Zotero erases the last thing I've written in my notes

Since upgrading to the latest version of Zotero (5.0.25), I've found that, several times while taking notes, Zotero has suddenly erased the last thing I've written in my notes. It seems to happen just as I stop typing and the little circle appears to the lest of the search bar apparently indicating that it's updating the database. It doesn't happen all the time—just occasionally.
  • I've been having problems with the notes editor for the last 3 versions. It will just randomly head back to the first spot in the text editor, or it deletes stuff like above. I'm editing in notepad and copy paste but would really like to be able to use the notepad.
    I'm running Windows 7.
  • I just went to a note wanting to copy something from it - not change it, just select and CTRL-C. It deleted the entire contents of the note. The info was important to me. I really rely on Zotero and this is not good!
  • edited November 19, 2017
    Sorry for the trouble. We're aware of a bug here and are trying to figure out how to reproduce it reliably in order to fix it. I believe it only occurs when editing a note while there's an active quick search (though it's not quite that simple), so you can temporarily just clear the search before editing.

    @Sopdet: You should be able to restore the note content by restoring from the last automatic backup and then copying the note to the clipboard. (Those instructions are for 4.0 and haven't yet been updated, but basically you can just swap in the zotero.sqlite.bak file, copy the note text (or HTML source, from the note context menu) to the clipboard, and then switch back to your original zotero.sqlite.)
  • Thank you! I have retrieved my important note.

    I think it's hard to remember to check the search box and then not to touch notes in the middle of a workflow, so I will stick with using my non-updated Zotero installs as long as I can. I hope the bug is fixed soon and that you'll drop a note here when it is safe to click on a note again!
  • Thanks for the explanation. At least it's nice to know that I can empty the quick search bar. I hadn't realized that before.
  • To those who may have the same problem as me:

    I restored my important note on a machine running the old Zotero by pasting the missing text into the now-empty note. It sync'd up to the cloud and looked fine. But as soon as I went back to the computer with the new Zotero version and sync'd it, it blanked the note again (without any searching or clicking in the record - I didn't even have time to search for updates that may patch the issue version). Looks like it is wise to make a new note instead of editing the note that has had the disappearance happen before.
  • Just for the record, with the latest version (5.0.28), I am having this problem even when the quick search bar is empty. Just a couple minutes ago, Zotero erased the last sentence I had written in a note and replaced it with a few words I had erased, reverting probably around 20 seconds of note-taking.
  • . . . This same problem has happened a couple times since then without anything in the quick search bar, sometimes reverting a whole minute's worth of notes. I think the problem goes away if I select something other than the note I'm working on in the main pane so it doesn't display the note both in the right pane and in a separate window I'm editing in. I'll update again if I find otherwise.
  • @joehill: Is this only happening for you when you edit the note in a separate window, or also in the right-hand pane without the separate window open?
  • So far, if I remember correctly, it's only happened when editing in a separate window.
  • edited November 27, 2017
    Some more questions for folks experiencing this:

    1) Does this happen only in a standalone note window, or also in the right-hand pane?

    2) Does this happen only with auto-sync enabled, and when auto-sync kicks in 15 seconds after the last save?

    3) Does this happen only with an active search of some sort (quick search, tag selector filter, saved search) or also if you're just in the library root?

    4) Does the note in question need to be selected in the middle pane?

    5) Is there anything else you need to do or not do to get it to occur after a Zotero restart with My Library selected?

