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hxcite - Man Page

replace bibliographic references by hyperlinks


hxcite [ -b base ] [ -p pattern ] [ -a auxfile ] [ -m marker ] [ -c ] bibfile [ file ]


The hxcite commands copies the file to standard output, looking for strings of the form [[label]]. The label may not include white space and the double pair of square brackets must enclose the label without any spaces in between. If hxcite finds the label in the bibfile, the string is replaced by the pattern. The pattern can include certain variables. If the label is not found in bibfile, it is left unchanged.

The default pattern replaces the string with a hyperlink, but if the -p option is used, the replacement can be any pattern. The input doesn't even have to be HTML.

If the label is enclosed in {{...}} instead of [[...]], it is copied to the output unchanged and not replaced by the pattern, but the label is still searched in the bibfile.


The following options are supported:

-p pattern

Specifies the pattern by which the string [[label]] is replaced. The pattern may include the variables %b (which is replaced by the value of the -b option), %m (which is replaced by the value of the -m option) and %L (which is replaced by the label). The default pattern is

<a href="%b#%L" rel="biblioentry">[%L]<!--{{%m%L}}--></a>
-b base

Sets the value for the %b variable in the pattern. Typically this is set to a relative or absolute URL. By default this value is an empty string.

-a auxfile

All labels that have been found and replaced are also written to a file. This is so that hxmkbib(1) can find them and create a bibliography. The default auxfile is constructed from the name of the file by removing the last extension (if any) and replacing it by ".aux". If no file is given, the default name is "aux.aux".

-m marker

By default, the program looks for "[[name]]", but it can be made to look for "[[#name]]" where # is some string, usually a symbol such as '!' or '='. This allows references to be classified, e.g., "[[!name]]" for normative references and "[[name]]" for non-normative references.


Causes "[[name]]" to be ignored when it occurs inside XML comments ("<!--...-->"). This is useful for files where such labels occur in comments, to avoid that they be expanded and possibly lead to invalid output; useful also if hxcite is used for non-HTML files which may contain "<!--" that are not comment. Occurrences of "{{name}}" are not affected by -c. (But see warning under Bugs below.)


The following operands are supported:


The name of a bibliographic database must be given. It must be a file in refer(1) format and every entry must have at least a %L field, which is used as label. (Entries without such a field will be ignored.) Entries may optionally have a %K line, which should contain whitespace-separated keywords. Those keywords can be used to refer to the entry instead of the label. Thus the foo in [[foo]] can either be the label of an entry (%L line) or one of the keywords of the entry's %K line.


The name of the input file is optional. If absent, hxcite will read from stdin. The file does not have to be an HTML file, but the default pattern (see the -p option) assumes HTML.

Exit Status

The following exit values are returned:


Successful completion.

> 0

An error occurred. Usually this is because a file could not be opened. Very rarely it may also be an out of memory error.


March 2000: created by Bert Bos <bert@w3.org> as "cite".

August 2008: renamed to "hxcite".

Currently maintained by Bert Bos.


hxcite does not actually parse HTML or XML input and the -c option simply treats every occurrence of "<!--" as the start of an XML comment, even if it occurs inside an attribute value or a CDATA section. Likewise for "-->" for the end of a comment.

There is currently no way to use numbers for references (e.g., "[1]", "[2]") instead of the labels ("[Lie1996]", "[UTN22]").

hxcite requires the %L (label) field to be present in every entry in bibfile, which is not the case for refer(1). hxcite does not implement refer's keyword search.


The following looks for reference of the form "[[!label]]" in "myfile.html", skipping references that occur inside HTML comments, and looks up the labels in "biblio.ref". The output is written to "new.html" and the list of recognized labels to "myfile.aux".

hxcite -c -m '!' biblio.ref myfile.html > new.html

See Also

asc2xml(1), refer(1), hxmkbib(1), hxnormalize(1), hxnum(1), hxprune(1), hxtoc(1), hxunent(1), xml2asc(1), UTF-8 (RFC 2279)

Referenced By

hxcite-mkbib(1), hxmkbib(1).

10 Jul 2011 7.x HTML-XML-utils