Integrating Highlights with Papers

Highlights can be integrated with the popular referene management apps Papers and Bookends (tutorial here) on the Mac.

How do I enable it?

To enable the integration in Highlights go to Preferences –> Customize –> Reference Manager and select “Papers”:

For the best experience you should set Papers to open PDFs in Highlights by default. To do this, select Highlights in the list of applications in the “Open PDF files:”-preference of Papers in Preferences –> Papers:

How does it work?

When enabled, clicking links to references (DOI-links) in the notes pane of Highlights will redirect you to Papers. This includes the link in the header after fetching metadata:

and any references looked up using the underline power tool:

If Papers has the PDF for the specific reference in its library it will open it:

If Highlights is set as the default reader, it will bounce back to Highlights and open it there directly.

If Papers does not have the PDF, it will open the link in the built-in browser so you can download it:

This allows for seemless reading and checking of references in Highlights without using the keyboard or downloading the same article twice.

The integration works for both version 2 and version 3 as it is based on URL-schemes. If you have multiple versions of Papers installed, Highlights will talk to the currently open version of Papers first. If no instance of Papers is running, Highlights will open the most recent version of Papers installed on you Mac.

Highlights in the Mac App Store

Quick question or comment? Contact me on Twitter