Slow performance in Mac 2011 Word on MBP 2010

Hi all

I'm a generally happy Zotero user but am getting a bit frustrated with what appears to be its slow speed at the moment. I'm working on a thesis in Word 2011 on Mac which is currently about 36,000 words long. I have a lot of citations – about 27 pages worth. I'm not sure how many because I don't know how quickly count them! But 27 pages is a fair lot right?

The problem is when I add a citation there is quite a long lag before Zotero finishes adding it in. I would say it is about 10-15 seconds.

It seems to be related to the length of the document because I just created a brand new Word document and there is no lag at all.

Any suggestions as to how to fix this? Thanks
  • There is no fix, unfortunately. Particularly on Word for Mac, large amounts of citations slow down the Zotero add-on. Same on other set-ups, but Word for Mac performs worst of all.
  • Damn. I don't want to go back to Endnote so maybe it's something I'll just have to put up with. (Although I'm not sure Endnote is any faster?)
  • In my experience, Endnote is not much faster with Word for Mac. You can do a few things to speed up Zotero in long documents. First, don't insert the bibliography until the end. Second, change to an Author-Date style, instead of a numeric style (if you aren't using one already).
  • Thanks. I've taken out bibliography and it seems a bit faster. I'm using Author-Date style already.

    Hopefully this is something that can be fixed in the future.

    I wonder which software academics working on PhDs, or even longer books, use...
  • I used Zotero two write a 300+ page PhD and I know many others who have. Most people write in chapters and at that length, you don't really run into speed issues, so the only time that becomes relevant is when you're assembling the final piece.
  • The one feature that Endnote has for speeding up Word citation is an option to insert placeholders, rather than formatted citations (citations still live but no formatting updates until a button is pressed). I'm not sure how much time is relatively spent by the Zotero plugin on formatting display that that option might make any difference in performance.
  • what takes long in the add-on is that Zotero actually checks all citations for changes (because of position and/or disambiguation). If we were to add an option to turn that off (which is something I've talked to fbennett about, which the CSL processor is already able to do, but which will require non-insignificant Word add-on coding) that would speed up citation insertion by several orders of magnitude.
  • edited May 13, 2015
    Could I add a question to this conversation? I also use Zotero in Word for Mac (to generate Chicago Style full foot notes), but even in case of one chapter it's really terribly slow (30+ seconds) and it often contains mistakes (blank spaces within citations which go away when I re-do the citation but often come back anyway). Any suggestions as this seems a worse performance than you're describing above? Would it for example work better if I used Zotero Standalone? I am generally very pleased with Zotero, but this is really slowing me down and causing a lot of frustration. I will be combining my chapters (of a PhD-thesis) soon, so I am a bit worried for the problems I'll run into then..

    PS: I use a MacBook Air (2015 model).
    PS: The version of my Zotero Word Plug In is 3.5.7 and of Zotero Firefox
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