Word/Google docs workaround?


I love paperpile for its’ ease of use, and have convinced most of my team to switch to writing in Gdocs and referencing with paperpile. The issue here is so problematic it might break things for me.

I wrote, collaborated, and referenced everything in an active Google Doc. Great. The journal requires submission in Word format, as per usual in my field.

The editors and reviewers turn it around and send me back a version laced with track changes. This is ok except… they ask me to insert a few additional references throughout. I have 40 references, this will be a huge pain to keep track of what numbers change where.

I can’t viably make all the changes from the Word doc into the Google doc so I can easily change the references.

I also can’t easily alter the references in the Word doc without having to change all the numbering manually.

Can anyone suggest a workaround? Or am I resigning myself to a long night of meticulous reference number manipulation…which is what a reference manager is supposed to avoid in the first place…

Thanks for any suggestions!


I would upload the Word document with the edits to Google Docs, I believe comments and such are retained when uploading. Then copy over the references one by one from the old Google Doc to the new one, then format the references. It would still be 40 copy/paste operations, but would be somewhat manageable.

You can use the “unformat” option in our sidebar to make the references in your old document pop out as blue placeholders.

Lastly, I would note that you cannot format references while in “suggesting” mode, so you will have to accept any citation changes you make then exit suggesting mode (if in it) before formatting the references.


For future instances, you may want to check out the workarounds mentioned in this thread. I haven’t tried it but seems someone was able to preserve the citations through word and back.


This is useful - I will try it for next time!