[OS X TeX] BibDesk and CrossRefs

Jon Hanson jkhanson at umich.edu
Sun Jul 31 04:17:39 CEST 2005


>> I finally have a bibtex database that has a large number of entries
>> that are candidates for using the crossref feature, but I am having
>> a bit of trouble understanding how BibDesk 1.1.2 deals with
>> automatically copying information into the child entry.
>>
>
> < snip >
>
> Well, it seems that I was doing something wrong, but I have no idea
> what it was. the title is being copied correctly into booktitle when
> I create a book and creating the child copies correctly.
>
> I deleted my preferences before and it still did not work correctly.
> I logged out then in after deleting the prefs and it works correctly.
>
> Corrupted prefs, I guess.
>

You are not crazy!  This is the same phenomenon that I posted about a  
few weeks ago. See the digests of July 2-4.  In short, like me, the  
only thing that you did "wrong" was that you created a child record  
from a parent that did not have a Booktitle field.  Apparently, due  
to the way BibTeX operates, it has always been necessary to enter  
Booktitle in any book record that you use as a parent.

With the preferences that you have set, BibDesk will copy Title down  
to Booktitle when you create a *new* book record, but it will not add  
Booktitle, if missing, to an existing book record when you create a  
child from it. These existing parent records with no Booktitle  
produce offspring that appear mixed up:  they have Booktitle blank,  
and what should be the Booktitle is in the Title field.  To the eye  
of a newbie, it appears that Title from the parent is being assigned  
to the wrong location.

(Side note: When operating as designed, BibDesk links the Title field  
in the child record from the Title field in the parent.  I regard  
this as undesirable, since the reason for the record being a child in  
the first place is that its title is *not* the same as the parent's.   
My only experience, however, is with the book--> incollection  
combination.  Could more experienced users please weigh in on whether  
there are cases when one would want Title in the child filled from  
Title in the parent?)

I fixed the problem by re-entering the parent records, though I guess  
I could have added the Booktitle field manually with a text editor.   
Perhaps there is a way that this could be automated with some kind of  
script that would add Booktitle to all existing book records that do  
not yet have it, filling Booktitle with the contents of Title?

In sum, anyone who thinks they might use cross-references in the  
future -- and they are really cool -- should set the preferences in  
BibDesk so that Title gets copied to Booktitle when entering new  
records.  There is no harm in doing this, even for books that will  
not become parents, and it could save quite a bit of work down the road.

Cheers,

Jon Hanson




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