Renaming PDFs (file name structure and maximum length)


I intend to use Zotfile to batch rename all my PDFs. I would appreciate help to deal with issues of file name structure and length.

a) In terms of structure, I am thinking about using the following:

Author (2013) Title of the document

Is such structure adequate in terms of the ways Zotero and Windows deals with the files? Besides RDF, I have needs to export files as RIS and BIB.

b) In terms of maximum length of the “title”, I am thinking about set it to 90, what would generate files around 110-115 characters length (author + year + title). Is it adequate?

Many thanks in advance,
  • I don't see any problems with either of this, though whether you run into file-length problems somewhat depends on how long the filepath to the directory where you store the files is. Windows imposes a 255 characters filepath limit, so you want to make sure you stay below that. Spaces and parentheses shouldn't be a problem on any operating system released in the last 10 years.
  • Thanks for answering! I was concerned about that, mainly because I had some problem recently to export from Zotero as RIS. An error massage was appearing after I tried to export items.

    Although my files wasn't using parentheses (instead they were with underline author_date_title), the title length was set to 100, totalizing around 120-125 characteres. c

    In the "file name" field I was using the Zotero's default "Exported Items". By chance I shortened the name to just "Exported" and the files could be exported. So the issue of the length has appeared.

    Do you know if this problem when exporting RIS is related with the PDF file names associated with the name typed when exporting from Zotero?

    Thanks again,
  • almost certainly not, no. Unfortunately we haven't been able to reproduce that error, so we don't know exactly what causes it, but it's very unlikely to be the filepath length.
  • Recently, I have also come across this problem. Following the tips above, I found that the reason why such a problem occurred was that the sum of the length of the file path to the value set by "maximum length of title" could not exceed 255.
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