Jabref supports exporting the selected entries in different formats, but I wonder if it can actually export to BibTeX format. It is useful to select some of the references to create a smaller database that contains, for instance, only the references of some topic or the ones you are citing in a specific paper. Is there any option to automatically do that?

  • 2
    Select the references and use "Save selected as"
    – Guido
    Nov 13 '12 at 11:52
  • Welcome to TeX.sx! Nov 13 '12 at 12:12
  • bibtool is pretty handy for that sort of thing.
    – jon
    Nov 13 '12 at 12:33
  • 1
    This is neither Off Topic nor Too Localized; I believe that an answer can give an insight to how JabRef works.
    – egreg
    Nov 13 '12 at 13:00

The format of JabRef is BibTeX! So of course you can export a subset of a database in that format.

Open a database and select the entries you want

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Select "Save Selected as…" from the "File" menu

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Give a name to the extracted file

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Use the resulting .bib file

% This file was created with JabRef 2.5.
% Encoding: UTF8

  author = {Marta Degani and Elisabetta Adami and Anna Belladelli},
  title = {The Use of Modal Verbs in Interpersonal Contexts: From Semantics
    to Pragmatics},
  crossref = {Facchinetti:2009},
  date-added = {2009-12-15 16:50:20 +0100},
  date-modified = {2009-12-18 18:10:12 +0100},
  keywords = {esempio},
  userc = {13-54},
  userd = {Add data for field: Userd}

  title = {The Elements of Typographic Style},
  publisher = {Hartley \& Marks Publisher Inc.},
  author = {Robert Bringhurst},
  booktitle = {The Elements of Typographic Style},
  date = {1992},
  date-added = {2012-04-20 00:37:50 +0200},
  date-modified = {2012-04-20 00:38:26 +0200},
  keywords = {tiporgafia},
  location = {Vancouver, Canada},
  origdate = {2009},
  origlocation = {Milano}

  title = {Discorso sul metodo},
  publisher = {Bompiani},
  editor = {Lucia Urbani Ulivi},
  author = {René Descartes},
  note = {testo francese a fronte},
  annote = {Esempio di voce \texttt{inbook} con relativa traduzione italiana.
    Non è stato usato il campo \texttt{crossref}, pertanto le informzioni
    sul \texttt{book} relativo a quest'opera appaiono all'interno della
    stessa voce.},
  date = {2002},
  date-added = {2012-04-14 12:57:58 +0200},
  date-modified = {2012-04-14 13:48:24 +0200},
  keywords = {esempio},
  location = {Milano},
  options = {skipbib=false}

  title = {Appunti di programmazione in \LaTeX\ e \TeX},
  author = {Enrico Gregorio},
  edition = {2},
  month = {6},
  annote = {Un testo avanzato che entra nel dettaglio della definizione delle
    macro in \TeX\ e \LaTeX. «Di sicuro questo non è una guida per il
    principiante, anche se ci sono tutte le indicazioni fondamentali
    su come usare i comandi per definire nuove macro; tuttavia anche
    chi è agli inizi potrebbe trovare qualche spunto interessante per
    avvicinarsi al mondo misterioso (non poi troppo) delle macro di \TeX»},
  bdsk-url-1 = {http://profs.sci.univr.it/~gregorio/introtex.pdf},
  date = {2009},
  date-added = {2009-10-14 16:35:37 +0200},
  date-modified = {2012-04-18 13:49:18 +0200},
  keywords = {primaria},
  url = {http://profs.sci.univr.it/~gregorio/introtex.pdf}

The database I used is available in TeX Live as


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