Indexing a complete folder automatically

Hi there,

Given the following use case.

I have a folder called 'Documents' with several hundred PDFs, Word files and sometimes even pictures.

Since I very much like Zotero not only as a reference but almost file manager (with all its great features to sort, tag and categorise data) it would be nice to have all files inside of 'Documents' automatically added to Zotero (as attachments). I would then later on sort them myself manually.

Is the use case clear?

Is it possible with Zotero?

  • I think I can now more precisely say what I am looking for in Zotero.

    Mendeley provides a feature which is called:

    Automatically watch folders

    Choose a folder on your computer to “watch”. When you next add papers to that folder, they are also automatically added to your Mendeley library.

    Is this possible in Zotero?
  • ZotFile can almost do that.
    watch source folder for new files

    Whenever the focus changes to the item list in Zotero, Zotfile checks for new files in the source folder. If a new file was added to the folder, zotfile uses a clickable, non-disruptive window to ask the user whether s/he wants to attach that file to the currently selected Zotero item.
    (+ ZotFile thread)
  • edited June 25, 2013
    well but not really - Zotfile will only _attach_ PDFs, it won't add new ones as standalone items, so no, Zotero can't really do it. The main reason, though, is that this is typically not a recommended way to get files (and their data) into Zotero, which is why my guess would be that Zotero devs won't include this feature in Zotero. I understand why you want it, but including features also establishes usage-patterns among new users and that might be a problem here.

    I haven't checked in detail, but especially given that Zotfile already has watch code in place, I think it would be relatively easy to write a plugin that does this, though.
  • (that's why I wrote "almost")
  • my guess would be that Zotero devs won't include this feature in Zotero
    I think we'd consider it if we had a metadata retrieval method that didn't rely on Google Scholar and its usage limits. (This could include using file hashes to retrieve metadata (or identifiers) from existing files on the Zotero servers, though as noted elsewhere that wouldn't work for the custom-generated PDFs from some sites.) Until then, it's not really feasible.
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