Available for beta testing: Faster citing of selected and open items

In the latest Zotero 7 beta, the Quick Format dialog — the red bar that pops up when you click Add/Edit Citation from the Word, LibreOffice, or Google Docs plugin — now automatically suggests items selected in Zotero as well as any items you have open in the built-in reader. These appear in new "Selected Items" and "Open Documents" sections in the search results.

This makes it faster than ever to cite materials you're working with. If you have a PDF open in the reader, you can simply click Add/Edit Citation, press Return once to choose that document's parent item, and press Return again to insert the citation into your document. The same will work for an item selected in the library tab.

We know some people prefer the "classic" citation dialog for the ability to find items by browsing their libraries. With this new functionality, it's now possible to just select an item in the main Zotero window, switch to your word processor, click Add/Edit Citation, and press Return. If you previously made the classic citation dialog the default and want to switch back to the Quick Format dialog, you can do so from the Cite pane of the Zotero settings.

If you want to insert a citation with multiple selected items, you can press space bar after pressing Return to choose another item. In a future update, we'll make it possible to use Shift + up/down-arrow to select multiple items in the search results, which you could then reorder via drag and drop.
  • This is great! Thank you!
  • This is very helpful, thank you!
  • What a clever feature. Zotero keeps delighting us.
  • Ah I have been looking for this feature for years, only thing I still miss from Endnote (inserting selected citations). Thanks!!
  • This doesn't appear to work for Add Notes -- any reason it shouldn't? See e.g. https://forums.zotero.org/discussion/111287/searching#latest for a possible use case
  • We'll add it for the notes, no reason not to https://github.com/zotero/zotero/issues/3642
  • Nice. Is there any plan to use a button on zotero to insert citaion (like Endnote)?
  • @hanheihei: No, that wouldn't make sense. I'm not sure exactly how EndNote works, but Zotero integrates with multiple word processors (including one that runs in your browser), you can have multiple document windows open, etc. The only thing that makes sense is pulling into the document you want to insert a citation in.
  • In Endnote you highlight multiple references in the library view (control click to highlight them) then there is a toolbar button in word that says insert selected citations.

    The zotero version is more flexible because it lets you insert open pdfs as well as highlighted references.

    But the Endnote way is super quick so it would be good if the red insert citations box had an item in the list that said insert all selected citations or something.
  • Yes, we're likely going to change how this feature works for multiple selected items, just letting you choose them all at once from the dialog and then reorder them as necessary. The advantage of the current approach is that you can just put them in the correct order as you go, but choosing each one and pressing space bar after each is a bit tedious.
  • It was a little confusing when I was trying it out that, when I had multiple selected or open items, the list disappeared after selecting one and then re-appeared after typing any character. Would it be possible to make the list persistent or re-appear without typing?
  • Yes, I think we can have it stay open. The auto-selection would just have to go away until you pressed space or down-arrow, since Enter has to be able to close the dialog after the first selection.
  • Perfect solution, love it.
  • I have not tried this as I am not using beta.

    What will happen in situations with many groups? The current Add dialogue is the only way to search across groups and to pick a reference from the correct group for citing. Searching manually through some 20 groups to find the right reference will be not only much slower but prohibitive.
  • This is in addition to, not instead of, the current search behavior in quick format
  • Ah, thanks. I must have misread the explanation.
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