Ebib is a program for managing BibTeX databases. There are already quite a few such programs, but Ebib has a special property: it runs inside Emacs. If you are used to doing everything LaTeX from within Emacs, you may appreciate that you can manage your .bib files in Emacs as well. One distinct advantage of Ebib is that you do not need to switch to another window and copy/paste a BibTeX key into your LaTeX file with the mouse. Ebib provides functions with which you can select a key from the database and have it inserted directly into your LaTeX text.

Ebib is fully keyboard-operated. Unlike other BibTeX database managers, you do not need the mouse at all. Everything Ebib can do can be accomplished with simple one-key commands. This makes using Ebib much faster than other similar programs, which are usually mouse-operated. And because Emacs does not have to run under X, Ebib can be used without X as well.

Ebib provides the standard capabilities that one would expect from a BibTeX database manager: .bib files can be opened, modified (adding, deleting, modifying entries), searched, and saved. Apart from the basics, Ebib has quite a few extra features that make managing your BibTeX files easier.






LaTeX integration



Visually, Ebib is not very spectacular. But to get an impression of what it looks like, you can look at the following three screenshots. The first shows Ebib's standard lay-out, with the list of entry keys in the top window and the fields of the currently highlighted entry in the bottom window. In the second image, which uses the alternative vertical layout, the string 'Reuland' is highlighted as the result of a text search. The field values displayed in a lighter colour come from the cross-referenced entry. The third screenshot shows the strings buffer, where you can edit the @string definitions in the database.

screenshot 1 screenshot 1 screenshot 2


The complete user manual for Ebib is available in html format here.


The easiest way to install Ebib is to use the Melpa package archive. This and other installation methods are described in the manual.

If you want to download the source, you can clone the git repository for Ebib, or get a tar ball from the Github releases page.

Note: if you're upgrading from Ebib 1.x to the latest version, there are a few things to consider. See the manual for details.


The quickest way to ask questions or report issues is to use Github issue tracker.

Joost Kremers (last modified: 07 Dec 2014)