Sync not automatically triggered when PDF edited

When I edit and save a PDF stored in Zotero, Zotero does not automatically initiate a sync process so that the edits to the PDF are made to the versions of the PDF stored on my other machine. Is this expected behavior, or am I experiencing a bug?

My theory is that it is expected behavior, because edits within the Zotero interface itself (e.g., changing a title) are necessary to trigger an automatic sync, whereas file system changes (e.g., my PDF edits) aren't monitored by Zotero and thus can't trigger the sync.

If this theory is true, might it be possible in a future update to allow Zotero to detect file system changes and use these, too, as the basis for triggering syncing? I would find that a very convenient feature.

Thanks! —Justin

I'm using Zotero Standalone on both machines, syncing everything (including PDFs) via the Zotero Sync Server. OS X 10.11.5

I've generated a report ID if that's helpful: 1325932438
  • Your diagnosis is correct -- Zotero doesn't know about changes that happen outside Zotero. When a sync is triggered, it will scan all your attachments for their on-disk modification time, and sync them if necessary.

    Doing this will become easier when Zotero moves away from Firefox to (I expect) something node-based, which has nice modules for monitoring filesystem changes.
  • edited June 4, 2016
    What Emiliano says (including about the future), but note that Zotero optimizes this somewhat: normally, for performance reasons, Zotero only checks all files for modifications during auto-syncs at startup and every few hours, but when you open a file through Zotero, Zotero makes a note of that and makes sure it checks that file on the next auto-sync (which could happen after you make changes within Zotero, every hour, or on idle).
  • I did not know that, and I stand corrected.
  • Thanks for your speedy replies! This is all good to know.
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