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How to use JabRef (BibTeX) with Microsoft Word 2003

March 25th, 2007 by James · 264 Comments

JabRefJabRef is one of the best reference managers available and provides a realistic alternative to Endnote, as well as being open-source & free. Unfortunately most users are not aware that JabRef (or any other BibTeX based reference manager) can easily be integrated for use with Microsoft Word. In this guide I will show you step-by-step how to install Mike Brookes‘ excellent free Bibtex4Word (v1.12) Word Macro Package on your Windows XP machine.

This post is for an old version of the BibTeX4Word Macro. The newest version can be found here on Mike Brookes’ site, along with excellent documentation.

These instructions assume that you are already familiar with JabRef and have a copy installed on your computer. If you wish you can download JabRef from here. I will cover how to use JabRef in a forthcoming guide.

1. Download MiKTeX

MiKTex is a LaTeX typesetting environment , you don’t need to be too concerned about the details of this, essentially MiKTeX contains BibTeX the ‘engine’ that is used for to generate the different referencing styles that you will now be able to call on to be able to submit to various journals eg. Harvard, Vancouver, Nature etc.

The link to MikTeX is here (and will open in a new window) You need to download and install the basic version, don’t worry about installing all the packages, you don’t need them.

2. Relocate your JabRef data File

Unfortunately BibTeX does not support filenames with spaces in them, if you have spaces in your path to your JabRef file you must relocate your data file to a directory without. My Bibliography file is called “bib.bib” and was located in “My Documents” which contains a space so I relocated it to a new folder “c:\References\bib.bib” Make a note of your location.

3.Set your Path

The macro requires that it can access the BibTeX package from the default path. The simplest way to set this is to go to

Start>>Settings>>Control Panel>> System>>Advanced>>Enviromental Variables>>System Variables

here you need to edit the “Path” entry by adding the path of the BibTeX executable, failure to do so will cause an “Error 53” The path to my BibTeX executable is

C:\Program Files\MiKTeX 2.5\miktex\bin

Yours should be similar if you followed the default installation. If you are having problems use the Windows search feature to look for “Bibtex.exe”. Remember each entry on the path should be seperated by semi-colons for example my path is:-

d:\WINDOWS\system32;D:\WINDOWS;D:\Program Files\MiKTeX 2.5\miktex\bin;

4. Make Word Startup Folder Visible

By defaut on your machine you may have to make your Word startup folder visible, you can do this by going to Windows Explorer and selecting:-

Tools>>Folder Options>>Hidden files and folders>>Show hidden files and folders & Display the contents of system folders.

If you prefer not to see your system and hidden folders you can reverse this once complete.

5.Download the Macro

This can be found on Mike Brookes’ site here. Right click this link and use the “Save target as” or “Save Link as” option. You need to save it in your MS Word Startup folder which can be found at:-

C:\Documents and Settings\James\Application Data\Microsoft\Word\STARTUP

of course you will have substitute your username for mine, and possibly change the drive letter according to the setup of your machine. If you want this macro to be available to more than one user you will have to do this for each user. There is no need to change the MS Word security settings to enable this macro to work correctly.

6. Load Microsoft Word

Hopefully you will see this new toolbar. First you need to let the BibTeX4Word macro know where you keep your bibliography data file. You do this by clicking on the last but one icon (the open folder) and then finding the bibliography file which you made a note of earlier.

7.Start Citing

To add a citation position the cursor at the point you wish to insert the citation and click the [+] button, you can either type the BibTeX key directly eg “Davies2003” or search for author’s papers from your bibliography by the surname by prefixing with A: eg “A:Davies”. You can cite more than one paper by just separating the keys by commas.

8.Creating your Bibliography List

When you are ready to create your bibliography, simply place your cursor where you wish it to appear and click the second icon from the left on the BibTex4Word toolbar. This will produce the bibliography and automatically change the bibliography keys to reference numbers. You can flip between the two with the [eye] key on the toolbar.

9.Changing the Citation Styles

This can be done by clicking the paintbrush logo. To find out what styles are available from your MikTeX installation you can search the BibTeX folder for style files which have the *.bst extension, or create your own as described in Mark’s recent article

Example Citation Styles

Example of Vancouver BibTeX Style

A selection of the more popular styles (Plain, Vancouver, AuthorDate and it’s variations) can be found in this pdf or this MS Word file.

Adding more Styles to BibTeX

If you installed the Basic MiKTeX package you will only have a small selection of styles. Not all BibTeX styles work well with the BibTeX4Word Macro, but most do. To add more go to

Start>>Programs>>MiKTeX 2.5>>MiKTeX Package Manger

Here you need to select all of the Category entitled “\BibTeX\BibTeX packages” then right click and select Install, and the latest versions will be downloaded and installed on your computer.

Customising Your Bibliography
You can format your bibliography directly, for example making citation numbers appear as subscript. If you wish you can change the citation brackets from square to round brackets, this is done using MS Word’s search and replace, though this is best left until you have finished your paper or thesis.

Tags: Free · Software

264 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mark // Mar 26, 2007 at 7:27 am

    This looks great. I didn’t realise this kind of thing existed, but as an alternative to Endnote (which appears to be badly broken on both Windows and Mac OS X, especially with large bibliographies) it is worth considering!

    There are other reference managers available, but JabRef is cross-platform and so works on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

  • 2 Thanks for the instructions, but I´ve hit a wall // Apr 17, 2007 at 4:16 pm

    Thanks for making these instructions available! I really can´t afford to pay for Endnote (300 U$ is a lot of money in Chile).
    Unfortunately, I´ve hit a wall.

    Step4. I can´t find the correct position to download bibtexword.doc (which is what gets downloaded from the link you quote).

    C :\Documents and Settings\Alejandro\Application Data\Microsoft\Word\STARTUP

    does not exist, instead, I come to a choice of

    C:\Documents and Settings\Alejandro\
    -cookies, -desk, -favorites, -start menu (menu de inicio), my documents, User Data (with empty folders).

    I´ve downloaded bibtexword.doc to every single
    subfolder of “start menu” ad got no results. (Yes, I did download directly, not just copy-paste and I did erase each new file as they proved useless).

    If you have a minute, please lend me a hand.

    Best regards

    Alejandro Roth

  • 3 Mander // Apr 18, 2007 at 2:14 pm


    “Application Data” is normally a hidden folder, I believe. In Windows Explorer, go to Tools–> Folder Options, click the View tab, and select “Show hidden files and folders” option, then hit apply. You should be able to see the folder then.

    James–Thanks for this guide!

  • 4 Pierre // Apr 19, 2007 at 9:58 am

    First, a great thanks for both guides on LaTeX styles & integration with MSword.

    Unfortunately, i ran into problems while using natbib styles with the bibtex4word macro : cited labels (in the text & just before each reference entry) differs from the output they really have under LaTeX (on a unix OS).

    Does somebody have clues to resolve this problem ? I don’t know where to start : bibtex4word macro, OS localisation or latex distribution problem…


  • 5 Pierre // Apr 19, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    OK, just answering to myself : the problem was that i used /cite{p,t}{key} in the .tex file… which gave me correct output when compiling but different from what i hoped in MSword.

    So, if someone know how to make bibtex4word use personalised citing commands, it would be wonderful !

    Thanks for reading,


  • 6 James // Apr 22, 2007 at 12:19 pm

    If you are having problems setting up the PATH variable which may occur with some LOCALES then you can set it from the command line by downloading the SETX utility from MS here

    At the command prompt type:-

    setx path "%PATH%";C:\Archivos de programa\MiKTeX 2.5\miktex\bin

    to set up the PATH will need to modify the “C:\Archivos de programa” section to match the path of your program files..

    Pierre, It is possible to customise the citation style to some extent, I do not know how to accomplish all of Natbib’s functionality, but you can change from AuthorDate type of citations to plain numeric, an example of some citation styles that work can be found in the PDF above.

  • 7 Nunzio // May 9, 2007 at 5:49 am

    I used in BibTex4Word the ‘plainnat’ style in order to have the output in Natbib format without success. Many Springer Journal adopt the Natbib style.
    Do someone know the solution with BibTex4Word ?

    Thanks for reading,

  • 8 James // May 9, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    I am afraid the plainnat style doesn’t work well with bibtex4word, but if you want an author-date type style (see here) you could use one of the authordate styles and edit out the square brackets.

  • 9 winnie // May 11, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    Hi James,

    seems, this is the perfect way to use JabRef with Microsof Word. I installed the Bibtex4Word key last night and linked it with my library. I got the the six icons in Word and I can insert the authors in the place where I want it. However, the step of creating the bibliography makes some troubles. I followed the steps on the website, clicked with the left cursor where I wanted the bibliography link to appear and than clicked the second icon on the left. But nothing happens. Did i miss a step in between? Looking forward to your response.

    Best regards, Winnie

  • 10 James // May 11, 2007 at 2:39 pm


    When you insert the Authors does it find the correct Authors from your JabRef database eg. If you search for Author Jones “A:Jones” does it find them? Do you get any error messages at all?

  • 11 winnie // May 12, 2007 at 12:20 pm

    Hi James,

    yes, it finds the correct author from the bib file and inserts it in the right position, so step 7 works. However, step 8 does not work. Do you have any ideas?

  • 12 winnie // May 12, 2007 at 12:32 pm

    James, don’t know if it is important but I am using Miktex 2.6 and Jabref 2.2.

    The icon (second from the left) changes to orange color when clicking on it the first time, and stays orange until I close word.

    Thanks for your help

  • 13 James // May 12, 2007 at 3:45 pm


    You could try checking your macro security settings, but I doubt it is I am afraid I can’t think of a solution. Sorry..


  • 14 Tino // May 16, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    Hi James,
    Bibtex4Word has really been an answer to my prayers. I love that I can now use my rather extensive .bib file for citing things in word. I just have one question: I’ve noticed that if I have things in subscript (e.g. $_text$) or greek letters (e.g. $\alpha$) in my .bib file they are not formatted/translatted in Word. Is there a work around for this, other than formatting the bibliography by hand?
    Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

  • 15 James // May 18, 2007 at 9:10 am


    I can’t think of a way around the subscript issue. There is a way to work around the single latex characters. If you edit the macro by loading the file then going to Tools>>Macro>>Edit find the file that contains this section:-

    ' multi character latex command
    cmd = LCase(Mid(textline, lfindex + 2, i - lfindex - 2))
    If logging Then
    Print #2, "latex command:" & cmd
    End If
    Select Case
    Case "AE"
    i = i - 1
    Mid(textline, i, 1) = "Æ"

    This section of the macro appears to replace latex commands with symbols. To add alpha as a supported character add the following entry

    Case "alpha"
    i = i - 1
    Mid(textline, i, 1) = ChrW(945)

    The “alpha” bit refers to the latex command without the “\”, so you could do this for \beta \Beta etc.. ChrW(945) refers to the unicode for that symbol (in decimal rather than HEX). I don’t think this will work in the maths enviroment (eg $\alpha$) as the $ is printed verbatim. If I ever get competent at VBA I will try and look at the subscript problem, the other option would be to approach Mike Brookes (The Author of the macro)


  • 16 Jennifer // Jun 5, 2007 at 8:32 am

    Hi James,

    Thanks for the instructions on this webpage!
    The journal that I am submitting my paper to requires the references in order of citation and the references to be given as

    Whitby DJ, Ferguson MW. Title of paper. Dev Biol 1991; 147:207-15.

    Do you know the right bibtex style to use with Bibtex4word for this style of referencing, while keeping them in order of citation?


  • 17 James // Jun 6, 2007 at 10:37 am


    Try the Vancouver style.



  • 18 Frederik // Jun 27, 2007 at 8:28 pm


    I’ve got the same problem as winnie. I took the brave step to try bibtex4word in Word2007. Everything seemed to work perfectly, but it doesn’t want to add the reference list. When I click the second item, nothing happens. It stays highlighted as winnie already said. When I click it again (I’m very unpatient with computers) it gives an error 55: documen is already open (or something similar). I’ve tried changing macro security settings but it doesn’t help.

