I've a strange reftex-issue. When i insert a cite from a bib-file, emacs hangs up. I've tried this on two different machines: Windows 7 and on Mac OS X. (GNU Emacs 24.5.1)

Insert a cite: Open emacs, the bibliography file is loaded with:

(setq reftex-default-bibliography

(the bib file exists and is accessible)

Open a .tex file and press C-c [ ^M and enter b*.

Now emacs shows the message:

Scanning bibliography database socbib-pandoc.bib

and HANGS UP. Why?

  • 1
    You asked the same question on the AUCTeX list. If you ask it on multiple channels, please cite the other ones, too. And when you get a correct answer, please update the other locations with the solution. Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 6:10

1 Answer 1


The regular expression b* matches the empty string, thus the search for matching entries in the bib file won't make any progress.

I have fixed that in emacs' master branch so it will be in 25.1. With that, you get an error when you try searching for bib entries with a regular expression which matches the empty string.

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