# [OS X TeX] autocomplete invalid -- TeXShop/BibDesk with too many cite keys

Adam R. Maxwell amaxwell at mac.com
Fri Feb 20 16:17:17 EST 2015

JT,

Yeah, length of citekey is the key here :-). It's a character-based limit, and the code is moderately complicated in order to deal with different types of cite commands (e.g., natbib); it's also a bit fragile, since TeX isn't particularly pleasant to parse. Dick could bump the limit up for the next version, if someone remembers to remind him...

On Feb 20, 2015, at 12:51 PM, Jung-Tsung Shen <jushen at gmail.com> wrote:

Thanks for the reply and confirmation. I actually did not cite too many citations -- my cite keys are somewhat descriptive, like icecreamvanila:2005, icecreamcherrygarcia:2007, and so on; it only takes a few to fill up the range. I will use Herb's work-around for now.

Best,
JT

On Fri, Feb 20, 2015 at 2:43 PM, Adam R. Maxwell <amaxwell at mac.com> wrote:
Hi JT,

I haven't looked at the code in years, but I'm fairly sure that the BibDesk plugin would only look back within a certain range to see if you're in a \cite context, to avoid scanning backwards through an entire document. Computers might be fast enough now that the limit is obsolete, but you'd have to recompile TeXShop to change it.

On Feb 20, 2015, at 12:27 PM, Jung-Tsung Shen <jushen at gmail.com> wrote:

Not sure if this is a problem of TeXShop or BibDesk.

I encountered a situation just now for a first time: I was writing a document using TeXShop, and on some topic I had to cite quite a few references. What I found out was that after quite a few cite keys (exact number depends on how long the total cite keys is), the autocomplete keybinding no longer be valid. Example,

Numerous studies show that ice cream is good to your health~\cite{cite1, cite2, cite3, cite4, ..., citeN (autocomplete does not work)}

Is this a known bug/feature?

JT

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