In absence of specifying an “out-of-parentheses” format for numeric styles, there could be a default author macro
Thanks for working on it!
This is a limitation of Word processors, not Zotero, but the user support burden would eventually fall on us and so we are reluctant to allow author-only cites.
We're currently thinking of supporting active citations in "Smith (2001)" format for non-note styles, or inserting author name as plaintext when an "author outside parentheses" citation is desired, or possibly both.
So I think for environments where we can't do this properly, automatically inserted plain text outside of parentheses is the best option. While it doesn't address all of the concerns in this thread, it addresses what seems to be the most important one, which is the current, error-prone need to retype author names for these common citation formulations.
...since most people don't have field shading set to "always".
I think offering an active "Smith (2001)" option without author-only would only be inviting people to modify citations in-doc,...