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Chicago Style Citation & Bibliography in LaTeX

TL;DR: Check out the LaTeX template as a starter kit to get up and running. It has all the things you need to get started, and 4 example sentences that generate citations. Also as a note, if you don’t want to use the “Ibid” citation style, refer to the section No Ibid.

Table of Contents


At this point, I’ve had to write a couple of papers in Chicago Style citation with LaTeX. If you don’t already know, I try to use LaTeX for all turned in assignments in my high school classes. That meant that when my teacher assigned a history paper in my sophomore year, I had to figure out a way to do satisfactory Chicago style citations automatically, in LaTeX. Using LaTeX to auto generate everything was also a good move because it reduced, what I frankly consider a waste of time: the need to constantly write my own footnote citations and bibliography.

Note: As far as I know, this is compliant with Chicago Style 17th Edition. This citation process has sufficed for me in my high school history class. My teacher is checking for correct citation style of course, but if you are meeting much more stringent standards, I’d always check over with someone appropriate on whether correct citations are being generated.

If you want, you can also read the on the CTAN page the official documentation. I had to read through this for some of the stuff that I learned below, but I can honestly say it’s well organized; a simple word search and grit will often get what you want if you have needs beyond what I can say below here.

Package Imports

biblatex-chicago Package

For package imports, you really only need 1: biblatex-chicago.

If you’re using bibtex or biber to generate the bibliography, make sure to put either backend=bibtex, or backend=biber in the package options.

But you should provide a few options to customize it. If you’re like me and you’re also using auto-generated bibtex entries in your .bib file, then you should add the options: isbn=false, and doi=false, to stop that information from being put in your citations.

So the package import might look something like: \usepackage[backend=biber, isbn=false, doi=false]{biblatex-chicago}

url Package

I’d also import the url package, if you want your URLs formatted correctly in your bibliography, along with embedded links.

In addition, URLs are formatted by default in monospaced font, but if you want them in the same font as the rest of your bibliography, then you need to use the command \urlstyle{same}.

In-Text Citations

In order to do citations, instead of the normal \cite command, you have to use \autocite command. The arguments stay the same of course. To cite specific page numbers from a source, you just use \autocite[page num], and biblatex-chicago will automatically add the number to the footnote.

So if your entry in the .bib file looks like

 And you want to cite page number 23, you would say \autocite[23]{einstein}

No Ibid

Recently, I believe the new Chicago Manual of Style recommends not using Ibid in online publications, so I’ve included how to stop Ibids from being generated in your paper, if you so desire.

In order to generate no Ibids, just pass in the option of noibid to the package import for biblatex-chicago. So the package import might look something like \usepackage[noibid]{biblatex-chicago}. That’s it. Convenient isn’t it!

Generating Final Bibliography

To generate the final bibliography, you just need to make sure to use the correct heading format. So you should print, centered in plain text, “Bibliography,” i.e. put a \center{Bibliography} before the bibliography. And then to make sure the usual “References” doesn’t show up when you print the bibliography entries, you just have to use \printbibliography[heading=none].

So the whole thing might look something like


Note for TexStudio Users

If you are going to be generating your bibliography with biber, then make sure to change the build settings in TeXStudio. If you go to Preferences >> Build, then you can select your “Default Bibliography Tool”.

Have fun on your journey, and I hope you save a little more time in your life in the long-run by not having to generate citations by hand.