Trouble with LaTeX export, esp. re: BibLaTeX

scott.moser's Avatar


12 Nov, 2021 05:54 PM

Howdy! I'm a big fan and have been using MMC for years and years. I have three questions/ comments, if I may.

1.Is it possible to include the path to my bib file in the header of an md file that MMC can export to LaTeX? For example, I use MMC extensively when writing slides for lecture. My current header is e.g.

latex leader: my-beamerNOTTSteaching-header2_biblatex2021
Title: POLI1029: Introduction to Political Data
Author: Quantitative Data 2
Affiliation: Scott Moser
Event: Topic 5
Date: Week 7
latex mode: beamer
latex begin: my-beamer-begin-doc_biblatex
latex footer: mmd-beamer-footer

(lines 1-13 of attached)
 But then the `\def\biblatex{../../../Bibliog/scottAll5_BBL.bib}` line needs to be manually cut and pasted to before the 'latex leader' YAML when converted to LaTeX. How can I specify a relative path to my `.bib` file in a YAML header in MMC?

2. Sorry if I"m just being dense, but I'm having trouble getting MMC to export citations to LaTeX. When I export the mmd file to LaTeX in the MMC app, the usual MMD citation commands (e.g. `[@best12-damned]` -- line 49 of attached) doesn't seem to get parsed correctly. What am I doing wrong?

3. [non bibtex/ biblatex related] Can you please include an option to suppress all the empty 'captions' when figures are included? For example, the following markdown:

Statistics -> Means ->
Independent samples t-test...

gets exported to LaTeX by MMC as

Statistics -> Means ->
Independent samples t-test{\ldots}

 (lines 23 and 24 in the attached mmd file)

Is it possible to simply remove all the empty `\caption{}` LaTeX tags?

Hey! Thanks so much!


PS. So sorry! I'm using OSX 10.14.5 and MMC v.4.5.12. Just FYI. Please do let me know if I can help at all! Thanks again! Love your jazz!

  1. 1 Posted by scott.moser on 28 Jan, 2022 06:05 PM

    scott.moser's Avatar


  2. 2 Posted by adrian on 29 Jan, 2022 07:45 AM

    adrian's Avatar

    I am sorry to say, I do not seem to be the right addressee.
    Please check again.

  3. 3 Posted by scott.moser on 29 Jan, 2022 12:41 PM

    scott.moser's Avatar

    Whoop! So sorry :(

  4. Support Staff 4 Posted by Fletcher on 04 Mar, 2022 05:15 PM

    Fletcher's Avatar


    My apologies for missing this -- it came in during a time where I was dealing with a big family emergency, and then got lost in the inbox.

    1. You can use the bibtex metadata key.

    2. Citations use # not @ in MultiMarkdown

    3. Updated in MultiMarkdown, which will be included in next update of Composer (version 5 -- more to come about that. But current beta at

    And again, apologies for the delayed response!


  5. Fletcher closed this discussion on 04 Mar, 2022 05:15 PM.

  6. scott.moser re-opened this discussion on 11 Mar, 2022 04:52 PM

  7. 5 Posted by scott.moser on 11 Mar, 2022 04:52 PM

    scott.moser's Avatar

    Dear Fletcher,

    Thank you *VERY MUCH* for your email! I am sorry to hear of your family
    emergency and I hope things are better now.
    I have taken your email to heart and have tried to read up on both MMD6 as
    well as am now using MMD Composer v5 (beta).
    However, I still face one fundamental problem that I simply cannot solve:
    how can I include literal strings in the meta-data? Specifically, how can
    I include relative path(s) to files e.g. my biblatex file such that
    exporting to latex (beamer) produces a path that LaTeX understands?
    For example, the following `mmd` meta data:

    bibtex: \\../../..///Bibliog/-scottAll5_BBL-URLdoi
    biblatex: "/Users/sm38679/Dropbox/Bibliog/scottAll5_BBL-URLdoi.bib"
    latex leader: my-beamerNOTTSteaching-header3_biblatex2022
    Title: POLI1029: Introduction to Political Data
    Author: Introduction
    Affiliation: Scott Moser
    Event: Topic 1
    Date: Week 3
    latex mode: beamer
    LaTeX XSLT: beamer

    produces this preamble when I export to latex:


