Is it possible to roll back database from Jabref 4 to Jabref 2 format?


Bib files of Jabref 4 and Jabref 2 seem to be incompatable.
I opened and saved my bib files in Jabref 4. After that , Jabref 2 cannot recognize the groups any more.

I like the design of Jabref 4, but the current version is so unstable. I had to restart it already 100 times in the past two days.

Is there a way to roll the bib files back to the Jabref 2 format?


sorry. JabRef is not backwards compatible, especially not the groups.They changed in the version 3.8.2 to 4.x.
You could try the latest master version 5.x which contains already a lot of fixes and also performance improvements.
But remember to make a backup of your library before trying it out:

Hi Christoph,

Thanks, I tried 5.0, but gonna reinstall now back jabref 4. The reasons:

  • Jabref 5 is much slower in my case
  • When selecting a column (like author) and pressing a few buttons, the selection does not jump to the first matching name.
  • When the edit window is open, selecting a line in columns automatically activates the author input field. If you type to do a search, you overwrite the author.
  • Not specific to jabref 5. I never could understand why an entry is not active and not visible, whenever I edit the entry below. Like I create a new entry and edit it, but if I want to autogenerate the key, I need to find this entry manually in the list, select, and only then press autogenerate. Why cannot I change the key following the pattern right in the edit window?
  • Once I am talking about enhancements, why the file name in the clean/rename tool is not editable? Say the program says that the name will be like that, but I would like to be able to correct it in that window.



thanks for your feedback. The 5.0 is currently still under development and there are still some issues left open, because we are in the process of migrating to the new GUI technology.

I cannot confirm the second issue on Windows 10. When I doubleclick on an entry in the column I explictily have to click in the author field to modify it.
But if you selected it once, the author field will still have the focus if you change the entry.
However, if you click again in the table on the entry the focus is no longer in the author field.

The 3rd issue:
Already possible: Either you press CTRL+G or you click on the key-icon in the left bar.

The 4th issue:
The filename is created using a pattern you can define in the options under Import, you can there also define a pattern for a folder. The pattern follows the same as the bibtexkeypattern: