Incorporating JabRef (or .bibtxt) on IPad

I know this has been discussed before here and here, but I would like to see if there are any new updates since then which can solve my needs. And this isn’t really specific to JabRef, but more about reading.bibtex file on IPad.

My workflow is to have the master .bibtxt in my reference directory which also includes the PDFs of all references. I include the file URL (relative to the master .bibtxt file) in each entry inside the .bibtxt file, so when I can easily open the PDFs within JabRef. Since the whole thing is backed up in OneDrive or Google Drive, I can access my library and browse all the different papers in different groups in both my personal and work desktops easily.

I can access my reference directory on my IPad without issues, and I can open a .bibtxt file as a text file, but are there any ways where I can open the PDF when browsing the bibtxt file in a ‘human-readable’ way? Like are there any tricks or external apps on IOS which allows me to manage .bibtxt files? I have read somewhere before where someone commented using JabRef + Bookends, but I don’t think I can import an existing library without paying (I don’t mind paying a little bit but I want to make sure it does the job I need before committing).

At the end I just want to utilize my IPad more when reading files (I don’t need to edit the .bibtxt library, just open PDFs by clicking the relevant entry in the library). Having the ‘Groups’ feature in JabRef would be nice but not necessary. The bare minimum is to see the basic info like paper title, journal, year, authors, etc, and then I can open the PDF with a click (or finger ‘touch’). I have briefly tried other apps like Zotero but I still prefer the core functionality of JabRef (when I’m editing the library on desktop), and just want a simple solution to reading the library on IPad without ditching JabRef.

I don’t have an ipad, but if it is anything like Linux or Windows 10, then you need to set a default pdf viewer. When you then click on the pdf in JabRef’s maintable, your pdf viewer will open. Hope I understood you right!


Thanks for your response. Unfortunately, on an IPad getting to an interface similar to what you posted seems to be the main step causing issues. Since JabRef is not available on IOS, right now I can only open the .bibtex file as a text file on IPad, so there is no way for me to automatically connect the file location stored as e.g. file = {:papers/2023_Smith_Nature.pdf} in the .bibtex file to the actual pdf even if I have configured the default pdf viewer properly. That’s why I would like to know if there are any existing solutions to open or convert the .bibtex already created into something that allows me to link the file location to the actual PDF with just a few simple clicks or touches.

Have you tried running the MacOS version of JabRef?