Recursive display of all items of a collection and its sub-collections

It would be nice to have an option to display all items of an collection and its sub-collections in the item-list. That would be especially useful if I use the collections as a categorization for items.

Example: I've the collection HCI containing the collections CSCW, GUI, and so on. All the items are located in sub-collections of HCI (or even in sub-collections of sub-collections).
If I click on the HCI collection right know I get nothing in the item-list. What I would like to have, is to list all items that are somewhere in the sub-collection of HCI.
  • Go to about:config in the address bar, look for extensions.zotero.recursiveCollections, set it to true.
  • thx. An option in the properties form would be nice :)
  • I second the request for this to be a "normal" option. I assumed that it wasn't possible for quite some time because it just wasn't there in Preferences.
  • I was about to post a similar request and found this thread. I'm still a bit confused by what it means to "go to about:config" in the address bar. Where do you have to go to find that setting?

  • Follow up:
    I realized that this means literally type in "about:config" in the address bar instead of a url. (For other people totally unfamiliar with this, doing this takes you to an alarming "warning" page that tells you to be careful or you'll void your firefox warranty.)

    Scroll down to "extensions.zotero.recursiveCollections" and double click on where it says "false" on the right. The change will be immediately noticeable in zotero. No restart required.

    I would definitely like for this to be a feature in the preferences pane. A few colleagues of mine have complained about this as a huge limitation of subcollections. For some reason, in this context, it seemed much more intuitive that it should default to "true" (or not even be an option at all). I don't know how people think of zotero folders though in relation to folders on their desktop (where a recursive option is not the norm).

    Anyhow, thanks for providing the secret feature to enable this.

  • I'd like to add my vote to the request for recursive collections to either be on by default, or at least made a first-class option. I feel sub-collections are just that, a subset of a collection, and so its members should also be members of the parent collection.

    I love Zotero, use it every day---keep up the good work!
  • I echo all samuelbritt's comments
  • I'm a big fan of this option, but I find myself turning it on or off, depending on how I use my sub-collections. Is there some way to selectively activate recursiveCollections for some folders/collections but not others?

    It seems like a long shot, but I thought I'd ask, and maybe it will end up as a feature request. Thanks!
  • no, currently there is no way to do this.
  • I add my vote for a fast accessible option. For example with right click or with a "view" menu. Please add a faster way to change this. I switch this option very often, depending on different situations. General i want recursive, but then for example i want to look, if i have sorted all papers into subfolders. And for this i need non recursive.

    So: Please add a fast way switching this. Thanks!
  • +1 for a quick recursive collections toggle.

    This would actually cover almost all of the use cases (or at least my use cases) for the request for "selecting multiple folders", which I added my vote to in this thread, while presumably being considerably easier to implement.
  • hear hear! I change this all the time! +1
  • Another one that changes this all the time!
    This could be available as an Zotero toolbar "icon" (like the advanced search, Add Item by Identifier, etc).
    Thanks in advance
  • +1 here too :-)
  • +1 for this as an accessible option!
  • I like this too. Where should the option go? The only barrier I see to this is figuring out where to put it-- I don't think that the general preferences are the right place. It would be nice to put this somewhere in the main UI, but I can't decide which menu is right for it. Maybe to the contextual menu on My Library (and on group libraries?)?
  • The main issue conceptually with putting it in multiple context menus is that it gives the impression that it's a library- (or collection-, if we put it there too) specific setting, which it's not. So if we were going to put it in the context menus, I'd say probably we'd want to put it everywhere, because then it's at least consistent.
  • How about the gear menu? If we add a Display > submenu to it, we could also stick Frank's orphan and duplicate views there too, if and when they land in mainstream Zotero.
  • I think that would work.
  • It's a separate thing, but the orphan and duplicate views are library-specific, and work only when the library is being viewed from top-level (not a collection). Those two probably belong where they are (as context menu options against top-level libraries).
  • Since the orphan and duplicate views are fundamentally different from the normal way that people work with their databases, I think that they'd be a better fit for the gear menu. They are a special way of looking at the database -- and even if they are later made to work for group libraries, I'd still want to see them all-or-nothing like recursive collections, in part because there would be inevitable reports on the forums of eternally empty group libraries, just because someone forgot that that library was in orphan mode.
  • edited January 25, 2011
    Currently, clicking anywhere else will cancel the mode. If invoked via the gear menu, wouldn't it need to be more persistent (i.e. to cancel, you would need to revisit the gear menu)?

    (Edit: Also, both views do currently work with groups as well as the personal library -- the TODO comment about that in the code is stale)
  • Maybe it could be a toggle next to the advanced search icon. It seems to fit the current layout of having all the creation methods, a separator, then the search (+ viewing) methods that has already been established.

    As a user, the first place I looked for it was in the drop down menu of the gear, followed by the general tab of the gear.

  • If it's not tied to the library, what would happen if the center panel was showing a collection when the view is invoked?
  • Any progress to this issue? Maybe adding it to the gear menu in a view submenu? I miss this option very often. At all: How do I set this now in the stand alone?

  • st: You can access about:config in Standalone from the Advanced pane of the preferences.
  • st
    edited April 5, 2013
    Any news to this feature request? I have to change this very often and it is laborious to do this in about:config.

  • nothing new, no. I agree it'd be nice to make this more easily available - not sure if devs are concerned about overloading the prefs (a legimitate concern if you look at them). This would also be very easy to write as a plugin.
  • @adamsmith: it seems from the discussion above that the place where to add such an option is still uncertain?
  • right. The discussion is also outdated - unfiled items has - more elegantly I think - been turned into a permanent saved search. I don't think the gears menu is a particularly intuitive place to put this, but I don't have any other idea - the general tab of the preferences is way too crowded already, it's not really "advanced"...
    (the other hidden pref I'd really like to see exposed is the bib locale)
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