Writer: How to insert bibliography entry showing number

I would like to insert a bibliography entry that will show the number for example in the form [1]. Instead it is showing the short name [Example]. How can I do that?

I know this site suffers from poor ergonomics but wiki posting is an error. This is a targeted question, not a community wide one.

Bibliography is presently implemented to conform to common convention followed by academic papers. It is based on an internal database which, I admit, is quite uncomfortable to edit and extend. However, built-in tools make it easy to customise and create the bibliographic table.

If you prefer a [1]-style of references, I’d suggest going for endnotes. This means your document can only use footnotes in case you need notes so that there is a clear separation between notes and bibliography. A serious inconvenience is you lose part of the automated process.

  • Entering new references

    Type the opening bracket [, enter your bibliography entry Insert>Footnote & Endnote>Endnote, then type the closing bracket ].

    To avoid the superscript position of note anchor, modify character style Endnote Anchor: in tab Position, select Normal (to be done only once).

Also, endnotes are by default numbered roman. To change for ordinary numbers, open Tools>Footnotes & Endnotes, tab Endnotes, and select your favourite numbering style (also to be done only once). This same dialog also controls the appearance of entries in the endnotes section. Type the brackets in the Before and After text box.

  • Entering already existing references

    This is a reference to an already typed entry.

    Type the opening bracket, then Insert>Cross-reference. In the pop-up dialog, select Endnotes from Type, Chapter (read here “note number”) from Insert reference to and the entry from Selection. Click Insert and close the dialog. Finally type the closing bracket.

  • Formatting the bibliography table

    Endnotes are generated in their own “section” after a page break. Page style is Endnote. Modify this page style to add a header and make other adjustments. A header is necessary because you won’t be able to add a blank paragraph before the first endnote. Consequently bibliography title can only be given in page header.

I tried to add another Endnote page before the first entry but Writer insists on adding an internal page break on the first entry which I can’t remove. Unless you have bibliography title on a page by itself, a header is the pragmatic solution.

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Excellent. Really simple and useful. I am back using LO Writer for small technical papers instead of LyX (using now for class notes only).

Jorge Sampaio

To change from short names to numbers, you need to insert, and set, the bibliographic index: there is a check box on the “type” tab to use numeric entries.

1 Like

Aha! Really much simpler than my workaround! But Number entries label above Brackets is not self-explanatory. The superiority of this flag: you can change at will if you’re not satisfied and references and index change accordingly.

(1) Enter the (in the beginning empty) Bibliography-Index via menu Insert > Table of contents and Index > Table of Contents, Index of Bibliography at the desired place, likely end of the document. On tab Type in that dialog select Type: Bibliography and in part Formatting of the Entries check Number entries. On the tab Entries in part Sort by select the item Document position. OK.

(2) Now go to the place, where you want a reference to book, article or so. Enter the data via menu Insert > Table of contents and Index > Bibliography Entry. In part Entry of that dialog select From document content. Then click on New. Enter a Short name. This entry will not be shown in the document because of (1), but it is needed to identify the data record. You should not try to alter it later on. You will find this short name when you will add a second reference to a book/article, where you have already entered the data. Next choose the type of the source. And now enter all the information to that source. OK. Insert. Close. Notice, that the reference is the number not the short name.

(3) Update the index.

You likely need to adapt the structure of the entries in the bibliography index. The default is the same structure for all types. But e.g. a Book needs a “Book Title” and not the default “Title” and depending on your style guide some seperators have to be a dot and not a comma. Also the formatting of the parts of the entries is missing in the default. For example you likely need “Strong emphasis” (=bold) for the author and “Emphasis” (=italic) for the titles. You need not do all settings in the beginning, but you can alter them later via “Edit index”.

This correctly solves the problem without any workaround or external tools. Thank you.

Thank you! This was exactly what I was looking for :slight_smile:

I would recommend using an external bibliographic database application. I use Mendeley because they have a free version that’s adequate for my purposes. You can choose your style from a large selection of academic journal styles (information on finding and modifying styles can be found on the web; it’s based on Zotero which may be an alternative to Mendeley). The supplied plugin for LO gives you the tools to insert citations and append the bibliography.

A disadvantage of this approach is that it depends on a live software link that breaks if you use version management software or simply ‘save as’ to make a new version of your document. The open source bibliographic application JabRef doesn’t work like that. However, both Mendeley and JabRef can export the references in the standard plaintext bibtex format; the formatting is done by your writing application, which in practice has to be LaTeX.

LO has a set of export filters to LaTeX (Writer2Latex), where the citations and all the formatting stuff are written as markup code. The filters have bibiography options but I haven’t tried them. By far the easiest way of running LaTeX is on the Overleaf cloud service, which is free within generous limits. You can download your work to your computer. Overleaf provides templates for different journals and you can find bibilographic formatting packages for others on the web. Of course a big advantage of LaTeX is that the output is publication quality; you can use it simply as a typesetting engine for LO. Unfortunately I can’t use it for my current project because the journal I’m writing for won’t provide a LaTeX package for their wierd bigliographic format.