Colored references would be useful

When Paperpile inserts a citation, it is inserted in a blue font. As a result, newly inserted citations stand out nicely against the black text. However, when the bibliography is updated the new citations turn black, making them more difficult to spot. It would be useful to maintain colored citations in our manuscripts. Many journals now do this because the citations link actively to the bibliography or to webpages. I would like new citations be entered in one color and to have the option of displaying updated citations in another color. This would be extremely useful in editing large manuscripts, such as review papers, with massive numbers of citations. Thanks for considering this.


I agree! That would be a very handy feature to add.

Just knocked up this script to distract myself from work. Does what you asked for. To use it, go to ‘Tools > Script editor’ and copy it in. You could also use it as a private add-on for all your docs.


We do not have any current plans for allowing colored references - it is not really a feature supported by the citation style engine we use, but you can use our optional sidebar add-on to unformat your citations. Many have found this useful for reviewing large manuscripts, but you will still have to format the citations to black before submitting your manuscripts.

You can get the sidebar here:

I tried the side bar link but it would not work. Any other options?

Hi @Sydney, welcome to the forum! Here is the new link to the Google Docs sidebar add-on.