Mendeley Desktop 1.7 Preview

A preview release of Mendeley Desktop 1.7 is available. This release makes it easier to use custom and 3rd-party citation styles, includes an updated plugin for citing your Mendeley documents in Microsoft Word 2011 for Mac and includes a number of improvements to search.


Citation Styles

  • Easier sharing and installation of custom and 3rd-party styles. Go to View → Styles → More Styles → Get More Styles , paste a link to a style in the box and click ‘Download’. You can also drag and drop citation style (CSL) files into the styles dialog.
  • We have refreshed the available library of citation styles from the repository. This adds many new styles.

Updated Mac Word 2011 Plugin

The Mac Word plugin has been updated for Word 2011 on Mac. The updated plugin has a more obvious UI for inserting citations and bibliographies. It is also much faster when refreshing medium to large bibliographies.  Word 2008 is still supported, but it will continue to use the earlier plugin which is accessible from the ‘Script’ menu in Word.



Internal search has been overhauled in this release.  Many of the changes are internal to improve consistency, performance and stability.  There are a number of user-visible changes:

  • Search is now incremental across full text and metadata.
  • Search is faster and more stable when searching many large PDFs.
  • More consistent behavior between full text, document details and citation editor search.
  • Search now finds and shows matches for the search keywords in all metadata fields.
  • Improved handling of boolean queries (with AND, OR and ‘-‘ (NOT) terms).
  • Spelling corrections will now include suggestions from the full text as well as document details.

Other Improvements

  • The look and organization of the menus and toolbars have been streamlined on Windows and Linux.  The Mac version had a UI overhaul in the previous release, so we thought it was only fair to give a little love to the Windows and Linux versions.
  • Improvements to import of RIS files generated by RefMan
  • Updated tab-switching shortcuts that are more consistent with web browsers (Chrome, Firefox).
  • Improved performance for BibTeX sync and batch metadata edits.  We’ve also fixed a number of causes of UI ‘hiccups’ (sometimes referred to as lag) when using the app.
  • Import suggestions. Mendeley Desktop will notice when you tend to import PDFs from the same locations repeatedly and will offer to automatically import other articles from the same folder.

As always, we really appreciate help from early adopters helping us get the next release into shape.  Please download the preview and let us know if you find any issues.  You can report any issues on our support forum .  You can also suggest improvements our UserVoice forum.

For the full list of fixes and improvements, please see the release notes.

22 thoughts on “Mendeley Desktop 1.7 Preview

  1. Hey guys, sound’s good! I will take a look. It would be awesome if we could search everything in mendeley, e.g. the notes are really important 🙂

  2. That sounds really nice. When I changed from windows to Mac, I was disappointed by the much worse Word plugin of Mendeley in comparison. I am looking forward to particularly that feature on Mac being updated! The screenshot looks very promising.
    Therefore I am happy to volunteer to test the new version.
    However, I just downloaded the new preview version and wanted to try it. The software runs smoothly, but when I try Tools > Install Word plugin, I receive an error message. The old word plugin is gone and a new one is not possible to install. Please tell me as you solve this problem, then I will be happy to try again. Meanwhile I have switched back to the old version of Mendeley. (I am using Mac OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.2 and MS Word 2011, both with all latest updates).

  3. Hello Freiheitsfreund,

    What is the error message that you received when trying to install the plugin? A couple of other users have reported a problem which I’m currently looking into.

  4. The error message is as follows:

    Unable to install the Microsoft Word Plugin
    Unable to copy /Applications/Mendeley to /Applications/Microsoft Office 2011/Microsoft

  5. Hey, now I have a real problem. I urgently need my Mendeley. I just wanted to step back to my previous version. I am only that easy to convince trying sth. on my mac because I know, I can always reinstall things with no problem really fast. But my problem now is: I am trying to download the official release version of Mendeley again. It is crawling like hell. It tells me it will take days until I get it! What is going on with your servers? This is now a problem for me.

  6. I like the new look.

    I don’t know if this is a new or an old problem: the search for an author with a hyphenated name does not work.

    For example “Dixon-Woods” finds nothing, but “Dixon” find several “Dixon-Woods”.

  7. @Rob: Thanks. Actually, I ended up getting a extremely old version of mendeley from some terrible download website, which then updated itself to the current stable version. Kind of strange. You might have had some troubles with your web server.
    Let me know as soon as you think, you have solved the issue with the word plugin and I will try again then!

