Migrating Citavi 5 db with local file links to Citavi 6 cloud db

David P. shared this question 4 years ago


I am about to upgrade from Citavi 5 to Citavi 6. Since I use my dbs on multiple PCs at multiple locations, it will be to my advantage in Citavi 6 to store my dbs in the cloud. However, I am not sure what to do about the many, many local file links in my current Citavi 5 dbs. It seems that cloud dbs do not allow for local file links, for obvious reasons. But what will happen to these links when I convert? I assume they will need to be converted to attachments--but what is the best way to insure that this happens for all the links? Is there a way, I hope, to ensure that they are all converted automatically when upgrading?

Thanks for your help!

Replies (5)


My belated thanks for this reply, Sebastian! I am only now getting around to doing the actual upgrade. I have two follow-up questions:

  1. Is there an option in Citavi 6 to continue using links instead of imported attachments?
  2. If the answer to (1) is yes, is it necessary to go through the procedure of importing all the attachments? For background, I sync my Citavi 5 db and use links instead of attachments. This works for me, because I have my file structure exactly mirrored on all my computers, so the file address is the same on all of them.
  3. If the answer to both (1) and (2) is yes, will I be able to convert back to links after upgrading?

I hope this isn't too convoluted!




Okay, please ignore the previous comment. (Except for the part where I thank you!)

I realize that the answers to all my questions are predicated in the first instance on whether I choose to make my file LOCAL or CLOUD in Citavi 6. So, my primary decision is which to choose.

As I explained above, my current practice is to keep all files where they currently are in my file system and only link them to the references in Citavi 5. I do keep my db and all my linked files in DropBox. This syncs my db and the entire folder structure to all three of my working computers, which means the links and the files they link to are identical on all machines. (So far I have hand zero problems working this way, for several years now.)

So my first question is really, Is it possible to continue working this way in Citavi 6, if I choose to?

If the answer is no, then clearly I want to convert to a cloud project in C6.

But if the answer is yes, I need to do a cost/benefit analysis of the two methods, cloud vs. local project in C6.

I think I understand the benefits of a cloud project: all of my files will be available everywhere, even machines other than my own three synced ones. Is that the only benefit, or are there others? I realize that there is some risk in my current DropBox method, but so far it hasn't been a problem, and I think I have things set up so that my project backups are sufficient and that the project will never be open simultaneously on more than one of my machines. (I've got a Windows Scheduler task that closes Citavi 5 if my machine has been idle for more than a certain number of minutes.)

Because I will want to keep pristine, original copies of all my files, a potential downside seems to be that I will be duplicating these files, one copy "inside" Citavi 6 and one copy "outside." There is no issue of storage space on my own machines, but I am a little worried about Citavi's 5 gb "soft" limit on cloud storage. I have no way of telling how much total space all my linked articles and books would consume if they were copied into a cloud db. I notice that over on the German-language board there have been some discussions of issues related to doing things this way, but my German isn't good enough to understand exactly what the problems and concerns are. What is troubling people?

Many thanks,



Hi, David,

short answer: yes, you can continue as before but regarding the sync process, I feel that I need to warn the general public.

Currently, the most important benefit of the Citavi Cloud over syncing is, that the database is far less likely to get corrupted (see link above). Once Citavi Web is released, the added benefit is, that you can access your project without having to run a client application on any computer from within a web browser.

With your focus on "pristine" PDF files, I suggest you stick to your current method, as Citavi compresses the PDF files when uploading which might not in all cases be completely lossless. The upside of the Cloud on the other hand: You'd have an index based full text search in Citavi which is much faster than the local one.

If you're worried about the size of the PDFs, I find WinDirStat a helpful tool for determining the size of your library.

Best regards



Hi, Sebastian,

Thank you again for a prompt and informative reply! I love Citavi support. I also love the forums--I just need to brush up on my German in order to get the most out of them!

I agree that sticking with my current practice is probably best for now. As I say, I'm aware of the risks and have put measure in place to minimize them. With local backups on all machines, plus automatic backups turned on, I hope to avoid disaster!

I actually experimented by configuring a copy of my db as a cloud project. My db was already about 4.5gb! (I have a lot of full-text books.) The indexing and search function is nifty, and it is very convenient to have this inside Citavi when annotating pdfs. However, it is still not nearly as powerful as the search functionality within my PDF editor of choice, PDF-XChange. It means I have to go back and forth between PDFX and Citavi in order to annotate within Citavi, but this is not such a big deal when I am searching to identify relevant passages--I have two large monitors! And, on the other hand, when I am reading continuously in a text, I can still do this entirely within Citavi.

I look forward to watching this excellent product continue to evolve. But I will never lose the ability to keep my database local, rather than in the cloud.

Thank you again.




Hi, David

If you like to stick with your local PDF editor, it's probably really best to stick to local projects for now. There is no really convenient way of editing attachments externally with a cloud project yet.

One thing's for sure, though: We will not do away with local databases. Storing your database in the cloud will always be an additional feature, but not a requirement for working with the Citavi desktop app.

Best regards


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