    Any suggestions are welcome!



  • 19 James // Jun 27, 2007 at 11:20 pm

    Frederik ,

    I’m sorry but I have looked through the source code and I can’t even find a reference to error 55, suggesting the error is generated by the system in response to the macro; rather than the macro itself.



  • 20 Frederik // Jun 28, 2007 at 6:28 pm


    thanks for the fast reply. You’re right about the system generated error. I checked the help of Word and found that error 55 occurs if a file that is already open, is opened again. So apparently clicking the button, opens some file which can’t be opened twice. It’s just a shame that opening that mysterious file doesn’t result in a nice reference list…

    It looks like I’ll have to maintain two reference programs…



  • 21 James // Jul 5, 2007 at 6:09 pm


    This error may be the result of using Word 2007 with the Macro, have you tried it in Word 2003?


  • 22 Thomas // Jul 18, 2007 at 2:34 pm


    first a great thanks for the bibtex4word macro!

    But unfortunately I have some problems with the macro. Install was successful, the macro is included in Word and I can use it, after I changed the macro security to “middle” (maybe it’s important).

    But when I try to insert a citation by the plus button it doesn’t function. For example exists a bibtex-key (and all necessary entries in JabRef too) in my database “Koike:2002”. If I enter this in the dialog the error message “no matches found for koike:2002” appears. Strangely, if I just enter “A:koike”, the same message appears, with the additional information 2002. So the makro seems to find something on the database. But what? And why “no matches”. What did I wrong?

    Best regards,

  • 23 James // Jul 18, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    *****Read this first*****
    Since I made the entry below I read the updated documentation that accompanies Mike Brooke’s Macro which can be found here. There is a much easier way to achieve what the text below suggests by simply setting the enivorment variable eg. BIBSTYLE=plainnat/ndu!$ Please check out his comprehensive documentation.
    *****Read this first*****


    Firstly the credit for the Macro should go to the Author Mike Brookes.

    I am afraid I think you have found a bug, that relates to how you have named your bibtex keys.

    The Macro uses the ‘:’ to allow searches for authors to be done, for example A:MedicalNerd would search for the author MedicalNerd. So effectively the macro doesn’t treat your key ‘Koike:2002″ as a key, but as a command.

    Luckily the Macro is easy to follow so to fix this you can change the way the macro handles the “:” and use something else instead…

  • 1. First remove the macro from your startup folder and restart word.
  • 2. Confirm that the macro is no longer loaded by going to Tools>Macro>Macros
  • 3. Download the Macro again and open the .dot file in Microsoft Word
  • 4. Go to Tools>Macro>Macros and edit the Macro
  • 5. Find the line that looks like:-

    Const MagicDefault As String = ":/" ' Default magic chars for search and flags
  • 6. Change the “:/” to “!/”
  • 7. Copy the file after saving it into the STARTUP folder and restart Word.

    Steps 1-3 were needed on my machine as you can’t edit the macro by default. You can now search for Authors using A!MedicalNerds and cite correctly using MedicalNerd:2006


  • 24 Lars // Jul 18, 2007 at 3:19 pm


    nice guide! Just what I was looking for.

    I do run into a problem though – the same as Winnie (no error message as by Frederik). I suspect that I make an error in step 3 in setting the path, as that was the most tricky part. The other steps are straigh forward. In step 3 you write “Remember to precede this new entry with a semicolon.” I don’t know what you mean by that.

    Also, I tried to download the SETX utility, but the link provided is not valid.

    I use Word2003.

    Thanks, Lars

  • 25 James // Jul 18, 2007 at 4:45 pm


    I have tried to simplify step 3, see above.

    To check you have the path set correctly go to Start>Run>Command to go to the command prompt. If you type bibtex then it should respond “Need exactly one file argument” rather ” ‘BibTex’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
    operable program or batch file.”

    Please feedback how you get on


  • 26 Thomas // Jul 19, 2007 at 5:47 am

    Hi James,

    thanks a lot for your help. It works now!!! I’m happy about this great tool. It saves so much time…


  • 27 Lars // Jul 19, 2007 at 6:40 am

    Hi James,

    thanks for your suggestion. When I write “bibtex” in the Command window, I get the answer “Please type input file name (no extension)–“, which is essentially the same as you said it must be when the path is set correct. I also tested it entering some jibberish, getting the expected negative answer.

    So, it is not the path that is set wrong. Macro security level “Low” does not solve the problem either. Neither does restarting the computer or creating a new Word document. The references are found just well, the bibliography is just not created at all.

    Btw, regarding the use of “;” in Step 3, there seems to be slight differences in the GUIs from my version of Windows to yours in the way paths are set. I must write them one by one – no multiple intries possible and thus no use for the “;”.

    Any further ideas? Anything I should test?


  • 28 James // Jul 19, 2007 at 11:17 am


    I am afraid I am out of ideas, why don’t you ask Mike Brookes? Let me know how you get on..


  • 29 Thomas // Jul 19, 2007 at 2:06 pm


    is there a possibility to enter more than one reference in every paragraph? Or much better in every sentence? For example:
    “Some reference for argument one [1, 4, 5], but also for a further advantage [2, 3, 6, 7].”
    If I try to enter the second reference field by the plus-icon, its automatically jumps to the previous one, highlights these entries and I just can edit this reference block. The some effect appears not only inside the same sentence but also inside the same paragraph. Only the seperation of the arguments by an offers the possibility to insert a new block of references.

    Has someone made the same experience? Thanks for all help,

  • 30 James // Jul 19, 2007 at 2:53 pm


    With my version of BibTeX4Word and MS Word 2003 I can do this. I have an example here. Why don’t you send me an example and I will have a look.



  • 31 Mike // Jul 20, 2007 at 7:06 pm


    The “one citation per paragraph” problem was a bug that existed briefly and is fixed in the current version (V1.49).


  • 32 James // Jul 20, 2007 at 7:48 pm


    Thanks for the help and the great macro.



  • 33 Pierre // Jul 23, 2007 at 1:29 pm


    I’d like to thank Mike Brookes a lot for updating his great software, the new “style flags” are very useful. I have 2 questions remaining :
    – In some of biological journals, there aren’t any labels before each entry in the bibliography section : is there a way to achieve this using bibtex4word ? Is it a bibtex style-only problem ?
    – how to suppress url or doi information in the bibliography section ? Some of the bst styles i found (apalike, for example) hide this information, but their formatting doesn’t suit my needs.

    Thanks for reading,



  • 34 Thomas // Jul 23, 2007 at 2:37 pm

    Hi Mike,

    thank you for your tip and for your great makro. I used v1.48. After downloading 1.49 my problem is solved!

    Best regards,

  • 35 James // Jul 23, 2007 at 9:18 pm


    To remove the numbering and change the display of hyperlinks you could create your own style See here.


  • 36 Pierre // Jul 24, 2007 at 1:28 pm


    Thanks for closely following this thread !

    I hoped to get over this problem without having to dive into custom BibTeX styles creation… but ok, i’ll watch this 74 step process :°)

  • 37 Oliver // Jul 29, 2007 at 1:41 pm

    Hi James,
    Firstly thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge, which is really appreciated by folks like me who don’t have the time/expertise to figure this out.
    I have a slight problem in the fact that I can’t download/save the macro from the link you provide in section 4. I get an error message saying that it can’t connect to the server. I’ve tried to reduce the security of my internet browser but to no avail. Is there something else I should be doing?
    Thanks in advance,

  • 38 James // Jul 29, 2007 at 3:12 pm


    I think the site ( is temporarily down as I can’t access it from my machine, try later.


  • 39 Oliver // Jul 29, 2007 at 5:49 pm

    Hi James,
    Ok thanks for the reply.

  • 40 Liutas // Aug 1, 2007 at 3:10 am

    I am afraid I have the same problem as Winnie and Fredrik.

    Everything is OK with paths, bibtex is found, and .bib file is found (I am using MikTeX2.5). I have no problems using bibtex with my LaTeX editor on the same computer, even the same bib file. But I really need this functionallity in MSWord.

    So, in Word2003 I see the toolbar, I can add references, everything is nice until I press the “Insert/Update bibliography” button. The button stays in its pressed state, and the computers fan becomes noisy! I have to close the MSWord (without any error message) to stop the fan.

    I tried putting the bib file to a directory with no spaces, tried changing the bibtex keys (they look as “author2000”) but the problem persists. Any ideas?..

  • 41 James // Aug 1, 2007 at 7:09 am


    I’m afraid I can’t reproduce the error, and do not how to solve it.



  • 42 chan // Aug 11, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    Hi, James,

    I just started to learn Jabref with word by following your instruction and ran into problem in step 6. I could not see the toolbar after my word files were opened in word and did not know how to sort it out.
    It would be grateful if you could tell me how to deal with this.

    Many thanks and best wishes,


  • 43 James // Aug 11, 2007 at 3:38 pm


    Two things you should check:-

    1.Go to your STARTUP folder which will look something like

    C:\Documents and Settings\James\Application Data\Microsoft\Word\STARTUP

    and confirm the BibTex4Word.DOT file is present there. (There will be subtle differences that reflect your username, installation and locale.)

    2. Re-open MS Word and navigate to


    and ensure the BibTeX4Word Macro option is checked.



  • 44 chan // Aug 11, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    Hi, James,

    Thank you so much for your quick reply. I did checked the first thing you suggested me to do before I wrote to you and the BibTex4Word was there. Just now I have checked the second point you suggested me to do. Now I can only get a small square toolbar on my word file which could not display anything. I tried to enlarge this guy but it did not work. Is there anything else I should do to figure it out?

    Many thanks for your help.


  • 45 James // Aug 11, 2007 at 7:08 pm


    I am afraid I can’t suggest anything else.



  • 46 Sonja // Aug 20, 2007 at 9:54 am


    is it possible to add the page reference, as follows:
    [3, pp. 93 ff.] or in alpha [By07, pp. 93 ff.]
    I tried [p.93 ff, bibtexKey] or [,bibtexKey, p.93 ff] but after “toggle citation display” it is changed again.
    Any idea?

    Thanks in advance

  • 47 James // Aug 20, 2007 at 6:16 pm


    I’m sorry I don’t understand the question… are your bibtex keys “3”,”ff” and “07”… and does p.93 ff refer to the page number.



  • 48 Sonja // Aug 27, 2007 at 8:16 am


    yes “pp. 93 ff.” refers to the page number. “[3” and “[By07” refers to the literature with different citation styles. Since I ask for the declaration of the page number in the cite.

    Thanks in advance


  • 49 Mike // Aug 29, 2007 at 7:00 am


    If you use the “[” style flag then a citation will appear as “3” without any surrounding brackets. You can have additional text either side of the citation number and the macro will not disturb it: e.g. “[ 3, pp. 93 ff.]” . At the moment you need to have a space after the “[” in this example to prevent it disappearing after an update. Does this do what you want?


  • 50 Sonja // Aug 29, 2007 at 11:57 am

    Thank you for your help. This was my question.

    I hope a better solution will come. The cite is at the end of the line since it looks like that:
    3, pp.93 ff ]




  • 51 Katrina // Aug 30, 2007 at 1:33 pm

    The BibText4Word toolbar is not showing up when I run Word. I’ve double checked the startup folder (it’s there, but cannot be opened) and I’ve done Menu>>View>>Toolbars and BibText is not listed at all. I am running Word 2003. Any hints? (My IT fiancee can’t figure it out either).

  • 52 James // Aug 30, 2007 at 8:07 pm


    Just to clarify. There is a copy of the BibTeX4Word macro (.dot not .doc) file in your “Startup” folder, you have restarted Word but when you look for the toolbar it is not there. Try 2 things:-

    1. Go to Tools->Macro->Macros …are the BibTex4Word Macros displayed here? If not then the Macro file hasn’t been loaded…you could try putting the file in the “All Users” instead.

    eg C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Word\STARTUP

    2.Try lowering your Macro security settings, though I find it works fine on “Very High”.

