Integrating Highlights with Bookends

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

How do I enable it?

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

For the best experience you should set Bookends to open PDFs in Highlights. As Bookends does not have a default reader preference, you will have to do this at the system level. Keep in mind that this will make Highlights as the default application for opening all PDFs on your Mac.

To do this, right-click any PDF file in the Finder and go to “Get Info”. In the window that opens go to “Open with” and select Highlights from the list of applications:

Select “Change All…”:

Select “Continue” in the dialog:

How does it work?

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

and any references looked up using the underline power tool:

If Bookends 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 Bookends 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.

Highlights in the Mac App Store

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