Mark as Read, Favorite

I would appreciate a "mark as read" and a "favorite" marker in the list overview.

Is there a workaround or is it possible to implement this feature?

Thank you very much
  • Best we can offer right now is color coded tags
  • I am aware of this feature but I find it very hard to use because of the limitation to only 6 tags. I have all my books and papers in the library and use new collections when I start writing a new paper. In this sense I have to reassign the tag color with every new paper.
  • edited March 19, 2014
    why do you need to assign new tag colors for every new paper?
    a read or favorite feature also wouldn't change between collections.
  • When you say "collection", do you mean library? Are you making a new group library for every paper?
  • I have a localized version so I dont know the right terms, I just translated it directly so correct me if I am wrong.
    Library is the highest in hierarchy, you can not load more than one library at a time. The collection is a subset of library items. My papers are obviously related to each other and share plenty of library items. From the word library I personally take, that I have one of them to include all the items I read and own. Every topic or paper than has its own collection with the items that belong to it.
    I use tags to differentiate within papers, so lets say a paper needs to address subtopics like market, technology, basics etc. I have tags that mark my library items and sorts them in these subtopics at a glance. Since I only have 6 colors to setup and the subtopics change from paper to paper I have to reassign the colors to match the requirements of my current paper. If I had say 15 colors, I would be able to make tags permanent and use 2 of them as "read" and "favorite" tag.

    So I have 2 main issues:
    a) I do not understand the limitation of colors to 6.
    b) a quick way to mark something favorite and read like e.g. in Mendelay

    I may fundamentally misunderstand how to use zotero so I would welcome any suggestions.
  • If you want to use colored tags (rather than, say, subecollections ore regular tags) for subtopics and you need all six of them, there's no alternative to quickly marking an item, sorry.
    I don't know if read or favorites are ever going to make it, but right now Zotero gives you the ability to differentiate by six different visuals, compared, e.g., to Mendeley's two (read/starred) and in the medium run that's all there's going to be.

    There are good GUI reasons not to overdo the number of colored tags: colors become too similar, the assignment by numbers doesn't work beyond 10, too many color markers mess up the center panel to name a few. I could see the number increasing to 9, but that's Dan's call.
  • Thank you for your answer, I might have to change the workflow and go for something like subcollections for each topic and use tags globally. This way a read and favorite tag would be doable. It just takes more than a click for this essential marking and that is what bugs me a little.
  • edited March 21, 2014
    Once you have color coded tags assigned, it only takes one keystroke (i.e. the number key corresponding to the tag) to use the tag.
  • Thanks for this information, very helpful :)
  • edited December 3, 2018
    Hi all,
    Sorry to dig out this old thread, but I stumbled across it while I was googling exactly that functionality in Zotero.

    Is any update planned on this?

    I have a lot of items in a library (and use folders and sub-folders of course), however, I find it pretty hard to find my few "favorites" which I use (cite/read) a lot of times and would really appreciate if there is a column for favorites (e.g. with a star like in Thunderbird or many other mail programs) so you can easily see and filter/sort them.

    However, I solved it - as proposed by aurimas - with tags, even though I find them rather unintuitive:

    1) select a library item. In the right sidebar click on the "Tags" tab.
    2) click on "Add" tags, and name it "favorites" or "to read" or whatever you like
    3) in the very lower left hand side of Zotero, there is a search field, enter the text you just used, e.g. "favorites"
    4) right click that search result and click on "Assign color..."
    5) Pick a color, for example I picked green for my "favorites" and red for my "to read" items
    6) The tags receive a shortcut, e.g. when you have a library item selected in the list view, you can press 1, 2, ... (according to "Position" in the "Assign Color..." dialog) to activate/deactivate that tag for the library item
  • @matthiasluh: Colored tags, assigned with number keys, are still the way we recommend marking favorites and to-read items.

    Advantages to this approach:
    1. It's a general mechanism that can be adapted to different workflows.
    2. You can quickly filter the list to just those items by clicking the tag at the top of the tag selector.
    3. It doesn't require taking horizontal space away from all items for an extra one or two columns.
    1. It's harder to discover, and you have to set it up manually, so a lot of people don't benefit from it (evidenced by the fact that this a common feature request).
    2. You can't assign a star or mark read/unread with a single click like in Thunderbird (though you can press a number key or drag the item to the colored tag at the top of the tag selector).
    3. You have to remember the color associated with the tag you assigned (or check in the tag selector).
    Thunderbird enables filtering with an additional filter bar at the top of the message list, but that's an extra UI element that's not that different from having the colored tags at the top of the tag selector. If we had a dedicated favorites column, we might want to treat it as a virtual tag, where a star showed up at the top of the tag selector before the colored tags. (Granted, you can already set an emoji star as a colored tag, but you have to know you can do that, and then you don't see the associated color in the tag selector.)

    Read/unread is a little trickier, because you'd presumably want that to be auto-assigned to new items (auto-tagging is another common request, almost always in this context), but unlike in Thunderbird there's not a particularly clear action that should cause something to be marked as read.
  • Support for a "Favorite" tag shouldn't be hard to add: basically a tag with shiny button on top of it (or similar). Same goes for a "To Read" functionality.
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