    Otherwise I am afraid I am out of ideas, if you manage to fix it please post how you managed.



  • 53 Per // Aug 31, 2007 at 6:45 am

    I have tried to download since yesterday but cannot access the server. Any alternative suggestions, thanks

  • 54 James // Aug 31, 2007 at 7:24 am


    Imperial’s Department of Electronic Engineering server was down for a while but is now back up.



  • 55 Per // Sep 3, 2007 at 9:19 am

    Thanks, James I have now received the files from Mike Brookes. However, I have repeatedly tried to download natbib using MikTex package manager but invariably get the message that couldn’t connect to server. Any idea why this does not work?

  • 56 Katrina // Sep 7, 2007 at 9:24 pm

    We figured it out. I had failed to remove the spaces from some of the files that led to the end point for the download. Once that was fixed, it worked just fine.

  • 57 Mike // Sep 9, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    I have never been able to reproduce the “stuck in an infinite loop” problem that several people have experienced (e.g. Winnie, Frederik, Liutas) . However, I think there is a good chance that this is now fixed in V1.54 which also adds a new option to make the citations into hyperlinks.

  • 58 Liutas // Sep 10, 2007 at 1:10 am

    Thanks for the new version! The infinite loop problem is gone (at least, on my system), I can generate bibliography, hurray!

  • 59 Elliot // Sep 14, 2007 at 7:05 pm

    When I open Word I get an error message:
    word cannot open this document template.
    Thanks for the help

  • 60 James // Sep 17, 2007 at 2:34 pm


    I am afraid I can’t explain why that is occuring. Can you load the template if you simply double click on it? If not then delete it and download it again.

    Please reply with the solution if you get it fixed.

    Kind Regards


  • 61 Seb // Sep 19, 2007 at 8:42 am


    I had a little problem.

    When I would like to format my bibliography (second button from left), I obtain this message error :

    “Missing Bibtex log file: C:\documents and settings\user\local settings\temp\bibtex4word.blg”

    I’ve tried to trash these files, but I obtained the same message error.
    What could be the solution ?

    Best regards,


  • 62 James // Sep 19, 2007 at 8:58 am


    Is the file bibtex4word.blg actually present in the directory in which the Macro reports it cannot find it? If it is not then I would check that BibTeX is working correctly (Path set correctly, can be called from the command prompt etc), as I think bibtex4word.blg is the first BibTeX file that is read by the Macro that is produced by the BibTeX helper files.

    Kind Regards


  • 63 Seb // Sep 19, 2007 at 11:17 am

    Hello James,

    As a Mac User, I have not the habit to use a PC, so probably I made a misstake with the path settings.

    In environment variables>system variables, I’ve created a new variable.
    I’ve put “BibTex.exe” in “Variable name” and “C:\Program Files\MiKTeX 2.5\miktex\bin” in “Variable value”.

    Is it correct ?



  • 64 Seb // Sep 19, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    I have the solution finally (I hope !) : I’ve just remove MikTex 2.5 and install Miktex 2.6 !



  • 65 James // Sep 19, 2007 at 2:01 pm


    The Variable name should be “Path” and the Variable value should be ...;C:\Program Files\MiKTeX 2.6\miktex\bin
    where … is whatever is currently in the variable value. (Probably something like “C:\Windows\System32;c:\perl”)



  • 66 Marcelo Maia // Sep 26, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    A Question and Answer: Hope this helps someone.

    Q: I’ve installed in the right place and reinitialized Word but the toolbar does not appear. When I open the toolboor appears but just for that file. WHY?

    A: I don’t why. But when I reinitialized the computer, the toolbar had appeared ok. I wasted an hour to do this simple fix.

  • 67 Binh // Oct 8, 2007 at 11:58 am

    I have installed v1.54 and use JabRef v2.3b2. I have problems with step 7, inserting citations. Like in message #22, if I enter “A:Toubia” in the dialog the error message “no matches found for a:toubia” appears. So, I follow the steps in message#23, but get stuck at step 4. There are a lot of macros in the list, which one do I have to edit? (I’ve never use macros before). Is there any other solution?


  • 68 James // Oct 8, 2007 at 8:27 pm


    Can I just clarify something,…Do you store your bibtex keys in the format “Toubia:2003” if so you need to let the Macro know that you use the “:” in a bibtex key and suggest a different one for use with searches. For example if you use the colon (“:”) in your key do the following:-

    Go to :-

    Control Panel->System->Advanced ->Environmental Variables-->User Variables

    Add a variable “BIBSTYLE” with the value being

    alpha/n +/

    This will let the Macro know that you want to use alpha as your default style and that you want to use the “+” as your magic character rather than the “:” character . To search for the Author “Smith” type “A+smith”.



  • 69 Binh // Oct 9, 2007 at 11:06 am

    Hi James,
    I store the Bibtexkey in the format Toubia2006. I use the autogenerate in JabRef to generate the Bibtex key. Do I still need to add the variable BIBSTYLE? Sorry, for my silly question, I’m a newby.


  • 70 James // Oct 9, 2007 at 11:35 am

    If you bibtex key does not contain the “:” character then there is no need to make the BIBSTYLE entry as detailled above, there must be another reason why it can’t find that the Toubia2006 entry. Can you find any of the other BibTeX keys?


  • 71 Binh // Oct 9, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    Hi James,
    I can’t find any BibTex keys. I try to find BibTex keys with another database I’ve created in JabRef. The results are the same, no matches are found by Bibtex4Word.

    The steps 1 – 6 as described in your tutorial was done without any errors. So, I don’t understand why I can’t insert a citation. I tried to remove the macro and installed a new version from the site of Mike Brookes. I even installed some updates for MilkTex v2.6. Any ideas what to do next?


  • 72 Hans Nordhaug // Oct 22, 2007 at 9:01 am

    First I must thank you for writing this entry – I didn’t even know that BibTeX4Word existed. Some quick comments:
    – The BIBSTYLE value in comment 23 is wrong. It must be either “BIBSTYLE=plainnat/ndu !/” or just “BIBSTYLE=plainnat/ndu !”. The space was missing and the style flag selector was changed (when it shouldn’t have been).
    – I think you should try to simplify step 3 more (ref comment 25 by you, James). As the documentation for B4W says, MiKTeX normally updated the PATH automatically. It’s better to ask people to test if the bibtex command is found. If not, they should be pointed to the “appendix”.
    – I have asked the author of B4W to sign the next version of the macro, to avoid the security questions.
    – As already pointed out, the current version of B4W is 1.54 and it solves some of the problems reported in the comments. Maybe this should be made clear in the beginning of the post. The docs for B4W is also worth reading…
    – We need a FAQ list: Error 53 is missing bibtex executable, using colon in the bib keys causes entries to be not found … Either add it to this post or ask the author of B4W to do it (if you have any contact with him).

    Thx again.

    PS! Quick comment to Binh: Does your bib keys contain colons? See comment 23.

  • 73 Pawel // Nov 19, 2007 at 12:13 pm

    Unfortunately it seems not to work on Mac OS X and Word 2004. When I copied the .dot file to a startup directory (and restarted Word) no new toolbar appeared. When I just opened the dot file and then tried to use the new toolbar then there are some errors and a debugger launches…

  • 74 Mike // Nov 19, 2007 at 9:10 pm

    The macro is written in visual basic and unfortunately microsoft dropped support for this in the Mac version of word. So sadly it will never work on Macs.

  • 75 Emanuel // Dec 9, 2007 at 9:41 am

    WOW, this is exactly what I needed. Thank you very much for your instructions!

  • 76 Reinaldo Silva // Dec 10, 2007 at 6:43 pm


    Thank you very much for this great macro!

    Just one question: Could you tell which style has references as footnotes? I was not able to find one in the list.

    Thanks in advance!

  • 77 James // Dec 10, 2007 at 7:49 pm

    Thanks for the Macro should be directed to Mike Brookes, the author of BibTeX4Word.

    Do you mean placing a reference in a footnote, or outputting the bibliography in a footnote?



  • 78 Reinaldo Silva // Dec 10, 2007 at 8:02 pm

    Thanks for answering.

    I think the first one. I mean like this 1(superscript) then a footnote as 1. See D. Knuth The Art…

    And more, if possible, the bibliography in the end, all books, articles used.

    Sorry if I did not make myself clear.

    Thanks again!

  • 79 Ricardo // Dec 21, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    Thank you for making these instructions available. It was really very useful. However, I am using Windows Vista now… My MS-Word is yet 2003. Could you help me to configure the same enviroment for Windows Vista?
    Thanks in advance

  • 80 James // Dec 21, 2007 at 6:28 pm


    Sorry I am afraid I am not sure how to achieve this 🙁


    I am afraid I haven’t used Vista yet, if I install it I will endeavor to have a play.



  • 81 Dimiter // Dec 22, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    Hi, Excellent tool. I use it every day in the office.
    However I run into problems while trying to use references within M$ Word tables.

    I also tried to use it on my old MS Word 2000 at home but it gives interpretation errors. Are you aware of its backwards compatibility?

    Thanks in advance

  • 82 James // Dec 23, 2007 at 6:43 pm


    I am afraid I haven’t tried it on 2000.



  • 83 Kevin // Jan 15, 2008 at 10:38 am

    Hi James,

    Thank you for this useful guide. I followed every step but failed at step 8 when I tried to create Bib list. The error says “Compile error in hidden module: Bibtex4Word”. This seems to be the problem for old versions of Word but I am using Word 2003. Would you be able to give me some comment on this?

    Thank you very much.

    Best Regards,

  • 84 Luigi // Jan 19, 2008 at 10:52 am

    Any news on how to import JabRef citations into Word 2007? Thanks

  • 85 Casey // Jan 20, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    Hi, James,
    I run into the same questions, which is described by Kevin. And I use the word 2003, my OS is win XP. Any suggestion on this issue? thanks in advance.

  • 86 James // Jan 20, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    Kevin and Casey,

    I am afraid I don’t have any ideas, Luigi, I don’t know of a method, but if I do I will publish a post.



  • 87 ram2gb // Jan 28, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    Is there any way to use JabRef citations into Word 2007? I need IEEE style. Thanks

  • 88 James // Jan 29, 2008 at 8:41 am

    You could convert the file from BibTeX to MS Word 2007 Bibliography format and then use the built in Bibliography generator.



    Link to bibtex2word 2007 Bibliography Converter here.

  • 89 ram2gb // Jan 30, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    Thanks James,
    but MS Word 2007 doesn’t have IEEE style. I modified ISO Numerical but couldn’t achieved what I needed. Like author before title in conference and journals etc. so, I am looking for more rigid method.

  • 90 Christian // Jan 30, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    Hi there and thanks for the nice howto!

    I used Latex quite a bit but I struggle to get the following working with bibtex4word:

    I want to have my citations like this (using APA or AGU style):

    In-text citation:
    [Kesik et al.2005]

    In references:
    Kesik, M., Ambus, P., Baritz, R., Brüggemann, N., Butterbach-Bahl, K., Damm, M., Duyzer, J., Horvath, L., Kiese, R., Kitzler, B., Leip, A., Li, C., Pihlatie, M., Pilegaard, K., Seufert, G., Simpson, D., Skiba, U., Smiatek, G., Vesala, T., and Zechmeister-Boltenstern, S. (2005). Inventories of N2O and NO emissions from European forest soils. Biogeosciences, 2:353–375.

    Do you have any idea on how to achieve this? There must be others using this style as it’s quite common in bio/geosciences. I always get the bloody numbering (with flag /n) or the Author-key ([Kesik et al. 2005]) in my references… I’m going nuts…

    I used agufull04 and other styles with natbib in Latex and this was not a problem…


  • 91 Sonja // Mar 17, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    I have also some problems with references in tables with word 2004.

    Cp. the post of Dimiter // Dec 22, 2007 at 9:14 pm
    “Hi, Excellent tool. I use it every day in the office.
    However I run into problems while trying to use references within M$ Word tables.”

    Always, after updating the bibliography the reference moved into the next cell. If the reference is in the last cell of a row, there is an error.

