Mendeley and KDE

Mendeley is a very convenient bibliography tool. It keeps track of all your references, you can easily import from tons of sites and it backs up your collection on their servers. It also works on all major operating systems thanks to the Qt library.

Their latest builds had a bug on KDE systems though: you can’t open a pdf in an external viewer, which is rather annoying because the internal one is rather limited.

Now it appears that you can solve this bug by remove the Qt library files that come with the mendeley installation. Just add .bak to all files that have “Qt” in their name in the mendeley install folder.
Mendeley will now use your systems Qt libraries and “open in external viewer” will work. As an added benefit Mendeley will now also better integrate in your desktop visualy.

    • Robert Knight
    • May 1st, 2010


    I assume you are using the ‘generic’ Linux version (as opposed to the Ubuntu/Debian repositories)? If so, I think this may be a known problem where the script that starts Mendeley sets the LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable to point to the bundled Qt libraries but does not reset it before starting external tools (which is done using the xdg-open script)

    Ideally the script should also check if you have a new enough version of Qt installed system-wide and use that instead.

    Regarding the internal PDF viewer, we’ll be addressing omissions of some basic features such as navigation shortcuts and a table of contents view in upcoming releases but were there any features in particular which you would like to see?

    • Hey Robert,
      I’m really impressed you took the time to comment!
      I am indeed running the “generic” linux version. It’s good to know you guys are aware of it. Most linux users will have at least one kde application on their machine and as such have very recent Qt libraries installed.

      My pdf viewer of choice right now is okular. You can make it show page thumbnails to the side (as in adobe reader). You can then filter these pages. So if I’d filter for “mendeley”, it would scan the entire pdf and show only the page thumbnails that contain the text “mendeley” and highlight each instance of it in blue. I find this way of working more convenient than conventional searching.

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