How to set "Default" PDF to be displayed via "View PDF"?

I have two PDFs attached to one Conference article item. One pdf is the article, the other contains information about the obscure source of the article.

I'm using attached files rather than having the pdf's be stored in randomly generated Zotero subdirectories.

Any way that I can choose which pdf gets displayed as the default? I right click on Conference item and select "View PDF". The pdf that is displayed is the source pdf, not the pdf of the conference paper.
  • Obviously you can expand the item and open the PDF you want, but otherwise it just picks the first one. I'm pretty sure adding an option for that would create more confusion than it solves.
  • I played around with this and it picks the first pdf in the list of its children. So I figured out a simple work around.

    I started off with
    AAAAAA
    BBBBBB

    I can "rename" them as:

    (1) BBBBBB
    (2) AAAAAA

    then I get the one I want. The "name" is just a label. It is associated with the file name of the attached file.
  • I believe it will automatically use the first PDF attached to the item.

    We've discussed the ability to set a primary attachment in the past, but I'm not sure it's worth it.
  • The name shouldn't matter.

    Unless the comment is outdated, this is what it does:

    Looks for attachment in the following order:

    oldest PDF attachment matching parent URL,
    oldest PDF attachment not matching parent URL,
    oldest non-PDF attachment matching parent URL,
    old non-PDF attachment not matching parent URL
  • Dan,

    You're right. The work around that I proposed - doesn't work. :-(

    I'd swear it worked when I tried it, but I've played with it again and I just can't get it to work. I'm stumped....
  • I'm pretty sure adding an option for that would create more confusion than it solves.
    I think that's the biggest concern with this.

    I had the following thought. In the right hand panel we can have a button or a checkbox that says something like "Open this attachment by default". Only one of those check boxes could be checked per parent item of course and, by default, they would all be unchecked.

    I can only see this being useful for items that are commonly accessed. It would also prompt for an additional table in the database, so we probably wouldn't see this until some major changes to the DB.
  • I know you have bigger things to fix, but this seems like something that you should keep in mind if you get mucking around with that part of the code.

    Odd but Zotero does so many things well that a little sang like this is annoying.

    Thanks for the feedback on this...
  • For future users hitting this page, my workaround to this same problem (which seems to be working as of early 2019) is to:

    1. In Zotero, expand the parent item.
    2. Right click the current default PDF.
    3. Choose "Show file", which opens its folder in your file manager (e.g., Explorer on Windows).
    4. Using your file manager, copy the PDF file to another temporary location on my PC (I just popped it on my desktop).
    5. Back in Zotero, right click the current default PDF and choose "Move item to trash..." and click OK to confirm.
    6. (Optional, to check) Double click the parent item in Zotero to check it's now opening the PDF that you want to be default. Once you've checked, close it in your PDF viewer so you can check again at step 8.
    7. From your desktop (or wherever you put the temp copy of your 'wrong' PDF file), drag it back onto the parent item on Zotero.
    8. Again, double click the parent item in Zotero to check that it's still working as you want.
    9. Also check that from the expanded parent item in Zotero you can open the non-default PDF by double clicking it directly.
    10. If the check at step 9 shows the 'wrong' PDF is correctly stored in Zotero then you can safely clean up, deleting the temp copy of the PDF from your desktop.

    That all seems to work to persuade Zotero to treat the old-default file as a new file, and hence to prioritise the other one.
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