[XeTeX] biblatex with xelatex

Ulrike Fischer news3 at nililand.de
Mon Dec 14 10:14:08 CET 2009

Am Mon, 14 Dec 2009 09:47:16 +0100 schrieb Alex Hamann:

> Hi,

> I am used to encoding my bib-files and tex-files in utf-8 and
> typesetting them with xelatex. While skimming through the
> biblatex documentation I ran into a paragraph under section 2.4.3
> (p. 36):

> Using UTF-8 encoding in both the tex and the bib file is not
> possible since neither traditional BibTeX nor bibtex8 can handle
> multi-byte encodings such as UTF-8. In this case, you need to use
> a single-byte encoding such as Latin 1 (see above) or resort to
> Ascii notation in the bib file: \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
> \usepackage{biblatex} 

> I never saw any problems resulting from the use of utf-8 in both
> files and am now curious to understand why I should avoid doing
> this. Is the limitation something that becomes irrelevant when
> using xelatex (xelatex is not mentioned in the documentation)?

Well bibtex8 is 8-bit orientated: It divides the input file (the
bib) in 8-bit-pieces (octets) and process this pieces. As you
experienced this is in general not a problem, but if your bib
contains utf8-chars encoded with 2 or more octets it is possible
that bibtex8 splits such a char e.g. by inserting in the middle of
an utf8-char a newline char. And this could lead to a corrupt (non
utf-8 encoded) .bbl. 

You could try biber as replacement

Ulrike Fischer 

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