New user: Two issues - both regarding citation keys

edited February 5, 2023

TLDR: How do I get PDF's that I upload into Zotero to have a Citation key? (many of them are software manuals)


I uploaded a bunch of PDF's into Zotero, and it took me a while to figure out what the problem was, but then I noticed that in the right window, some files had a citation key like this:

but others were like this:

The reason that this matters to me is that I am trying to use Zotero in conjunction with Obsidian, and the Obsidian plugin is only able to access the references that have a citation key.

Can someone help?

Also, the safari browser seems to SOMETIMES download the .PDF I'm viewing, it doesn't seem that reliable.

Thank you!!
  • 1) That Citation Key field is a feature of the Better BibTeX plugin, not Zotero.

    2) The second screenshot is just an attachment. Read through Adding PDFs and Other Files to better understand this.
  • That is super helpful, thank you!

    Is there any kind of workaround where I can upload a bunch of PDFs and have a parent automatically created, so I don't have to manually do it for each pdf? Thanks!!
  • I just started using Zotero so still making my way around. Your post really helps. Not sure what the reason is that an attachment "needs" a parent?
  • As that section explains, Zotero will automatically create a parent item when it's able to retrieve or extract metadata for the PDF. When it can't, you need to get the metadata some other way, and that depends entirely on the PDF in question, so you have to use the appropriate method.
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