BibTex Software: Using BibTex and Word 2007

I had a hard time getting this to work, so I decided to post this in case any researchers (searching for bibliography format wikipedia or bibtex software) like me are needing this tool.

I use Latex to create my BibTex BST files in my research paper. In my opinion, it’s incredibly and unnecessarily complex to install and learn. I’ve read the BibTex style and the Bib formats get easier and become much more efficient to use than word processors in the long run. I’ve yet to be convinced.

Anyways, the one thing I love about it is BibTex, a part of Latex that makes it so very easy for you to create a bibliography. All you have to do is keep one .bib file of all your references (even across multiple papers). Then in your .tex file, you just have to link to the .bib file and start citing references using their unique keys ( ex. \cite{key1} ) and then BibTex will automatically create your bibliography. Cool, huh? (Here’s a Latex tutorial.)

So, today I wanted to continue my work in MS Word. Not in Latex. Latex is only good for formatting the final PDF. MS Word is good for when developing the actual paper, because you can send it to your advisors and they can make comments and recommendations in your paper.

So I had a problem of porting the paper I had developed in Latex (big mistake, but I was in a hurry to complete the deadline) back to MS Word. I didn’t want to have to go through creating references all over again. Good thing I found a way to import my .bib file.

Go to this page by Mike Brookes and download the BibTex4Word file. You can also download the documentation file. The instructions given are for Word in XP. But I am using Word in Vista (Word 2007).

If you’re also a Word 2007 user like me, place the BibTex4Word (.dot) file in this folder: C:\Users\***\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word\STARTUP where *** is your username. Do this for every single user.

Restart Word if it’s open. Now you can use BibTex4Word. The toolbar will be located under your Add-Ins menu (the last dropdown menu in the Word menu bar). There are 6 icons. To import your .bib file, click on the yellow folder icon and select your file. To create a citation, use the red cross icon and insert the reference key. To toggle between seeing the key and the citation ([,gupta] vs [1]) click on the eye icon. To paste out the actual bibliography, press the list icon.

Oh, and to add more references to your .bib file, just do it in Latex. :-) My Latex processor is MikTex.

That’s it! Hope this is useful for some clueless researcher out there. :-)


  1. I agree. A remark, though, The STARTUP folder is dependent on the language of OS and/or MSWord.

    In my language (Swedish) the folder has been named Autostart.

  2. I have found that JabRef is an excellent, free, reference manager. I organize all my papers in it (it actually generates a .bib file). Then I use bibtex4word to reference the papers in word. Works great.

  3. Thanks a lot! also want to use Microsoft Word because it is easy to use figures etc, equations, etc. however, i’m gonna miss the beautiful latex final pdf format haha

  4. Very helpfull, thanks. Have you used LyX. Lyx is basically LateX without the manual coding. Adding figuers and tables are really easy – in fact everything in really easy. Collaboration is also easy with track chages and merge document.