Sente 6: Public Beta Now Available

We are pleased to announce that the public beta of Sente 6.0 is now available for download.

Here are some of the highlights of Sente 6.0:

  • Sente 6 is "document-based" meaning that there is one main window per library.  We think this makes for a cleaner interface and it supports coming enhancements better than our old approach.
  • Libraries in Sente 6 are now single files (bundles, actually) that can be placed anywhere on your computer, like in your Documents folder.  Double-click the library in Finder and Sente will pop it open.
  • Attachments (PDFs and other files) can now be stored right in the library.  This eliminates the problems with links breaking when you, for example, move a library from one machine to another.  Copy a library to a thumb drive and you have all your references and PDFs.
  • Libraries can now be automatically synchronized across any number of computers, and this includes all attachments stored in the library.  And different copies of a library can have different permissions, so you can share a library with colleagues without giving them the ability to make changes.
  • Sente 6 supports reference tagging.  And tags are fully supported by Find, Browse and Smart Collection definition.
  • There is a new QuickTag palette that lets you quickly see which tags have been applied to one or more references, and assign and remove tags from any number of references with a single click.
  • Tags can be organized hierarchically.  References with more specific tags (i.e., more deeply nested tags) will be returned when searching for less specific (i.e., less deeply nested) tags.
  • Sente 6 automatically provides a number of built-in smart collections to support many common needs.  For example, there are folders for all recently added references, and all references with specific QuickTags, and all references with particular statuses.
  • There are hundreds of new bibliography styles based on CSL format definitions. And more will be added prior to the official release of 6.0.
  • There is a new, on-line user manual.  This is still being completed, but because it is on-line, you will always see the most up-to-date version when you click on Help > User's Guide.
We still have one or two important features that will be added prior to the official release of Sente 6.0, but we wanted to get this release out to everyone who has been wanting to try out the new design.

If you download the public beta, you will automatically obtain a demonstration license when you first launch the software.   We will be releasing the official version of Sente 6.0 prior to the expiration of these 30-day demos, and we will reset all demonstration licenses at that time.

NOTE: When running with a demonstration license, Sente limits the size of synchronized libraries to 50 references.  You will be able to create libraries of any size, but you will not be able to turn synchronization on for any library with more than 50 references.

We will be releasing updates to the beta regularly and using Sparkle to automatically update copies in the wild, so if you download the beta now, you will receive the updates as they become available.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts on the new design.  


P.S. There are few items on our list that are not included in the first public beta.  These will be added in the coming days and made available through the automatic update mechanism.  These include:

  • Searches are not automatically updated.
  • Spotlight support for attachments is not active.
  • The manual is incomplete and the videos referenced within it are largely missing.


Quick question: can we use it for real work or do you expect to make changes to the database format?

There are two answers to that question. First, it is a beta, so you need to be cautious about watching it to make sure that things are working properly. We have had a number of alpha releases and we do not think there are killer bugs that would result in data loss, but it is possible. (We do have a list of known bugs that have not yet been addressed, but these are not the kind that would prevent real work from getting done.) The second answer is that we do not expect any database changes at this point, and we will migrate data if any occur.


Quick question: can we use it for real work or you expect changes in the database format?


I have a few questions/issues:

  1. How about posting some screenshots?

  2. Is it possible to work with Sente 5 and Sente 6 on the same computer? In other words, can I play with Sente 6 (and even import my Sente 5 library), and yet still maintain my working version in Sente 5?

  3. I use Synchronize Pro to sync my Documents folder between my laptop and my desktop. Will this interfere with the built-in sync functions of Sente 6?


Hi John,

Screenshots will be coming when we update the web site for Sente 6, but until then you will only have the screenshots and videos in the blog posts, or the application itself.

You can absolutely run Sente 6 alongside Sente 5. You can open Sente 5 libraries in Sente 6, creating a copy of the library as a Sente 6 library. Sente 6 does not modify Sente 5 libraries in any way, so this is a safe operation. The changes you make will, of course, not be reflected in Sente 5, but that is what makes it safe.

The synchronization built into Sente 6 will not interfere with any other synchronization mechanism.


It is always nice to see a new version! Well done!
Should we comment here or in the Forum?

