Paperpile development progress


Hi folks, I’m Jason and I’ve been with Paperpile since 2016. Some of you might know me from this forum or from the in-app support chat. I have been working on some big improvements to our PDF annotator: it is faster, has shape annotations, syncs in realtime with the mobile app, and supports more kinds of PDFs. Some of this is also related to being able to bring the annotations into Paperpile, as Aravind mentioned.

I also work on the Word plugin with Jozsef, Stefan, and Nic. I implemented the code our plugin uses on the Word side to read and change the document, as well as the code which communicates with the desktop app. Compared to other companies, we decided to go a more traditional route using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) to write our Word plugin - this makes sure it is as fast as possible and can make the changes to the documents we desire (sneak peek: if you use a footnote style, it can add the footnote for you and bring you back to the text afterwards so you can keep typing).

While working on the new stuff is fun, I also work on the web-app and chrome extension - especially on the regular updates we do to make sure that reference imports and PDF downloads work for the 1000s of publisher pages we support.


Hi guys, I think it’s totally awesome that the developers are chiming in to give us users a taste of what’s to come. You’d never see that with a mega-trillion $$$ company (too bad). Jason, if I might be so bold, I was wondering if it ever might be possible that PP will to support other article-delivering platforms (such as American Psychological Association’s psycnet It would be very cool to have an ‘add-to-PP’ button and to upload papers directly from the website (the same interface as google scholar). Thanks for your thoughts.


Wow. I am so happy to hear from Stephan and others. As I’ve said before, I want Paperpile to fully work. There isn’t a better product there, or else I’d simply leave and stop harassing these folks on the forum . However, a full product, in my opinion means that you can add papers to your database from mobile, and ideally that mobile google docs works with Paperpile. I’m even (personally) willing to give up Word. And I’ve paid, and will continue to pay. But I argue that part of the subscription model in software is that by making periodic payments that development also proceeds more uniformly. I think that I was within my rights to suggest that it appeared to be slowing down, and I don’t think I’m the lone person who thought that way. I’ve gotten several colleagues to switch over to Paperpile, BTW.


Hi all! I work at Paperpile as a Node.js Software Engineer. As a developer-by-nature it was a bit hard to find a reason to take active part on the forum - I will try to do better!

Let me share some of the stuff I work on. The core of my job is to work closely with Stefan to implement, set up and release the new Node.js based infrastructure. Node.js ecosystem not only makes it easier to find new team members, it will also enable the team to implement new features and release fast without breaking stuff. The new infrastructure provides a backend for the new Mobile app, the new PDF annotator and it allows us to do some cool stuff like seamlessly incorporating annotations from 3rd party PDF annotators and more.

As a teaser I think I can share that I also work with Andreas and Stefan on a secret project, which is for now - well - secret.


Full text search in PDFs

Hey guys!

I’m Dzemila, Community Manager at Paperpile. Just like Jason, some of you might already know me from the in-app support chat. I’m afraid I don’t have any awesome features that I’m working on that I can share here – I’m not a developer. :blush: But I’ve spent a great deal of time analyzing thousands of your responses to our Mobile app and Word Plugin questions to a) understand the product better and b) make sure we don’t miss out on any feature requests.

Well equipped with all the new knowledge I’ve gained, I will be here to answer your questions and contribute to discussions in the forum going forward.


In general, you can use the Paperpile “P” button in the Chrome toolbar to add papers from publisher’s pages. It will show a green triangle if it thinks there’s an article on the page (). This currently works on the individual search result pages on psycnet. Getting that to work on psycnet was actually kind of tricky since the website doesn’t load full pages - it loads a scaffolding and adds the paper data later. This is also why it may be difficult to add our buttons to the search results page on psycnet - most other search result pages tell us where to go look for the metadata and we can just go to those pages and get the data for you, but for psycnet it is not so simple. In any case, I will look into it.


Hey Aravind. I could not wait to use the features your are working on.

I posted a feature request relevant to the Chrome popup several days ago, which is about using the popup to search within library and open PDF for viewing. I would appreciate if you and your team could consider supporting this feature.


Hi All!