    Does anybody know something about a workaround?

    Thanks in advance!


  • 92 James // Mar 17, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    Chrisitan and Sonja,

    I am afraid I don’t know of a way to fix either of those problems! If you find out please feedback.



  • 93 Sophie // Mar 28, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    Hello everybody,

    At office, we still work with Word2002. I copy the model at the right place, and it seems that it works but… when I try to format my bibliography, I obtain this message:
    “Missing Bibtex log file: C:\documents and settings\user\local settings\temp\bibtex4word.blg”.

    Is there a solution ?
    Many thanks


  • 94 James // Mar 28, 2008 at 9:08 pm


    See comment <a href="../how-to-use-jabrefbibtex-with-microsoft-word-2003/#comment-520" rel="nofollow">#62</a>.



  • 95 Jo // Apr 16, 2008 at 12:35 pm


    I feel I can make a contribution:
    say, you choose to make a new .bst bibtex-style and follow the general outline given on many websites:
    1) in a commandshell, run “latex makebst”
    2) let it guide you through all the decisions and
    3) generate a new .bst: then,
    4) copy that new .bst into the one MikTeX-Folder where all the other .bst’s reside (…\beebe)

    then, often forgotten but very important:
    5) run “texhash” in the commandshell. Otherwise, Bibtex4word will not be able to incorporate and use your newly created .bst

    Have fun!
    Jo v B

  • 96 James // Apr 16, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    Thanks Jo!

  • 97 Liang // Apr 28, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    Hi James

    I managed to install the Macro and insert the citation. However, when I want to make the Bibliography List, it popped out ” Compile error in hidden module: Bibtex4Word “. So I was not able to insert the list. Maybe you can help me on this?


  • 98 Stefan // May 15, 2008 at 7:42 am

    great tool.

    Is it possible to use two or more bibfiles?

    Thanks in advance.
    Best Regards

  • 99 Johann // Jun 17, 2008 at 11:28 am

    Dear all,
    Despite comment #62 I have :
    “Missing Bibtex log file: C:\documents and settings\user\local settings\temp\bibtex4word.blg”

    However, when I run bibtex from comand line, it works and the bibtex4word.blg file is created using the bibtex4word.aux as an input.
    I use MiKTeX 2.7
    Any idea ?

  • 100 Kolja // Jun 27, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    Hi Ricardo,

    the Windows Vista path is \AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word\STARTUP

    Best wishes

  • 101 Usman // Jul 16, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    I am using “abstract” style to insert Bibliography in my thesis. This style sort the references with respect to their keys. However I have one problem regarding the case-sensitivity of my keys. In JabRef I have defined all keys with their first alphabet in uppercase letter. However, in my Word document the keys are inserted with all lowercase letters. Can’t the keys be displayed in the Word in exactly the same case as I have defined them in JabRef (i.e. first letter in uppercase)? Your help will be highly appreciated.


  • 102 Ruida // Jul 19, 2008 at 1:11 am

    Here is a possible solution for error “Compile error in hidden module: Bibtex4Word”

    I like bibtex4work but it really cause me a lot of trouble. I always got compile error even I am using word2003. It took me a while to solve the problem so I feel my solution may help others too.

    1) download visual basic runtime from here

    2) move out of \word\startup folder otherwise you won’t be able to debug it

    3) open word and press “alt+F11” and microsoft visual basic should show up

    4)you can then go to Debug-> compile project to compile bibtex4word

    5) you should find two errors:
    SubList = Array(“—“, Chr(151), “–“, Chr(150), “!`”, “¡”, “?`”, “¿”, _
    ““”, Chr(147), “””, Chr(148))
    AccentList = Array(“`’^””~cvut=.Hbd”, _
    “AÀEÈIÃŒOÃ’UÙaàeèiìoòuù”, _
    “AÁEÉIÍOÓUÚaáeéiíoóuúYÝyý”, _
    “AÂEÊIÃŽOÔUÛaâeêiîoôuû”, _
    “AÄEËIÏOÖUÃœaäeëiïoöuüyÿYŸ”, _
    “AÃNÑaãnñ”, _
    “CÇcç”, _
    “SÅ sÅ¡ZŽzž”)

    my solution is remove stuff inside array() and make it looks like this:
    SubList = Array()
    AccentList = Array()

    6) save the file and make a copy to \word\startup

    bibtex4word working properly for me now but I don’t know what is the consequence of making such modification.

    Pleas let me know if you have any further problem

  • 103 James // Jul 22, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    Great fix Ruida Thanks!

  • 104 Victor // Jul 29, 2008 at 11:51 am

    I’m using JabRef2.3.1 with MS Word2007. The style is ‘plain’. It works fine (including the macro), however, when I’m making the Bibliography List it is always sorted in alphabetical order rather then in the order of appearance in the text. Subsequently, in the text reference [20] comes before reference [3].
    I believe it’s just a matter of some simple definition/option but couldn’t find it. Can anybody point me to the right direction?
    Thanks in advance,

  • 105 Mike // Aug 4, 2008 at 9:17 pm


    The sort order is determined by the style that you choose. The style “unsrt” is like plain but is in the order that you want.

    If you look at the end of the documentation in you will see a list of some common styles with their sort orders specified.


  • 106 Lothar // Aug 10, 2008 at 9:17 am

    First I´d like to thank you for the effort taken to make all the JabRef/BibTex things working! I´m using it on either Vista and XP with Word 2003 and it´s running perfectly. Nevertheless I have the following questions (I searched before to get them answered, but found no match):

    1) I had to insert an article manually in the database, as it is not listet in PubMed. The title consists of two sentences with some capital letters (German). When adding the citation the title is listed properly but sometimes in the bibliography the capitals are converted to miniscules (instead of “Die genaue Angabe von… Eine neue Bewandnis” it indicates “Die genaue angabe… eine neue Bewandnis).

    2) Could you please give me a more detailed “step-through” how to set a style (e.g. “vancouver”) as standard style? I tried to do this according the documentation in the system settings but that was of no use….

    Thank you,


  • 107 James // Aug 10, 2008 at 11:37 am


    In answer to your questions:-

    1.To ensure correct capitalisation in BibTeX place the letters within in the title you want to be capitalised in curly brackets {} eg.
    {M}edical{N} would force the camel case

    2.Setting a style:-

    Check to see if you have the Vancouver style installed by searching for Vancouver.bst within your MikTeX folders.

    If you don’t have it download it from here.

    Place the files in your Miktex/BibTeX folder eg:- C:\Program Files\MiKTeX 2.7\bibtex\bst\vancouver

    Run TexHash from the command line to “index” the available styles.

    To set the style as default you need to change the environmental variable (I am not sure if these exist in Vista), in XP it can be found at
    Start>>Settings>>Control Panel>> System>>Advanced>>Environmental Variables>>User Variables>>New

  • 108 Lothar // Aug 11, 2008 at 4:43 pm


    Thanks for the help…! I don´t know exactly why but the problem with capital/niniscule letters “vanished”, the program now does what one expects 🙂


  • 109 Victor // Sep 4, 2008 at 7:16 am


    Thanks a lot!!

  • 110 Tobias // Sep 9, 2008 at 9:50 pm


    I was wondering whether the following issue (that already came up in posts 33 and 90 ) has been resolved in the meantime:

    How do you get a bibliography without the labels before each entry?


  • 111 Anne // Sep 18, 2008 at 9:16 am


    thanks a lot for this page and all your help!
    I have a problem with the macro: It works fine as long as I have both the word-file and the bib-file on my desktop. But as soon as I use files saved in my normal network-folder it doesn’t work anymore. I still can find and insert citations from the database, but I can’t insert the bibliography itself anymore…

    I can see how to solve this. Has anybody here had the same problem??

    Thanks a lot,


  • 112 Martin // Sep 18, 2008 at 10:33 am

    Hey James, hey everybody,

    this makro is just great! I would, however like to follow up on Tobias’ last entry (Sep, 9th) and ask the same question.

    Is there any way that the key does not appear again in the reference list? Also is there a particular reason that the citations and keys have to be in brackets instead of round parentheses, or would this be easy to change?

    Best, and thanks for any feedback,


  • 113 Stefan // Sep 22, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    Hello everyone,

    Thank you for your great tool and the instructions here.
    It works very well but there is still one point i didn’t find out yet.

    I have to quote from some bibs of chairs of my university. I found out that the “gerplain” style should be okay (i’m from germany), but the quote is still of that form:

    Do you know how to change it, that the list looks like that:
    .:, ?

    I tried to find out how to edit the macros but missed it.
    Hope you can help me. Thanks a lot,


  • 114 Stefan // Sep 22, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    Oh i am sorry there was something wrong above.
    What i meant was that the quotes are like this
    (key).(name) : (title) , (year)

    but i prefer them look like that
    (key).(name) : (title) , (chair) (year)

    Do you know how to change the marco ?


  • 115 Tianxiang // Sep 23, 2008 at 1:40 am

    Hi Mike or James,

    I’ve tried the Bibtex4Word tools with Word 2003 and MikTex 2.7 and Jabref 2.3.1. I don’t really understand how Jabref is important here, because I just open the .bib file within the macro in word. I don’t see where Jabref is involved. Maybe that’s the problem.

    Everything goes smoothly until I want to use the second button from the left. It doesn’t print the bibliography list to my word document. Instead, an error message showed up: Compiling error of macro: Bibtex4word.

    I’ve set the Path correctly, the security of macro is low.

    Could you please help me find out the way to solve the problem?

    Many thanks,

  • 116 Mike // Sep 23, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    Hi Tianxiang,

    I think your problem is probably the same as in comment 102 from Ruida. The error is that the macro does not work properly with unicode (non English) characters. It is a case of bad programming and I will fix it when I next get time to work on the program. In the meantime, Ruida’s fix may help you.
    To answer your other question, Jabref is not needed by the macro at all, but it is a convenient way to edit the bibtex file.


  • 117 Marnix // Sep 26, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    Dear all,

    I’ve been having some issues using bibtex4word with custom bibtex style files made with makebst. Often everything works fine, but some of the styles I’ve created do not, producing empty lists of references and empty in-text citations. All styles I tried work perfectly in Latex. I’ve been playing around with this a bit, but I can’t seem to put my finger on what’s causing the problem.

    Has anyone experienced similar issues? Is this a compatibility issue between makebst and bibtex4word?

    If not, does anyone have a working style that complies with Physics in Medicine and Biology? 😉

    Thanks in advance,


  • 118 Marnix // Oct 1, 2008 at 11:54 am

    Hi all,

    forget that last post, it was a question of RTFM:
    I’d selected Harvard style in the makebst question list, which bibtex4word explicitly does not support.
    My mistake!


  • 119 Adam // Oct 25, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    I have a lot of bibtex entries that I use with latex which have problems with *both* of the magic characters : and /. For example, I have a lot of entries of the form:


    I see in previous posts claims to change one or the other of the magic characters, but how can one change them both? For example, in post 72, we are given a BIBSTYLE to change : to !.

    BIBSTYLE=plainnat/ndu !

    Also, in Brooke’s documentation and in post 23 there is a use of $ which is obscure to me. I’ve got no problem modifying the environment variable BIBSTYLE; I just need the information on how to change two at one time.

    Suggestions on how to change both magic characters is welcome.


  • 120 Adam Wyner // Nov 1, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Mike Brookes’ reply to my previous post. It works as he says it does.

    Thanks Mike!

    Dear Adam,

    Sorry the documentation is obscure. If you set the environment variable
    as follows:

    BIBSTYLE=alpha-sc *-

    this will do the following
    (a) set the default style to “alpha”
    (b) set the default flags to “sc”
    (c) set the search character to “*”
    (d) set the style flag character to “-”

    The bit about “immediate effect” is to tell you
    that you need to use the new magic character after “alpha”
    and before “sc”.

    Hope this helps,


  • 121 Adam Wyner // Nov 1, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    New problem.

    I don’t think I found discussion of this on this list or in the documentation, which I just checked.

