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Latex Bibliography Aux File

LaTeX forum ⇒ BibTeX, biblatex and biber ⇒ Problem with aux file for .bib file

Information and discussion about BiBTeX - the bibliography tool for LaTeX documents.

Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:10 am

Problem with aux file for .bib file

Postby spicycameldish » Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:19 am

Hi everyone,
This is my first time posting on here, I don't know how to search for the solution to this. I've tried! So my apologies if I should be able to figure this out easily. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I was told in order to get the references, I should pdflatex my file, bibtex my .bib file, and pdflatex my file twice.
At first this worked, but I changed my .bib file. When I tried to recompile my file, I got an error message which said:

This is BibTeX, Version 0.99d (TeX Live 2010)
The top-level auxiliary file: references.aux
I found no \citation commands---while reading file references.aux
I found no \bibdata command---while reading file references.aux
I found no \bibstyle command---while reading file references.aux
(There were 3 error messages)

I was then told by someone else that there is a known problem with Mac being able to properly replace the old aux file with the new one. I should delete the aux file and recompile. However, when I tried that, it creates a new aux file for all the other components in my root file. However, it doesn't create an aux file for my .bib file. So when i attempt to bibtex my references, it says there is no aux file.

Please help! Thanks!
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:10 am

Postby spicycameldish » Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:13 am

Thanks for the response. What you said is what I did, I just didn't know how to explain it. It worked the first time. But when I changed my .bib file (I added more references) It doesn't work.
My friend says that the mac version of latex ( i'm using texshop) sometimes doesn't update the aux file properly.
I'm not sure what else to do.
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:33 pm

Postby mumbatwa » Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:38 pm

I had the same problem. this is what i did:

delete all aux files to begin with.
put only your file.tex in a new map, together with library.bib (the database).
you run file.tex, there will be a file.aux but no library.aux, but that's ok.
run bibtex file. So don't run the library.bib. Just write:
in file.tex

run file.tex again and it hopefully works.
I put it in new maps because maybe some .synctex ruin the whole thing.

good luck.
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 4:39 pm

Postby hyp » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:10 pm

Same problem here, running on WinEdt v6 and MiKTeX v2.9:

On the main file I got:

Compiled following (a) PDFTeXtify/PDFTeX/PDFLaTeX, (b) BiBTeX, (c) and (d) repeat (a).

I received this message:

This is BibTeX, Version 0.99d (MiKTeX 2.9)
The top-level auxiliary file: aa.aux
I found no \bibdata command---while reading file aa.aux
I found no \bibstyle command---while reading file aa.aux
(There were 2 error messages)

Already delete .aux files, without any success.

I googled A LOT and didn't find any correct solution about this problem.

Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:39 am

Postby Eucalyptus16 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:44 am

I experienced the same problem (running TeXnicCenter 1.0 Stable Release Candidate 1 with MiKTeX 2.9), and traced a solution via a known issue with "GUI framework cannot be initialized" (see If I may suggest: try building your document from the command prompt (manually typing in commands). Suggested command sequence for building myfile is

Details on symptoms to problem:
  • myfile builds correctly in profile, including bibliography.
  • In profile, BiBTeX reports that it cannot find , or commands.
  • On opening up the myfile.aux file, there is only the text and no othe contents.
  • When running MiKTeX from the command prompt, the file compiled correctly. In particular, the .aux had the , or commands. Command prompt entries were

What (I think) was going on was that
  • pdfTeX was trying to load a package for PDF, which it hadn't needed for DVI output.
  • When running inside TeXnicCenter, since the GUI framework couldn't initialise, pdfTeX didn't complete building the .aux file. Thus (I theorise) BiBTeX could not find its commands.
  • When running at the Command prompt, I clicked off the "Always show this dialog before installing packages". Net result is that pdfTeX (MiKTeX) is not waiting for user interaction, so the .aux file gets built.

