Papers 3 for Mac FAQ

I just bought Papers 2, do I have to pay again for Papers3?

If you bought Papers2 on or after August 1st, 2013 you are eligible for a free Papers 3 license. If you have a Papers1 or Papers2 serial number, you are eligible for a 50 % discount on Papers 3.

Do you give discount on Papers 3? If you are a student (high school, undergraduate, master, PhD student) you are eligible for a 40 % discount on Papers 3.

I already have a Papers2 license and I'm also a student. Can I get a student discount on top of the upgrade discount?

Unfortunately we don't offer any additional student discount on top of the already discounted upgrade.

Can I migrate my Papers 2 library to Papers 3?

Yes, when you first start Papers 3 you will be asked during the initial start up whether you like to import your Papers 2 library to Papers 3. You can also import your library later from File > Import > Papers 2 library.

If I import my Papers 2 library can I still continue using my library in Papers 2? Can I use both Papers 2 and Papers 3 at the same time?

Papers 2 and Papers 3 are stand alone apps with different libraries and you can continue using Papers 2 at the same time with Papers3.

How can I import my Papers 1 library to Papers 3?

Unfortunately it isn't possible to import your Papers 1 library directly to Papers 3. Instead you first have to migrate the library to Papers 2 and then import your library as Papers 2 format. See for more details.

I'm a Mendeley/Zotero user. Can I import my Mendeley/Zotero library to Papers 3?

Yes, it is now possible to directly log in to your Mendeley/Zotero library within Papers 3 and import your library to Papers 3. You can do this either in the Search mode, or by going to File > Import > Mendeley/Zotero library import.

Can I import my current Papers for iOS library to Papers 3 for iOS?

Yes you can. When you first start Papers 3 for iOS there is an option to import your Papers 1 library. You can also do it later on from the Setting menu.

Why are the iOS and Mac versions on version 3, while Papers for Windows is only on version 1.5?

The Windows version is a few years younger than the Mac and iOS products, but we hope to indeed bring the same polish to the Windows version as what we have done with the Mac and iOS versions. Papers for Windows 1.5 might not look like it's changed a great deal visually when you compare to 1.2 and especially if you compare to Papers 3 for Mac and iOS, but as part of getting it to sync with Papers for Mac and iOS we've done a lot of technical groundwork which will help us move to the same direction as the Mac / iOS versions.

I have a Papers license number. Can I use it to activate Papers 3 for iOS? If not, can I get any discount on the iOS version if I own a desktop license?

Papers 3 for iOS is a separate product from the desktop applications and you have to buy the iOS app separately from iTunes App Store. Because we depend on Apple for purchases on the App Store we are unable to give any discount on the iOS version either.

Can I use another cloud service apart from Dropbox? Do you plan to support any other cloud services in the future?

At the moment Dropbox syncing is the only available option. Please let us know what other backend system you would like us to support.

Instead of Dropbox syncing, why can't you support iCloud syncing?

There are several reasons why we can't offer iCloud syncing. First of all, Apple wouldn't allow us to use iCloud syncing as most of the Papers library content is not user-generated. Secondly, iCloud syncing has proven to be technically unreliable for many other software developers. Thirdly, it wouldn't be possible to use iCloud syncing to sync Papers library data to Papers for Windows. And finally, if were to offer iCloud syncing , we would have to have Papers in the Mac App store (see next question).

Why can't you buy Papers 3 from the Mac App store? Can I buy Papers 3 with my App store gift card?

One of the main reasons why we can't have Papers in the Mac App store is that at the moment, Magic Citations cannot be implemented without violating some of the rules of the Mac App Store, the major issue being the requirement to sandbox the process. In particular, Magic Citations needs to determine the front application, and makes use of Applescript to interact with the front application. It also needs read access to the file corresponding to the front window, as well as write access to that file (in the case of Word), or to a newly created file in the same directory.We are still hopeful that these issues can be resolved, and we can work around some of these limitations with Apple.

Where has Livfe disappeared? Do my Livfe collections still exist?

We are currently working on major improvements on Livfe but we are not finished with them yet.
However, your Papers2 Livfe collections still exist in your Papers library database even though they cannot be accessed at the moment in Papers 3.

Can I use my license to install Papers on more than one computers at the same time? Yes, you can use the same Papers license to activate Papers in up to three computers (Mac and PC) at the same time.

Which MacOS version does Papers 3 require?

Papers 3 works on MacOS 10.7 and above.

When will you offer full retina screen support for Papers 3?

That's certainly one of the high priorities in the first upcoming 3.x updates.

Can I sync my Papers 3 for iOS library between my iPhone and iPad?

Yes, you can sync two Papers 3 for iOS libraries between each other with Dropbox syncing.

**Why does Papers give me a message saying "no dropbox account detected" when I try to link it to my dropbox, I am signed into dropbox.

If you do not have the dropbox application in stalled on your computer, Papers will not detect a dropbox account. You will have to have a physical dropbox folder on your computer that syncs with your dropbox account. Only being logged into dropbox on your browser is not sufficient. You can download the dropbox application from the dropbox website.

Is Papers available in any other language than English and if not, do you plan to support other languages in the future?

Papers is currently only available in English. We don't have plans to translate Papers to other languages in the immediate future but it is something that we would like to do at some stage. Thank you for your patience.

Why syncing is still in the beta stage?

Syncing has been technically challenging to implement. There are many different factors to consider with syncing such as annotations and collections, full-text indices of PDFs and other content, thumbnail images, PDF data, and keeping track of the changes made in different devices. We want to make sure that we get it right, and we are still making further improvements to Dropbox syncing.

Is it possible to only sync certain collections in my Papers 3 library to Papers 3 for iOS or only the metadata?

At the moment this isn't possible but it is something we hope to implement in the coming updates.

I imported my Papers 2 library to Papers 3. Why is my Papers 3 library folder size smaller than the Papers 2 library folder?

When you import your Papers2 library to Papers3, it doesn't copy spotlight index, thumbnails or OCR output from the Papers2 folder (they are recreated on each of the devices), so it completely expected that the library folder size is reduced.

Can I use Papers 3 to work on Word documents I created using Magic Citations from Papers 2? If I insert new citations on a new document, will they come from Papers 2 o Papers 3 library?

Yes, you can. The content of the manuscript will be recognized by both versions and both versions can work on the same document. For instance: if you work on a Word document with Papers2 in your lab, you can continue working on it using Papers3 on your Mac at home.

However, if you have both Papers2 and Papers3 installed on the same computer, it can be confusing when you search, because depending on which version ran last, it will search your Papers2 library or your Papers3 library. If you only want to use Magic Citations with Papers3, go to Preferences > Citations in Papers2 and turn on Magic Citations (or vice versa if you prefer using Papers2 and Magic Citations).

What is the lock file that keeps coming up with Dropbox syncing? Is it possible to hide it?

There's no setting in Papers to switch this off, as the update is coming from Dropbox rather than Papers. However you can switch off those notifications by clicking on the dropbox icon on your menu bar, click the gear symbol and select Preferences. Finally, on the General tab, untick the box for "Show desktop notification".

The Lock file is required by Papers to tell other copies of Papers connected to the database that the database is in use. It's a very small file, so it wont be taking up much space. It doesn't mean that the app is syncing, but it does stop anything else from accessing the database at the same time (which would cause corruption).