So I want to use bibdesk to create a bibtex record for a webpage, and here is what I have done:

enter image description here

When I save this file and try to copy the bibtex record context, here is what I got:

    Author = {test},
    Date-Added = {2020-11-15 18:55:38 +0800},
    Date-Modified = {2020-11-15 19:01:11 +0800},
    Keywords = {testtest},
    Title = {test},
    Urldate = {2020-11-15},
    Bdsk-Url-1 = {https://tex.stackexchange.com/}}

I wonder why there isn't something like: Url = {tex.stackexchange.com/}?

Also, same thing happens when the BibTex type is WebpageUrlMisc

I guess all of these can be used for a webpage?

  • Welcome to TeX.SE.
    – Mico
    Nov 15, 2020 at 11:25

1 Answer 1


There are a few things you need to understand:

  1. You have chosen the BibTeX type electronic for this publication, and the url field is not a default field for that BibTeX type in BibDesk's preferences, so the url field does not appear in the editor window by default. You would have to add the url field using the "Add Field..." menu command, which is available from the Publication menu or from the context menu that appears if you control-click on any other field name. Then you can insert the URL into the url field either by typing it into the field or by dragging the URL that appears in the sidebar of the editor window.
  2. You can add new default fields by using BibDesk's Default Fields preference pane, where you can create new custom fields and specify the type of data they contain, and where you can edit the list of required and optional fields for any BibTeX type. But in this case, instead of editing the required or optional fields for the the BibTeX type electronic, I would suggest using one of the BibTeX types url or webpage, which already have the url field as a required field and are intended for referencing webpages/URLs.
  3. There is an important difference between BibTeX url fields and BibDesk's linked URL fields. BibDesk's linked URL fields are unique to BibDesk, and they appear in the sidebar of the editor window, and they are named, in the BibTeX file, Bdsk-Url-1, Bdsk-Url-2, etc. These fields are different because BibDesk allows you to have an arbitrary number of linked URL fields, but BibTeX only allows one url field. If there is an empty url field in the editor window and no linked URLs in the sidebar of the editor window, then the first URL that you add to the sidebar will be copied automatically to the url field. This didn't happen in your case because there was no url field in the editor window as explained in point number 1 above!
  4. Also, if you have "Automatically convert File and URL fields" checked in BibDesk's Default Fields preference pane, then whenever you open a BibTeX file that has url fields without corresponding linked URLs (Bdsk-Url-1 fields), then each such url field will be copied to a linked URL. But if you want to keep all the url fields, which I recommend, make sure "Remove converted Remote URL fields" is not checked in BibDesk's Default Fields preference pane!

That was a lot of words, but it becomes intuitive after you have used BibDesk for some time.

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