    I was getting missing/hidden references. So, I would explicitly have a citation, but this citation included a CROSSREF citation in my bibtex file. What happens when the biblio is updated is that the explicit citation is added, but the CROSSREF citation as a question reference [1?]. Searching in the document is futile, as it doesn’t appear.

    Bibtex4Word does not (at least with the parameters I used) “capture” these cross references and update the biblio.

    My solution was simply to delete the crossreferences in the bibtex file and update the reference list. Cleaned out the questionable references.


  • 122 Dennis // Nov 18, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    I am using MiKTeX 2.7 and Word 2007. When I try to create the bibliography I still get the error
    Missing Bibtex Logfile: …
    But it is there, so what can I do?

  • 123 Shengli // Nov 19, 2008 at 1:51 am

    I have a problem about Chinese font. Word2003 and JabRef2.4.2 are used. The encoding in JabRef is UTF8. Chinese’s display is error. How to do with it?


  • 124 AS // Dec 2, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    We have made a new bst file which is the correct one for the current J Bacteriology journal reference format, which is does not match with the common jbact.bst files available online.

    The bst file is labeled as jbactas.bst with ‘as’ for our names,Avinash and Saraswathi
    This bst file is for article type in Jabref and other bibtex refernce formats.
    Aside from the body of the refernce, the reference lable is however presented as a number in square bracket. We have attached a macros based on the original macros for using bibtex refernce manager with word developed by Mike Brookes. We have modified the macros slightly to give the correct number-labelling style in the refernce list.The command used to achieve the same in LaTek is given in the bst file. However, the spae ebtween the reference number and the body of the reference is fixed by a tab key rather than a space, which may need to be worked on.

    Thank you.
    Avinash and Saraswathi

  • 125 AS // Dec 4, 2008 at 6:17 am

    The jbactas.bst file can be downloaded from
    Thank you.
    Avinash and Saraswathi

  • 126 AS // Dec 6, 2008 at 10:01 am

    The tab issue is sorted out. The macros and bst at the site give the perfect J.bacteriol. output now.

  • 127 besik33 // Dec 14, 2008 at 3:34 pm


    I’m using jabref on windows xp with ms office 2003. I’m not able to make my own bst style.

    I need citations something like this:
    Citations in alphabetical order of authors and in text citation must be in (1) .

    But in the references must look like this:
    1. Kocadereli I, Turgut MD. Surgical and orthodontic treatment of an impacted permanent incisor: case report. Dent Traumatol, 2005, 21(4): 234-239.

    Number. Surname Name, Title. Abrev Jorunal name. Year, Volume, (Number): Pages.

    I take look at BibTeX Style Examples and find no similar style. 🙁
    I read manual makebst.pdf and merlin.pdf and try to make my own bst. But these manuals seem to be for linux; in windows I get errors. I tried to instal bactas.bst from last posts with MikTeX package manager, but without success.

    Plz help me. Can you recommend me some similar bibtex style?
    Can u recommend me some manual how to make my own bst under windows +office 2003(openoffice)+bibtex4word?

    Many thx for yours work.

  • 128 Lothar // Jan 3, 2009 at 9:22 am


    I just wanted to report the following “bug”:
    I created a document with citations (Vista, Word 2003).
    Now, always when I want to update the bibliography after adding an additional citation(s) the program then tells:
    “Not enough memory. You can´t undo this process. Do you wish to proceed?” [Yes and No button].* Interestingly, the number(s) of the inserted citation(s) are correct (I use Vancouver style).
    Any idea what might be behind?

    Thanks and happy new year…

    As I use the German version the original error-message:
    “Nicht genügend Arbeitsspeicher. Dieser Vorgang kann nicht rückgängig gemacht werden. Möchten Sie fortfahren?”

  • 129 Lothar // Jan 12, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    No one left to help us ?
    I would really appreciate any suggestions / comments on the above topic…


  • 130 Mike // Jan 13, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    Dear Lothar,

    The “bug” in comment 128 is not actually an error although I agree it is annoying. The message is from Microsoft Word and warns you that updating the bibliography is such a large change to the document that it will not be possible to use the “undo” button to remove it. You probably don’t care about this and it would be better if the macro suppressed this error message.

  • 131 Just // Jan 16, 2009 at 12:38 pm


    first, thanks for the tool. Great thing (for beginners, too ;-)!).
    My questions relates to the citations in the text. Is it possible to change citations of my with makebst-created style? The format should be superscript numbers in round paranthesis instead of normal numbers in squared brackets?
    As I read in the syntax, citation format is fix?
    If there is a solution, please let me know.

    Thanks a lot!

  • 132 Seve // Jan 17, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    I have a rather annoying problem that I was not able to fix. The references are numbered along with their position number in JebRef rather than progressively along word.
    Any idea how to fix it?
    Many thanks for your dedicated work

  • 133 Lothar // Jan 17, 2009 at 6:45 pm


    Thanks for the clarification! Now that I know that it´s “only” an error message from Word and has nothing to do with JabRef I can go on (honestly, I was a bit scared ;)).

    Thanks for the support,


  • 134 nina // Jan 17, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    Hi. I have successfully completed all of the installation steps without error. However when I open word (2003) I cannot see the icons. I installed MikTex2.7 is this a problem? Any suggestion would be great.

  • 135 Bruno // Jan 20, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Same as Nina… I followed the different steps but cannot see the icons when a re-open Word…
    Is there a problem with the .dot file ?

  • 136 Martin // Jan 21, 2009 at 11:41 am


    thank you for the great tool. Everything is working great unless I start to create my bibliography list.

    I get a comment: missing Bibtex log file: C:\… \bibtex4word.blg
    I press the OK button and get a new dialog box: Runtime error “1”

    Could you please help me find out the way to solve the problem?



  • 137 Benjamin // Jan 25, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    @Martin, if you haven’t solved your problem yet. Had exactly the same Problem, till I figured out that my MIKTEX Installation were disruppted. So check if you installed MIKTEX properly..

    Hope that helps.
    Best wishes


  • 138 James // Jan 25, 2009 at 9:14 pm


    Have you tried right clicking on the toolbar and checking that BibTeX4Word is on the list of selected toolbars?

    Best wishes

  • 139 Chris // Jan 30, 2009 at 9:33 am

    @ Bruno&Nina:

    Try opening file -> save as -> in_the_described_hidden_startup_folder
    Did the trick for me!

    Best wishes

  • 140 Petros // Feb 6, 2009 at 1:41 pm


    Thank you for this great tool!
    However, I am facing a rather weird problem. I click at (+), it finds the paper I want (say Briggs1968) but when I try to create my bibliography list it gives me the error “briggs1968” not found in database

    Any ideas?

  • 141 jabobian // Feb 15, 2009 at 3:12 am

    Hi, Shengli at 123, I use GBK encoding and Bibtex4word works fine.
    However I also used the temporal trick suggested by Ruida at 102. (thanks to Ruida).
    Moreover if you use CTeX, you can create a setctexpath.bat file, and input

    @echo off
    set BIBFILE=D:\Docs\bib\bibtex4word.bib

    set PATH “%PATH%”;D:\CTeX\texmf\miktex\bin

    Sincere thanks to Mike for this great software! IMHO it is better than the Zotero’s word plugin (though which is also quite good). I wish you will still improve Bibtex4word as it benefits so many people. It will be desirable if Mike can ask Jabref to include a button to insert bibtex_key into the dialog of “Citation Entry” directly.

  • 142 jabobian // Feb 15, 2009 at 3:31 am

    To Shengli and others met trouble with accent,
    As said in Bibtex4word.doc, the plugin still has some problems with non-standard author names and including accents and special characters.

    The easiest way is to collect the papers you want to insert to Word into a separated bib file and revise the author names with accents with single character (e.g. ä) without using \”{}

  • 143 Jacob // Feb 26, 2009 at 12:43 am

    Hello and thankyou to Mike Brookes for a smashing plugin for MS word. Goodbye EndNote!
    Has anyone ever tried adapting this tool to open office writer?

    Also I have a suggestion (but no idea how difficult it would be to implement):
    It may be faster if, rather than making fields in the document, we enter a predetermined sequence like LaTeX’s “\cite{}” command (easier to copy from JabRef this way) and then have the macro look for this sequence instead of fields.

    and Lastly does anyone know how to get word to display UTF8 characters? My LaTeX editing and BibTeX files are written this way for european names and article titles etc.

    Thanks again for what is otherwise a masterpiece!


  • 144 Mike // Mar 14, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    This is just to let you know that the latest version (1.56) now supports Harvard styles like agsm, apsr, dcu etc. There is also a new option to hide the label and more versatile date formatting in some styles.

  • 145 Nils // Mar 19, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    I think it’s a incompatibility problem with the group function in the bibtex file. I encountered the same problem and after I had copied all entries in a new bib without groups, bibtex4word had no problems finding the entries.

  • 146 Mike // Mar 25, 2009 at 6:54 am

    Dear Petros and Nils,
    I think your problem is more likely to be with BibTeX rather than bibtex4word. BibTeX is quite fussy about the formatting of the database and it may be that the groups were upsetting it. If, after getting this error, you look at the bibtex4word.blg file (entering a style of “/t” will open it in notepad) you will likely see an error messages from BibTeX of the form: Warning–I didn’t find a database entry for “xxx”. There may be some other error messages as well which might help to isolate the problem.
    Let me know if you discover more, Mike.

  • 147 Jan // Apr 11, 2009 at 6:50 am

    Hi @all!
    Great manual, works perfect for me. One Question left: Is it possible to change the citation style in the text? To change it from [1] to a small superscripted number?
    I made my own .bst with makebst.tex, but ther was no Option for changing the citation in the text.
    Any solution? Thanks a lot!

  • 148 Mike // Apr 11, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    I think something like “plain/[^n,” is what you want (with your own style instead of plain if you want). You might prefer “plain/[^n” but I think the first one looks better.

  • 149 Jan // Apr 12, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    @ Mike
    Thx a lot! That was exactly, what I was looking for! Now I also found your website with the flags described 😉
    Happy Easter!

  • 150 Mike // Apr 22, 2009 at 7:03 am

    @Jacob (143)
    UTF8 characters are now supported if you use the p style flag option.


  • 151 Lei // Apr 26, 2009 at 5:26 pm


    Great Job, thanks !

    This works perfect for me but I have one question:

    How can I make a reference like this : [11-16]


  • 152 Mike // Apr 27, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    You need to enable sorting and compression by specifying the s and c style flags, e.g. plain/sc


  • 153 Lei // Apr 28, 2009 at 4:15 am


    That works, thanks !

  • 154 qways // May 12, 2009 at 12:13 am

    I need to cite like this and cannot find it covered elsewhere
    [for review see Hille et al., 2003]
    i always get
    [for review see [Hille et al., 2003]

    Can I include some flag to include text that is not looked for in the Jabref.

    I use the Word Makro!!!!
    Some how i could not get the latex commands running.

    Thank you very much!!!

  • 155 plantgirl // May 14, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    This is a great tool, thank you very much!
    I have a word .doc that includes a table, and within the table, citations. I had clicked the “insert/update bibliography” button halfway through creating this document, and now when I click it again I find that it inserts the references where the table used to be (deleting the table!).

    Any ideas why this is happening and/or how to fix it?

  • 156 Mike // May 14, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    You can get almost what you want with the style agsm/[3y but you will need to insert a space before the closing bracket in order to avoid it being gobbled up by the macro. e.g. [for review see Hille et al., 2003 ].

  • 157 Jan // May 19, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    I experienced the error message saying: “missing Bibtex log file: C:\… \temp\bibtex4word.blg” It is apparently a problem related with limited rights. I you run an account with limited rights bibtex appears not to be allowed to write the *.blb file. An easy way to solve this is to run Word once as administrator and to generate a bibliography (for example using the included “test4w.doc”). From now on it will work fine with even with limited accounts. At least it worked in my case using XP and Word2003. Now it is working fine! Great tool!

