How do you report bugs in JabRef?

At JabRef > Options > Preferences > Entry Preview

If you move more than a certain number of entries from the Available box to the Selected box, you get an error as shown in the attached image.

In my version of JabRef (JabRef 5.3–2021-07-05–50c96a2, Windows 7 6.1 amd64, Java 16.0.1, JavaFX 16+8 ), this bug appears after having moved all entries from the Available box, up to the entry Australian Veterinary Journal ; then, when moving the following entry Australian Journal of Development Studies… the problem illustrated in the attached image appears.

A feature that would be nice in JabRef is a preview of citation styles. That is why I tried to move all Available entries to the Selected box.

Thank you,

Daniel Guibord

Could you post the full error code + the stuff that can be found under “show details”? - Maybe as textfile if it is too long.

A quick guess is that this something has to do with storing with the preferences. The current style is stored in the preferences and it could be that the style is causing problems

Hello Thilote,

I cannot post the error code, other than the one you see in the image, because it cannot be selected with the mouse cursor. Moreover, the show details button does not show any details either (picture attached).


Dan Guibord
2021 09 27 - bug-1c - show details

At the top of the error code window, it says value too long: Acta Neurologica Experimentalis; customized preview

Acta Neurologica Experimentalis is one of the citation styles.

Can you make something out of that message?



By citation styles I meant reference styles.


Dan Guibord

If somebody can make something out of it, then probably rather Christoph.

One additional note though:

Are you sure you want to push ALL the styles to the selected box? Currently the only way known to me that allows you to change the preview style is by going to view and then clicking next preview style (F9) or previous preview style (Shift+F9); So if you push 5000 preview styles to the selected box and you want to try out ALL of them, you would need to press F9 on your keyboard 5000 times … :sweat_smile::tipping_hand_man: … and when you find one you like, but then press another 300 times more, because you wanted to check out the others, you need to press it 300 times again to go back to the one you liked. :sweat_smile::sweat_smile:

Thanks for replying Thilote.

To preview the reference styles once they are in the Selected box, you only need to stay at the Selected box and use the DOWN and UP arrow keys.
As best as I’m informed, there are 500 styles.

Anyhow, I’ve just decided to not use JabRef as there are too many bugs in it.

Once again, thank you very much for your interest.


Hello Daniel,

thanks for your report. I will create a bug report, I could reproduce this issue and I remember that we once had a similar one which was closely related. JabRef tries to store the information (the names) about all selected styles in the Registry, and it seems that if you move over all styles it hits the character limit of the Registry.

I will create a bug report at our issue tracker. I think an easy solution would to be to enable the preview feature as well for the list of available styles.

Anyhow, I’ve just decided to not use JabRef as there are too many bugs in it.

I’m sorry to hear that you have had inconveniences when using JabRef. Every release contains many bug fixes, but please note that all maintainers of JabRef only work in their free time at JabRef (despite many of them having a full-time job.

Best Regards

The solution you propose would indeed be the best solution Christoph !!!

It is with regret that I’ve decided to not use JabRef. The interface is well designed and JabRef has a lot of features.


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@dguibord The development version now shows the preview for the avialable styles and also feature a search interface to quickly filter the available styles

@dguibord Since you said there are too many bugs (as in plural) …you probably also came across this bug while using the entry preview: Selecting an Entry preview style triggers an Uncaught Exception · Issue #7860 · JabRef/jabref · GitHub

Christoph has identified the cause to lie within an external library, that already has filed a fix for it, but of which the newest version has not been published yet. These error messages in the preview are quite annoying for now (Luckily, I have not experienced any adverse effects of just closing the error message), but this error will likely go away once the new version of the external library is out.

Thank you very much!!!
Very appreciated!!!

I’ll use JabRef for the work I’m doing; a book to be published in very approximately 4-6 months.


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Hey Dan,

Selecting an Entry preview style triggers an Uncaught Exception · Issue #7860 · JabRef/jabref · GitHub has been solved.

In the current development version you can now freely scroll and click through previews of citation-styles without triggering errors.

Thank you very much to you all. Great work!

It is very appreciated!


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