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BibDesk is a graphical bibliography manager for OS X, providing powerful BibTeX file management for Mac users. It is free and open-source. It is under active development by a small group of volunteer contributors and more are always welcome.

Have a question?

If you have a question about using BibDesk, please first check out the FAQ, then ask on the bibdesk-users mailing list.

See BibDesk in Action


See how everyone's using BibDesk, and share your own BibDesk habits:


Check out one of these screencasts to see some of the ways BibDesk makes managing your reference database easy:


Some tutorials written by users:

A mini-tutorial on getting started with BibDesk:


A short tutorial on how to use BibDesk:


What else does it do?

  • Drag and drop or copy and paste references from the web and other files
  • Open reference files from PubMed directly
  • Edit and search your reference database with ease
  • Keep PDF copies of papers filed automatically
  • Import references in many formats: RIS, Pubmed, Refer, MARC
  • Search online databases directly from within BibDesk
    • PubMed
    • many public libraries using Z39.50
  • Browse Web databases within BibDesk and import data
    • Integrated web browser - see the Web group in the left-hand source list
    • Supports Google Scholar, ACM DL, Hubmed and more
  • Powerful scripting
    • rich AppleScript support
    • script groups and input filters
  • Keep organized with keywords and smart groups
  • Use autocomplete in LaTeX editors for your cite-keys.
  • Format Citations for Editors like Microsoft Word, Pages, and TextEdit.

Below are archived pages from the website. They are to be replaced by Wiki pages.

System Requirements

The current release of BibDesk requires Mac OS X version 10.5 or higher. Both PPC and Intel are supported.

Older releases of BibDesk are available (unsupported) that run on previous versions of OS X:

  • BibDesk version 1.3.22 is the last release compatible with Mac OS X version 10.4.11.
  • BibDesk version 1.2.11 is the last release compatible with Mac OS X version 10.3.9.
  • BibDesk version 1.1.8 is the last release compatible with Mac OS X version 10.2.8.

Current Version

See the BibDesk main page for download links and release notes.

User Documentation

The most current version's User Manual is available. This is the same information that's available from the Help menu inside BibDesk.

What's on the Wiki

About the Wiki

A SourceForge.net user account is required to edit pages, and you need sufficient permissions with the Wiki. This is necessary to avoid regrettable wiki spam. Email an administrator (e.g. Mike) noting your SourceForge user name. You will get edit permissions as long as you're not a robot, you may even get them if you are a friendly robot.

Contributor Kudos

BibDesk is a community project, and wouldn't be nearly as good without people pitching in to help code, test, and write documentation. Thanks to all our Contributors!

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