simple marking of items?

Don't know if this has been mentioned before - if so, apologies.
It would be a useful feature to be able to mark items, to make them stand out in one way or another. Could be as simple as, for instance, the stars in gmail. This way it would be easy to make quick lists of items of interest, for instance when preparing for a library visit, ...
  • edited December 12, 2007
    Have you tried using tags for this? It seems to me that this might be a good solution, especially since you can make saved search folders based on tags, which would be like a list of marked items.
  • I agree with the original poster. It would be nice to be able to mark items visually (color change the icon or use colored flags, for example). I realize that you can effectively distinguish articles with folders and/or tags, but it would be nice to be able to quickly mark entries within a single folder (especially since changing folders loses your place within another). You could mark which items you've read, or which are under consideration for a move/deletion, or the like. It would be super useful to some people in my office if we had this capability.
  • I second (third? fourth?) the request for a visual flagging or starring of items. I would also suggest, further, that this might be a numbering in order to permit the user to sort a folder in terms of priorities. For instance, I often create lists of items that I want to call up at a library/archive, but these lists are usually longer than I have time for on one visit. So I wish I could prioritize the items so that I can sort the list and work down the list on site. Fantastic program, by the way!
  • edited February 11, 2008
    I wanted to agree with the OP as well. I would like the ability to mark or colorcode an item for various reasons. One prominent reason is to simply mark the file read, or to mark the file's importance to read in the future.
  • I currently do most of these things with tags ('need to read', 'need to pick from library', 'need to reread', 'important'). A visual cue, however, would be nice.

    A generalized solution might be to add the ability to tie certain visual effects to certain tags, so that the user can set all items with tag 'important' to be in red type, etc.
  • I agree with the OP. Yes, we can use tags, but we need to go through multiple steps to see them (by selecting the article, go to the "tags" bar, or alternatively, do a search). Coloring the entries will enable users to get the information much much faster and will make zotero a greater software.
  • Good afternoon,
    Tags are good as keywords.
    Flags are very fine if one doesn’t want to forget to reread a material, I think
    I used to work with Reference Manager. There one can NUMBER one’s references, just number, in ascending order, so the references can be indexed using these numbers. And then number, accordingly, one’s paper copies of the referenced material.
    Is this possible in Zotero? I haven’t found such a tool.
  • I think we all agree that a visual cue (flag, colour, whatever) would be good to have. To reiterate, what I was suggesting is to kill two birds with one stone: flag items based on their tags. Thunderbird does this for email: set all work-related email to a certain colour.

    The good thing about tags is that saved searches can refer to them, giving me folders for 'need to read' and 'need to pick from library'.
  • It's not possible in Zotero to 'number' your references in the way you describe. Though Zotero does save a 'creation date' which one might be able to use in a similar way.

    I use collections for my workflow-related tags. I have a structure something like this:

    2_Get from Library X
    3_Get from Library Y
    03_INCLUDE (in my current writing project)
    04_IGNORE (useless for now, but I want to keep the entry)

    You can see which collections an item is in (as long as they are visible) by holding down CTRL. This method does require some work to maintain. Stuff has to be manually put from GET/READ into INCLUDE, and then deleted from the first, but I find it workable so far.
  • Thanks a lot and I do agree that SCOT’s solution is a very elegant one.

    On the other side - the numbering function requires only an additional field in the database. I imagine, it is easier to say as to do it. But it is only a proposition to the developers.
  • I just wanted to add my vote for color coding as well. I've not done well with the tagging (I tried it), but if I could highlight entries in two or three colors, it'd make my life much easier. Thanks!
  • ¡Yes, please! Color coding would be very useful. I use it all the time in MacOS "Finder", and I would use it a lot in Zotero (to mark unread/useful/useless stuff, for instance).
  • +1 for color coding (preferably "tag colors" as in thunderbird). I mentioned this on another thread but I thought I would repeat it here so everything about this is in one place.
  • +1 for colors! Would be easier for me. Thanks!
  • I agree! Would be an awesome feature to have some color coding options...
  • +1 for a visual cue (flag, color-tag, etc.) best with a few colour options to be given to entries in the middle pane. Thanks.
  • Just another +1. Currently, I'm doing some bibliography and it's quite hard to differenciate printed articles from unprinted ones, as well as 5 stars articles from meaningless ones.

    On top of that, another flag for references with or without attached files would be nice. Currently, in the + column, one cannot see if it corresponds to files, notes or other things. Creating other columns (that is to say a flag) to differenciate attached files, notes, screenshots, web captures etc.. would make things even nicer.

    Thanks. (I just discovered Zotero and I'm completely blown away by this tool : so nice and useful !!)
  • Another vote for colors! mark's idea with colors assigned to tags would be great!
  • +1 on colors based on tags. Zotero is extremely useful as it is, this vote is just in the interest of making navigation even *more* intuitive!
  • Add my vote for flagging/starring + colors. The more organizational tools of this sort (with the ability for the user to turn them off), the better. .

    The flags/stars (if visible and sortable in the middle panel) would be an easy way to sort within a subcollection folder. For example, if the folder is the topic of interest containing many articles, I could quickly flag all of the the essential readings in that folder.
  • Actually, marking can be done using just tags: I'm thinking of marking items with a tag of * (1 star) to ***** (5 stars) according to their relevance. Then for visualization I'll just need to associate each of those tags with a color or icon. I already tag them with "new" when I need to read them later, and have a saved search for those items -- so they're always just one click away.
  • If colors are associated with some or all tags, what should an item look like if it has multiple such tags? Requiring there to be first-order (color-determining, mutually exclusive) and second-order (not color-determining, not mutually exclusive) tags seems like a bad idea-- how could this be done better.

    Remember that we don't have enough screen real estate to do colored, always-visible tags a la GMail, especially since people use many more tags for Zotero items than for email (or at least I imagine this to be the case).
  • Thunderbird appears to just use the first-assigned tag's color. If you unassign the first one, the second color takes over.
  • Thunderbird appears to just use the first-assigned tag's color. If you unassign the first one, the second color takes over.
    In that case we'd want there to be a way to re-order tags, but maybe a first implementation could take this simple approach. Reordering dynamic lists like tags and authors would be a nice improvement anyway-- right now it can be hard to fix incorrectly ordered author lists, so this could kill two (rather small) birds with one stone.
  • That's not particularly necessary—only a handful of tags would have colors assigned, and you could achieve the same effect just by unassigning and reassigning the first-assigned tag (which, if the tags were mapped to number keys like in Thunderbird, would be trivial). The second color would then remain.
  • edited November 13, 2009
    Dan is right, ordering tags is a bit overkill. Just take the first colored tag alphabetically and use that. If you have some high-priority tags just prepend them with an underscore or similar character, and they'll have priority over the others.

    Remember that colored tags should be the exception, not the norm, otherwise we'd need a more complicated system.
  • I don't see any reason to do it alphabetically. The Thunderbird model seems perfectly fine.
  • +1 for flags/stars. It will certainly make a few things easier.
  • +1 for colors and flags. From my point of view, items colors and stars can be extremely helpful even as additional options not directly related to tags. The option of visualizing the selected tags is also very good idea. For example, one can imaging the option of association of tags with small colored images (like small triangles, circles etc.) along with specification of priority. Then these images can be displayed in the list near the item title, for example (in the order according to tags priority).
  • A technical note: it looks like lots of people are using tags to manage their workflow. If Zotero is going to offer things like automatic tagging based on tags in the cloud, it would be essential to distinguish workflow tags from content-related tags (who wants to know that all the others still need to read Kant?). I for one would be happy if we could designate certain tags as 'non-public' on the user side.
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