note is too long to sync

1133196206
Dear sirs, I need your help. I keep getting the message that one of my files is too long to sync, however, I have deleted it and, still, ... the same note appears- the file is too long. I have also deleted the file from the trash. Let me know what can I do about it.
Thanks,
Tina
  • If you're still getting the message, that note, or another note with the same text, is still in one of your libraries (including in the trash).
  • It is not in my trash, and not in my library. I m 100 % sure...
  • edited November 8, 2013
    There's absolutely no way to get that message if the item no longer exists. Paste the eight-character code that the message gives you into the Zotero search bar, as it says.
  • I did that, but zotero cannot find any files under that name or code because it's deleted... To be clear- when I do what you've just told me, paste the eight-character code that the message gives you into the Zotero search bar, the search engine finds NOTHING! I've deleted that note..
  • Are you in the library root — "My Library" — when you try? It won't work if you're in a collection that doesn't contain the item. Also, did you empty the trash?
  • Also make sure you're looking at the latest version of the error message. If you had more than one note with the same content, the code would change if you actually deleted the other note. You can of course also search for the content of the note in the error.
  • edited November 8, 2013
    If you're still having trouble after trying that, please restart Zotero and sync again. If you still get the error, take a screenshot of the error message, and then take a screenshot of you searching for the note, and post both of those images to a free file-sharing service (Dropbox, imgur.com) and provide a link here.
  • Half of the stuff I have in standalone is missing here... It s been like that for months. I have no more time to deal with this at the moment ...I m in the middle of writing my proposal...I thought you could help me, but guess not. I've even upgraded my zotero account and it still doesn't work :( Maybe I should just stop using zotero and install endnote instead..
  • I did restart Zotero and tried to sync again but I still get the error..
    I cannot take a screenshot of the error message because when I want to do that, the message disappears. But I copied and pasted it here for you to see:

    The note 'The Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills…' in your library is too long to sync to zotero.org.

    Search for the excerpt above or copy and paste '2Z3CQWAI' into the Zotero search bar. Shorten the note, or delete it and empty the Zotero trash, and then try syncing again.
  • OK, that's fine. And a screenshot of a search for that item?
  • I will do that now- capture from the search
  • https://www.dropbox.com/s/rwj8kqopvdo9i0l/zotero%20capture.JPG
  • Huh, it looks like pasting in the code isn't currently working for a child note. I'll fix that, but just searching for a few words from the note content in the error message should still show the note.
  • edited November 8, 2013
    Actually, the child note just isn't appearing currently if you're in "Title, Creator, Year" search mode. If you click on the arrow in the search box and choose "All Fields & Tags", the code (or other content from the note) will work.

    I'll make sure for the next version that the code works regardless of which search mode you're in.
  • When I changed to "All Fields & Tags",the search did actually find something but under this name:

    White Paper 1 -Defining-21st-Century-Skills.pdf

    Let me try to delete that note and sync.
  • You should be able to see that attachment's note in the right-hand pane. You can also just clear that instead of deleting the item.
  • There were many snapshots in that right-hand pane and I deleted that.. Now I got more messages from zotero that some other notes should be deleted because they are too long. I guess the trick was to change the search to "All Fields & Tags".. now I can find whatever is too big for the storage. However, it would be nice if I could have pictures in my notes.. Now it seams I ll have to delete each note containing snapshots
  • I deleted another two notes and zotero started to sync- it will take ages as it looks right now.. but at least there is hope that the problem was solved. Lets see what happens once the sync is done.
  • I must go now... I will let you know later whether the problem was solved. Thank you for your help.
    Best, Tina
  • Ah, yeah, if you've been pasting or dragging images into notes you'd definitely get a bunch of those errors. (You're not supposed to be able to do that, but preventing it is a bit tricky.) You can attach images to files as child attachment, in which case they count against your file storage quota. The ability to add images to notes may come in the future.

    Anyhow, it looks like you've reached your file sync quota but are otherwise syncing successfully.
  • Now, in 2017, after using Zotero for 4 years, I find out that I should not be pasting images into notes, and that some child notes are not synced across my several computers. Evernote does this flawlessly and also syncs more reliably. Disheartened that I have built a 5 GB research library in a program that is so limited and lets you do things that put synchronization at risk. If this is just a storage quota measuring problem, then the developer should suck it up and just turn that limitation off. Don't cause needless grief to your paying subscribers.
  • @takiefer: It's not a quota problem — it's a technical one. Notes are synced, stored, and retrieved differently from files, and having potentially multiple megabytes of binary data in them is problematic. We'd like to support this, and I think we'll be able to after Zotero 5.0 is released and we've turned off Zotero 4.0 syncing. (The upgraded note editor in 5.0 finally allows us to easily prevent pasting images, and we briefly did so in the 5.0 Beta, but we've decided to leave it enabled for now, since not everyone uses syncing and we think we'll be able to support this in the not-too-distant future.)

