Weapon of choice: how do you view your pdfs?

I have had Zotero on my laptop for awhile, but havent used it much. I thought the biggest weakness of Zotero is the lack of a pdf viewer integrated with the program, a feature that Qiqqa has mastered.

What pdf viewers do people use with Zotero?

I find adobe unwieldy. I usually use the lightweight SumatraPDF, but I find it is not the best for reading articles as it does not have any highlighting or annotating features.

As a potential user of Zotero, I am curious if there is any talk of an integrated pdf viewer?
  • I've never seen that as much of a weakness - there are a ton of existing PDF viewers and you can pick the one you like best and use it with Zotero, I feel developing/integrating one directly into Zotero smells like mission creep. Qiqqa is windows only, which I think is a joke, Mendeley's integrated pdf viewer isn't all that good.

    Which viewer works best for you is a matter of taste.
    For Windows people tend to like FoxIt and pdfXchange (I actually think adobe pro is great if you can afford it), for Mac there is preview and skim.
    For Linux things are a bit dimmer, most people who really want annotations use pdfXchange with Wine.
  • I agree with ess205 an PDF-tool- plugin for Zotero would be very usefull.
    Some time ago I tried several pdf-viewer and found this project: http://www.docear.org/2012/05/22/dreaming-of-an-integrated-java-pdf-viewer-for-docear/

    Why do not cooperate in making an integrated-java-pdf-viewer?
  • i agree with adamsmith. there are so many good 3rd party PDF readers that there is no need to duplicate. my only suggestion is that zotero should have an easily accessible list of suggested/recommended PDF readers as the majority of people are probably using adobe because they don't know anything else exists.
  • You should feel free to start a list of pdfReaders in the docuWiki - I'm sure you're right and many people would find that helpful.

    People should also look at the Zotfile plugin, which can extract annotations from pdfs into Zotero note, tying entry and pdf more closely together (this will only work with real annotations written to the pdf as by pdfXchange, acrobat, foxit, etc. but not those written to seperate files like Okular or Mendeley's pdf reader).
  • Adobe Reader X is free for download and it allows you to make simple annotations (highlighting and comments) to PDFs. If that's all you need in a PDF viewer then it is worth exploring.
  • Its a good idea to have a list of free pdf-readers, john.
    Do anybody knows the pdfreaders.org- campaign from the Free-Software-Foundation?

    http://pdfreaders.org/ (deutschsprachig)
    http://pdfreaders.org/index.en.html (english version)

    Its free software, platformindependant and based of open standards.
  • Picking up on this topic thread, because while I am committed to Zotero, and wax poetic on its qualities to fellow grad students and professors, I would love the ability to have a well-integrated PDF viewer that I can annotate easily in. I was recently referred to Qiqqa for its pdf-viewer abilities, which I was told can summarize annotations from multiple sources. Does Qiqqa work well with Zotero? I currently use Zotpad on my iPad, open the PDF in iAnnotate and make my annotations - but that can be cumbersome, as it doesn't seem to automatically sync my PDFs with these annotations -- am I missing a step? Plus, ideally I would like to use the same PDF-viewer on desktop as well as iPad...

    Thanks in advance for your insight!
  • I now use the combination of Zotero, PDFXchangeview running under wine (for annotations WITHIN the PDF, it's like the only way), and Docear. All three softwares do something the other doesn't do - collecting, viewing, and a nice notepad with lines to make sense of it all. These working together help me heaps in gathering literature and summarizing them in an overview. Too bad Docear development seems to have halted for the moment, I believe.

    I am still really missing a more automated PDF import (which you have currently only in JabRef, but I guess most publisher's sites discourage automated PDF fetching. This is quite bad for research since it wastes my time to visit their sites.

  • @thematrix

    I am working on setting up my own Zotero/Docear workflow for my thesis. I was wondering if you have any advice/tips/tricks on how to best accomplish this.

    Thanks in advance!
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