    If you can reproduce this easily, a Debug ID for this occurring would also be helpful.
  • edited November 27, 2017
    @dstillman
    1) This has happened in both the standalone and the right-hand pane.
    2) With auto-sync off cursor hopping still happened in both the standalone and right-hand pane (+ term in search field).
  • OK, I'm hoping this is fixed in the latest 5.0 Beta. We'll be releasing that within the next day, but if you're experiencing this regularly, feel free to try that and let us know if you still have any trouble.
  • OK, please try 5.0.29, available now, and let us know if you still have trouble.
  • I'm using 5.0.33 and I just experienced this bug again. I was editing a note in a standalone window, while a search term was in the quick search bar (the usual conditions), and the last sentence I wrote disappeared. That was the first time it had happened to me in quite a while.
  • I just realized there's now 5.0.34. I've updated and will let you know if it happens again.
  • I recently upgraded to the latest version (5.0.55) and have found the same problem recurring again. (It suddenly reverts the last 30 seconds or so of changes and places the cursor at the beginning of the note.) I haven't noticed it since I last posted on this thread. At the time, I was editing a note in a standalone pane, and the focus in the main pane was in the library list, although there was a term in the search bar.
  • Any news on whether we've figured out what's happening with this bug? Am I the only one still experiencing it? (Using 5.0.59) I'm taking notes in a separate pane, trying to remember to remember to clear search terms before I begin typing anything, but I don't always remember, and as a result I often lose the last couple sentences I wrote.
  • We haven't had any other recent reports of this. You're only seeing this when there's an active search in the search bar, correct? Do you know if it requires the note you're editing to be selected in the middle pane?
  • Sorry, I just saw that you had replied to this earlier. Yes, I believe it's only when the search bar is activated. I haven't noticed whether it always happens when the note is selected, but I believe that's normally the case, because my typical work flow is to select the note, open it as a separate window, then write in it. (It doesn't seem to matter whether it's in a separate window though.) I'll try for a while without the note selected and let you know what happens.
  • After monitoring this for some time, I can say that it happens when other things are selected aside from the note I'm editing or its parent item. I was just editing a note after I had already done a search for something unrelated and selected a different entry, and it still erased the last couple sentences I had written and put the cursor at the beginning of the note. Once again, it happens while I'm editing in a separate window or in the right pane.

    I still don't know if it ever happens without any search terms in the search bar, but I believe that has never happened.
  • This is happening to me and it is infuriating.

    It has nothing to do with the search bar for me. My search bar is blank and this just happened. It has something to do with syncing. Zotero will sync my notes after I have been idle for some number of seconds (because I am reading the pdf), then I will type a sentence, then I will come back and that sentence will be gone. I think maybe Zotero is syncing already while I type the new sentence after returning from my absence, then it completes the sync and restores the note's state to whatever it was when the sync started. So my sentence is not there anymore.
  • This is happening to me too... any help from the Zotero team?

    Issue first ID in 2017!
  • @mjhoefer: We'd need more information on when exactly it's occurring.
  • Wow! That was fast! Windows 10, shared library (which is out of storage space btw), the note was on a single PDF.

    I ended up creating a standalone note under the same parent and have not had any issues yet... so I'm proceeding cautiously in this way.
  • Just an update to say that this issue persists since my last post here almost exactly 2 years ago. Am I the the only one who takes notes in Zotero and is bothered by having the last couple sentences disappear every few minutes? If you have any ideas on what I could test to help isolate the problem, I'd be happy to test. All I can say is that it seems to happen under just about any conditions I can think of. Most of the time I'm editing in a separate window and the search bar is activated, but that's probably just because that's how I always work—I'm not the habit of clearing the search bar every time I do a search.
  • @joehill: Sorry you're still having trouble, but it's obviously not something that's affecting everyone. The only current issue we're aware of is when editing embedded attachment notes — in that case, recently typed text can be lost if you've been typing non-stop and auto-sync kicks in. But most people don't use embedded attachment notes.

    I can't reproduce this with an active search bar, separate note window, different item selected, and auto-sync enabled. If this were a common problem, we'd have many more reports of it.

    In any case, the note editor is being completely replaced, so we won't be working further on the current version. If you're having trouble with this, I'd recommend switching to the Zotero beta and enabling the new note editor (currently available in My Library only).
  • Thanks, Dan. I think I may try the beta and see if it solves my problem.
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