labeldate to provide consistency with all other date options. Backwards compatibility is provided and warnings will be issued.
  • The new date system necessitated changes to the default year printing routine for citations in the default authoryear styles. If you wish to take advantage of the new date features like circa, uncertainty and eras, when printing citations in authoryear styles, see the enhanced cite:labelyear+extrayear macros in any of the default authoryear styles.
  • The labelyear field was inconsistently implemented and in fact could sometimes contain a date range which made handling it rather difficult. It is now guaranteed to contain only one year, when it is a copy of an existing datepart field found by \DeclareLabeldate (labelyear can contain a literal/bibstring or non date field too). A new field labelendyear will contain the end of the labeldate year range. The same applies to labelmonth and labelday.
  • The internal macros \mkbibrange* have all been changed to \mkdaterange* to make the name more obvious (since they only deal with dates) and for consistency with the new \mktimerange* macros. These macros are usually only used in style .lbx files and the old names will generate a deprecation warning.
  • The option datezeros was inconsistent as it did not enforce zeros when set to 'true', it merely preserved the field. In the new date internals, leading zeros are not present after date parsing as this should always be a formatting/style decision. Now, datezeros enforces leading zeros and also handles all date parts.
  • \mkdatezeros has been replaced with \mkyearzeros, \mkmonthzeros and \mkdayzeros due to the date internals changes which are more consistent about integer formats of date parts. \mkdatezeros now generates a deprecation warning and calls \mkmonthzeros which is backwards compatible with its old behaviour.
  • INCOMPATIBLE CHANGE The .bbl field datelabelsource has been renamed to labeldatesource to prevent confusion with other fields. In the unlikely event that you referenced this field in a style, please change the name.
  • INCOMPATIBLE CHANGE The macro \printdatelabel has been renamed to \printlabeldate in line with the naming of all other date printing macros. Please use the new name. The old one will issue a deprecation warning.
  • INCOMPATIBLE CHANGE The macro \printdatelabelextra has been renamed to \printlabeldateextra in line with the naming of all other date printing macros. Please use the new name. The old one will issue a deprecation warning.

Misc changes

  • The experimental RIS format support is no longer available as it was rarely used and made biber maintenance more complicated. RIS is a very primitive format and not much use anyway.

  • INCOMPATIBLE CHANGE The singletitle option no longer considers the presence of labeltitle if labelname does not exist. This has always been potentially confusing. For several versions now, there has been a separate test and option for labeltitle called "uniquetitle".

  • INCOMPATIBLE CHANGE The sortgiveninits option has been deprecated and the functionality generalised. It is replaced by the "inits" option to \namepart in \DeclareSortingNamekeyScheme. Any nameparts may now therefore be sorted using initials only.

  • INCOMPATIBLE CHANGE The sorting subsystem in biber has been completely re-engineered to support better sorting of different datatypes. Previously, due to bibtex limitations, all sorting was lexical, even for numbers. This is why the padding options for things like volume in the default sorting specifications existed - so that lexical sorts for numbers would work. With the enhancement of the date parsing routines to include negative years, in order to sort these properly, it was time to switch to a better sorting method. As a result, the datatypes of fields is now a bit stricter, as it should be. Expect more changes in this direction but for this release, the datatype of the following fields in the default data model have been changed to 'integer':

    • number
    • sortyear
    • volume
    • volumes

    Integer datatypes no longer need padding or literal fallbacks in the sorting scheme definitions since they are now sorted properly as integers. Such datatype changes only effect sorting.