Note: This how-to is simply a summary of a mailing list thread.


BibDesk is an extremely nice Mac GUI for managing BibTeX libraries. It doesn’t, however, come with the Vancouver style for citation previews, which is the standard style for most biomedical science journals. This post describes how to get the Vancouver style working with the BibDesk TeX previews.


  1. Make sure that you have a TeX system installed, such as MacTeX.
  2. Create the folder ~/Library/texfm/bibtex/bst/ if it does not exist.
  3. Download vancouver.bst and save it to the above folder.
  4. In BibDesk, open the preferences, then the Tex Preview pane and type “vancouver” into the BibTeX style text box.
  5. Click the button to edit the TeX template.
  6. Add \usepackage{hyperref} to it just above the \begin{document} line. This allows webpage citations to render properly.
  7. Save and you’re done.

Please note that the Vancouver style requires a “Type” field for webpages, which you may have to manually add.

Published on 05 May 2011 and tagged as
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