How can I "watch" a folder so that any new pdfs in the folder will directly get added to my Zotero?


I am a new user of Zotero. I have a folder named Literature and I sometimes drop pdfs that I have received from somewhere other than the internet to this folder. I want Zotero to be able to pick out the new pdfs that have been added to this folder and add them to the Zotero library?
I have looked around and have a feeling Zotfile should be able to do this. I have installed zotfile but can't seem to understand how this would work.

Is this possible in Zotero at all? What should I be doing to make this happen?

  • This is not possible in Zotero, sorry. (It used to be possible-ish in ZotFile, but didn't work well, and was discontinued in the most recent version, which is required for Zotero 5 compatibility)
  • Thank you very much for the quick reply.
    It's a pity that this is not possible. Is there a specific reason this functionality has not yet been considered/prioritised?
  • edited September 21, 2017
    The main reason is that implementing this cross-system is actually a rather substantial challenge, technically speaking.

    edit: there are also some more philosophical reason in that having files appear in Zotero isn't necessarily terribly helpful since they don't have any metadata attached, but this is very much secondary to the technical challenges.
  • You can however, use Zotfile to add the most recently downloaded item in a “watch” folder to a Zotero item when you click a button in the context menu.
  • @adamsmith I understand that this can be a big challenge. Has it been considered to start with one system and integrate it one by one.

    Regarding metadata issues, these issues are also encountered when single pdfs are dragged and dropped and is worked out through the pdf2text feature. Isn't that also a possibility in case of "bulk" pdf imports which might happen with a watched folder?
  • @bwiernik Thank you for your reply. Is that the option which says "Attach New File"?
  • yes, that's the Attach New File option.
  • Is there a way to watch also in the subfolder structure?
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