Papers can include clickable-link formatting with in-text citations. It's convenient to click a link to check the citation, however, it's disruptive to have to manually scroll back up to continue reading.

Is there an easier way to resume reading after checking a citation? Alternatively, is there a less disruptive method for checking a citation?

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about how to use a PDF viewer, not specific to academia. Jan 8, 2018 at 20:53
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    You can open same PDF in different tabs/windows. In one tab, you keep location pointer to the References section. In another tab, you keep location pointer at whichever page you are currently reading.
    – user13107
    Jan 9, 2018 at 2:49
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    @NateEldredge If this question is going to be considered off-topic here, can we migrate it to a SE where it isn't? This tip is so useful, and as far as I can tell, hard to find, that it would be a shame to delete it entirely.
    – sgf
    Jan 9, 2018 at 12:06
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    I agree with @NateEldredge that this is boat programming. Jan 9, 2018 at 12:31
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    @sgf: the question is essentially how to navigate in PDF readers. Tacking "for academics" at the end doesn't change that. This is completely analogous to how taking "what is the best boat?" does not become a programming-related question by tacking "for programmers" at the end. Jan 9, 2018 at 13:42

3 Answers 3


If you're using Adobe Acrobat Reader (which I suspect you are), you can press alt + left to jump back to where you were before clicking the link. I find it amazingly useful.

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    Thank you! Do you know how to do similar thing for Google chrome?
    – Hang
    Jan 8, 2018 at 21:12
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    @Hang yes - literally alt+left to go back to the previous page. 90% of the time Chrome will go back to where you were on the previous page. It sometimes doesn't work with bad SPAs.
    – Anemoia
    Jan 9, 2018 at 1:56
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    @1006a three button is left, right, and scroll. Are you talking about 5-button, which has the forward and back buttons by the thumb?
    – user78960
    Jan 9, 2018 at 6:51
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    @AytAyt Yes, sorry, I guess I don't know what order they add buttons—I always just get the one with the most buttons.
    – 1006a
    Jan 9, 2018 at 8:07
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    If you have a 5 button mouse, you can use the thumb buttons to move back and forth. (I purchase my own mouse for work, just to have this feature.)
    – 1006a
    Jan 9, 2018 at 8:08

If using Preview on MacOS, you can use Command + [ to go back.


In a web browser, you can right-click and select "Open link in new tab" or whatever the specific option is for your browser. Then you can click through the tabs rather than scroll through the article.

  • Holding Ctrl and clicking with the left mouse button to open a new tab is even easier/faster.
    – applesoup
    Jan 10, 2018 at 19:55
  • @applesoup, this doesn't work on Chrome on my Macbook. Jan 10, 2018 at 20:24
  • Sorry, my fault. It seems to be Cmd+left click in Chrome on a Mac. Does that work?
    – applesoup
    Jan 11, 2018 at 12:54

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