  8. I second Freiheitsfreund’s report of Mendeley 1.7-dev2 being unable to install the Word plugin (“Unable to install the Microsoft Word Plugin”, same error message).

    Hopefully this helps:

    /Applications/Mendeley resolves to /Applications/Mendeley and it does exist indeed.
    However, /Applications/Microsoft Office 2011/Microsoft resolves to /Applications/Microsoft Office 2011/Office/Startup/Word/ — and here we got a problem. Traversing the path I get as far as the “Office” folder, but there is no “Startup” folder in there. Nevertheless, there is a folder “Start”, which in turn contains a “Word” folder.

    Freiheitsfreund is, as far as I can tell, a physicist in Bavaria, so I suppose he uses a German version of MS Office 2011; just as I do. I guess this problem is due to a localization problem. (Just as with Photoshop, where additional material is put into various folders whose names are also localized.)

    However, I didn’t manage to remedy this by manually installing, as Word doesn’t seem to respect the AutoStart folder…

  9. Good to see you are working on improving search. This is definitely an area where Mendeley is behind other reference managers. Whilst you are at it, could I suggest you

    1) Ignore diacritic marks such as accents in searches (i.e. if I search for Poincare, the search should find publications by Poincarè). Or at least provide a user preference option for searches to behave this way.

    2) Make it possible to restrict searches to a range of years

    3) Provide thorough instructive documentation on how the logical operators are supposed to be used in Mendeley.

    4) Provide thorough instructive documentation explaining how to properly do author searches. For example, I may have a bunch of articles by JF Bloggs. On some articles the author is entered as “Bloggs, J F”, in some as “Bloggs, Joe F”, and in others as “Bloggs, J.F.” On pubmed, a single author search for “Bloggs JF” would find all these variants regardless of whether the paper contains the full name or just initials, but I can’t tell if there is a way to get Mendeley to find them all in a single search.

    Personally, I would also very much like to have the ability to re-order the search results by clicking on author, title, or year columns and save searches as smart folders but I imagine that would require much more work for you to achieve and so is not something we will get in the near future.

  10. To fix the German Mac office temporary, you can simply create this new folder by hand, run the install script from Mendely and finally move the file to its designated folder…

  11. Sorry, was only working because i double clicked on the template itself. Please don’t publish my former entry…

  12. Last comment, promised. It is actually working the way described above. Alternatively on could temporary create the folder, and change to path of the StartUp Folder in the Word settings. If you don’t see the new menu, you have to activate it under the menu “Ansicht”->”Symbolleisten”

  13. Great improvement.
    Will you integrate in-program pubmed search and download in this version?
    Would you mind add print function in PDF viewer?

  14. Hello Sylvère,

    Thanks for looking into the problem on your Mac. I’ve fixed this for the next preview so that we ask Word for the path to the Startup folder instead of assuming a fixed path relative to the folder where Word is installed.

  15. Hello Gwyneth,

    I think that’s actually a mistake. Mendeley Desktop 1.6 and later was supposed to have been built as a dual 32/64bit app. The supporting libraries have been but not the main app itself. Internally, it looks like nobody noticed.

  16. I was quite happy to see today, that the update for mendeley 1.7 was rolling out through the official update channel. However, it installed and then… the problem which was already discussed here for the test version is not solved. The plugin for MS word for mac does not install. This is a real problem and I think, an update with such a bug should not be distributed via the official update channel! Please tell me if you have any suggestions.
    I have just issued the following email over the official mendeley contact form:


    I had already tried the test version, announced on your blog. My user name there is “freiheitsfreund”.
    Now, today, Mendeley has automatically updated to 1.7 via the official update channel.
    This version still is completely unusable for me. The word plugin will not install and gives me an error message. Word is closed. I am using MS Word for Mac newest version with all updates on Mac OS X mountain lion newest version with all updates, all adjusted to German as language.
    Now, I had to roll-back to 1.6 via time machine, lucky to have a backup.

    Please inform me what to do and if you can solve the problem.
    I fear, many people will experience this annoying problem. The word plugin, at least for me, is one of the most important core functionalities of mendeley!

    Best regards


  17. Thanks a lot Rob for helping me for the time being. I can now use version 1.7 final with your manual patch to use the old word plugin. I am looking forward to also being able to use the new word plugin as soon as you issue the next update.
    So far, I hope, all my error logs etc. help you track the resisting error in 1.7…

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