Batching editing selected file links with Zutilo

This discussion was created from comments split from: File link attachments.
  • edited March 21, 2017
    @adamsmith would you know if Zutilo can batch edit select (but not all) links? Also, can it batch edit without forcing file renaming? My attachments are mostly in one folder, but there are a few spread across other folders. I would like these "spread out" files to be moved to that one folder where the bulk of my attachments are. I do not wish the files to be renamed in any way.
  • I'm pretty sure it can do both, yes. The batch relink option doesn't even allow rename, and you have to select the attachments/links you want to relink.

    But note that Zutilo will never move files. It just changes where the links point.
  • I was (probably) confusing Zotfile with Zutilo.

    Would this work in Zutilo? I copy-paste (or cut-paste) all the attachment files in folder 'B' to folder 'A'. And then use Zutilo to batch edit the file paths from 'B' to 'A'. What I want to avoid is having to select each item in Zotero and relink to new file location.
  • Batch relinking in Zutilo is essentially a search&replace operation. So it works great for something like moving all files from D:/ to C:/ (all you do is replace D:/ by C:/) as asked here originally.
    But that does mean you have to do a separate relink operation for every location _from_ which you've moved files.
  • edited March 21, 2017
    So, if I move files using Zutilo, all the links to the moved files are broken in Zotero? I can still see the benefit of having Zutilo do the move, but for my use case the benefit is really small since I am trying to avoid the effort of re-linking. I thought when Zutilo moves a file, it also edits the attachment path so Zotero is looking for the attachment at the new location.
    I use the base folder schema. Just trying to simplify the subfolder structure inside my base folder.
  • You definitely are confusing Zutilo and ZotFile, now. Very different tools, very different idea. As I said above, you do not move files with Zutilo, ever. Zutilo can be helpful for fixing links after you've moved files.
    Most people probably use it for other things like more shortcuts and other streamlined workflows, e.g. for book chapters or relating items.
  • (For reference, btw., this is a good example of why we encourage people to start new threads. You've effectively thread-jacked this one with a problem that's very different from LPassenger's).
  • edited March 22, 2017
    Sorry about the thread-jacking. I'll start a new thread.

    [Split and merged — D.S.]
  • Following on from here:

    My attachments are using "link to file" method. I have base folder setup. I want to reorganize sub-folders inside this base folder.

    So, I move some of my attachment files using Windows File Explorer, then use Zutilo to batch edit the paths for only the already moved attachment files, and hopefully that means Zotero is looking for the moved attachments at the new location (and thus, no relinking required).

    @adamsmith, the part I am confused about is "But that does mean you have to do a separate relink operation for every location _from_ which you've moved files. "

    What am I missing?
  • Have you downoaded Zutilo and looked at how its batch relinking works? That would likely help clarify the issue.
  • I have Zutilo and have used it manage tags, relate items, and grab attachment paths. I've never used it for batch editing. Looking now, I can't find the batch editing menu. Kind of makes me feel stupid, but where is the batch editing feature in Zutilo?
  • It's called "Modify Attachment" and needs to be enabled under User Interface in the Zutilo preferences.
  • edited March 24, 2017
    Thanks. I activated that option and tried changing the path on a test item, but not seeing any difference.

    Here's what I have:

    Let's say most of my attachments are at:
    But a few attachments are at:

    I want to move all files from Folder-B to Folder-A. So, I use Zutilo to change the path and Windows File Explorer to move the files.

    Here's what I did:
    Right-click a test Zotero item with attachment > Modify attachment paths
    Use "C:\Path-1\Folder-B\" as old partial path
    Use "C:\Path-1\Folder-A\IndividualFiles" as new partial path

    What am I doing wrong?
  • If this is actually exactly what you use then you shouldn't use "IndividualFiles" in the new partial path. Note that you can use Zutilo to also inspect the path of an item, so you can check if that changes and where to.
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