The open command is a very important command in the papis workflow. With it you can open documents, folders or marks.


One of special things about this command is the possibility of creating marks for documents. As you would imagine, it is in general difficult to create marks for any kind of data. For instance, if our library consists of PDF files and EPUB files, we would like to define bookmarks in order to go back to them at some later point.

How you define marks can be customized through the marks configuration settings here. The default way of doing it is just by defining a marks list in a document. Let us look at a concrete example:

author: Isaiah Shavitt, Rodney J. Bartlett
edition: '1'
files: [book.pdf]
isbn: 052181832X,9780521818322

- {name: Intermediates definition, value: 344}
- {name: EOM equations, value: 455}

publisher: Cambridge University Press
ref: book:293288
series: Cambridge Molecular Science
title: 'Many-Body Methods in Chemistry and Physics'
type: book
year: '2009'

This book has defined two marks. Each mark has a name and a value. If you tell the open command to open marks, then it will look for the marks and open the value (page number). This is the default behavior. However, if you go to the configuration you’ll see that you can change the convention to what suits you.


  • Open a PDF file linked to a document matching the string bohm

    papis open bohm
  • Open the folder where this last document is stored

    papis open -d bohm

    The file browser used is given by the file-browser setting.

  • Open a mark defined in the info file

    papis open --mark bohm

Command-line Interface

Open document from a given library

papis open [OPTIONS] [QUERY]


-h, --help

Show this message and exit.

--sort <FIELD>

Sort documents with respect to the FIELD


Reverse sort order

--doc-folder <doc_folder>

Document folder on which to apply action

-a, --all

Apply action to all matching documents

--tool <tool>

Tool for opening the file (opentool)

-d, --dir

Open directory

-m, --mark, --no-mark

Open mark



Optional argument