Browser Extension

The official browser extension automatically identifies and extracts bibliographic information on websites and sends them to JabRef with one click.

Firefox - Chrome - Edge - Vivaldi

JabRef has an official browser extension. It automatically identifies and extracts bibliographic information on websites and sends them to JabRef with one click.

When you find an interesting article through Google Scholar, the arXiv or journal websites, this browser extension allows you to add those references to JabRef. Even links to accompanying PDFs are sent to JabRef, where those documents can easily be downloaded, renamed and placed in the correct folder. A wide range of publisher sites, library catalogs and databases are supported.

Installation and Configuration

Normally, you simply install the extension from the browser store and are ready to go.

Firefox - Chrome - Edge - Vivaldi

While Chrome extensions can work in Edge (and will install), JabRef is configured to work with the Edge extension in the Edge Browser, and the Chrome extension in the Chrome Browser. It will not work if they are mixed.

Most JabRef installations include the necessary files, so test the extension before proceeding with the following instructions. However, sometimes, a manual installation is necessary (e.g. if you use the portable version of JabRef). In this case, please take the following steps:

Windows

  1. Make sure you have at least JabRef 5.0 installed.

  2. Install the JabRef browser extension: Firefox, Chrome, Vivaldi

  3. On Windows 7, please upgrade Powershell.

  4. Download the following files and copy them to the same directory as JabRef.exe

  5. Make sure that the correct file name of the JabRef.bat file is specified in JabRefHost.ps1 under $jabRefExe.

  6. Run the following command from the console (with the correct path to the jabref.json file):

    For Firefox support:

    REG ADD "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Mozilla\NativeMessagingHosts\org.jabref.jabref" /ve /d "C:\path\to\jabref-firefox.json" /f

    For Chrome/Opera/Brave/Vivaldi and other chromium based browser support:

    REG ADD "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Google\Chrome\NativeMessagingHosts\org.jabref.jabref" /ve /d "C:\path\to\jabref-chrome.json" /f

    For Edge support:

    REG ADD "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Edge\NativeMessagingHosts\org.jabref.jabref" /ve /t REG_SZ /d "C:\path\to\jabref.json" /f

    You may need to change the root HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE to HKEY_CURRENT_USER if you don't have admin rights.

Linux

Deb, RPM or Portable

  1. Download and install the Debian package of JabRef 5.0

  2. Install the JabRef browser extension: Firefox, Chrome, Vivaldi

    3.a Firefox: Download org.jabref.jabref.json and put it into

    • /usr/lib/mozilla/native-messaging-hosts/org.jabref.jabref.json to install with admin rights for all users

    • ~/.mozilla/native-messaging-hosts/org.jabref.jabref.json to install without admin rights for the current user

      3.b Chrome: Download org.jabref.jabref.json and put it into

    • /etc/opt/chrome/native-messaging-hosts/org.jabref.jabref.json to install with admin rights for all users

    • ~/.config/google-chrome/NativeMessagingHosts/org.jabref.jabref.json to install without admin rights for the current user

      3.c Chromium: Download org.jabref.jabref.json and put it into

    • /etc/chromium/native-messaging-hosts/org.jabref.jabref.json to install with admin rights for all users

    • ~/.config/chromium/NativeMessagingHosts/org.jabref.jabref.json to install without admin rights for the current user

      3.d Edge: Download org.jabref.jabref.json and put it into

    • /etc/opt/edge/native-messaging-hosts/org.jabref.jabref.json to install with admin rights for all users

    • ~/.config/microsoft-edge/NativeMessagingHosts/org.jabref.jabref.json to install without admin rights for the current user

Snap

  1. Install the snap package of JabRef 5.0

  2. Install the JabRef browser extension: Firefox, Chrome, Vivaldi

  3. Connect the appropriate plug for the selected browser:

    • Firefox: snap connect jabref:hostfs-mozilla-native-messaging-jabref

    • Chrome: snap connect jabref:etc-opt-chrome-native-messaging-jabref

    • Chromium: snap connect jabref:etc-chromium-native-messaging-jabref

    • Edge: snap connect jabref:etc-opt-edge-native-messaging-jabref

Mac OS

  1. Download and install the DMG package of JabRef 5.0.

  2. Install the JabRef browser extension: Firefox, Chrome, Vivaldi

    3.a Firefox: If it's not auto-installed for you, download org.jabref.jabref.json and put it into

    • /Library/Application Support/Mozilla/NativeMessagingHosts/org.jabref.jabref.json to install with admin rights for all users

    • ~/Library/Application Support/Mozilla/NativeMessagingHosts/org.jabref.jabref.json to install without admin rights for the current user

      3.b Chrome based: If it's not auto-installed for you, download org.jabref.jabref.json and put it into

    • /Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/NativeMessagingHosts/org.jabref.jabref.json to install with admin rights for all users

    • ~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/NativeMessagingHosts/org.jabref.jabref.json to install without admin rights for the current user

      3.c Edge: If it's not auto-installed for you, download org.jabref.jabref.json and put it into

    • /Library/Microsoft/Edge/NativeMessagingHosts/org.jabref.jabref.json to install with admin rights for all users

    • ~/Library/Application Support/Microsoft Edge {Channel_Name}/NativeMessagingHosts/org.jabref.jabref.json to install without admin rights for the current user

      The {Channel_Name} in Microsoft Edge {Channel_Name} must be one of the following values: Canary, Dev, Beta.

      When using the Stable release/channel, {Channel_Name} is not required.

Usage

After the installation, you should be able to import bibliographic references into JabRef directly from your browser. Just visit a publisher site or some other website containing bibliographic information (for example, the arXiv) and click the JabRef symbol in the Firefox search bar (or press Alt+Shift+J). Once the JabRef browser extension has extracted the references and downloaded the associated PDF's, the import window of JabRef opens.

You might want to configure JabRef so that new entries are always imported in an already opened instance of JabRef. For this, activate "Listen to remote operation on port" under the "Network" tab of the JabRef Preferences.

Troubleshooting

In case you have Adblock Plus extension and Jabref extension doesn't work

1) Go to zotero.org . 2) Deactivate adblock plus extension for the whole domain (zotero.org) by clicking on the Adblock plus extension button and sliding corresponding slider to allow adds on the whole domain. 3) Close and reopen the browser in order to reload all the extension and their settings. 4) Verify the functioning of the Jabref extension by visiting a page you know it's working to extract its bibliographic data (for example, the arXiv) by pressing the extension button or Alt + Shift + J.

In case you encounter problems in this procedure refer to issue #241 on GitHub for further help.