Performance issues when creating/editing citations in lengthy Word document


In short Word documents, Zotero is very fast when inserting/editing citations, even though my database has around 5.500 items.

However, in a lengthy document (300 pages) with plenty of citations, the performance issues are severe, since to each process of inserting/editing citations takes around 1 minute (Firefox plugin).

I tried Zotero stand alone, but the performance is slightly worse.

I don’t use PDF indexing in Zotero.

My computer is an Intel i5, 2.4 Ghz, 6 Gb RAM, Win 64 bit.

a) Is there any general procedure I can try to optimize Zotero’s performance?

b) Does it make sense to have a blank document to be used as a tray? I mean, always I need to insert a citation, I would do it there and then just copy/paste into my lengthy document. If I need to edit citation, I would copy it from the lengthy document to the blank/tray, edit and then make the reverse process.

  • If the document has a bibliography, that will slow things down. It can be inserted at the final stage, so it can be removed during editing.
  • but generally, even without a bibliography, 300 page documents are slow, I agree. PDF indexing has nothing to do with that, though, so if you'd like to use that you can enable it.

    You could certainly test b). I'd make sure to have your preferred citation style selected in the "tray" document via Set Document preferences, but I don't see why that shouldn't work. Otherwise, I know very few circumstances where it's necessary to work with 300p documents during editing rather than with individual chapters.
  • I agree, split document into chapters that are all named by chapter number and title, and put into a folder with the project name. You can use Word to create a "Master Document" that links all of these individual chapter files together for purposes of Table of Content and Bibliography creation. This keeps everything organized without having to deal with a single unwieldily document.
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