Search all libraries simultaneously

I would like to be able to search through all libraries simultaneously. I have my own library and about ten groups. Sometimes I do not remember which library a particular item is in, so finding it is difficult. Also sometimes I just want to see all the articles that I have relating to a particular topic.
  • FWIW,
    I assume it could be implemented as another search condition ("Library is xxx" + a special "Library is all/any" with an adequate phrasing)
  • Note that my comment there was in the context of the specific suggestion regarding changing the way advanced search works as a workaround for the lack of a proper GUI.
    I assume it could be implemented as another search condition ("Library is xxx" + a special "Library is all/any" with an adequate phrasing)
    The problem with this or with a proper library-selection GUI that offered the same option is that you shouldn't be able to save such a search to a specific library, because the search itself would be on a superset of that library.

    One thing that was suggested elsewhere (can't find the thread right now) is to have all libraries—personal and group—exist under a common header in the left pane, with the ability to do a recursive quick search across all libraries. That's a little problematic if recursiveCollections is off, but it would offer a place to dock saved searches across any library. (They could sync as part of the user's personal library but appear above it.)
  • We need something like this badly. It's a big drawback compared to Mendeley. From a user perspective, one search or search with qualifiers is much much easier to use than having to search in each library separately when you can't remember what library you put something in (think of how we search in Windows or in Evernote). What's the point of having all my articles in one program if the search doesn't cover all contents in the program. The way it works now is like Windows only letting you search one folder at a time. At least that's how it feels from the user end.

    I'm a big fan of both Zotero and Mendeley, but I've always though Zotero could take a lesson from Mendeley on the UI and UX.
  • just to be clear "Library" here only refers to groups. You can obviously search across all collections (the default for advanced search or by having "My Library" selected during a quick search), so the Windows analogy is more alike to searching only on one hard disk (partition) at a time.
    And, of course, Mendeley doesn't have saved searches, so they don't have to solve that particular issue ;)
  • Okay, I have to hide my tail between my legs and admit that Mendeley doesn't do this either. I was mistaken about how they handle groups, items in groups and search across library, collections, and groups in the same way Zotero does. Items in groups are physically separate items, which can be edited without affecting the items in the personal library. Searches and "find duplicates" work either within an individual group or across all personal library collections, but not both at the same time. Sorry for the confusion.

    Has anyone worked out a way around this? I use search a lot to find items in my library, and I've figured out a work-around, but it involves working in my group and then copying group items to my library so they can be searched with all the rest of my library items. A little clunky but works for now.
  • I am not a developer so this may not be viable but would it be worth simply removing the save search option for a search conducted across 'All libraries'?

    May not be the optimal solution but at least it gives a search all function to those users that are members of many groups.
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