I'm looking for software (preferably working on Mac OS) to be able to automatically organize a hefty library of pdfs. Specific features are searchability and if possible disoverability by categories or similar

Does anything like this exists?


You can try this one: http://calibre-ebook.com/

calibre is a free and open source e-book library management application developed by users of e-books for users of e-books. It has a cornucopia of features divided into the following main categories:

  • Library Management
  • E-book conversion
  • Syncing to e-book reader devices
  • Downloading news from the web and converting it into e-book form
  • Comprehensive e-book viewer
  • Content server for online access to your book collection

It's completly different from Calibre, but depending on what you want, BibDesk can be very handy. Especially, if you are working with scientific publications and/or LaTex, BibDesk is extremely usefull. However, it doesn't offer any sync options for e-book readers and it could be overkill if you are mainly organizing novels.

To fill in meta information about the author, year, publication etc. you can use BibTex codes, which you can get e.g. from scholar.google.com. That saves you a lot of time compared to manually enter this information.

Concerning search features, this is what the homepage tells, of course you can also search for authors, title and so on:

BibDesk’s search field lets you quickly sift through your whole bibliography by instantaneously filtering all the entries for the terms you enter. Advanced options include full text search of all the PDF files associated to your bibliography entries and ‘smart groups’ which you can set up to always show the publications matching certain keywords.


I've used a program called Delicious Library in the past. May be more fully featured than you need, but the interface is very Mac-like and very easy to use.

It is a media cataloging software. Music, books, movies, games, etc. Allows you to view your catalog sitting on a little virtual shelf. Amazon syncing to get cover art and such. It'll even use a built-in iSight, or external camera to scan UPCs for automatic entry. Pretty neat stuff actually.

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