BIBCLEAN 1 "01 August 1992" "Version 1.05"

Table of contents


bibclean - prettyprint a BibTeX bibliography data base file


bibclean [-author] [-help] ['-?'] [-keep-initials]
         [-version] <infile >outfile


bibclean prettyprints a BibTeX file on stdin to stdout, and checks the brace balance and bibliography entry syntax as well. It can be used to detect problems in BibTeX files that sometimes confuse even BibTeX itself, and importantly, can be used to normalize the appearance of collections of BibTeX files.

Here is a summary of the formatting actions:

BibTeX items are formatted into a consistent structure with one key = \"value pair per line, and the initial @ and trailing right brace in column 1.

Text outside BibTeX entries is passed through verbatim..

Outer parentheses around entries are converted to braces.

Long string values are split at a blank and continued onto the next line with leading indentation.

Tabs are expanded into blank strings; their use is discouraged because they inhibit portability, and can suffer corruption in electronic mail.

Personal names in author and editor field values are normalized to the form ``P. D. Q. Bach'', from ``P.D.Q. Bach'' and ``Bach, P.D.Q.''.

The standardized format of the output of bibclean facilitates the later application of simple filters to process the text for extraction of items, and also is the one expected by the GNU Emacs BibTeX support functions.


Command-line switches may be abbreviated to a unique leading prefix, and letter case is not significant.
Display an author credit on stderr. Sometimes the executable is separated from its documentation and source code; this option provides a way to recover from that.
Display a short help message on stderr.
Do not insert a space after a period following author initials.
Display the program version number on stderr.


bibtex(1), latex(1), tex(1)


Nelson H. F. Beebe
Center for Scientific Computing
Department of Mathematics
220 South Physics Building
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
Tel: +1 801 581 5254
Email: <>