Show in-context search results instead of a plain list of entries [feature-request]

edited August 22, 2017
Often when performing a full-text search on library items displaying item bibliographical information is not enough. One needs to open the entries one by one, search again in PDFs the keywords to pinpoint the exact location and in which context they are used, which is tedious and takes a lot of time.

I think a little text preview with the highlighted keywords can significantly improve Zotero's usability. Take a look how Google Books, Recoll, or even Windows Search do it. It's dead simple, just a text snippet per search result with the relevant words marked (bold), but it helps a ton.

Example screenshot of Google Books search results for "Zotero":
  • Zotero is technically limited in what it can display for search results by the platform it’s built on currently. Better search results display is one of the features that is planned when Zotero transitions to a new software development platform in a future version.
  • @bwiernik Thank you! I guess you refer to the new Electron-based Zotero. In general, is there a better way to address suggestions for the new version rather than posting them here? In other words, if developers are currently accepting feature-requests, what's the best way to provide some?
  • No, this is the right place — there are just some things where this will be the answer. (This one we've wanted to do forever, but the middle pane is the component that's always been the most limited in terms of what we can do to the UI.)
  • @bwiernik @dstillman is there a Github issue for this? I couldn't find one - has Zotero moved to Electron already? The Electron branch looks like it hasn't been updated in 11 months...
  • This isn't dependent on Electron — it's dependent on the items list being rebuilt as HTML, which is currently underway. The initial version will be identical, but we'll be able to iterate on the design from there.

    Related discussion:
  • Any updates on whether this is planed documented anywhere? The current beta version (2021) still do not have it I think.
  • Yes, it's planned.
  • Great, thanks!
  • May I ask when exactly this feature will be released?
    And will it be available in the web version when the library is shared outside of groups?
    Many thanks!!
  • Zotero never provides ETAs for features, but I doubt this is imminent and I'd expect it to be in the local app before the website
  • Well noted, many thanks for the prompt reply!!
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