How-to series: Generate BibTeX files for your collections for use in LaTeX [part 3 of 12]

Keeping up with our twelve-part how-to series, this entry will provide you with a simple walk through of how to get Mendeley Desktop generating BibTeX files of your library or folders for use in your LaTeX documents.

The majority of us use word processors to write our essays, manuscripts and thesis. However, there are a crafty group of folks that like to use LaTeX, a document markup language and document preparation system. What most of us already know is that Mendeley comes with a built-in word plugin that works on most major word processors. What some might not know is that Mendeley can also generate BibTeX files for your reference collections/folders. Thus, making citing references a breeze. If you happen to use LaTeX to prepare your documents, here’s where you’ll find the options to create your BibTeX files on the fly:

  1. Go to the Mendeley Preferences menu
  2. Click on the BibTeX tab
  3. Select the options that fit your needs. One big BibTeX file, one per collection, etc.
  4. Click “Apply”.
  5. That’s it, your BibTeX files should be ready for you to reference in your LaTeX documentos.

BibTeX preferences in Mendeley Desktop
The next entry in our quick-read how-to series will show you a thing or two about keeping your library neatly organized without duplicate entries.

Previous How-to series entries:

7 thoughts on “How-to series: Generate BibTeX files for your collections for use in LaTeX [part 3 of 12]

  1. This would be great, and I really like Mendeley.
    However, while there is an option to sync with BibTeX, it doesn’t work properly. Mendeley has not yet managed to correctly map each of the BibTeX fields and article types (eg. Unpublished type doesn’t even exist in Mendeley). I would really love to use Mendeley but until BibTeX actually works properly I can’t.
    Please fix this, Mendeley team, I’d love to use Mendeley again.

  2. Whenever an article from your collection is added to a group, Mendeley creates a duplicate entry in the bibtex file (unless of course we are using different bibtex files for each collection). Is there a way to avoid this kind of duplication?

  3. Carl – There should be, but right now we simply handle it by giving each document a different citation key. An option for those who keep one master bibtex file is to allow suppression of entries from multiple groups. Would you mind adding this questions to the knowledgebase?

    • “An option for those who keep one master bibtex file…”

      The duplicates problem still exists and it is not just an issue for people who keep one master bibtex file or, more to the point, splitting the file does not help. If I tell Mendeley to create one bibtex file per GROUP, it automatically creates one per FOLDER. Unless I have all entries categorized into folders, most of my entries then disappear. This makes folders all-or-nothing and is explicitly counter to Mendeley’s recommendation of how to use folders (tags first, folders to reduce search set, documents can be in multiple folders). So, yes, the duplication can be solved by splitting the group files, but it simply *moves the problem somewhere else*.

  4. im using mendeley for the first time. im trying to syncronise with bibtex. on available options I get only one bibtexfile per group and not per collection. this I gues is causing for me an error when I try to cite in Latex, do I need to reinstall mendeeley to see this option

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