Override file links - path to linked files

I am running JabRef 5.2 on a Ubuntu 20.04 system.
On my hard disk, I have a folder with my Mendeley files.
In JabRef, I have loaded the corresponding bib file.

I have read this help page in order to link the entries in JabRef to their corresponding pdf files in the Mendeley folder, to no avail.
The link set in both /Options/Preferences/Linked files and /Library/Library properties are ignored.

What can I do to make this work?


Please check if you have ticked the checkbox (“Search and stores files relative to the library location”) directly beneath the “Main file directory” under Options Preferences.
You need to uncheck that because it will take precedence over all other options,

Thanks Christoph. I have unchecked the box, but this did not solve the problem. JabRef insists on a path in which it repeats my home folder twice (see screenshot) - even when I remove my preferred path (see screenshot in post below).



@Henk_Harmsen , could you try with the latest version of JabRef, and don’t forget to save a backup of your library beforehand.

I haven’t set the properties of the library, but this is my preference window,

and I can’t replicate the problematic paths.

I have installed JabRef 5.3.
and put the settings as in your screenshot

the path still seems to be ignored

Hum, that is weird. It looks like it skips file:// for some reason.

Does it work as a temporary workaround if you set the pdf-viewer manually in JabRef preferences → External programs → Manage external file types → pdf?

Is your path maybe a symlink? I am not sure if JabRef resolves them

I think I have solved the issue, by just grepping through the bibtex file. Steps:

  1. Remove the absolute file path in the bibtex file (search/replace). Leave the colon “:”.
  2. In /Options/Preferences/Linked Files, set the path to the folder with your files.
  3. The files are not picked up automatically, but when you click on the field in the entry table and then the “General” tab, you can double click the field and then “Apply”.

Remaining problem: authors with special signs in their names have curly brackets in the bibtex file but not in the actual file name (in my case, since I set Mendeley to rename files to Author-Year-Title.pdf).

JabRef has a list of illegal characters that can’t be used because of cross platform compatibility in file names.

If you are ok with destructive operations (that is, back up before trying this because I don’t think it is reversible) under “Cleanup entries” you can use “LaTeX to Unicode” on the Author field. (don’t forget to press the enter key before pressing “OK”).

Did I misunderstand the issue?