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I maintain my master database of references in Zotero because it does the best job scraping websites, but I like to use BibDesk (OS X) to manage the bibliographies for specific papers and projects because it works better with Texshop. I often have the need to copy a few references from Zotero to BibDesk. For this, I don't want to export and import files, but instead use copy-paste or drag and drop, if possible.

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@MartinScharrer: This was a real question. I googled around trying to find an answer and finally figured it out myself. I thought I would record the answer here for anyone else that needed it. –  Ed Hagen Oct 18 '11 at 21:30

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For BibDesk specifically, you should also have a look at Zot2Bib, which automates this: http://mackerron.com/zot2bib/

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Zot2Bib is broken on OS X 10.7.0 and 10.7.1 (but apparently works on 10.7.2). Also, although I haven't used it, it seems to provide a complimentary function to the one I was looking for: automatically adding refs to a bibtex file via Zotero and BibDesk. –  Ed Hagen Oct 18 '11 at 21:28
  1. Go to Zotero Preferences.

  2. Click the Export tab.

  3. Select BibTeX as the Default Output Format, and close Preferences.

Now, whenever you want to copy a few refs from Zotero to BibDesk, Select the desired references in Zotero and either:

  • Drag-and-drop them on BibDesk.

Or,

  • press Cmd+Shift+C

  • Go to BibDesk.

  • elect the "New Publications from Clipboard" menu item.

  • Edit as desired.

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I am developing the Zotero autoexporting addon. So you have the possibility to export when the database is changing or even after a period of time. You can choose the format, split by collections and can start a batch file after the files are processed. If you have any suggestions or problems feel free to contact me, to make it even better.

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