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Re: Select and insert multiple bibliography entries into one \cite comma

From: Hongyi Zhao
Subject: Re: Select and insert multiple bibliography entries into one \cite command with regexp search.
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 2021 09:06:43 +0800

On Mon, Aug 9, 2021 at 2:07 AM Arash Esbati <> wrote:
> Hongyi Zhao <> writes:
> > I noticed that the \cite command operation using reftex supports the
> > following options:
> >
> > ###########
> > n / p      Go to next/previous entry (Cursor motion works as well).
> >  g / r      Start over with new regexp / Refine with additional regexp.
> >  SPC        Show full database entry in other window.
> >  f          Toggle follow mode: Other window will follow with full db entry.
> >  .          Show insertion point.
> >  q          Quit without inserting \cite macro into buffer.
> >  TAB        Enter citation key with completion.
> >  RET        Accept current entry (also on mouse-2) and create \cite macro.
> >  m / u      Mark/Unmark the entry.
> >  e / E      Create BibTeX file with all (marked/unmarked) entries
> >  a / A      Put all (marked) entries into one/many \cite commands.
> > ###########
> >
> > But I still can't figure out the convenient and efficient workflow for
> > using regexp to select and insert multiple bibliography entries into a
> > \cite command.
> This is the description from the manual[1]:
>     Command: reftex-citation
>     Make a citation using BibTeX database files. After prompting for a
>     regular expression, scans the buffers with BibTeX entries (taken
>     from the \bibliography command or a thebibliography environment) and
>     offers the matching entries for selection. The selected entry is
>     formatted according to reftex-cite-format and inserted into the
>     buffer.
>     When called with a C-u prefix, prompt for optional arguments in cite
>     macros. When called with a numeric prefix, make that many
>     citations. When called with point inside the braces of a \cite
>     command, it will add another key, ignoring the value of
>     reftex-cite-format.
>     The regular expression uses an expanded syntax: ‘&&’ is interpreted
>     as 'and'. Thus, ‘aaaa&&bbb’ matches entries which contain both
>     ‘aaaa’ and ‘bbb’. While entering the regexp, completion on knows
>     citation keys is possible. ‘=’ is a good regular expression to match
>     all entries in all files.
> Once you have the regexp, just mark the entries you want with 'm' in
> that order and hit 'a'.  Does this fit the bill?

Thank you very much for telling me these manipulation details buried
deep in a huge manual.
Now, I try to check the above directives with `C-c [', but nothing
happens except that the following message appears in the *Messages*

reftex-offer-bib-menu: No valid bibliography in this document, and no
default available

I use the following bibliography settings in my LaTeX document:


And the bib file exists at the corresponding location:

$ ls ~/Documents/bibliograph/better-bibtex/references-bibtex.bib

> Best, Arash
> Footnotes:
> [1]

Assoc. Prof. Hongyi Zhao <>
Theory and Simulation of Materials
Hebei Vocational University of Technology and Engineering
No. 473, Quannan West Street, Xindu District, Xingtai, Hebei province

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