I have a very simple question, any discussion about which I could not find anywhere: Can a Bibdesk Web group be made static?

Bibdesk Web group

As in the picture, I have google scholar. But when I quit it disappears. So, every time I have to go through: Bookmarks > Google Scholar. Is it possible to have (External) web groups permanently as of the Smart or Static groups?

  • 1
    Welcome to TeX.SE! Have you asked the support of Bibdesk?
    – Mensch
    Oct 6, 2021 at 16:49
  • Thanks for the suggestion, which I followed. But got the answer here early :) Oct 7, 2021 at 14:50
  • Now got answer from the support with a bit more sophistication :), added it below. Oct 10, 2021 at 10:25

2 Answers 2


No. Static groups are groups of publications that have already been imported, and a set of static groups is saved as a property list in a BibTeX comment when you save a .bib file, as you can see if you open the .bib file in a text editor. Search groups and web groups only exist when BibDesk is running; they are not saved in the .bib file like static groups.

However, using AppleScript there are probably various ways to automate the opening of search groups and web groups. For example, if you wanted to open several search groups and web groups with one command, you could create an AppleScript that uses GUI scripting, something like the script below, and then save it in your BibDesk Scripts menu, and then assign it a keyboard shortcut in the Keyboard System Preferences, so you can open all the groups with one keyboard shortcut.

if application "BibDesk" is running then
    tell application "BibDesk" to activate
        tell application "System Events" to tell process "BibDesk" to click menu item "Google Scholar" of its menu of menu bar item "Bookmarks" of menu bar 1
    end try
        tell application "System Events" to tell process "BibDesk" to click menu item "Library of Congress" of its menu of menu bar item "Searches" of menu bar 1
    end try
end if
  • 1
    Awesome, it works. Comprehensible high level coding :) Thanks for the explanations as well. Oct 7, 2021 at 14:50

Well, I got an answer in the Bibdesk web users group ([email protected]) and it's even more precise (does not need for another step such as a keyboard shortcut as Big Mac's answer. This is from one of the core developer Christiaan:

  1. First make a script in the script editor with:
property startURL : "https://scholar.google.com"

using terms from application "BibDesk"
    on perform BibDesk action with publications thePubs for script hook theScriptHook
        set theDoc to get document of theScriptHook
        tell theDoc
            set URL of first web group to startURL
        end tell
    end perform BibDesk action with publications
end using terms from
  1. Then go to Preferences > Script Hooks > point the Open Documents field to the script file.

Next time, open BibDesk & the opens automatically 👏🏽 🥳

  • 1
    I expected that there were other ways to do it with AppleScript, so I'm glad Christiaan shared this expert answer. Makes me look like the amateur that I am!
    – Big Mac
    Oct 11, 2021 at 19:38

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