trouble importing BibTex document

I may be entirely mistaken, but I thought that DTpro could now import a Bibtex document (as a sheet I presume). I would like to make my Bookends DB a sheet in DT, so I exported it all as a bibtex file. However, when I import it in DT nothing happens, it acts as if i didn’t do anything. I read on another file that the extension should maybe be .bibtex and not .bib, so I changed it. When I do that, it brings it into the DB, but the file contains no information.

Any thoughts or help would be great.

I’ve just answered your original query in the Bookends forum. I’m pasting it in below for your convenience, and also so that the good DT folks know that some people are having problems:

I think it’s good that you’re taking this discussion over to DT as well, but don’t give up on this forum!

I notice that Jon advised exporting as Plain Text, but in your reply you referred to importing as plain text not working.

I’ve been struggling with the same problem as you, so let me run through in possibly unnecessary detail how I have got it to work.

  1. In Bookends, Sort the database (Refs menu) by authors, editors, & title. (This isn’t crucial, but will help with troubleshooting–see number 6 below.)
  2. In Bookends, select all the references (using the Refs menu), or a subset of references.
  3. In the Biblio menu, choose Bibliography Formatter. In the 3 sets of options, choose BibTeX as Plain Text (ASCII) to Disk, and then Make Bib.
  4. In the Finder, change the extension of the file Bookends created for you from .txt to .bib.
  5. In DT Pro, go to File - Import - Files & Folders and select the .bib file. Don’t fiddle with any of the options at the bottom of the window.
  6. If everything goes to plan, that should be enough. But note that DT Pro appears to be quite fussy. If any of your references is defective in any way (e.g. no BibTeX Key), that reference and all subsequent references will fail to import. If you notice that the number of references in DT Pro is smaller than it should be, scroll down to see the last imported reference.
  7. Assuming you sorted the database, it’s easy to see which reference caused a problem. Search in Bookends for the last successfully imported reference and then use the up arrow to go to the next reference. Unmark it.
  8. Repeat steps 2-4. There will probably be more references successfully imported than the previous time, but there may be another choke point somewhere. If so, repeat steps 5 & 6.

In this way, unless your Bookends database is riddled with problems, you should be able to get all your references barring 2 or 3 problematic ones into DT. I had always assumed that in Step 2 I should choose BibTeX as BibTeX to Disk, making Step 3 unnecessary, and it wasn’t until I hit on the extension change trick that I started getting somewhere.

Good luck!

The quick answer, I guess, is that with a bit of perseverance it’s doable. What I’m hoping is that DT will learn to skip over any problematic references and continue importing the remainder. The other problem with DT is that, though you can change the order of the columns in the sheet, it will go back to the original order (with Authors way over to the far right) if you switch to a different document and come back to the sheet.

A quick addition:

As someone has already mentioned, it would be convenient if the sheet in DT updated itself with the contents of the Bookends database. Since neither app supports LinkBack, that isn’t very likely in the short term (and it’s hardly a crucial feature), but it would be nice.