PDF/PS/URL/DOI links in JabRef

JabRef lets you link up your entries with PDF or PS files stored on your system, as well as links to the document on the web in the form of an URL or a DOI identifier.

Setting up external viewers

The program has to know which external viewers to use for PDF, PS and web pages. These are by default set to values that probably make sense for your operating system, so there's a fair chance you don't have to change these values.

To change the external viewer settings, go to Preferences -> General.

Opening external files or links

There are several ways to open an external file or web page. In the entry editor, you can double click on the text field containing the file name, DOI or URL. In the entry table you can select an entry and use the menu choice, keyboard shortcut or the right-click menu to open the file or web page. Finally, you can click on a PDF, PS, URL or DOI icon.

By default the entry table will contain two columns with icons for those entries that link to external files and URLs. You can disable any of these in Preferences -> Table. The second column of the entry table shows icons for PDF or PS files (only PDF if both are present), and the third column shows icons for URL or DOI (only URL if both are present). You open the file or web page by clicking on an icon.

The main PDF directory

PDF files get a special treatment to make it as easy as possible to link them to your entries. To take advantage of this you have to indicate a directory in Options -> Preferences -> External programs as your main PDF directory. All PDF files that are stored in or below this directory will be referred to with a relative path by JabRef, making it easy for you if you need to move the PDF directory or if several users use the same database from different network places.

Additionally, if you give your PDF files names that correspond to the relevant entry's bibtex key (plus '.pdf'), JabRef will be able to search your main directory and its subfolders for the correct PDF. Once the correctly-named PDF is in place you access this function by clicking the 'Auto' button next to the PDF field in the entry editor. If the PDF is found, the field will immediately be set.

If you name a PDF file as mentioned, you can also open the PDF without setting the PDF field of the entry at all. The downside is that the PDF icon will not appear in the table unless you do (manually or with the 'Auto' button).