[OS X TeX] use of bibtex

Adam R. Maxwell amaxwell at mac.com
Sun Jul 3 12:47:24 EDT 2005

On Jul 2, 2005, at 23:58, Thomas A. Schmitz wrote:

> I am thinking about setting up something like a database for my  
> bibliographic stuff. The bibtex format seems like a not too bad  
> choice since it's very structured, and you can put your own  
> comments into one field. So my fist philosophical question is: does  
> that sound like a feasible idea, is bibtex a good tool for this.

If you want to use the database with TeX, BibTeX is a good choice for  
this.  Otherwise, it really depends on what you want to do (although  
you can use BibUtils to convert BibTeX to a variety of formats).

> However, there's also a couple of mire technical questions:
> 1. Can you pretty-print/typeset an entire bibtex-database INCLUDING  
> the comments?

Yes.  Either write your own .bst (adding your comment field) and do  
it with LaTeX, or use bibtool or bibclean.  My own preference, of  
course, would be to use BibDesk to manage a BibTeX database; if you  
enter your comments in the Annote field, you can pretty-print  
whatever items you've selected from BibDesk, although our printing  
isn't very flexible yet.

> 2. I constantly print bibliograhpies for certain topics (for the  
> students in my classes). Is there a convenient way to choose the  
> entries froma bibtex file and print them in the form of a  
> bibliography?

BibDesk can print the results of a search for you (find your items,  
select all), or allow you to copy the cite keys to a LaTeX file.

> 3. Is there any hope that bibtex will support utf-8 in the future?

Depends on what you mean by support.  You can put Unicode characters  
in BibTeX (except in cite keys), and save the file as UTF-8.  BibTeX  
itself won't sort accented characters correctly, but it doesn't care  
what encoding you use.  We have numerous BibDesk users who save their  
files as UTF-8 for use with XeTeX.


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