Inserting citation into a word document causes alot of repagination

I have a rather large document with a lot of citations. I'm using the latest version of Zotero.

Until recently, whenever I upgraded Zotero, inserting a new citation after the upgrade would cause word to repaginate the document alot (I'd have to walk away and have a coffee). That was tolerable ... upgrades didn't happen that frequently.

However, of late (since the last upgrade?), the problem of almost "endless" repagination has started happening even without having done an upgrade. In the past hour it's happened twice and it makes working impossible (word is effectively locked, and so is firefox, until the pagination is over).
  • That's odd. What operating system are you running? Does this happen every time you add a citation, or only specific citations or in specific places in your document?

    This isn't a fix for the underlying issue, but you could try switching to draft view, which should make the document updates faster.
  • I'm using Windows XP SP 3. This has only really started happening since the last update ... but having said that, I've been away from work/study for the past month so I might not have noticed as early as I otherwise would have.
  • Arggh. I forget to be in draft mode and it's doing it again. That will be 10-15 minutes of where I can't do anything else with Word or Firefox. This makes Zotero pretty unworkable for me. And yet I have so much invested in it it is hard to walk away from it.

    Presumably, Zotero is updating each citation and then word is re-paginating after each 'change'. I wonder why the behaviour has changed; could there be a way for Zotero to have Word defer the updates/re-pagination until after it has gone through the whole document.... or not have it update every citation in the first place.

    In case it matters there isn't a bibliography in the document ... I stopped doing that a long time ago as it was too too slow.
  • you could work with a different citation style - presumably you use something like Chicago right now? Use a different style - maybe even a numeric style? - for the time being then switch to the correct style when you need formatted output.
    That's clearly a work-around - the other thing is - I don't understand why Zotero would update/change any of the other citations - presumably the should stay the same?
  • Do you have "Track Changes" turned off on the document? It doesn't work with Zotero.
  • Hi Adam ... I'm using APA, but I suspect (given the behaviour) that the problem would also occur regardless of the citation style. It's because Zotero is refreshing the citations that word does a repagination (after it refreshes each citation).

    Hi Anders ... Thanks for the advice. I'm not using track changes.

    [The fact that I'm back here is a sign that word is frantically repaginating again).
  • what I don't understand is - why do Word pages even change as Zotero refreshes? - presumably the length of the old citations don't change upon refreshing?
    Sorry, this is all a bit of guesswork here, but I don't think anyone has ever seen the behavior you're describing before, so we are scrambling to figure out what's going on - is there any way you can try this out on a second computer?
    (i.e. copy your data folder, install Zotero on the 2nd computer, load your database, open the document and see if this occurs again.
  • Okay ... my document is about 143 pages long and has about 466 citations.

    I copied the document over to a new machine and I copied my library over too.

    Inserted a new citation near the end of the start of the document. There was a short pause after clicking okay (4-5 seconds) and then the citation is there. I closed word (not saving the document).

    I opened the document and went to the end and inserted a citation there. Long long wait (the machine is still going as I time this) whilst it repaginates.

    The length of the citations may not change, but I'm guessing that word believes they might have changed. So it repaginates all 143 pages 466 times. Not a quick process.

    This doesn't happen everytime ... maybe its only when Zotero/Word/Firefox thinks there has been some sort of upgrade to Zotero/Word/Firefox.

    I was going to have a look at the code in, but alas on my machine it says it is protected and I can't access it. Nor can I find the right place in the SVN to read it either.
  • weird, maybe Simon can make sense of this.
    If you download (rather than install) and unpack the full plugin .xpi
    you should be able to look at all the code, I believe.
  • Thanks for the link to the svn code. That will give me something to do a the weekend (instead of writing)
  • It would be great if there were an option to disable the automatic refresh of each citation after inserting a new citation. That would speed things up.
  • Citations shouldn't be automatically refreshed unless they have changed. If they are being refreshed even though they haven't changed, then this is a bug.
  • In some styles the citation depends on the position (first, subsequent, ...), so it could be intentionally. But I wouldn't mind if they changed that.
  • I wanted to ask if there's by now a workaround for that problem. I have a Word-Document with 390 citations on 180 pages - and repaginating takes 15 min minimum!! I wanted to mention that this only happens when I use a citation style with numbers (AMA, Nature). Citation styles without numbers (like: (Stillman, 1978)) are without repagination problems.

  • No - it's also not something that we've been able to replicate consistently - but your workaround seems pretty clear - work with an author date style and change style last thing. Also, don't insert a bibliography until you're done.
  • Potential workarounds are:

    1) Use draft view.
    2) Only insert citations at the end of the text. (Inserting a new numeric citation in the middle of your text requires that each subsequent citation be updated, which is probably the cause of the long repagination.)
    3) Use an author-date style and then switch to a numeric style when you are done.
    4) Use Zotero 2.1 beta, which should reduce the amount of repagination in Word for Windows (but not in Word for Mac). But this may not be such a great idea if you are in the middle of a 180 page document, since this is beta software.

    You can combine some of these for better effect.
  • Does MS Word not repaginate with ANY insertion or deletion of text or punctuation? A few years ago, before I was using Zotero, I left MS Office because of that problem when I was working with a many-page document. You didn't say which version of Word you are using but before I switched to Open Office I tried an upgrade to a newer MS Office version. It made the repagination problem a little worse than before. This work slowdown in combination with another pagination related problem forced me to make the switch. The other problem? When I used Acrobat Pro to convert a long MS Word document to pdf the page breaks in the pdf version differed from the MS Word version. That was really messy when I included in my text "see something on page 123" and the pdf conversion moved it to page 125.
  • I too have this problem with a large document with many citations. It prevents me from doing anything in Word until repagination is finished, and sometimes my computer just can't handle it.

    What I can say for sure is that I first noticed it after putting several section breaks into the document. Could this be a problem?

    My solution has been to turn on draft view when I first open the document and insert a citation. It takes a little time for Word to calm down then, but not long. Then I can go back to whatever view I wish and insert citations freely.
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