  • 158 T.O. // May 19, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    I am trying to install formats using the MikTex Package Manager. However, I connect to the internet through a proxy that requires my password upon connection to the internet (explorer). Is there a site where I can download the formats from directly?

  • 159 Sen // May 22, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    Hi Mike,

    I’ve had the following problem while inserting bibliography: whenever the name of author or editor I input in JabRef have abbreviations of middle name, in forms of Mooney, R. J. the inserted bibliography will have a question mark between the first name and middle name.

    The style I use is apalike2.

    for example: in bibtex:
    author = {Li, Huajing and Councill, Isaac and Lee, Wang-Chien and Giles, C.
    in word, it turned out to be: Li, H., Councill, I., Lee, W.-C., & Giles, C.?L.

    there would also be a question mark between et al: Li et?al

    Could you offer some help on this? Thank you so much.


  • 160 Carl // Jun 15, 2009 at 8:09 am

    Nice guide! Thanks a lot.
    Bibtex4word works fine for me except for one particular citation. When placing this in the word-text a second bibliography pops up at exactly the place where I put the citation. There is no problem with other citations. I use Jabref to manage references, and word2003. (There is no problem with the particular citation when I use ScientificWorkplace). Have you seen this problem before – and is there a quick fix? Thanks again.

  • 161 Mike // Jun 16, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    @Carl (160)
    Your problem sounds very weird. What is the bibtex key for the problem citation? Does the problem go away if you change the key?


  • 162 Mike // Jun 16, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    @Sen (159)
    The question mark character is meant to be a non-breaking space. As a test, can you type a non-breaking space in Word directly by holding down the ALT key while typing 0160 on the numeric keypad (in numeric mode)? The non-breaking space should show as a degree sign if you enable Tools->Options->View->All.


  • 163 Carl // Jun 18, 2009 at 11:24 am

    The original bibtex key is “Blinder2007”. I changed it to “Alan2007”, and now it works fine ! “Blinder2004” (on another reference) also works fine.

    So changing the key was a quiq fix, but still weird !



  • 164 Zephyrus // Jun 20, 2009 at 2:00 am

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks very much for a very useful piece of software. Bibtex4word works very well for a somewhat smaller list of references. However, it refuses to generate a bibliography for >300 references. I get a Microsoft Visual Basic Run-time error ’70’ Permission Denied when I try to insert the long bibliography – it works just fine for ~250 or so references and I am logged on as the administrator of the computer. I am really at a loss how to fix this problem. Could you please help out? I have more than 450 references in my document and I may have to reinsert all the references using some other software once more if bibtex4word has some kind of limitation. 🙁

  • 165 Mike // Jun 21, 2009 at 9:06 am

    @Zephyrus (164)
    There are no intentional limits in the software to the size of the reference list. I just tried an example with >500 references and it worked fine. I think it is more likely that one specific reference generates the error message; my suggestion is to try to zero into exactly where the problem is by finding the point where adding one additional reference causes the error message. This doesn’t take as long as you might think if you halve the number of possibilities each time: e.g. if 250 works but 450 doesn’t, then your next guess should be halway in between at 350. Let me know if this helps.


  • 166 Zephyrus // Jul 28, 2009 at 11:58 am

    Thanks so much for your reply! I went through most of my references once more and checked them all for errors. Bibtexforword was able to post them all. In the end, I had about 610 references. I couldn’t find the culprit reference though… You are welcome to try it out. The uinsuccessful complete bibtex file is at: and the successful subset is at:

  • 167 Sara // Jul 31, 2009 at 3:51 am

    I am unable to see the Bibtex icons…I have used it previously and have downloaded and installed the latest bibtex4word zip file in the startup and extracted it too. I have restarted not just word, but my system, but cannot see the icons.
    Please help.

  • 168 Tissie // Aug 7, 2009 at 6:01 pm


    In defining BibTex Style my bibliography works perfect with all the standard styles (eg. plain, ieeetr etc.) However, I have installed achemso.bst for use with the american chemical society, but when I enter “achemso” in the ‘define BibTex Style’ window, and press ‘ok’, the bibliography dissapears. If i then reenter Plain og Ieeetr, it comes back with the respective styles. So it obviously find the achemso.bst, but doesnt work perfectly.

    Anyone know how to make achemso.bst work?

    Thank you and best regards,

  • 169 Mike // Aug 9, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    The “achemso” style uses the mcite package to allow multiple papers within a single citation; this is not currently supported by Bibtex4Word. However I have modified it in V1.82 so that it will work (except for the period at the end of each bibliography item) with this style so long as you do not use multiple citations. You will need to enter the style as “achemso/1#l”. The “1#” indicates that the style is based on natbib while the “l” (lower case L) suppresses the label from the bibliography. Hope this helps,

  • 170 Mike // Aug 9, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    It may be that the Bibtex4Word template has become disabled within Word. See the “Problems” section of the online documentation (at for how to check/fix this. I hope this helps,

  • 171 Tissie // Aug 10, 2009 at 2:48 pm


    Thank you very much, this helped.

    Last question: Now it works nicely, but leaves the ref in text as [author et al.] and no numbering in the bibliography list. Is it possible to make the in-text as superscript number without parenthasis and add a numbering to the list in round parentahsis?

    Thanks a lot, I appreciate the help.

    Best Regards,

  • 172 Tissie // Aug 10, 2009 at 2:55 pm


    Never ming, I figured it out:

    Thanks a lot for the kind help.

    Best Regards,

  • 173 Mike // Aug 10, 2009 at 6:51 pm


    Glad it works OK now.
    V1.83 now correctly puts a period at the end of the bibliography items (you may not care very much about this).


  • 174 Hi! // Aug 11, 2009 at 11:11 am

    Hi! About creating own .bsd file… try BibIt it have GUI for this.
    Always exist Zotero, Mendeley, Cb2Bib 😉

  • 175 Tissie // Aug 11, 2009 at 1:41 pm


    No – I care, it saves me the time of adding 40 periods 🙂

    Thanks a lot for the new update.

    Best Regards,

  • 176 Robi // Sep 21, 2009 at 11:58 am


    I use Word 2007 on Windows XP. I’ve followed the instructions above, looks like everything’s set, nevertheless when I click on + to insert a reference I got a Microsoft Visual Basic error messsage, saying: Run-time error ’91’: Object variable or With block variable not set. (And the entire paragraph gets selected in Word.)

    Anybody could help?

    Thanks a lot,


  • 177 lixiaofeng // Sep 23, 2009 at 4:03 am

    Jabref can manage chinese references. But use bibtex4word insert to word,the reference is showed incorrectly. How solve the problem?

  • 178 rutuja // Sep 28, 2009 at 10:24 am

    Thanks for this macro!

    I’v followed the instructions, i can see the macro in word. i’v set the bibtex file, and this path doesn’t have any space. when i search for an author, say, chave, it even asks “3matches found – please select “, but after selecting one it fails to give the bibliography: following is what i get?

    [1?] “chave2005” not found in database

    what could be wrong?
    great if you could help


  • 179 rutuja // Sep 28, 2009 at 10:28 am

    going to the Open folder, I can read on top:

    current file is bib.bib, environmental variable BIBFILE not set

    is this problematic? how to resolve?


  • 180 Stefan // Oct 7, 2009 at 3:50 pm


    really nice tool for word users like me who like to use Jabref.

    I’ve the problem with a style (pccp.bst), some Journals are listed in my bibliography others not – though with the nature.bst style for example everything works fine.
    The bst file should be correct – I downloaded it from different sites, its always the same.
    What can be the problem?

    Thanks a lot & best regards,


  • 181 Christian // Oct 10, 2009 at 11:59 am


    a wonderful tool to mange citations in Word. Thanks for that.

    But I have one problem: The citation list appears alphabetically order. How can I change the order, especially in such a way that citations are ordered and numberd in the order they appear in the text?

    Thanks a lot

  • 182 Mike // Oct 10, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Stefan (@180)
    The problem you describe seems to be a deliberate (labeit weird) feature of pccp.bst. In its header it says:
    % BibTeX bibliography style `pccp’ for Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys.
    % 5/5/00 Joerg-R. Hill
    % no output of ‘title’ for ‘article’, ‘book’, ‘inbook’, ‘incollection’
    % no output of ‘note’ except in ‘unpublished’

  • 183 Mike // Oct 11, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    The ordering of the bibliography is controlled by the style you select. The sort order for several common styles is listed at
    Styles that preserve the citation order include: IEEEtran, is-unsrt, nar, nature, phjcp, unsrt, unsrtnat.


  • 184 Markus // Oct 18, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    Ruruja (178) and Petros (140),
    concerning the “not found in database” error: What worked for me was to set the encoding of the database to “CP1252”, e.g. in Jabref -> File -> Database properties. With “UTF-16” I had the same problem.

  • 185 Lies // Oct 26, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    this is brilliant … thx, saved me a hell of time!

  • 186 Katie // Nov 18, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    I am trying to use the Vancouver style without the websites at the end of each reference. Is there any way to do this by editing the vancouver.bst file or do I need to write a new file?

  • 187 Josh // Jan 11, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    does anyone know if this can be used on a Mac? I need something I can transfer into a word document. If this is not a good program for macs, does anyone recommend an easy good program for mac?

    Thanks so much!

  • 188 Mike // Jan 13, 2010 at 7:59 am

    Josh (@187),
    Unfortunately Bibtex4Word will not work on a Mac. It is written in VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) and the Mac version of Word has not supported this for several years. VBA will apparently be reinstated for the next version of Office for Mac but this will probably be too late to help you.


  • 189 Vlad // Jan 16, 2010 at 11:44 am

    First of all, thanks a lot for this very very useful tool!

    For some reason the “l” switch does not work properly anymore. It used to be ok, but now it just removes the brackets and the tab character following each label while the rest of the label remains. This problem is present for all bibliographic styles. I have also tried agsm/(l2ysh from the examples here.

    Has anybody any clue on what might be the problem?

    All the best!

  • 190 Vlad // Jan 16, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Disregard my previous comment. Word was displaying hidden characters (e.g. paragraph end). Once this option was toggled off everything was back to normal.
    Thanks again!

  • 191 Marleen // Jan 27, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Just wondering whether it is possible to automatically range the references (given in one point in the text) from small to bigger. For example [1,3,5,7] instead of the order referenced [3,7,1,5].
    Thanks for the program!

  • 192 Mike // Jan 29, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    If you add the “s” flagafter the style name than references will be sorted as you desire (e.g. give the bibtex style as “plain/s” ).
    If you also add the “c” flag, then consecutive numbers will be compressed e.g. [1,2,3,4,5] will turn into [1-5].
    It is worth reading the section on “style flags” in the online documentation – there are loads of alternative options you can use.

  • 193 Amit // Feb 26, 2010 at 9:03 am

    I was wondering, is it possible to cite in different ways in a single document. For example..
    ” Internet is a vast source of different information (aaa2000). However, bbb (2001) suggested it could me very confusing.”

    Thanks and regards,

  • 194 Mike // Mar 1, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Unfortunately you cannot have multiple citation formats in a single document. This is near the top of my to-do list.


  • 195 Zephyrus // Mar 6, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Hi, I recently installed Miktex, jabref and bibtex4word using the steps outlined above on a computer running Windows Vista. Every time I try to insert the citation list, an error message saying that the bbl file is empty pops up. Does anyone have any ideas about why this is happening and how to fix this problem? Thanks!

  • 196 Thomas // Mar 16, 2010 at 6:22 pm


    I experience a similar problem like Zephyrus: I cannot change the bibtex style (eg from plain to apalike although I added apalike to miktex 2.8). My OS is also windows vista. The error message is the same: “bbl file is empty”.
    Thank you in advance for any kind of help!!

