BibTex Troubleshooting

I recently had trouble compiling citations into my LaTex document from a BibTex source. This article explains how I overcame the issues.

  1. I use both TeXworks and VS Code with LaTeX workshop. To prevent possible incompatibility, I disabled autobuild in LaTeX workshop.
  2. Reduce my entire .tex file and bibfile to a single paragraph with a single citation.
  3. Ensure only alphanumeric characters in my bibfile.
  4. Follow the usual compilation pattern:
    1. Build TeXworks pdfLaTeX
    2. Build TeXworks BibTex
    3. Build TeXworks pdfLaTex twice more
    4. There is a build logic to the above four-step series, but that isn’t super relevant right now.
  5. If I run into issues, delete all my non-essential build files including .aux, .bbl, .log, .spl, .out, and so on. Start the compilation pattern over.
  6. When I get a success, gradually introduce new bibfile citations or characters so that I can identify each problem one at a time.
  7. In many cases I could escape troublesome characters. In other cases I could get around it in other ways. For example, I the below url in one of my citations was giving me trouble:
    2. I was able to overcome the problem by deleting the hashed portion of the url, as below, and the resulting url still correctly pointed to the intended source.

Hope this helps! StackOverflow, Google, and the LaTeX forum are other good resources for troubleshooting questions.


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