RTF/ODF Scan for Zotero

  • I think ODF Scan requires the fields to be ReferenceMarks instead of Bookmarks, so you will need to use LibreOffice.
  • that worked - thank you very much! I had used Libre Office, but somehow thought it would have to be Bookmarks.
  • @adamsmith sorry for the delayed reply but I got the advice from an earlier post in this thread. Someone advised this as a workaround for an update stopping ODT scan from working. I've updated Zotero now and it works! Thanks for your help!
  • Cross-posted from here.

    says this is the thread to post questions on for the creators.

    Does RTF/ODF-Scan for Zotero have anything that Zotero with Microsoft Office Word 2016 or 365 doesn't? Is it really necessary to install LibreOffice and extra configuration tweaks if you already have MS Word? Wouldn't Word be the main focus for everything? Or is there really something that this LibreOffice configuration has that Word doesn't?
  • edited April 7, 2020
    The scan converts citation markers into Zotero citations in Reference Marks in LibreOffice documents. Word doesn't understand Reference Marks, so if you want to use ODF Scan, you'll need LibreOffice, yes.

    Edit: but just to be clear -- you don't need this if you're writing in Word. At this point its main use case is Scrivener (and some other smaller word processors that people rarely ask about)
  • How does the LibreOffice track work with Scrivener?

    I'm in IT. I don't actually use this software. A user asked for LibreOffice and the rest of the set up on https://zotero-odf-scan.github.io/zotero-odf-scan/

    The user does have Scrivener though. The rest of the set up is Office 2016 and Zotero. We try not to install extra software unless it's actually needed. I'm wondering if Word can do all this. But maybe it's needed for Scrivener?
  • It's not so much about what Word can do then what ODF scan is designed to do:

    It takes a document with citation markers inserted in an .odt document as simple text and converts them in a format that Zotero's LibreOffice plugin can understand and convert into active Zotero citations (so that you can apply and switch citation styles). LibreOffice with the Zotero plugin installed is absolutely required for this step and there is no way to replace it with any other tool.

    It would almost certainly be _possible_ to write a tool that does the same for the same markers inserted into .docx documents and convert them into Word fields (like .odt, .docx files are just a bunch of zipped XML files), but no one has done so and we (i.e. the creators of the ODF scan tool) don't have any plans to.
  • I have a question regarding the unique item identifier. I remember years ago that EndNote linked back to a reference by using a number which was the order that you imported the references e.g. (smith, 2017, #1). Thus if Endnote crashed, you had to import references in a certain order to get the links to work (smith had to be re-uploaded first). Not a good system when you have hundreds of references.

    I just wanted to check about the unique item identifier - If Zotero crashes in two years time and I loose everything, but manage to re-import pdfs and references back into Zotero, will the unique item identifiers in scrivener still work?

    Or another way of phrasing, if I imported a reference, deleted it, then imported it again, would the unique item identifier be the same in both instances?

    Thanks :)
  • Or another way of phrasing, if I imported a reference, deleted it, then imported it again, would the unique item identifier be the same in both instances?
    No. The identifier is stable when synced and stable when restored from a standard database back-up, but it's not stable for import/export or re-fetching items from the web.

    But with any reasonable back-up strategy, you should be no more likely to lose your Zotero database than to lose all your text documents (i.e. you'll want to be set up in a way that makes that basically impossible)
  • Thanks,

    I was going to ask what you define as a reasonable back up strategy, but I see it's already addressed here. https://www.zotero.org/support/zotero_data

    Really appreciate the response and will make sure to back up appropriately :)

  • i have problem with the rtf scan function of the tool.
    i installed the latest version today on my Zotero stand alone client, also I have libre office and the Zotero plugin ready. the rtf files are exported from scrivener with scannable cites inline.
    somehow the rtf function doesn't do anything.
    .odf files from scrivener can be scanned by the tool without any problems. however in the further workflow I'd like to insert the files into indesign, which doesn't read .odf...

    any help or suggestions would be appreciated :)