  • 197 Yan // Mar 17, 2010 at 4:59 am

    I’ve installed and am using this sysetm with Word 2003. It’s working fine nut will not create a bibligraphy. Can anyone help?
    Of note – I had some trouble installing it and have to enable bibtex every time I open word from the ‘templtes and add-inns’ menu

  • 198 Jose // Mar 17, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for this tool. I installed it with MS Word 2007, and when I try to generate the bibliography list, I get a run-time error: “The specified module could not be found”. Any suggestions? Thanks

  • 199 Steffi // Mar 30, 2010 at 3:57 pm


    I do have the same problem as Thomas (196) and Zephyrus (195), beside that I use MS word 2007 on a Windows 7 machine.
    The citations are not recognised and the bbl doc is empty.
    Hopefully anybody has an idea what’s wrong.
    Thank you in advance.

  • 200 David Drury // Mar 31, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Hi there,

    I am getting the same error as Thomas and Zephyrus. Using MikTex 2.8, jabref 2.6, word 2007 in Windows 7, if I select any style other that unsrt or acm (so far!!) then I get a dialog saying that the bbl file is empty, any thoughts?

  • 201 David Drury // Mar 31, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    After playing around, it appears that it might be Vista/Win7 permissions problem. Try giving yourself full control (been sure you understand the implications of this!!!) of the mixtex directory, making sure that you click the inherit permission of child objects (or similar) in the permissions dialog box. To get this, right-click on the miktex folder, select the permissions tab and go from there. I will tryto narrow it down a bit to see what specifically

  • 202 Victor // Apr 11, 2010 at 9:48 pm


    first of all a note on Word 2007 –
    I’ve had to open the and save it as BibTex4Word.dotx. Only then my word automatically opens it and I have the toolbar.

    Now something that puzzles me a bit – I have opened the test4w.doc and played with the styles as per instructions (plain-alpha). Between those two everything is fine, however if I use plane/^ and then back to plain, The brackets and commas remain in superscript…
    Is it something with the macro or something that I do?
    WinXP PRO, MSoffice2007, MikTex 2.8

  • 203 Tissie // Apr 20, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Dear All,

    I am currently using the bibtex4word plugin, and everything works fine using the achemso style since the introduction of v 1.83.

    However, I have one small thing that bugs me.
    When I cite something I have a small number as a superscript, but everytime I generate the bibliography the small numbers are italic, meaning that I manually have to edit each one.

    Can this somehow be circumvented in the code for the style file? Currently my style setup is:


    Hope someone has a suggestion.

    Thank you.


  • 204 Adrien // May 28, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Dear all,

    I´m using Bibtex4word with JabRef 2.4.2 and MS word 2007. A fantastic tool which in principle it works fine, but I don´t manage to formate my references as required for Molecular & Biochemical Parasitology with model3-num-names.bst based on elsarticle-template-3-num.tex (
    Does anyone know whether this is a problem of Miktex or Bibtex4word?

    Thanks a lot!


  • 205 Kurt // Jun 17, 2010 at 5:26 am

    An alternative to Bibtex4word is to use the free (but not open source) reference management program Mendeley to enter references in to Word. Mendeley reads bibtex files, and has a Word plugin with very many journal style filers.

  • 206 Zephyrus // Jun 29, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Re: Empty bbl file error:

    I tried changing the permissions of the miktex directory. However, the problem still persists. What permissions do I need to change exactly? The error message always tries to save a bbl file in the temp directory. Maybe this is causing the problem? Is there anyway to specify to bibtex4word that it should save the bbl files in its own directory or ask the user? Still stuck because of this error.

  • 207 Zephyrus // Jun 30, 2010 at 6:41 am

    David (Re: posts 200 and 201),

    Were you able to resolve this issue by changing the permissions of the miktex folder? I tried several ways but they didn’t work. The empty bbl file is created in the temp directory of windows. Is there some way we can specify the location where the bbl file gets created. More importantly, will changing the location of the bbl file creation solve the issue? As you pointed out, the empty bbl problem only appears for styles other than the “plain” citation style. Since, I don’t have permanent administrative rights (I can request them for changing settings temporarily) on all of my work computers, this problem is preventing me from using bibtex on work computers as well as computers that run on Win Vista. Any help/pointers are really appreciated!

  • 208 arg0 // Jul 18, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    Thanks for this software, it’s wonderful!
    I have a problem with custom .bst styles, though. Even after running texhash.exe as admin (on Vista), new .bst files I copied into C:\Program Files\MiKTeX 2.8\bibtex\bst\ are not recognised and I get a “Bibtex was unable to find the style: xxxxx” error.
    This happens both with custom styles generated with makebst.tex and if I make a copy of an existing style. Conversely, new styles installed via the MiKTeX package manager work fine. Therefore I suspect that this is a MiKTeX issue and that maybe texhash does not do what it is supposed to. Any ideas?
    Thanks in advance!

  • 209 arg0 // Jul 19, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Actually, I found the solution (see my post above): if you use MiKTeX, you don’t run texhash directly; instead, run the “MiKTeX Settings (Admin)” program and press the ‘Refresh FNDB’ button.

  • 210 corn // Jul 28, 2010 at 9:54 am

    hello and thanks for this great tool,

    i bought a new computer with word2010 installed. normally i’d use TeX but this time i cannot. so i downloaded and installed the macro, installed miktex 2.8 and jabref 2.6.

    when i insert a citation the marco finds my database and the bibtexkeys, so when i type “:dobr” into the searchbar it puts e.g.

    [dobrzanski2004, dobrzanski2005]

    now i use the bibstyle “alpha”. when i create/update my bibliography something goes wrong. without any error message in word i can read:

    [dobrzanski2004, dobrzanski2005] (or if i toggle the eye: [1?, 2?])

    [1?] “dobrzanski2004” not found in database
    [2?] “dobrzanski2005” not found in database

    so the bibliographystyle doesn’t work (nor does any other) and something is up with my .bib-file because it can’t be found a second time

    i dont know why so i hope somebody can help!

  • 211 corn // Jul 29, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    ok false alarm. uninstalling and reinstalling for some reason helped. i’m so glad. this tool is just awesome!!!! so: it works also with word2010!!!

  • 212 accessorize // Aug 17, 2010 at 2:02 am

    ok false alarm. uninstalling and reinstalling for some reason helped. i’m so glad. this tool is just awesome!!!! so: it works also with word2010!!!

  • 213 Me // Sep 12, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    Hi everybody,
    nice tool – indeed – unfortunately the style flag /| to omit the labels from the bibliography entries does not work – does somebody have any clue why? It seems independent from the Bibtex Style I use but I would need to run it for spbasic. A hint would be more than great!!!! Thanks in advance.

  • 214 Anonymous // Sep 15, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Hi there,

    when I try to insert citation by clicking on bibtex4word and entering the author’s name, the citation appears as an e.g. like: []
    while obviously I want it in a certain number format corresponding to my bibliography (reference list) at the end of my paper.

    Any hint would be appreciated,

  • 215 CardioMed // Sep 15, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Hi there,

    when I try to insert citation by clicking on bibtex4word and entering the author’s name, the citation appears as an e.g. like: []
    while obviously I want it in a certain number format corresponding to my bibliography (reference list) at the end of my paper.

    Any hint would be appreciated,

  • 216 CardioMed // Sep 15, 2010 at 1:11 pm


  • 217 Mike // Sep 15, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    Dear “Me” (@213),
    It may be that you have “hidden text” turned on; the /l flag hides the labels rather than omitting them. Ensure both “Hidden text” and “All” are unchecked in Tools>>Options>>View (Word 2003) or Office-Button>>Word Options>>Display (Word 2007).

  • 218 Yiming Chen // Sep 16, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    I use Microsoft office word 2003 to edit my document, when I insert a cite into some position of paragraph with formula object , a orror occurs ” runing time error ’91’ “object variable or With block are not set. How should this error be corrected?

  • 219 omsie // Oct 7, 2010 at 1:26 am

    folks, navigate to Start>AllPrograms>Miktex>MaintenanceAdmin>Package Manager (Admin)

    Then locate the package you specified earlier in ‘define bibtex style’ (ie paintbrush icon in bibtex4word). Install this (big plus sign).

    That should be it. Hope this helps.

  • 220 王晓峰(Xiaofeng Wang) // Oct 13, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Hi Dear Mike, Thanks for this great tool, it’s so wonderful!
    I have a problem with UTF8 encoding. Because I need to insert citation of Chinese references by Bibtex4Word, so I chose UTF8 encoding in Jabref and set “plain/p^hn” in “Define BibTex Sytle” Toolbar . The Problem is that, if I insert BibTex key that cotains Chinese Words into “Inset Citation” Toolbar, it shows like “[]” in the location where citation is inserted and shows like “”?d6?f3?ac” not found in database” in the location where bibliography is inserted ; However, if I insert BibTex key that only cotains English Words into “Inset Citation” Toolbar, it shows all right. How can I solve this problem?
    Any ideas?
    Thanks in advance!

  • 221 Mike // Oct 16, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Dear Xiaofeng (@220),
    It sounds to me like a bug in my code. I don’t think I ever tried it with unicode characters in the bibtex key. I will try to sort it out when I next work on the code.


  • 222 Junius // Oct 22, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Hi, James!

    Thank you for your really great plugin, it helps me a lot with my thesis writing. But it still has two problems when I’m using it.

    1.I’m a chinese user, seems like it doesn’t work well with chinese characters.
    2. When I insert one citation into the office2003 word document and updated the bibliography, the label number appears correctly, but the title of the information of the citation appears follows closely the label number. Actually it should be placed at the end of the word document.
    3.Can you give me some advices about where to download bibtex styles? It’s really a pity as I can’t find a chinese bibtex style so as to have a convenient citation inserting experience.

    Hope you could give me a solution, thank you in advance:)

  • 223 Mariano Fernández López // Nov 16, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    I have solved my problem of “empty file .bbl” executing the steps in their correct way. That is, before carrying out every operation, I click in the folder icon of the macro to open the file .bib. from Word.

  • 224 Mathan // Dec 8, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Thanks a lot buddies.. It worked well and easily.

  • 225 Mickael // Feb 23, 2011 at 10:37 am


    I have problems with all special caracters in author names (éáèë…), they all transform to unreadable ones (é…) when in Word2003. No problems in JabRef.
    I tried different encoding but it’s all the same. What did I do wrong ?
    Can someone help me please ??

    Thanks you in advance.

  • 226 Frank // Mar 8, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    0 citations found in foo.doc


    I have TeXLive already installed and thought to try it with that. However, when creating the bibliography, I get the infamous “missing bibtex log file… bibtex4word.blg” message. This is correct – the file isn’t there. However, bibtex is in the path.

    Moreover, bibtex4word.log is created in the same place, and it contains the following lines:

    bibtex “C:\DOKUME~1\kuestfr1\LOKALE~1\Temp\bibtex4word”
    AUX file: C:\DOKUME~1\kuestfr1\LOKALE~1\Temp\bibtex4word.aux
    AUX file: C:\DOKUME~1\kuestfr1\LOKALE~1\Temp\bibtex4word.aux
    BIB file: G:\Benutzer\FRANK_~1\ffrank
    0 citations found in FK2011_003 Risikomatrix für EyeDet.doc

    Could that be a problem of TeXLive’s bibtex, or is there an other thing I can do? Using the “+” flag doesn’t make a differenc

  • 227 Frank // Mar 8, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    I have now installed MikTeX, it is first in the path. The error is the same. There’s also an aux file which contains:


    Any ideas?

  • 228 Zephyrus // Mar 31, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Hi, I am still struggling with the Empty BBL file problem with the vancouver style. Everytime I click on the [123] button, a dialog pops up saying:
    Empty BBL file: C:\WINDOWS\TEMP\bibtex4word.bbl

    Does anyone have a clue how to get past this? Mike, could you please help out? Thanks!

  • 229 R.Even Rasker // Apr 4, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Mike Brookes – Thank you so very much !!

  • 230 Titou // Apr 19, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Hi, same problem that Zephyrus about the empty BBL file with IEEEtran style. Still no solution? thanks.

  • 231 Kai // Apr 20, 2011 at 9:05 am


    this is how I could fix my “empty bbl file bibtex4word.bbl” problem. I’m using Windows 7 32bit, Word 2007 and MikTex 2.9.

