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 Options -> Preferences -> External programs.

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.

Note: If the PS field does not appear in the entry editor (in the 'General' panel), you may have to customize the entry types of the general fields.

The main PDF and PS directories

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

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

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

The database-specific PDF and PS directories

You can set PDF and PS directories specific to a database (File -> Database properties). These directories will supersede the main directories.