I’m József (Jozsef is also all right :wink:) and I’m one of the new developers expanding the awesome Paperpile engineering team, currently working together with Stefan and Jason on the Word plugin. My responsibilities are including things like making the add-in install and work seamlessly on both Mac and Windows with feature parity and automatic version updates, adding offline capability - so you can query your library from Word without internet access. Then there are some benefits of the new back-end infrastructure that can be transferred to the plugin. One example is real time synchronization between devices and platforms will include Word too.

To join in with teasing I also have a secret side project that will bring you a lot of fun for sure, but only after the plugin is out there and proves to be what you needed.

I would also like to say a few words about my personal experience joining the team. I started a few months ago and as a newcomer to a company previously unknown to me I had my initial doubts which I think is natural in a remote setup. We have to get included first, invest in each other and trust that the other party will keep it’s promises in the end. Paperpile and the people behind the name so far proved to be very reliable as an employer, being fair, helping me in every way possible and that -for me- shows their commitment to the development and future of the product. I wanted to be open about this as I think it’s something that can indicate the plans and attitude of the company fairly well.

Talk again soon,


Hi, Jason, when I use the PP toolbar icon on the search results, I get a PP record of type website, with the title psycnet and url of the page. e.g.,

that’s not a paper.

When I use the PP toolbar icon on a single psychnet record/paper, I get the following errors:

  • title APA PsycNET
  • pdf - not found

I see what you mean about the article itself - neither the html or the pdf is on the first page. Funny the source for the search results looks almost identical to the single article page…


Hey everyone,

I’m Carlos, those of you participating in the mobile beta may know me already, either from the forum or from the support messaging app. My work revolves mostly around the Android and iOS applications, as such, I would like to give you an overview of all the changes we’re making to these apps.

To start, the biggest change you’ll see in the upcoming version is a much more optimised sync operation. This is where most people have experienced issues with the current beta, and we believe it to be a key area that needs to work as efficiently and as reliably as possible, so in order to make sure that happens and that the issues people were having with the sync are properly addressed, we decided to rewrite it from scratch and have it use our new server infrastructure from the start.

By doing so, it allowed us to improve on many things, one of which was the way PDF annotations are synced, making it possible to have near-realtime syncs with our web based annotator and only transfer incremental changes. We’ve also added support for the Apple Pencil and added new annotation tools to our PDF annotator.

The mobile app is also not read-only anymore, you can now organise your library, create/update labels and folders and define them as “offline”, to keep specific parts of your library always synced on your device.

We’re working really hard on this, and we hope we can share it with you soon.

Android private beta (old)

To be clear, I have tested it to work on the individual search result pages - their urls start with “” and you get to these by clicking on a title in the search results screen. I have seen the import on those pages fail on occasion, so if that happens, just delete the reference, refresh the search result page, and try again. I will do more testing on APA when we next update our crawlers.


thank you Jason. It seems to only work sometimes on the individual pages. Here are some that I found did not work for me:

Hornyak, Lynne (Sum 2002). 13-15. APA Division 30, Society of Psychological Hypnosis. - no PDF

Wallace, C. E. (2015). Electronic health records: A graduate student’s experience. Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology, 3(2), 179-181. - no/partial metadata

Rados, Carol; US Department of Health and Human Services; Food and Drug Administration (Mar 2006). US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Food and Drug Administration (FDA). - no metadata, no/partial PDF

Holloway, Jennifer Daw (Jan 2004). American Psychological Association (APA), Governance Affairs Office. - no PDF, partial metadata


Hey Stefan: I’m going to rename this thread to one more closely resembling the original title. It appears that suggesting that your product is dead is the only way to get your attention. This is sort of a joke. You once again promised something (an update to the serve by the last Sunday in June. Maybe you meant June 2019?


We released a major update to our infrastructure and PDF annotator on June 23rd and a follow-up update on July 4th. You can see these in our changelog.

We will release updates to the mobile app betas when we are satisfied with their functioning on the new infrastructure.

  1. Please read my post again you are referring to. We did exactly what I mentioned there: June 17 we switched out all database servers; June 24 we put the new application servers powering the mobile backend in production and released the public beta of our PDF viewer (which already uses those servers). Our mobile app beta is already with a few selected customers.
  2. That’s enough. I kindly ask you to leave this forum and never post here again. You will understand that I cannot let you keep insulting me or my team. We’ve reviewed all your past posts carefully and found that their abusive nature is unacceptable. So please let us do our work and have a civil discussion on our forum with the rest of the community.