Exporting library + text from notes to Excel (CSV) / Better notes plugin?

edited March 15, 2023

I have a question regarding the "export library" tool. Basically, I would like to be able to generate an excel sheet from a list of reference (library) that would include the plain text of the children notes attached to each item. In short, I have about 7 notes attached to each reference in my library and I want a excel sheet of this library that will have additional 7 columns with the text of these notes.

I try to do so by exporting my library in CSV (and ticking the 'include notes' box) and opening the file in excel but the text of the notes are not readable in plain text (I think it is exported in html but I must admit I don't know). Not only the text is not readable but ideally each notes would be exported in a separate column.

The the question is: Am I doing something wrong or is there no way to easily produce such excel sheet?

If not, is there a way to do it more 'manually' ? For example, by exporting the notes separately (in whatever formats, Markdown perhaps?) and then importing them in a relatively smooth way in a excel sheet of my exported library.

Alternatively could the 'better notes' plugin help me to achieve this? And if yes how? (I just downloaded it but I'm lost)

Thanks in advance for your help!

  • I can only speak to the first question -- the export you're seeing is as expected. HTML is how the notes are stored, so that's how they're put in the CSV and having one column per note isn't really feasible -- the way Zotero export works, it doesn't know the maximum number of notes/item in the export set, but that would be needed to create the right number of columns in the spreadsheet.
  • Thanks for the reply @adamsmith !
    The notes are being stored in HTML, makes sense.
    Maybe the "better notes" plugin is the solution for me, I will keep experimenting...
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