Help with PDF Export Workflow

I apologize if this is covered elsewhere, but I have yet to stumble upon a solution for this workflow problem.

Often, I want to pull a group of references and PDFs to send them to a colleague. These may not be in any specific folder, but may have a similar keyword.

Anyway, what I'd like to do is highlight the references and export only the PDFs so that I can send as an email attachment. Currently, I only see being able to send them the citations which they must upload into a reference manager; or a plaintext copy of the bibliography. Alternatively I could manually pick out each PDF, but this is kludgy at best, especially when dealing with >10 refs. There must be a simpler way!
  • You should be able to do this by creating a collection or a tag for the items you want to send, then doing an advanced search for type = PDF or something of the sort. Per Dan's last commend in , you should then be able to do Ctrl-A (select all) in the search results, and only the PDFs will be selected. Drag those to a folder on your desktop, or even to your email client and you should be good to go.
  • Though note that multi-file drag doesn't currently work on Windows (and I don't think file dragging works at all currently on Linux). It works on OS X.

    We might be able to fix that for 2.1.
  • Thanks for the help.

    Even though we all love using Zotero, simple solutions like this allow us to collaborate with those without Zotero or any other reference manager. I still think a "simple export" option would be great where a plain text bibliography and all dependent attachments (PDFs, notes) from selected refs are dumped in a single flat folder. At the very least, dumping the PDFs in a flat folder is pretty handy.

    Any great tool should be simple for the masses, but have greater flexibility and power for those with more advanced need.

  • You can always do a regular export and use your OS search features to show all the PDFs below the exported folder. (The ease of that varies by OS—on OS X it's trivial, for example—but it should be possible on any platform.)
  • @Dan

    Obviously true.
    But wouldn't the world be so much sweeter if Zotero did this on it's own and regardless of platform? (Hint..hint!)

  • As of the current version,, has there been any update to this mechanism (for Windows) that makes it easier to export PDFs, especially into email? It still seems to require that you copy the file to your hard drive before it can be attached to the email.
  • @ssmithtr: Depending on what mail client you use, you may be able to just drag the attachment item from Zotero to en email. If not, you can always right-click → Show File and drag the file from there.
  • @dstillman It's Outlook. Dragging from the item or attachment in Zotero to an email doesn't work. Show File did work, and I'm not likely to need to attach a large number of files to an email this way, so that suggestion is a workable solution. If there's any way to facilitate direct drag and drop, especially for a group of selected files, directly from the Zotero interface in the future, that'd be a welcome feature.
    Thanks as always.
Sign In or Register to comment.