Removing reference from Bibliography

How do you remove a reference from a bibliography? I have a bibliography in text that has numbered references. When I delete the reference number it stays deleted, but the other references do not renumber and the reference is not removed from the Bibliography. Even when I remove the reference from the "Collection" it stays in the document's bibliography. This is frustrating.
  • The item is still somewhere in the document potentially in a hidden field. If you're positive it's not actually cited somewhere, press alt+F9 on your keyboard (might be alt+FN+F9 on a Mac) to show Zotero field codes and delete the stray reference. (This will only work in Word, in Libre Office my best bet would be to delete a small chunk of text around where the reference used to be.)
  • Thank you. Once I found the hidden codes and deleted them and hit refresh the references were deleted and the numbers were re-formatted.
  • I did "alt+FN+F9 on a Mac" and it destroyed my entire paper with codes between my writing and all bibliography was deleted, and it never go back to the original.
    Is there any way to revert? How can I reconcile this?
  • Thank you so much for the prompt help!
    Please forgive me for sending a blunt email last night. I was traumatized by what I saw, but I did what the link you gave me suggested to do and now the field codes are hidden in my paper. A sigh of
    I have a stray reference in bibliography, and to remove it upon hitting "alt+FN+F9, do I delete the entire description of field codes (almost a page long) relating to that reference ? I'm sorry for stupid questions, but if I make a mistake what is going to happen?
  • edited August 13, 2020
    To delete a reference from the bibliography, you need to delete the citation to it wherever it is in your document. Usually this is easy—just select the citation text and delete it: e.g., “[23]” or “(Smith, 2015)”.

    The only time you need to show field codes is if there is an entry in your bibliography that shouldn’t be there, but you can’t find the citation in your document. That suggests there is a stray field code in document without visible text, such as if the citation was I completely deleted. This is rare and most commonly happens in LibreOffice or some older versions of Word for Mac.

    In that case, showing the field codes can help you locate the hidden citation. You can show the codes, select the whole code that appears, including the opening and closing squiggly brackets, and delete it. Then hide the field codes again and click Refresh.
  • Thank you so much for the thorough instruction.
    Yes, the second one was my case, "there is an entry in my bibliography that shouldn’t be there even after the citation was deleted and refreshed". I will try your instructions. Thank you, again!
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