    ..\slash ..\slash \slash \slash Bibliog\slash -scottAll5\_BBL-URLdoi}}

    \def\biblatex{"\slash Users\slash sm38679\slash Dropbox\slash
    Bibliog\slash scottAll5\_BBL-URLdoi.bib"}

    \def\mytitle{POLI1029: Introduction to Political Data}



    \def\affiliation{Scott Moser}

    \def\event{Topic 1}

    \def\mydate{Week 3}


    That is, I cannot seem to include either an absolute nor relative
    path, as all the `/` or `//` or `\` get converted

    to the latex equivalent, e.g. `\textbackslash{}` or `\slash` etc.
    (BTW, i know the paths in the above example

    are not correct, I just wanted to show I've tried a number of approach to
    'escape' these characters, all without success.

    I am very sorry if I am being dense. But I cannot even include an absolute
    path in the MMD metadata that gets exported correctly to LaTeX. What am I
    doing wrong?

    Lastly, why does the MMD metadata of `bibtex: VALUE` get exported to
    latex as `\def\bibliocommand{VALUE}` (well, not quite, as above) but
    `biblatex: VALUE`
    gets exported to latex as
    It seems inconsistent that some metadata values (variables?) are treated
    differently when exporting to LaTeX / beamer.

    Thank you very much for all your contributions! They are considerable,
    impressive, and most appreciated.


  8. Support Staff 6 Posted by Fletcher on 11 Mar, 2022 05:26 PM

    Fletcher's Avatar

    Different metadata keys are used for different things, and some of them
    are user-facing (requiring "LaTeX-ification") and some are code-facing
    (and should be printed "raw"/"as-is").

    I pushed a commit to switch `bibtex` to a "raw" key. This is in MMD
    develop branch now, and will be pulled into upcoming builds of Composer,

    I normally have the bibtex file in the same folder as the MMD file, so
    this just never came up for me. You can move it/copy it now as a
    temporary fix to allow you to keep working before the next beta release
    comes up (I just pushed one a bit ago that does not include this.)

    As to your second question -- there are certain standard metadata keys
    that have to be handled specifically (e.g. bibtex). Any "user-created"
    metadata key (basically any other key you want) is handled in a generic


  9. 7 Posted by scott.moser on 11 Mar, 2022 05:49 PM

    scott.moser's Avatar

    Oh wow, thanks so much for your super-speedy and super-informative reply,

    I would love to learn more about 'code-facing' metadata keys, as well as
    learning more about the " certain standard metadata keys that have to be
    handled specifically (e.g. bibtex)." Are there resources you could point
    me to? I have through the following in some detail, but would love to know
    more about how MMD and MMD Composer (esp. its 'Export' functionality) work!
    (which -- and please correct me if I am wrong -- is outdated?)
    and (which, I confess I do
    not exactly understand)

    Thank you again!

  10. Support Staff 8 Posted by Fletcher on 14 Mar, 2022 03:39 PM

    Fletcher's Avatar

    I guess better terminology might be "reader-facing" and "code-facing" -- whether the metadata is intended to be in the document for the reader to see. A title would be reader-facing, but the path to the bibtex file would be code-facing.

    The links you include (the are the most recent published documentation. The only distinction is that I work in the develop branch on GitHub, and pull to master when ready to release a new official version. If you find it easier to look at shorter sections of the documentation, the metadata portion is primarily here --

    The Support files are for Composer, not MultiMarkdown per se. They are for customizing the editor -- syntax highlighting, preview CSS, autocompletion/spelling dictionaries, and shortcut expansions.

    These are older, and not necessarily updated for v6, but give an idea of how the overall process works --

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