Confusion with two types of notes

Hello all, I'm going through my library trying to be good, and adding notes to things :)

However, I'm a little confused - there seem to be two types of notes you can make for a particular item. If you have a PDF stored in an item, you can click on the PDF, and a note editing window appears on the left, where you can make notes about the PDF (I'm calling these "PDF-notes". If you click on the actual item, you can also "add notes", which will appear as attachments to the item ("item-notes").

If you edit the PDF-note however, you wont get another note attachment stored in the item. Is this PDF-note somehow attached to the PDF itself? Will notes made in the PDF-note be search-able etc?

It seems like it's generally a bit hard to keep track of what items you have made notes about and which you haven't, especially when there are these multiple types of notes. For instance, to try and keep track of this, I've made a saved search, which will find all items with type "note"... I'm not sure if this search will catch the PDF-notes, as they aren't notes attached to the item in the normal way.

Am I getting the wrong end of the stick somehow?

Thanks for any advice!
  • You have indeed happened upon a confusing aspect of Zotero -- I generally don't make reading notes in the notes field of attachments. I use that field very rarely, but when I do, I try to use it to provide additional information on the provenance of a given attachment; conceptually, notes on the content ought to be attached to the parent Zotero item, but notes that pertain to the attachment as such ought to be written in the field on the item.

    Attachments with such notes should show up in searches, but they won't show up as type "note"; instead, the attachment will be listed as a hit.
  • Hmm yeah I guess that makes sense. I reckon the ability to make notes directly on an attached item is a bit confusing and maybe should be left out, but I guess there are just as many others who think the opposite :>
  • edited February 15, 2012
    Sorry to revive an old thread. This was the only reference I found on this matter.

    Do you know where Zotero stores PDF-notes (and item-notes)? They don't seem to be stored next to the corresponding PDF.
  • They're part of the sqllite database and not saved as separate files.
  • Ok, thanks. I was wondering what would happen to them if I moved my data folder to another location
  • they'll follow you wherever you take your zotero.sqlite ;-).
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