[SOLVED] Zotero super slow. Firefox on Linux

edited July 10, 2017
Hi all, first I want to express my gratitude to developers for making this incredible software and letting it free and open. This is a GREAT contribution, thanks!!

I have been using EndNote under Windows for several years but I decided to go Open Source and switched to Linux and I recently installed Zotero as standalone and as Firefox add-on. I mostly use it as Firefox add-on.

I love it, and can't wait to keep importing references and to use it to write my first publications. But as it is right now it's not really usable because it is painfully slow. It takes forever to even show the references list of my collection. I thought it was caused by the large number of references I imported from EndNote (~9000) but when I create a smaller collection (6 references) Zotero is equally slow. It is also super slow for copying one reference (let alone a number of references) from one collection to another.

What could be the problem? Since I like customization (that's why I love my Linux Mint KDE) I have installed several add-on in Firefox, do you think some of them could be conflicting with Zotero and make everything super slow? (actually Firefox does not get slow, it is just Zotero).

I searched for help within Zotero and I created the ID 859112925

Any ideas?
  • On Endnote import, Zotero creates some tags that may slow things down when they're applied to too many items. They're all using the _RIS import tag. Check out the notes tagged with that and delete them if they're not useful & that may give you a significant bump.
  • Also try closing the tag selector in the bottom left. I think we've sped that up a bit for 5.0, but in 4.0 that can slow things down with many tags.
  • Thanks adamsmith and dstillman for replying.
    - adamsmith, do you mean I should erase the references tagged with "_RIS import" tag? Or to erase the "_RIS import" tag from all those references?
    - dstillman thanks for the suggestion, it actually speeds up quite a bit!
  • Just erase the tag by right-clicking on it in the tag selector and click delete. Or you could look at the items with that tag and decide if you can delete the notes it is attached to.
  • well it depends -- it would typically be a note, not a reference, with that tag. The note just contains info that Zotero couldn't import otherwise. If you don't need that info, delete all the notes with that tag for the biggest speed gain.

    If you do want that info, just delete the tag as bwiernik says.
  • Thanks a lot guys!

    It's weird (or not?) but I can not find one single item from my imported references now present in "My Library" with the "_RIS import" tag nor with the "_RIS" particle whatsoever... so I guess that is not the cause of the slowness?

    Another thing: when searching (be it with "Title, Author, Year", "All fields & Tags" and "Everything" it looks like Zotero tries to search as I write into the search bar. That definitely slows down a lot... can I disable this so I can write what I want and then press ENTER? Otherwise I have to wait several seconds between letters... imagine how is it like to search for "interpretations" :)

  • you can disable live search by placing a double quote (") at the beginning of your search. It's possible that you imported without the RIS tags, yes. If you had those tags, you'd find lots of notes attached to imported items. If you don't have those notes, you don't have the tags.
  • OK thanks a lot guys! It goes much faster now!
    Responses in this forum have been very helpful and fast! I love Zotero, bye bye proprietary software!
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