Papers 3 Citations Not Working After Update?

Could it be that I usually have the MAS version and only yesterday downloaded the L&L version, renaming the MAS version to Scrivener 3 and using Scrivener as the name for the new version?

It might just be luck of the draw. :slight_smile: I’ve had lots of Apple Event accessibility issues with Mojave, whereas Ioa, testing the same things, has not. So it might just be teething trouble for Mojave.

Speaking of Papers 3, Keith have you had any communications with ReadCube regarding support for their application in Scrivener? They are quite tightlipped, so we have no idea what is happening.

For those who doesn’t know, ReadCube(.com) bought Papers little less than two years ago. They are currently working on a ‘best of both worlds’ mashup between ReadCube and Papers (Which, so far, looks quite lacking…).

… and it also looks like a subscription model. If they choose that path, “Bookends here I come!”

I’ve never had any communication from then, no. Fingers crossed they’ll just support the NSText system, in which case it should work with Scrivener “for free”.

All the best,

Hi Keith / KB , lunk and Writers Block

Just want to say thank you all for this. I’ve been trawling through threads, blogs and even a prior Papers 3 support ticket to try and resolve this exact issue, but no-one was able to solve it. And you did it so swiftly. My Mac also had the “” unticked in the Accessibility menu, as your solution suggested.

This really does help me so much - in the middle of my thesis (way overdue) and was seriously thinking about switching to Bookends or some other program, which is not ideal mid-way through a project.

Thanks again - you made me “fist pump” the air.


Hi! I have been looking all over the internet for answer, but have this exact issue even after ensuring that that citations / papers is checked in the system settings privacy tab. Have tried rebooting, reinstalling but do not get papers to give the magic citation in scrivener. It works in MS Word, so I am not sure if this is Papers fault? Should it not use the same Appleevent for it?

The Papers + Scrivener combo has worked for me nicely for years (wrote my phd with it and many articles), but the Catalina update seem to have broken the magic citations from working. Any suggestions or ideas what to do?

Other than to ditch papers app.

Ditch Papers :smiley:

Used for years, I dumped it when this summer they told me - after communicating them that Papers would crash at opening on Catalina beta - that the app would work with Catalina when officially released. Which means they knew how to run the app on Catalina but just plainly refused to release updated versions that would run on the beta. Obnoxious policy. Ditch it :smiley:

Not an obnoxious policy; in fact, so far as I’m able to determine (and I’m not an L&L spokesperson) this is L&L’s policy as well.

The reason is this: A problem with a MacOS beta may be due to a beta bug that will be fixed in final release. Which means that if Papers or L&L release a workaround for a crash in a MacOS beta, they may well need to remove that workaround when Apple fixes that bug before release, thus making twice the work for themselves.

Doing releases to work around bugs in an OS beta is, frankly, silly. Papers may be worthy of being ditched, but if so, this isn’t the reason.

What Silverdragon said. This is also L&L’s policy. Apple continues to fix bugs right up to (and after!) the Mac OS release date. Trying to work around bugs that Apple will ultimately fix is a poor use of limited developer time.


But…I have been running Catalina public betas since the first release (and it’s been a bumpy ride :smiley: ) and yet Scriv never stopped working for me. There have been some bugs, but Scriv was running. Papers, on the other hand, crashed at opening with the very first Catalina beta release and I was told it was going to work again when Catalina was officially released. Which was going to be months down the road. So, I am not sure why you guys are bringing up Scriv here. Furthermore, I think one could live temporarily without Scriv (with all due respect, one can still write with other apps), but moving a database of several thousands of refs and PDFs from one reference manager to another is just an absolute pain (well, it turned out to be not too bad in my case, but still, I would have preferred not to be forced to do it).

To be precise, I have been on MacOS public betas since the very beginning of the program. And Scriv never, ever, stopped working for me.

Papers, on the other hand, would not even open.

Not exactly the same thing. :slight_smile:

I have never used an operating system public beta, and God willing, I never will.

I don’t have time or willingness to go through something similar to what you went through with Papers. And if I use a beta OS on my only production machine, that’s exactly what I may get.

And if I did, it would be my fault. Mine, not Evernote’s ( to mention an app as critical to my workflow as Papers was to yours), who would have every right to not release a version to patch an OS beta bug. Not Apple’s, who told me that the OS was beta.

My fault.

I’m glad to hear that Scrivener never quit working for you. It did quit for some people, and it has failed to work with Mac OS public beta versions in the past.

I’m not here to defend the Papers team --their own forum is the place for that, if they choose – simply pointing out that their policy regarding beta versions is not at all unusual. If a beta-related failure will cause you undue distress, don’t run beta software.


No undue distress. Happy to run betas and provide feedback, knowing risks. Someone earlier in this thread asked openly about ditching Papers, and I gave my opinion on that. That’s it.

Hi there,

I’m new to this forum so firstly, “hello”.

I’m having a similar issue here. The Papers citation function is working perfectly in MS Word but not in Scrivener. The Papers pop up works but it only gives my an option to ‘copy to clipboard’ rather than insert citation. See screengrab below

Papers is ticked in the sys prefs > privacy > accessibility so that seems fine. Computer and software version spec in the email signature.

Any ideas how to get this working? Many thanks in advance for your advice.

Exact same problem appeared for me today. I have been using this successfully for a long time. I am using Scrivener 3.2.4 and Papers 3.4.23 (same issue with verisions 3.4.20 and 3.4.5) on an iMac running Mojave 10.14.6.

Magic citations work with MS Word, although there are unusual icons appearing (and I was asked to save the document for magic citations to work):

Screenshot 2019-12-02 at 14.44.53.png

Please help!



Have you contacted Papers support?

The issue here is that Papers 3 is in its last days. Since it was bought by Readcube it is not being developed and will be replaced with a new reference manager (that, to my knowledge, will not have a magic citations function). I am amazed that they are still issuing new releases. And contacting support is not likely to give a useful response.

A few releases ago they had actually fixed the ability to cite directly in Scrivener 3, which was a minor fix, but it seems something else is now causing the problem.

Personally I am clinging on to Papers 3 and use the ‘copy to clipboard’ function for now, but I am looking for a better solution in the longer term. On this forum and other places Bookends has been suggested.

I contacted Papers about this. Papers3 is done being developed and all efforts are going toward readcube. The error arises if you have updated to Catalina on the mac. They have a patch to fix the word implementation of papers3 in catalina, but not for scrivener. The two sofwares are being developed on separate paths. Readcube does not currently support scrivener, but “they are working on it,” for what it’s worth. Looks like papers 3 is at the end of its life on scrivener. So I’m going to take this opportunity to clean out my library and start somewhere fresh.