Since running once from the command prompt, compiling has worked correctly from inside TeXnicCenter. I haven't been able to replicate the problem since running in the command prompt and clicking off "Always show this dialog before installing packages" ... which is success of a form (I suppose). See also ( for earlier experience.
Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 12:04 am

Postby mariana » Mon May 21, 2012 12:08 am

I had the same problem. Read all the threads here.
And then just realised that my latex file had an error in a footnote (forgot to close).

So it is perfectly normal that some of these described errors are not GUI errors neither Latex errors but a mistake in any place of the file.

If you got an error and it did work before, try to remember what were the last things you did on the file and try to go back.

Good luck!

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How do I create bibliographies in LaTeX?

On this page:


There are two methods for creating a bibliography. The first can be used for short documents with only a few sources, and is fairly simple. The second method is used for large documents and theses, and involves using a program called "bibtex".

Simple method

If all of this seems complicated, there is a simpler way to produce a quick bibliography for your document. This can be used for smaller papers, ones that don't need a very extensive bibliography. Something like this will work fine:

You can put this at the end of your LaTeX file. If you want to refer to something from your bibliography you can put something like this in yourfile:

which would produce something like


Pretend that the file that we are using is called 'foo.tex'. To make a bibliography, we should put all our sources into a file called 'foo.bib'. The structure of foo.bib is as follows:

For our sample document, we will use the following:

Quotation Marks
BIBTeX uses REAL quotation marks (") and NOT the opening and closing quotation marks (`` and '') that LaTeX normally uses.

Now, everytime you refer to the book Foo Bar Baz in foo.tex, you refer to it in the following manner:

This will match the citation number with the number of the book in the list of references.

If you have a few references that you did not explicitly cite in the text of your document, but you would like to include it in the list of references, you use the following (in foo.tex):

where baz, fuzz, and bong are abbreviations for the other texts.

To actually create the bibliography, you need to use the following commands in foo.tex (these are usually at the end of the document - where you want the References section to appear):

There are several options for \bibliographystyle:

plainnormal style - listed in ABC order and labeled numerically
unsrtsame as plain except entries appear in order of citation
alphasame as plain except entry labels are used
abbrvsame as plain except uses abbreviations for first names, month names, and journal names

Now that you have the basis for a bibliography, you have to run both latex and bibtex on the document. First, you should run latex (to create a foo.aux file, which bibtex reads). Then run bibtex once to get some of the citations and create a .bbl file. Then run latex again so that the cross references between the text file and the bibliography are correct. You may want to repeat running bibtex and latex on the file to make sure that all cross references are correct. Be warned that adding/deleting citations and sources will require running bibtex again.

For more information on this topic, please refer the following pages in the LaTeX manual by Leslie Lamport:

\begin{thebibliography}{1} \bibitem{notes} John W. Dower {\em Readings compiled for History 21.479.} 1991. \bibitem{impj} The Japan Reader {\em Imperial Japan 1800-1945} 1973: Random House, N.Y. \bibitem{norman} E. H. Norman {\em Japan's emergence as a modern state} 1940: International Secretariat, Institute of Pacific Relations. \bibitem{fo} Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi {\em Anti-Foreignism and Western Learning in Early-Modern Japan} 1986: Harvard University Press. \end{thebibliography}
This is obvious \cite{norman}.
@BOOK{<some abbreviation that you make up>, AUTHOR = "author", TITLE = "book title", PUBLISHER = {publishing company}, ADDRESS = {where published}, YEAR = year published}
@BOOK{bar, AUTHOR = "Star, R. M.", TITLE = "Foo Bar Baz", PUBLISHER = {MIT Press}, ADDRESS = {Cambridge, MA}, YEAR = 1989}
\bibliography{foo} \bibliographystyle{plain}
72-74 Bibliography and Citation 74-74 BibTeX 140-147 Format of the .bib File (also gives info on other entry types) 187-188 Bibliography and Citation