Update JabRef 5.0 on Windows question

I was thinking about updating my Jabref version from 4.3.1 to 5.0.
But I am hesitating because
a) My screen resolution is 1920 x 1080, and when I open a bibtex item of a bib database file, the writing is very small, and I am not able to read it, while 95% of the screen is empty. Then I click alt2 twice and I get the overview list view. Why can a single item not be displayed in a resolution that it can be read? And: most important: Is that bug repaired in the 5.0 version?
b) I remember when updating to 4.3.1 from the previous version, version 4.3.1 did neither take my Preferences not field definitions of the entriey types from before. I had, for every entry type (book, article etc), define my fields by hand the way I wanted them.
Is that bug repaired in version 5.0?
c) If I look at the site
it looks like things, as far as readability is concerned, have gotten worse in the new version 5.0. Is that so, or can I adjust for example the field width (who in the world needs that wide field width in the Author/Editor field?)?

Instead there is a black theme now (who in the world needs that - see https://blog.jabref.org/)

I hope somebody can reverse my bad opinion about Jabref, since everybody seems to think that it is not a bad tool.
The most important thing though: can I run Jabref 4.3.1 parallel to Jabref 5.0, just in case that I decide to de-install Jabref 5.0 if the experience is too bad?

I am not a computer person but an Egyptologist with lots of work ahead of me. So I need a lot of literature and a good data base system, without having to put a lot of my time into adjusting Jabref.

Thank you for any opinion or help


thanks for sticking with JabRef and your feedback. I am trying to answer your questions.
Please keep in mind that all JabRef developers work in their free time and nobody gets paid for it.

a) You can increase the font size and in JabRef 5.0 that also has an effect on the main table.
Also we have integrated the Entry Preview as Tab in the entry editor.

b) The feature has been reworked, especially the dialog. It’s now possible again to add and modify the entry types like article or books. The Preferences regarding custom entry types from 4.3 and 5.0 have not changed.
However, the only thing which does not yet work is to change the order of the fields in the Entry editor. We are working on this.

c) JabRef’s User interface got a complete overhaul and is now suitable for high dpi displays. As I said above, you can always change the font size in the preferences.

d) Dark Theme: A lot of users are using it and we received a lot of positive feedback about it.

e) Working with JabRef 4.3.1 and 5.0 parallel is only working partially, because in JabRef 5.0 the preferences for storing the columns has been modified. This means opening 4.3.1 again will show some empty columns. You would need to reset your preferences to make 4.3.1 work again,
However, the good news, in our latest development version, this issue has already been fixed.

Best regards and a nice weekend!
Stay safe.


Hi, Christoph,

thank you very much for your feedback.
Just sending you two screenshots that you see what my two main problems are. I tried
to solve them when I installed the 4.3.1 verson by changing the font lize It works well with the table view,
but please look at:

which shows my screen when I push [alt 2] once. That font is much too small!!

which shows my screen when I want to change the type of the entry. That font is now much too large!!

In both cases I have tried my best to change it via the preferences menue, without much success as you can see.

I think I will stick to Jabref 4.3.1 for another while, amongh other things
because I am in the middle of a project which will last another 10 months or so.
By then the Jabref 5.0 (borderline-)bugs might have been worked on, and I will do it at the same time I change from

bibtex to bibLatex, that I can coordinate the fields.

HAve a nice day, and thanks again for your help.

(Attachment Font_much_too_large.pdf is missing)

(Attachment page_99percent_empty.pdf is missing)

my screenshots did not make it. How can I get a screenshot to you?


attachments are not working when you respond from email,
You can however directly paste them in the forum here.

Hi, Christoph
here is my first attached file: 99% of the page is empty
(second image follow)

Hi, Christoph,
here is my second image : If I want to change the entry type the font is much too large.
I am using Jabref 4.3.1
Thanks for your help


regarding the first screenshot: You can resize the Preview Panel as well, just grab the border with the mouse and resize… Usually it has the size of the entry editor so that you can still see the table.

In the 5.1 dev version this looks much better with increased font size:

I suggest you try out the current development version: You can use the portable version.
It’s recommned to make a backup of your library before trying out the version

Hi, Christoph,

I will change to the relevant newer version eventually. Just afraid that if I take the newest development version I will be stranded with no database at all, and at the moment, that is a no-go.

resize the Preview Panel as well, just grab the border
This might be part of the problem: the preview panel in my screenshot cannot be resized, it is on maximum size already (and there are no borders to grab). I can of course change the whole JabRef window, but that does not change that tiny font of the Preview window. So, that doesn’t help.

I think I’ll keep limping for a while, watch the Forum and when the development is at version 5.5 :wink: all errors might be found and I will re-install.

Thanks for your help, have a nice day and stay healthy!

you can change the font size of the Preview as well (It’s just html).
Go to Preferences -> Entry preview -> Select “Preview”. There should be shown some html code which starts with the following line
<font face="sans-serif">
just modify it to include the size:
<font face="sans-serif" size="15"> e.g. will set the font size to 15 now

Hi, Christoph,

I did like you suggested, and I am impressed: there is really text in the preview
:wink: and I can read it ;-)) That really helps!

Thank you so much for your patience with an Egyptologist.

Have a nice day and stay healthy

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