    And just to clarify your comment, while it's unfortunate that the client allows something that syncing doesn't currently support, trying to sync a note with an embedded image has always resulted in an error message, so it's not like you could've built up a library as a paying subscriber while doing this. You can be a paying subscriber who just now tried to do this for the first time, but it's not functionality you could've relied upon before deciding to subscribe.
  • "so it's not like you could've built up a library as a paying subscriber while doing this."

    Nevertheless, the facts trump your assertion. Look me up.

    I have only recently discovered that work I have been doing on three different computers is not synced, despite having automatic syncing enabled for them all. I found this, not by any alert, but by searching for recently-added material and not being able to find it, and then expanding my exploration to find whole folders missing in my hierarchy. Only when I ran the manual sync did I get the small red exclamation point symbol next to the sync icon. So I now have three divergent databases that will require some unknown amount of manual repair. And I don't know if the sync process may have already lost files by operating incorrectly. I have no confidence in something so loosely devised that it fails to perform automatic syncing without any alert and knowingly allows the user to do things which break synchronization.
  • BTW, whole folders are still not syncing. It appears having a single note too large disrupts the entire syncing process. You really need to get some talent working on this. I recommend the folks at GoodSync.
  • @takiefer, https://www.zotero.org/support/forum_guidelines#etiquette

    With due respect, both the Zotero developers and volunteers on this forum like myself are happy to help you and other users resolve issues you run into. But insulting people is not a good way to generate good will. The Zotero sync system has never supported syncing images in notes, and it does alert the user that a note is too long to sync when an image is embedded. As Dan indicated, the Zotero developers have spent the last several years rebuilding the Zotero sync system from the ground up, which may enable embedding images in synced notes at some point in the future.
  • It appears having a single note too large disrupts the entire syncing process.
    Right, that's the point. Uploads and downloads in Zotero 4.0 and earlier are, by design, all or nothing. (We've changed this in the upcoming Zotero 5.0, to allow other data to go through.) So in Zotero 4.0 it's not possible for data from one computer to sync up to the server while you have a note that's too long. When I say this wouldn't happen as a paying customer, I mean that you would presumably be using syncing — and happy with how it's working on all your computers — before you decide to pay, and uploads won't work if you have a note that's too long, and never have.
    Only when I ran the manual sync did I get the small red exclamation point symbol next to the sync icon.
    it fails to perform automatic syncing without any alert and knowingly allows the user to do things which break synchronization
    I can't recall anyone else reporting this, and I just tested it and it correctly displayed an error icon. I think you'll find that if you have a computer that's syncing manually without error, and you drag an image into a note, you'll get the error icon as soon as the auto-sync kicks in 15 seconds later. We do plan to show a more prominent warning when auto-syncs have been failing for a while, since people do miss the icon sometimes, but as far as we know it definitely appears, and I think you'll find the same if you test it.

    My best guess is that you had notes with embedded images on at least one computer, didn't notice the sync error icon, but were still syncing from other computers. So you would see full syncs between the ones without the embedded images, and (since Zotero pulls down data before it uploads) data from those computers on the one with the embedded images. But any data you added to the ones with the embedded images after you created those notes wouldn't appear on the others.
    And I don't know if the sync process may have already lost files by operating incorrectly.
    Again, uploads are all or nothing, and it's a very simple error. Fix or delete the affected notes and sync, and the rest of your data from that computer will sync.
  • After the system performed an automatic sync, the red exclamation point alert has now disappeared again, but the missing folders are still missing. This is how one can go years with a failed sync and not know it. I don't understand why it is permitted for automatic syncing to proceed without showing an error, but a manual sync shows the error. It is this false perception that all is well that is so insidious and aggravating. Trusting files to synchronization is risky, and finding out years in that the underlying mechanics are immature is very troubling. None of my comments are intended as personal insults, but as professional feedback. I have used many iterations of many synchronization applications (MS briefcase, MS OneDrive, AllwaySync, GoodSync, GoogleDrive, Dropbox, etc.). Data integrity and reliable mirroring is the sine qua non of such applications.
  • I don't understand why it is permitted for automatic syncing to proceed without showing an error, but a manual sync shows the error.
    Obviously that shouldn't happen. What we're telling you is that this isn't a problem that anyone else has reported, and it's not something we can reproduce. If you're having trouble, just report the problem and skip the melodrama.

    Can you provide a Debug ID for an auto-sync that goes through, followed by a manual sync — from the same computer, without changing any other data — that shows the error icon?
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