Add support for offline mode



ok, thanks Stefan. fair enough. If this issue gets to be a big problem I’ll look into the pros/cons of uninstalling chrome and reinstalling it on my D drive, versus just cleaning some old C drive stuff away. Fortunately, all my .pdfs are only about 1 GB. thanks for the reply.


Paperpile creates a folder for all PDFs within your Google Drive.

Wherever you choose to sync your Google Drive (or just that folder), that’s where you will find all the PDFs from Paperpile.


I completely agree…an offline version would greatly increase your user base and usefulness to many of us that work when we travel and cannot get “online”


+1 for include offline support. As many have stated, this is the limiting factor for many folks in my lab.


Stefan, thanks for being candid about no concrete plans to add offline functionality. Offline support although I use rarely, i.e., poor wifi reception, traveling, conferences, hotels, it become crucial for those times when I need to look up into paperpile and there is no Internet. I am currently on paperpile trial and contemplating to give up zotero + box webdav for storage which I love most. As some of users mentioned, browsing through pile of pdfs, either cached or stored on drive does not help without standard web interface of paperpile which gives awesome annotation functionality for linux users. That is the principle reason I switched from zotero to paperpile as on-the-fly pdf annotations for linux user is still a big issue for zotero. So, I may end up keeping both zotero and paperpile for while and hopefully, at some point give up my obsession for offline mode.


(would be a great feature)


Please, please work towards offline mode. I cannot rely on Paperpile, or push my students to do the same, without offline. I serve students in rural areas, and areas where there is limited internet access; many bring computers to campus to work and use the internet, than continue from home with modest connections. The issue is not only being able to work on the plane, but also what about internet outages … large universities have outages. Everyone experiences outages.


I think part of the problem here is also that different people have different ideas of what “offline” should look like:

  1. Offline searching for articles (by meta-data or full-text) - i.e. finding an article to read or cite. If you can sync the Drive folder containing your PDFs and use a desktop search engine then this can be worked around.
  2. Offline citing of articles in Google Docs (since Docs works offline)
  3. Offline management of your library (tagging, sorting, etc.)

Once the Word plugin is released, I guess that will be the next request - to insert citations into a Word doc offline.

Personally I think if the library were available offline in a limited way and usable for inserting citations that would be wonderful; I can deal with the PDFs another way. Having said that, in an ideal world I would then simply point Paperpile offline to my locally sync’d folder to open the PDF in my OS.


+1 from me on offline mode. This app is still so much better than every single other reference manager - believe me I have tried them all.

I wonder if someone can clue me in as to what part of your workflow is done on a cell phone? or is it tablets? I just don’t understand the whole android iOS preoccupation. I guess I have gotten old.


I think the most common use would be to download PDFs to the mobile device and being able to read them there.


From our research the major use case for mobile is reading and annotating PDFs on an iPad or Android tablet.


Another +1 for offline mode.


If I can’t work on an airplane (without internet access) then it’s of no use to me. Honestly. Looks great otherwise though… but I can’t imagine making it my default use-case unless I can write and cite and manage references offline.


As a paying user of Paperpile I’m disappointed that there is no plan for offline use of the Paperpile app. The PDFs aren’t enough because I would like search and synthesize my citations on the plane and other times when internet access is either not available or spotty.

I really hope that you all reverse course on this decision.


Whoever wants this feature, please ‘like’ the OP!


I’ve now heard from several colleagues that the lack of offline mode is the reason they did not switch to paperpile.


Do you know what your colleagues mean with offline mode? I honestly don’t know any complex web-app like Paperpile that has a offline mode (except some Google Apps). I guess what they want is a desktop app like Mendeley or EndNote?


By offline mode I simply meant an efficient means to search your database, generate citations and read the annotated papers. I doubt anybody cares how this is implemented.

I appreciate the difficulty, I I only mention this because this option has been dismissed as not so relevant. I wonder though whether your are looking at the wrong group of people, namely the ones that are already using PaperPile and are obviously happy enough. If you talked to potential users instead you may find different answers.


@Christoph_Ortner the way I worked around the limitation is to synchronize Paperpile Google Drive folder to the computer, and configure Mendeley to watch that folder. This way you have full functionality on the desktop - search, read, annotate, generate citations (sans ability to use Paperpile in Google Docs offline mode), you have a very capable app on your mobile platform (Paperpile mobile app is nowhere near the one from Mendeley), and when you are back online - you can use Paperpile just for Google Docs.

I think it will be hard for Paperpile to compete on the desktop and mobile fronts. It would be interesting if they just established some partnership with Mendeley, and focus just on refining the Google Docs features.


Very interesting - I will try this, thank you.

Combined with always synchronising a bibtex (or other) file to be kept in google docs I think this would completely solve this.

It does feel like a hack, but as you say if it could be an “official” hack, then that could be very convincing!