Entry preview layout files

Hello, many thanks for JabRef - it is awesome!

JabRef has an impressive list of entry preview layouts. Does anyone know where the underlying layout files are?

It seems that only the layout for the standard “Preview” can be modified in the preferences. It would be great to get access to the layout files, and allow editing right in JabRef. I would like to use an existing style and make some subtle changes to it before saving it as a new style. How can I do this?

Also, I have not figured out where the custom export layout styles show up, or how I export in custom export layout.

Many thanks!


JabRef makes use of the extensive list of citations styles from here:

There is also an editor for creating your own:

See also this post:


Many thanks for your reply. I am a little confused by 2 things:
1 - JabRef help (http://help.jabref.org/en/Preview) says: “entry preview is created using the same mechanism as used by the Custom export filter facility”. However, the code which is shown below the “Preview” doesn’t look anything like the description for the custom export filter syntax.
2 - you say that JabRef uses the CSL styles found on http://editor.citationstyles.org/about/. So this is, again, a completely new syntax. So does JabRef interpret CSL internally? I.e., if I add to the CSL list, will I be able to select the style in JabRef? Or, how do I add a new CSL for use in JabRef?

Thanks for clarifying. Btw, I think JabRef is absolutely awesome!


Hello Gabriel,

yeah this is a bit confusing :wink:
First of all JabRefs Internal Preview Mechanism is just some HTML formatting with the field identfiers and syntax from the Custom Export Filters (Note: You don’t have to create a layout file for it, just enter it in the preview panel under Settings)

  1. The CSL is an external libary with a collection of all kind of styles. These styles are interpreted by JabRef.
    To use this one, just select it in the Settings. For example, if you want to use IEEE style, select it from the List.
    If you have a custom CSL style which is not avaiable online, you can manually put in the JabRef.jar root.
    For this, you have to open the jar file with 7zip or a similar archiver and put the file into it.

However, if your style is not too special, the best way would be to add it to the public repository here:

Editing in JabRef direclty is currently not possible, but you could add a Feature Request here in the forum and see how many others are also interested in editing.

Best Regards,