Two initial comments from me:
Is it possible that the summary view cannot be displayed under the reference list in the new version?
In the 'Bibliography Format Editor' window it is not so obvious how you can search for a specific format (click one format and then start typing...), perhaps a search box integrated in the window would be better and more obvious for new users.
Moreover I would like in the same window to be able to resize the link column (there where the Bibliography format list is).

The beta is looking great but is there a reason why I can't delete any references? The keyboard shortcuts (command + delete) don't work either.

I guess this is why we do betas! The delete command was accidentally broken in this release. We will post an update shortly, which you will be told about when you launch the beta.


An update with a fix for the delete problem, and several other issues, has been posted. Launching the old version should give you the opportunity for automatically installing the update.


So disappointed...

I've just download the Sente beta but it seems that it doesn't run on my OSX (10.4.11)

Did i missed anything about with file to use?
Should it run on this OS or should i upgrade it?

Thanks a lot

Hi emchateau,

Sorry for the disappointment, but Sente 6 does require OS X 10.5 (and actually one of the later versions of 10.5 because of bugs in earlier versions).

Every time we do a major new release we debate how far back we need to go in supporting old versions of the operating system. This time we really wanted features found only in 10.5, so we had to drop support for 10.4. Given that all Mac sold in the last two years have shipped with 10.5 or later, we decided that this was an acceptable position. We know that some people will be unable to upgrade, but there are too many important new features in each release of OS X for us to ignore.


Thanks for the quick response and the new version of the beta. I can confirm that I can delete references now.

At least, as it works with powerpc it's all right.
Thanks for your quick answer. I'll upragde my mac !

I found another bug…

Go to "Help -> User's Guide", then click on "Quick Tour of Sente 6." and click on any of the video links. Let the video start playing and then click on the back button in the built-in browser. The video will continue playing and there is no way to reach it to turn it off other than restarting Sente, or waiting for it to finish.

Thanks for this release!

Is there an email address for sending bug reports?

My recent Sente 5 purchase code does not authorise?

Scanning a pages document into a "scannable document" results in the formatting (italics etc) not being consistent with the bibliography format. Scanning to a non-scannable document is fine.

Is it possible to make the Bibliography Field names consistent with the names used in the component lists. For example: what is Citation ID called in the component list? Article Title?

The ability to edit the appearance/fields in the Format View Box on the right does not appear to work. I.e. the ability to add, remove and move fields showing in say the Bibliography or Citation View (or even a custom view).

Is it possible to have the option to order the Bibliography List by one of the Components (or Article Title)? Not every field of research is Author / Date fixated.

I have a number of other comments and requests, but that is enough for now.


Some bugs:
The new view editor does not work... it does not allow you to add more than a few fields, nor does it allow you to move and change the order.

Also is there a way to see ones library list while also browsing in another tab?

In the view editor, I am able to add new fields and rearrange them -- can you say more about what happens when you try? (Grabbing the label is often the best way to move fields.)

There is not a way to display the source list when looking at a single reference or web tab. What makes you want to do this?


By the way, for future poster... this blog post is probably not the best place for detailed reports about the beta. Please send your comments to support at thirdstreetsoftware dot com.


Sorry I thought this was tha place for general beta issues.
Anyway I quit and restarted and now I can create lists. If that happens again Ill send a report.
Also feel free to delete the last post then.


Do you think there might be a quick way for Sente 6 to convert collections into Tags? Or, at least, import the titles of collections into Quick Tags? In essence, I used collections as tags in Sente 5 and don't want to go through the process of tagging everything. Call me lazy!


The quickest way right now is through the QuickTag palette. If you open a collection, cmd-A to select all references in the collection, and then click in the palette to assign tags, it goes pretty quickly.

How many collections do you have?



I have about 30 collections, but your suggestions will make quick work of them!

I do have a question about importing versus linking files to the new library. I chose to link and keep files where they are (organized as they were by Sente 5), but what happens now when I add attachments to Sente 6. The option to "Rename and move the file" doesn't seem to work and the options are grayed out. I want to keep my pdfs accessible to DevonThink. Did I do something wrong or is these options temporarily unavailable?


I created my own bibliography format in Sente 5. Is there a way to transfer it to version 6?
Thanks, Simone

It is still there, but the "favorite" setting was lost in the conversion. Just set it back to being a favorite and it will show up.


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