Bibtex4Word - Installation

Contents: Requirements - Installing Bibtex4Word - Uninstalling Bibtex4Word - Copyright Notice

Current Version: V7348 - 2016-01-10


To use Bibtex4Word, you must be using a PC (it does not work on a Mac) running Word 2002 or later (32 or 64 bit) and you need to install three pieces of free software:

  1. A reference manager that will allow you to enter, or download, the citation details of a published document and which stores them in BibTeX format. There are several suitable reference managers available: I recommend JabRef.
  2. The MikTeX wordprocessing package. This is a PC implementation of a wordprocessor called LaTeX  which includes the BibTeX program as one of its components. We only use a tiny part of MikTeX but it is easiest to install the whole package.
  3. The Bibtex4Word macro itself (with some versions of Internet Explorer you need to "Run as Administrator" in order to download the file)

Installation Steps

Installing Bibtex4Word is a bit involved but you only need do this once:

  1. Install the latest version of  MikTex from
  2. Check that it installed correctly by opening a command prompt window (Start>>All Programs>>Accessories>>Command Prompt) and typing the command bibtex. You should receive a message saying Need exactly one file argument. If the message instead says 'bibtex' is not recognized as an internal or external command then MikTex has not been installed correctly.
  3. Install a BibTex manager. I recommend JabRef ( but there are several others available.
  4. Make hidden folders visible: Control Panel>>Folder Options>>Hidden files and folders>>Show hidden files and folders
  5. Create a new folder in any convenient location and download the Bibtex4Word template file into the folder.
  6. In Windows explorer, right click and select explore. Now drag all the files displayed into the folder you created in the previous step. These files include a complete copy of this documentation which you can open by double clicking on index.html. It also includes a number of demonstration files together with a sample Bibtex database.
  7. Now copy the file,,  into the Word Startup folder for each user. The location of this folder varies by country and operating system version but in English-speaking countries is typically C:\Users\*****\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word\STARTUP where ***** is your user name. You can find the specific folder for your system by doing the following:
    1. Open Word
    2. Press Alt+F11 to open the macro editor
    3. Press Ctrl+G to go to the immediate window
    4. Type: ?Application.StartupPath
    5. Press Enter
    6. The location of the startup folder will be displayed (if the folder does not exist already, you should create it)
  8. In Windows 7, you now need to right-click, and select Properties. In the General tab click the button near the bottom marked "Unblock" if it is not already greyed out.
  9. If your operating system is Windows 7 64 bit you may need to do one or both of the following if the macro does not work initially (many many thanks to Karen Feigh and Uta Schwertel for getting this working):
    1. Ensure that Shell32.dll is accessible:
      1. Check that the file C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Shell32.dll exists
      2. In the start menu type "cmd", then right click on "cmd.exe" and select "Run as administrator"
      3. At the cursor type "cd \windows\syswow64" then "regsvr32 shell32.dll"
      4. You should get a message confirming that registration has succeeded.
    2. Ensure the Word Object Library is enabled:
      1. Start Word
      2. If the "Developer" tab is not visible, select Office-Button->Word-Options->Popular and select "Show Developer tab in the Ribbon".
      3. click the "Developer" tab then double-click "Visual Basic" on the developer ribbon
      4. From the Visual Basic window, select the menu Tools->References and make sure that "Microsoft Office xx.Object Library" is checked, then click "OK" and then close the Visual Basic window.
  10. If you are using TexLive instead of MikTex, you need to allow it to run BibTex from the TEMP folder by doing the following:
    1. Set environment variable : BIBEXE = xxx\bin\win32\bibtex.exe where xxx is your TexLive folder (e.g. C:\texlive\2011)
    2. Either one of the following:
      1. Set environment variable : OPENOUT_ANY= "r"
      2. Add one line at the end of xxx\texmf.cnf containing OPENOUT_ANY = r
  11. Start Word. If Word is already running, you must close all Word windows and restart it.
  12. You should see the Bibtex4Word toolbar: . In Word 2007/2010 this is in the Add-Ins ribbon.
  13. Clicking on brings up a window which includes the Bibtex4Word version number in the title. Click cancel to close the window.
  14. From within Word, open the document Test4w.doc from the folder you created in step 5. Follow the instructions in the document to verify that Bibtex4Word is operating correctly.

Uninstall Steps

  1. Delete from the Word Startup folder used in step 6 above.
  2. Delete the folder you created in step 5 above together with all its contents.
  3. Remove MiKTex and JabRef using the normal windows procedure:
    Windows XP: Start->Setting->Control Panel->Add or Remove Programs
    Windows Vista: ??

Copyright Notice

BibTex4Word is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details. You can obtain a copy of the GNU General Public License from or by writing to Free Software Foundation, Inc.,675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.

This page is part of the Bibtex4Word documentation. Copyright © 2006-2013 Mike Brookes, Imperial College, London, UK. See the file gfl.html for copying instructions. Please send any comments or suggestions to "mike.brookes" at "".
Updated: $Id: b4w_install.html 11107 2019-04-05 11:31:10Z dmb $