BibTeX and Greek characters

  • If you give it a different name, auto-update wouldn't overwrite it so you wouldn't have to re-build that often (if at all). There is a long and at times bitter thread on Zotero dev on this topic - that includes one of the prior, more elaborate attempts to address this by a user:
    This will probably save you work and also get you a sense of the concerns in play.
    I'm neither particularly interested in, nor knowledgeable about this discussion, so I'm just conveying this as hopefully useful information.
  • If forking, the important thing would be the translator ID, not the name. But there's no reason you couldn't do that. As adamsmith notes, this has been discussed at length, and the competing opinions never come to terms.

    For everyday use, I would highly encourage making a modified BibTeX.js. It will not be included in Zotero proper until the debate is worked out, but that certainly shouldn't prevent you from using and distributing it.

    I also think that there's room for a Zotero plugin that is specifically designed for customizing BibTeX-related things -- such a plugin could bundle a modified translator, and also do things like citation key management.
  • Zotero BibTeX.js has changed since this workaround was proposed. Do you know where can I find a modified BibTeX.js?
  • I thought the Better BibTeX add on had an option for this but I can't find it @emilianoheyns -- does literal export of LaTeX markup (i.e. no escaping) in fields not exist in BBT?
  • edited May 18, 2017
    BBT has pre> /pre> tags to avoid this, but it messes up the capitalization..., I get $L_2$ as $l_2$ and such things.
  • edited May 19, 2017
    Ok, I solved it first tagging the article with `#LaTeX`, and then adding extra braces using BBT.
    Exporting as `Better BibTeX`
    Title: {Steerable Pyramids and Tight Wavelet Frames in $L_{2}(\mathcal{R}^d)$}
    Tags: #LaTeX

    If you omit the braces, the title is not capitalized, including the maths!
    If the tag is ommited: not good.

  • I've just run into this problem. Editing the BibTex or BibLatex js file works well, but I also use the better bibtex extension to keep my .bib files updated automatically. The better bibtex js file looks a bit more complicated than the bibtex one and I'm not sure how to edit it the correct way or if it is even possible? Anybody have any ideas?
  • If you open an issue on the better bibtex project on github I'll just fix the issue, that way all BBT users benefit.

    You don't want to edit the bbt translators.
  • edited September 13, 2021
    I realised a few minutes after posting my comment that you can surround text with < script> ... < /script> and that stops it escaping special characters etc and interprets whatever's inside as literal LaTeX code. This solves the problem I think? I managed to get what I wanted anyway.
  • That's what those tags are for. For some cases they can be automated.
  • I didn't realise it had so much functionality. Thanks!
  • But what Greek characters were at issue here? Were they not available as unicode characters?
  • I was having problems with a rho. As well as some more obscure mathematical symbols like angle brackets.
  • edited September 14, 2021
    ρ, 〈 and 〉 should just work with BBT, and would have the added benefit of also working with Word/LO.
  • Without the script tags I get this error

    ! Package inputenc Error: Unicode character ρ (U+03C1) not set up for use with LaTeX
  • No luck, still throws the error without the script tags
  • Can you open an issue for this on Please include a support log by right-clicking that item and selecting "Better BibTeX" - "Send support log" from the popup menu.
  • Just as a quick check: with those settings on,

    ρ, 〈 and 〉 should just work with BBT

    would export to

    {$\rho$}, {$\langle$} and {$\rangle$} Should Just Work with {{BBT}}



    title = {{$\rho$}, {$\langle$} and {$\rangle$} Should Just Work with {{BBT}}},
    author = {Coimbra, Rita and Sampaio, Marco O.P. and Santos, Rui},
    year = {2013}


    compiles without problem for me

  • It's not exporting correctly to the .bib file, even with the settings on the letter appears as a ρ instead of \rho. The github issue explains it.
  • edited September 14, 2021
    For others who may have the same problem: BBT is in fact exporting the bib file correctly; the ρ is in an attachment filename; attachments are exported to the file field, the file field is a verbatim field, in which no TeX commands should appear, so you can't replace ρ with \rho there. That is to say, you could, but it would be wrong to do so.

    In such a case, it is necessary to either rename the attachment in Zotero, or to exclude the file field by adding it to the BBT skip-fields preference.

    It turns out to have been a caching problem.
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