Issue Citing in Google Docs


I've had this issue before (I believe it was actually around this time last year, if it is helpful to go back and see the troubleshooting that got done on that post before). I'm having trouble citing in Google Docs. Basically, I will go to the Zotero plug-in on my Google Doc, click "Add/edit citation," type in the source I want to cite in the search bar that comes up, but then when it returns me to my Doc, the footnote I get just says "{Updating}" in blue font. It doesn't give me my citation, only a stagnant "{Updating}" message in the footnote. If I try over and over and over again (a good 6 or 7 times), I finally get it sometimes. Other times, I can never get it. This only started happening again recently--like I said, it happened last year, we troubleshooted for a while without any real consensus, and it sort of went away on its own. Now, its back and my need for Zotero has only increased!

I would appreciate any help you could provide. I also really appreciate the service you all provide, its an absolute godsend.

  • We should restart debugging where we left off last year. Send in a video demonstrating the issue. Generated a Debug ID from Zotero that contains an attempt to cite that fails. Try disabling other extensions in Chrome, especially the Google Docs Offline extension.
  • Hi, I emailed in the video I took to How do I generate a debug ID? And I don't think I have any extensions in Chrome other than Keep, which I disabled last time and it didn't change anything. I guess I'm not totally sure if I have other extensions? I don't think I have the Google Docs Offline extension.

    I would have replied sooner but, again, the problem "solved" itself the day after I submitted this, but now it's back again.
  • edited November 25, 2022
    Debug ID:

    You should also make sure the citation dialog isn't just appearing behind your other windows. It's part of Zotero, not your browser, so it might be behind your browser window if it's not properly brought to the front.

    Go to Window → Extensions to check for other browser extensions.
  • @mlannigan You should still generate a Debug ID from Zotero and post it here. Also, please refresh the google docs page, then attempt to insert a citation with Zotero like you did in the video you sent. After the "Please wait" message disappears, press Ctrl-Shift-i on your keyboard. Browser developer tools will open. Switch to the Console tab. Do you see any Zotero related messages there? Can you send them to
  • Apologies about the delay in the response. Here is the debug ID for what I did: D772792887

    The citation dialogue isn't appearing behind my other windows, I have checked. And I checked for further Extensions and have none.

    I opened browser developer tools and went to the Console tab. I got a Zotero-relevant message there. I emailed it to in the form of a screenshot, but will also paste the text of it here:

    Connector Communication Error: Method document/execCommand failed at chrome-extension://ekhagklcjbdpajgpjgmbionohlpdbjgc/connector.js:292
  • edited December 10, 2022
    (3)(+0000024): Moving window to 461, 393


    (3)(+0000003): Integration: http-addEditCitation:'1R5hPv8RuRLE8HovVBuATlA1Ro9Mo1iPB5fO--yyix3I' complete in 14.639s


    I'm not seeing an error in the debug output you submitted, though. That seems to show a successful Add/Edit Citation operation, taking about 15 seconds, including time that the dialog was open.

    Are you sure the Debug ID you provided covered this error occurring?
  • (In other words, your video showed the citation dialog never appearing, but that doesn't seem to be what this particular Debug ID shows.)
  • Ah, I see--I never actually watched the video myself after I sent it. My bad--it only recorded one of my windows. The citation dialogue definitely showed up, and I typed in "Beyond Good and Evil" (what I wanted to cite), selected the source, and then ended up with the "{Updating}" footnote. The same thing happened with the Debug ID I just sent. The video just didn't show the citation dialogue window opening, but it did open for me.

    Also, looking back over the thread of this happening from last year, you guys also said that the Debug ID showed a successful Add/Edit Citation. I'm not sure if it'll be helpful to have what we did there, but it's here if it is:
  • As before, does it work fine in Edge? This seems identical to what you reported last time and my best guess as to what is happening is that Zotero tells Google Docs to update your document and Google Docs responds to Zotero that the update occurred successfully, but then the Google Doc editor open in your browser doesn't get the updated contents. Since this previously only occurred in Chrome, it would very likely indicate some extension, setting or even profile corruption causing this.
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