29 March 2012 by Ricardo

tipstricks  How to series: How to copy & paste formatted citations anywhere (LaTeX too!) [part 5 of 12]Have you ever had to quickly send a reference to someone by email or instant message (IM)? How about send a list of references at once? This can be quite a task if you have to open each PDF, copy the title, author, journal, year, etc. And format them in an email or IM reply.
For these cases, and anywhere you’d like to rapidly copy and paste one or multiple references, Mendeley Desktop has got you covered.
Here’s how:

  1. Open Mendeley Desktop.
  2. Find the folder or group of references you are interested.
  3. Select one or more entries using your mouse (you might need to use CTRL, SHIFT and/or CMD to select multiple entries)
  4. Use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+C (CMD+C for Mac) to copy. Alternatively you can use the menu “Edit > Copy”.
  5. In your email, IM, Google Docs or any other text editing field, paste the content you just copied. Do so by pressing CTRL+V (CMD+V for Mac) or the menu “Edit > Paste”.
  6. There you have it! Formatted references in a few quick steps. Select references, copy, and paste.

Quick note for those paying closer attention: you can also copy the references as LaTeX so the crafty LaTeX users can also enjoy the fun (CTRL+K or CMD+K for Mac)!
Another quick note: You can change the default formatting used in Mendeley Desktop by going to the menu “View > Citation Style”. There are quite a few styles to select from, so enjoy.

Stay tuned for the next entry in this twelve-part series of how-to posts. We’ll be going over supplementary data.

Previous How-to series entries:

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4 Responses to “How-to series: How to copy & paste formatted citations anywhere (LaTeX too!) [part 5 of 12]”

  1. Wally Says:

    It would be even cooler if one could also copy a formatted bibtex-entry this way:

    CTRL+C
    CTRL+V
    –>
    @proceedings{Doe1900,
    author=”John Doe”,
    title=”Foo Bar”,
    year=1900
    }

  2. David Says:

    Let’s try again:

    This feature doesn’t actually work correctly; see

    http://feedback.mendeley.com/forums/4941-mendeley-feedback/suggestions/2400956-bug-citation-javascript-error

    http://feedback.mendeley.com/forums/4941-mendeley-feedback/suggestions/2178007-bug-javascript-error-while-copying-bibtex-citatio

    http://feedback.mendeley.com/forums/4941-mendeley-feedback/suggestions/2108643-bibtex-plugin-does-not-work-under-mac-os-when-upgr

    http://support.mendeley.com/customer/portal/questions/100644-update

  3. William Says:

    Hi David. Sorry you’re having trouble with the copy and paste citations. Those feedback items are all quite old and this issue was thought to be resolved. Would you please update to the most recent version of Mendeley, confirm the problem still exists, and send a message to support with your system details, Mendeley version, and steps to reproduce the error?

    Anyone else experiencing the error may want to check our knowledgebase for a fix.

  4. David Says:

    This is still broken, and Mendeley support hasn’t responded to my May 23 e-mail with screenshots showing the bug.