    The problem seems to be caused by missing bibtex styles. In my case the harvard styles were missing.

    The solution was to install the package in MikTex (MiKTeX -> Maintenance -> Package Manager). Just search for the missing style, e.g. agsm, in the Keywords search box. After this my empty bbl file problem disappeared.

    Hope that helps.

  • 232 Nat // May 10, 2011 at 10:56 am

    I have now installedJab ref 2.6 and Miktex 2.8. But when I tried to insert bibliography, the run-time error “429” appeared. I’m using Word 2007.
    Can someone help me, please?

  • 233 Berk // May 11, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Thank you very much Kai!

    MiKTeX -> Maintenance -> Package Manager, and downloading the relevant style fixes the problem.

  • 234 Aravind // May 24, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Hi James,

    Thanks for the wonderful information, it really worked well. I need small help from you. Is there any citation style which makes the BibTeX keys bold in the document automatically whenever cited and also is it possible to hyperlink these keys so that once u click on them the cursor directly moves to the reference in the bibliography which is quite possible in LaTeX. Thanks in advance.


  • 235 Aravind // May 24, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    If i do the same MiKTeX -> Maintenance -> Package Manager for natbib and harvard, still im getting the same problem as bibtex couldn’t find the style file: “natbib” or “harvard”.

    I would be thankful if someone could help me in this issue.


  • 236 Arindam Choudhury // Jul 3, 2011 at 10:50 am

    The simple way is to

    create bibliography using JabRef.
    then export the file to microsoft office 2007 .xml.

    and then import this xml file to office word.

  • 237 Matthias // Jul 6, 2011 at 11:36 am

    I get the error message: ‘Missing Bibtex log file…’

    but bibtex is available and found, since these files exist:

    the first contains this text

    however the second file has this problem:

    bibtex8 “C:\Users\pospiech\AppData\Local\Temp\bibtex4word”
    AUX file: C:\Users\pospiech\AppData\Local\Temp\bibtex4word.aux
    AUX file: C:\Users\pospiech\AppData\Local\Temp\bibtex4word.aux
    BIB file: W:\Projekte\xxx\Berichte\bibtex
    0 citations found in Abschlussberichtxxx.docx

    I have no clue what to do to solve this. Any help is welcome.

  • 238 Matthias // Jul 6, 2011 at 11:55 am

    additional note: if I execute bibtex or bibtex8 myself then the list in word is created.

    It seems as if bibtex is never executed by the plugin. Although I can execute it directly from the console (cmd).

  • 239 Esther // Jul 19, 2011 at 7:39 am


    I would like to cite in APA Style. I’ve downloaded the package “apacite” already. But once I choose it with the paintbrush button, the citation in the bibliography looks like that:

    [Hiraoka, Masui Nishikawa (Hiraoka .)2010] hiraoka2010Hiraoka, T., Masui, J. Nishikawa, S. 2010aug.. Behavioral adaptation to advanced driver-assistance systemsBehavioral adaptation to advanced driver-assistance systems. SICE Annual Conference 2010, Proceedings ofSice annual conference 2010, proceedings of ( 930 -935).

    And also the citation in the document looks wrong:
    [Hiraoka, Masui Nishikawa (Hiraoka .)2010]

    Can someone tell me what I’ve done wrong!
    Thanks in advance!


  • 240 Mike // Jul 22, 2011 at 8:17 am

    Hi Esther(@239),
    I looked at apacite. The reason it doesn’t work is that It uses lots of special formatting commands (unique to apacite) that Bibtex4Word doesn’t understand. I will try to add them into Bibtex4Word but it may not be all that soon. In the meantime, “apalike” is quite a similar style but may not be quite what you want.


  • 241 Mike // Jul 22, 2011 at 8:23 am

    Just as a postscript to the previous post: you will probably want to use “apalike/l” [that is a lower case L] in order to get the labels right and you must ensure “hidden text” is not being dislayed in Word.

  • 242 maria // Aug 3, 2011 at 7:29 am

    I have problems getting bibtex4word to work when using Word 2010 – is there something that should be done. i can see that other people have gotten it to work. thank you very much!

  • 243 Ravihansa // Aug 7, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Great article. Really appreciate this. Saved a lot of trouble for me and my team 🙂

  • 244 Fraser // Aug 11, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Hi, I was just wondering any .doc files I create using BibTeX4Word to format my references will be readable by others if they DO NOT have BibTeX4Word installed? I would like to send my .doc to co-authors who don’t use BibTeX4Word. Thanks!

  • 245 Don // Aug 11, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    I found a solution (which worked at least for me) for the infamous
    “missing Bibtex log file” error, see here:

  • 246 Mickael // Aug 16, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Hi again,

    For those having problems with special caracters in author names (éáèë…) that transform to unreadable ones (é…) when in Word2003, I’ve found the solution thanks to your site ( I am sorry I did not read it entirely before trying to use it but I’m not an expert…

    So what worked for me was just to add the flag /np to the bib style and omitting the “n”. ( If no p flag is given, the ANSI code page of your system locale will be used. If n is omitted, it is taken to be 65001 which corresponds to UTF8 encoding.)

    Thanks again for this great piece of work !

  • 247 Hagen // Aug 23, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Hi, first of all thanks for the great tool, but I experienced a strange behavior: if I insert a citation (Style flags are:/[ly0 ) everything works fine e.g. like MARJANOVIC(2007) but after clicking “toggle citation display” twice the second bracket is missing. Any idea how to solve this issue?
    Kind regards

  • 248 Elvira // Sep 12, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Yhanx for this great site!!
    However i have a problem. I used Mekebst to make my own style. Everything seems to work exept for one thing. Instead of the year it says opt. like:
    Bork, P, Koonin, EV. Predicting functions from sequences – Where are the bottlenecks. Nature Genet;0pt18:313–318.
    This is in every reference. Does somebody knows what i did wrong and how i can solve this?

  • 249 Lothar // Sep 26, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Help would be appreciated: Whenever I want to change the style I get the error: “Bibtex was unable to find style file: xyz”. I checked FAQ and everything, but I have no idea what to do. JabRef is runnning smoothly, I can insert citations and all. But as soon as I want to edit the style I get that error. The styles are installed (at least according to the packet manager of MikTex), so there should be no problem… I runWord 2003, XP SP3, JabRef 2.7

  • 250 Tano // Oct 14, 2011 at 2:47 am

    Thank you Kai!!! Your solution for “Empty bbl file C:\Temp\bibtex4word.bbl” worked!!

    The solution was to install the package in MikTex (MiKTeX -> Maintenance -> Package Manager). Just search for the missing style, e.g. agsm, in the Keywords search box. After this my empty bbl file problem disappeared.


  • 251 laredj // Oct 26, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Thank’s a lot for those answers. I have a problem in citing using Jabreff.
    the error message is “missing bibtex logfile”….
    What does it mean.
    Thank you fr your help

  • 252 jcouey // Oct 29, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    Hi – I am wondering if there is a better/new solution than spacing before and after a citation when I need to have additional text either side of the citation and “the macro will not disturb it” i.e. is it still true that “at the moment you need to have a space after the “[” in this example to prevent it disappearing after an update” (Mike, Aug 29, 2007). I am using agsm/[l2ysh

  • 253 Banu Yobas // Jan 7, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Thank you so much.
    The instructions are very clear and it worked straight away. I use Windows 7 and office 2007

  • 254 Medy // Feb 17, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Thanks a lot for nice comprehensive and step by step help

  • 255 kaplumba // Apr 27, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Dear all,

    I’m just to finish my phd thesis: Everything is written and bibtex4word worked wonderful (thanx soo very much). Now I’ve got a problem: My boss would like to have another citation style (nature). I’m using old versions of Jabrev (2.4.2) and Miktex (2.7) on Windows XP with MSWord 2002, because I already installed everything about 3 years ago or earlier. I didn’t use it quite often and so I never updated or installed additional style packages. When I want to change to “nature” now, the programm says my programm is too old and is not supported any more.
    My question is: Do I need to install new versions of all programms (MikTex, Jabref and bibtex4word) or can I just change MikTex? And if I need to install all new what will happend to my old jabref file with all my citations – do I have to import all new?
    And I have another question: I have citations in english and german and therefor need capital letters at the correct places. A friend told me I need to set “{ }” around all the titles in my jabref document. Is there an easier way than setting “{}” in over 400 citations? Any style flag?


  • 256 djoudi // Jul 15, 2012 at 9:42 am

    j’ai installer jabref et bibtex, mais j’arrive pas à exporter Jabref sur mon Word.
    Mon jabref est enrigistrer sous forme .lnk.
    que doit je faire

  • 257 Nikunj // Aug 18, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Hi. I am having problems with the citation. I have my reference file ready which i edit using Jabref. When I use the bibtex key for citing in MS Word, it says “[1?] ‘xyz not found in database” in the bibliography. What shall I do??

  • 258 Joeran (Docear) // Sep 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm


    today we released Docear4Word, an add-on for Microsoft Word that can do the same as BibTeX4Word but which is more user friendly. It’s easier to install (no MikTeX required), you can easily select out of 1700 citation styles and have a comfortable “add” dialog to add a reference. Docear4Word is free to use and open source. Any feedback on how to further improve it is highly appreciated.

    Read more about Docear4Word here:
    Or read the Blog:

    Best regards
    Joeran (Docear Team,

  • 259 Brian // Apr 1, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    After installing in Word 2010 (maybe applies to others also), while testing I kept getting, eg.:
    [1?] “article” not found in database
    while using b4w.bib. This didn’t make sense, so I checked out the .blg and .aux files and found the following:

    White space in argument—line 3 of file C:\DOCUME~1\tmhsbeo2\LOCALS~1\Temp\bibtex4word.aux
    : \bibdata{I:\My
    : Documents\Downloads\bibtex4word\b4w}
    I’m skipping whatever remains of this command
    I found no database files—while reading file C:\DOCUME~1\tmhsbeo2\LOCALS~1\Temp\bibtex4word.aux
    Warning–I didn’t find a database entry for “article”

    the .log had three file names listed, the first in quotes, the other two without; in particular:
    BIB file: I:\My Documents\Downloads\bibtex4word\b4w
    So I guessed the problem is with the path. Sure enough, when I moved the .bib file to the C:/ directory (no whitespace), it worked perfectly.

  • 260 Silke // Jul 31, 2013 at 1:40 pm


    I just came across a problem with the bibtex4word macro.
    I entered the bibtex key (I controlled the spelling twice) but after clicking on the second button, to generate my bibliography at the end of the document I got the following error message:
    “entry not found in database”

    After try and error for a while I found the solution for my problem:
    our bibtex keys shall be in the form of “author:year” if I change them to “authoryear” and leave out the colon inbetween everything works fine …

    Hopefully this is helping for anyone,


  • 261 Jasmin // Aug 29, 2013 at 3:27 pm


    Thank you for providing this link. I tried it. When I use the sample database you have provided with words it workd fine. But when I try to link it with my database it gives this error message “andersson1984″ not found in database”. Can you please help me.

  • 262 Delei // Apr 29, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Hi, I have a problem with the citation format.
    Is it possible to have two different type of citation format in a word file using Bibtex4word, such as formats: Stull (1988) or Stull 1988.
    Could you help me about it? Thanks

  • 263 David Balslev-Harder // May 8, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    If using MS Word 2013 64 bit and following the special instructions, the ADD-INS ribbon may still not show up. Fix this by: Goto
    File -> Options -> Add-Ins

    At the buttom at ‘Manage: ‘ use the pull down selector to choose ‘Templates’

    In the template tab choose ‘Add …’ and select the ‘’ in the folder

  • 264 Graham // Jun 10, 2015 at 2:53 pm


    I’ve installed MiKTeX 2.9 and Bibtex4Word and believe I’ve set the path etc correctly. When I try to run bibtex on its own from the command prompt I get “bibtex: Invalid control sequence.” which is probably why Bibtex4Word isn’t working! This gives an error saying “Missing Bibtex log file: C:\(etc)\bibtex4word.blg – any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you.

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