How-to series: Drag and drop PDF links into Mendeley for direct download [part 2 of 12]

Here’s our second instalment of our twelve part series of short how-to blog posts. We previously looked at how to merge author names in Mendeley Desktop. This time, we’ll demonstrate how easy it is to download a file directly into Mendeley by simply dragging and dropping a PDF link into the desktop application.

One of the easiest actions you can perform on any computer is the drag & drop. Select a file, drag it over a folder and that’s it. No copy, no paste, no command line, no nada. Drag and drop, virtual physical file manipulating joy.

To make things even easier to import files into Mendeley, you can simply drag and drop a (directly accessible) link for a PDF document in your browser directly into Mendeley Desktop and it will be downloaded and incorporated into your library. That’s right. Take a look at the following short video:


Although this is a great trick, it doesn’t necessarily work well with all browsers. However, I’ve tried it with Firefox and it’s worked quite well.

In our next quick how-to entry we’ll be looking at BibTeX in Mendeley Desktop.

Previous How-to series entries:

Mendeley Desktop v0.9.5 Preview Update

Hello – I’d like to give you a quick update on Mendeley Desktop as we work our way towards a ‘1.0’ release.  We’ve been focusing on stability, making Mendeley easier to use and have improved collaborative working amongst other issues.  To get feedback on our work in progress, we publish ‘development preview’ versions every few weeks which contain features and bug fixes that will appear in the next official release.  If you would like to have an early look at what will be in the next version of Mendeley Desktop, you can download the latest development preview which is available on all platforms.  We would greatly appreciate any feedback, good or bad, that you have.  You can contact us about development releases by emailing support-dev@mendeley.com. Alternatively, you can use our feedback forums at http://feedback.mendeley.com (please mention which version you are using).

These preview releases have not been tested as carefully as our official releases, so we advise users to backup their databases before trying out development preview versions of the client using Help -> Create Backup… in Mendeley Desktop.

Highlights since the current official release (0.9.4.1):

  • User interface improvements (file-type specific icons for attachments, clearer wording in various messages, clearer progress information whilst the desktop is syncing with Mendeley Web, more keyboard shortcuts, fixed a problem where the right-hand Document Details pane could be hidden and it was not obvious how to show it again)
  • Improved support for concurrent updating of document details by users in shared groups.  Tags and keywords changes are now merged correctly and conflict resolution is improved.
  • Importer improvements.  File attachments are now imported from EndNote XML files, more document types and fields are supported by the Bibtex and RIS importers.  Mendeley is now able to guess the type of a file to import if it lacks the appropriate extension.
  • The full text of HTML attachments is now searchable.
  • Improved the stability of the file organiser and search features.
  • Added support for citation disambiguation and super/subscript citations in the Word and OpenOffice.org plugins
  • Faster bibliography generation and citation insertion in Word and OpenOffice.org.
  • Many bug fixes and minor tweaks

For a complete list of changes since the previous development release and since the current stable release please see our release notes page.

Feedback and Support

If you have suggestions for improvements please let us know by visiting the feedback forum. If you encounter any problems using Mendeley or have questions to ask please email support@mendeley.com.