Using the Open With context menu in recoll 1.20 and newer

Recoll versions and newer have an Open With entry in the result list context menu (the thing which pops up on a right click).

This allows choosing the application used to edit the document, instead of using the default one.

The list of applications is built from the desktop files found inside /usr/share/applications. For each application on the system, these files lists the mime types that the application can process.

If the application which you would want listed does not appear, the most probable cause is that it has no desktop file, which could happen due to a number of reasons.

This can be fixed very easily: just add a .desktop file to /usr/share/applications, starting from an existing one as a template.

As an example, based on an original idea from Recoll user florianbw, the following describes setting up a script for editing a PDF document title found in the recoll result list.

The script uses the zenity shell script dialog box tool to let you enter the new title, and then executes exiftool to actually change the document.


TITLE=`exiftool -Title -s3 "$PDF"`

RES=`zenity --entry \
  --title="Change PDF Title" \
  --text="Enter the Title:" \
  --entry-text "$TITLE"`

if [ "$RES" != "" ]; then
    echo -n "Changing title to $RES ... " && \
        exiftool -Title="$RES" "$PDF" && \
        recollindex -i "$PDF" && echo "Done!"
     echo "No title entered"

Name it, for example,, and make it executable (chmod a+x

Then create a file named pdf-edit-title.desktop inside /usr/share/applications. The file name does not need to be the same as the script’s, this is just to make things clearer:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=PDF Title Editor
Comment=Small script based on exiftool used to edit a pdf document title
Exec=/home/dockes/bin/ %F

You’re done ! Restart Recoll, perform a search and right-click on a PDF result: you should see an entry named PDF Title Editor in the Open With list. Click on it, and you will be able to edit the title.