Add option to show bibtex key by default

Our workflow consists mainly of ^b to copy bibtex entry to the clipboard and then manually copying this to our overleaf .bib file, which is typically the product of many authors only some of which use paperpile. The bibtex key field is very useful to set a human pneumonic, but finding this field is time-consuming. It is would be really useful to have the option to show it all the time for all citations so that we can set it more easily.


@Tobi_Delbruck thanks for your feedback. Given that you have collaborators that don’t use Paperpile, but it is possible to have multiple .bib files in a single Overleaf project, a potential workaround to avoid manual copying of BibTeX entries would be to set up Paperpile’s Overleaf integration. That would allow you link a Paperpile folder or label to the Overleaf project, with the caveat that you would need to make sure that the BibTeX citation keys are not duplicated in any other .bib files contained in the project.

Thanks for the suggestion. At the moment we simply copy the .bib copy into our bib file which works OK since the bib is the result of many people’s input, only some of which use paperpile.

One ergonomic solution is to show the bibtex key field for any user who exposes it a couple of times. That would avoid requiring a setting entry for it and make it automatic for those users who use this feature of customized bibtex keys.

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I also think this would be good for a different reason. I use the overleaf integration (loving it BTW).

Sometimes if I am citing two papers by the same author from the same year I may have two citations e.g.:

Finding which one is which requires either doing a control + F for the .bib file in overleaf, or copying the bibtex key from paperpile and pasting it in notes somewhere …

A way of quickly pressing a “show bibtex key” would make this easier. The ability to edit of course would be even better, but simply being able to know which paper is which quickly would save me a lot of time

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Happy to hear that you find the Overleaf integration useful, @DSR! Regarding this option, I am not sure what you mean by showing the BibTeX key. Within the web app, this is possible by running a search for the BibTeX key itself, e.g. putting Smith2023-ab into search should bring you directly to the reference in the web app. And you can always select any reference and press Ctrl-B to quickly check the BibTeX item.

What I meant to say is that once a user chooses “Edit details” by the useful “E” shortcut and then manages to select the checkbox “Bibtex key” in the “Edit details” dialog after clicking “Additional Fields…”, it seems like it would be simple to show it all the time for that user, i.e. just store that in the preferences implicitly for that user. Right now it requires a frustrating scrolling and pecking to get to it every single time. For someone who knows this code it would be 30 minute fix to make it more usable. In fact the same could apply for any field that users regularly select.

Yes it’s very easy to look up the citation key. I mean’t that if we there was the option to view the bibtex key by default (in paperpile and\or the pdf reader) that could be quicker. Also, being able to edit a bibtex key to something more memorable might work.

It’s a really minor point really, just one of those little things that would save a couple of clicks in an action that is repeated very often. The overall overleaf experience is so great, I don’t want to complain!

@DSR Thanks for the clarification - I’ve added your feedback on having the ability to view the BibTeX key within the PDF viewer to our internal feature request tracker.

You can already edit BibTeX citation keys to something more intuitive for individual items in your library. In another forum post I describe how to do that.

Again, the simple solution to make it less tedious is to show the bibtex key by default for all entries after the user selects this option a few times. That would avoid the annoying scroll and select action for each one.

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Once again… please could you implement this very simple fix to make it easier to add/edit bibtex customized keys? Someone who knows the code could do it in probably 2h work. Thanks!