Search library and open PDF through browser extension button without opening the application webpage


I was wondering if it is possible to search within library and open PDF tabs right next to the current tab through the browser extension button without going to the application webpage. For example, open a small library search menu after typing certain keyboard shortcut like the current “add as reference” one.

Although the application webpage supports searching by keyboard shortcut “/”, I have to open the application webpage by finding the browser window with the application webpage (the following steps won’t work on other windows), clicking the extension button, and clicking the “Open Paperpile”. After some search, I have to find the tab that I left for going to Paperpile.

The current library search workflow is somewhat inconvenient or even annoying when I want to search multiple times or view multiple PDFs, and it interrupts the ordering of relevant tabs. The paper that I want to search and view is usually related to the tab that I am browsing. The disordered tabs can hardly be located, especially when multiple PDF viewer tabs are adjacent to each other.

I currently keep the application webpage tab as the third one in a window, so that I can use Cmd+3 to switch to it after finding the window. The reason for Cmd+3 is that Cmd+1 and Cmd+2 are keyboard shortcuts to zoom in PDF viewer tabs.

Updated workflow for searching:

  1. Open a new tab.
  2. Enter the url of , which is usually the first suggestion after typing the first two characters “pa”.
  3. Search with shortcut “/”.
  4. Open PDF.
  5. Go back to the application tab with Cmd+shift+[
  6. Search more or close the application tab.

This new workflow is good enough for me, but searching through extension button would improve the experience.

Paperpile development progress