  • The ODF scan tool doesn't work with RTF -- for that, you'd use the simple but less robust https://www.zotero.org/support/rtf_scan
    If you want to keep working with our tool, just save the file as RTF from LibreOffice (though note that this will mean Zotero is no longer linked to the citations, so you'll probably want to do that in a copy)
  • thanks for your reply, Adam.
    maybe I was confused because of the name of the tool "rtf/odf scan".
    anyways I had my problems using the rtf scan. I guess I'll have to post my question somewhere else.
    kind regards
  • @adamsmith Hi Adam, I just wanted to ask you a question if I may. I am thinking about using Scrivener with Zotero, in which I have an extensive number of citations saved, and wonder what is the easiest way to make them work. I am currently working a thesis on word for mac, which has already the Zotero plugin installed. I see there are mentions in the forum LibreOffice (which I have no idea what it is, meaning what purpose serves in this process), but I wonder if this is the only way to move forward with Zotero and Scrivener. Thank you so much in advance for your time and help. Have a great day! Paulo
  • If you want to use the ODF Scan add-on then, yes, you will need LibreOffice installed -- it converts the scanned citations into actual citations and a bibliography. You won't need to use it for any writing, but you do need it to get correctly formatted output.
    See the "Setting a Citaiton Style" step here:
  • edited June 8, 2020
    Are you using rich text, or markdown in Scrivener?
  • sadly,
    it doesn't work on my project.
    after compiling my project to odt file, scan it with odf scan to a new rtf file, this rtf file unreadable in word. in which step I was missing?

    curently i am on:
    scrivener 3.1.5
    zotero 5.0.88-beta.10+482b8b6f7
    ODF Scan for Zotero 2.0.43
    Microsoft word 16.33
  • You need to compile it to an ODF file, then open the file in LibreOffice, not Word.
  • (and then set the citation style in Libre Office)
  • edited June 16, 2020
    @bwiernik and @adamsmith
    thanks for your suggestions.
    it works well in LO, but not in word.
    "Word found unreadable content in "mydraft (citations) (Scanned).rtf". Do you want to recover the contents of this document? Word experienced an error trying to open the file..."
    problems with my word app?
  • Love ODF scan — it's a huge life-saver for Scrivener users. One thing I've been thinking about as I approach submitting my dissertation: is there any way to speed up the time the scan takes? At present it can often take an hour or two for a scan to process one of my chapters, and I have a bunch of chapters, so that's a lot of time! No worries of course if not, just wanted to make sure I'm not doing something wrong. I am running a quad-core 15 inch Macbook Pro, and I never see processor speed or memory max out while doing a scan, so I don't think that's the problem. Maybe I should just cut down on my citations? lol
  • Hi @adamsmith - thanks for an amazing tool.
    I have a question regarding in-line Chicago (author-date) citations. Whenever I generate the citations with ODF Scan, they turn up without parentheses. As in "Plant 1998" instead of "(Plant 1998)". Puzzlingly, Zotero's style preview and style editor show the citations correctly, with parentheses.
    Is there any way for me to fix this?

    My workflow is:
    1. Compile Scrivener doc as RTF (for functioning footnotes)
    2. Convert file to ODT in LibreOffice
    3. Generate citations with ODF scan

    Linux Ubuntu 18.04 - Scrivener beta (64 bit) - Zotero 5.0.88
  • @tobiaswe -- you're just missing a step. You still have to select a citation style using Document Preferences in LibreOffice. "Plant 1998" is just a placeholder inserted by ODF Scan.
  • Thanks, that was it! I can't believe I overlooked that step. Let's never talk about it again, lol.
  • Would anybody be able to help me work out what is breaking ODF scan on conversion? I have an ODF document that opens fine, but when I run it through the scan, LibreOffice is unable to open it. I think it may have something to do with citation markers converting to hyperlinks. I've tried stripping these out by saving it as text, and then back to ODF format, but it's not working.
  • I can try to look this weekend if you email both the pre and the post-scan document to me. It'd help a lot of if you can create a minimal breaking example. The shorter the doc, the more manageable to find issues.
  • @adamsmith

    I'd really appreciate that. I'll cut out as much from the document to see if I can recreate the problem with a short document. It's long at the moment.

    In the meantime, I've stripped out as much formatting as I can, leaving the Zotero references, but on conversion they are entirely stripped out and replaced with simple paragraph marks. It's a bit baffling.
  • Error says: 'Read Error.
    Format error discovered in the file in sub-document context.xml at 3,0(row,col).'
  • edited July 31, 2020
    I've discovered the problem by dividing the document into 128 pieces. Either Scrivener or LibreOffice had automatically and covertly changed a Zotero reference { | Smith, 2020 |123| | zotero://select/items/0_123456} to a 'live' hyperlink. This seems to break the conversion. Could a change be made to the ODF code to strip this out? I can share the problematic file.
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