A BibTeX key is a unique identifier for a reference in a BibTeX file. To cite a reference in a TeX document, you insert the BibTeX key for the reference in the correct place in the document. When the document is converted to its final output format, the BibTeX keys are replaced with the correct, formatted citations. Example:

Suppose your BibTeX file contains this entry:

author = {Andretta, Susie},
year = {2005},
title = {Information literacy},
publisher = {Chandos},
address = {Oxford},

In your TeX document, you could insert the following citation command:


When the document is converted, the following entry might be made in the bibliography: Andretta, Susie (2005): Information literacy. Oxford: Chandos.

hmtoggle_plus1 Generating BibTeX Keys in Citavi

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options. On the General tab, select the TeX support checkbox and click OK.
  2. Select which references Citavi should generate BibTeX keys for. You can edit individual BibTeX keys manually at a later point in time.

hmtoggle_plus1 Customizing BibTeX Key Templates

On the Tools menu, click Options. On the General tab, click Customize next to the selected  TeX support checkbox.

  1. To change the default template for all reference types, click Default.
  2. Make the changes you want. You can change what fields are used to build the key, how they are formatted, the punctuation used, and conditional exceptions. If you want the punctuation between two elements to be hidden if an element is empty, insert the not sign (¬) before the punctuation by typing Alt+0172.
  3. If you need certain reference types to have special BibTeX keys, you can define additional templates for each of them. Click Add template for reference type and then configure the template.
  4. When you are finished making changes, click OK. Citavi asks what you want to do with existing BibTeX keys.

hmtoggle_plus1 Additional BibTeX Key Options

You can set additional options for your BibTeX keys under Tools > Options > General. Next to the selected TeX support checkbox, click Customize and then on the Tools menu:

  • Select Normalize key to ensure that only characters in the ANSI character set are used, removing special characters such as umlauts: Münchhausen 1796 becomes Munchhausen.1796.
  • Select Replace BibTeX keys when importing to replace the BibTeX keys already present when importing BibTeX files with fresh keys generated according to the current template.
  • Click Restore default to restore the template to name.year einzustellen.
  • Click Remove characters to define characters that should never appear in a BibTeX key.