The entry editor

Opened from main window by double-clicking anywhere on the line of the entry, or selecting the entry and pressing ENTER. The panel is closed by pressing ESC.

In this panel you can specify all relevant information on a single entry. The entry editor checks the type of your entry, and lists all the fields that are required, and the ones that are optional, for referring the entry with bibtex. In addition, there are several fields termed General fields, that are common to all entry types.

You can fully customize which fields should be regarded as required and optional for each type of entry, and which fields appear in the General fields tab. See Customizing entry types for more information about this.

For information about how the fields should be filled out, see Bibtex help.

The entry editor's panels

The entry editor contains six panels: Required fields, Optional fields, General, Abstract, Review and BibTeX source, where General, Abstract and Review can be customized (see Customizing general fields for details). Inside the three first panels, TAB and SHIFT-TAB are used to switch focus between the text fields.

Switch panels by clicking on the tabs, or navigate to the panel to the left or right using the following key combinations: CTRL-TAB or CTRL-PLUS switch to the tab to the right, and CTRL-SHIFT-TAB or CTRL-MINUS switch to the tab to the left. You can also switch to the next or previous entry by pressing CTRL-SHIFT-DOWN or CTRL-SHIFT-UP, respectively, or by clicking the appropriate toolbar button.

The bibtex source panel shows how the entry will appear when the database is saved in bibtex format. If you wish, you can edit the bibtex source directly in this panel. When you move to a different panel, press CTRL-S or close the entry editor, JabRef will try to parse the contents of the source panel. If there are problems, you will be notified, and given the option to edit your entry further, or to revert to the former contents. If Show source by default is checked in the General options tab of the Preferences dialog, the source panel will be the one shown each time you open the entry editor. If you prefer editing the source rather than using the other four panels, you should check this option.

Tip: If your database contains fields unknown to JabRef, these will be visible in the source panel.

Tip: the pdf and url fields support Drag and Drop operations. You can drop there an url from your browser. either a link to a pdf file (that JabRef can download for you) or you can keep the link.

Field consistency checking

When the contents of a field is changed, JabRef checks if the new contents are acceptable. For field types that are used by bibtex, the contents are checked with respect to the use of the '#' character. The hash symbol is only to be used in pairs, wrapping the name of a bibtex string that is referenced. Note that JabRef does not check if the referenced string actually exists (this is not trivial, since the bibtex style you use can define an arbitrary set of strings unknown to JabRef).

If the contents are not accepted, the field will turn red, indicating an error. In this case the change will not be stored.

Autogenerate bibtex key

Press CTRL-G or the 'gen key' button (the magic wand) to autogenerate a bibtex key for your entry based on the contents of its required fields.

For more information on how JabRef generates bibtex keys, see Customizing the BibTex key generator.