"Email item" feature

Sometimes I want to email an item to a colleague. I generally want to include the PDF snapshot sub-item, the text of my notes, and the bibliographic information. At present the best way to do this appears to be to first generate a report on the item; then copy and paste the entirety of the report into a new email; then open the PDF snapshot and save it somewhere; then attach the temporary saved file to the email; then delete the temporary saved file from wherever I put it.

I would love an option which did all this for me. I suggest "Email selected item(s)" in the right-click context menu for items.
  • I would like to second this feature request.
  • I also agree with this post.
  • I would like to see this option as well.
  • I would like to have a tool like that one too
  • To play devil's advocate, isn't it just as easy to paste link to your library item?


    As they role out the social networking features, this will become more powerful of course.
  • 1. This wouldn't include the pdf
    2. works only for people who want to publish their library
    3. an email feature could easily be applied to multiple selected items
  • edited March 17, 2009
    1. the link can go to the article
    2. true, but a) why wouldn't you want to?, and b) forthcoming functionality will allow you to limit access to specific groups or individuals
    3. so select multiple items to share, or copy-and-paste multiple item URLs

    OTOH, you're solution doesn't work very well if I:

    a. don't use a desktop mail client (many people don't)
    b. have a different idea of what I want to email than you do (I believe, for example, that 95% or more of attachments are an unnecessary waste of bandwidth and storage)

    I really think what the Zotero team is building will be a much more elegant and useful way to share references; at least I hope so.
  • 1. many pdfs or other documents are not available online at all, in other cases access requires an institutional ip-address, or access is provided through different repositories across different institutions
    2. a) because I might not want everyone to see my database
    b) this requires that the people I want to share a document with. will use zotero as well. I would like that, but my colleagues can be pretty stubborn ;-)

    While I appreciate the effort to build social network features into zotero, I think an "email item(s)" feature would be a great addition to a convenient use of zotero. After all, everybody uses email to share information to some extent. Isn't it better to allow the user to decide which method to use, even if seemingly less elegant?
  • Bruce - I share your concern for elegance, limiting bandwith usage etc. - but I think igw has a point there - if I, e.g. want to send a paper to someone I met during a conference over lunch - that person wouldn't be in my "research group", I wouldn't know what type of institutional access to journal articles s/he has etc.
    An e-mail option seems like a very good idea for many situations - while clearly inferior to the one described by you for others (e.g. sharing notes & articles with frequent colaborators).
  • edited March 17, 2009
    Fair enough; but neither of you have addressed the two problems I identified with the suggestion.

    I'm also not clear whether this should be a core Zotero feature, or whether it might be better as a plug-in.
  • Hi,
    I know it's a pretty old post, but i still think this email item feature would be great...

    Maybe developing it as a plug-in would be the best solution, as it would be used only by people who have a desktop email client.
    As for the document type, why not add a list of options to specify which type of documents to send ? I may be wrong but i guess most people would send pdf files most of the time...
  • There are many ways one could fashion something like this (GMail offers SMTP ...), and it's surely best provided by a third-party plugin. All that's needed is for someone to implement it.
  • Note that cross-client/platform email of things like attachments is not easy (and has been discussed previously). Assuming gmail may be easier & is what some other firefox extensions do.
  • Then why not make different plugins for different platforms, just like there are different word processor integrations for windows, mac, linux and open office / word ?
  • I looked at this once and it is a non-trivial problem even if you are focusing on a single platform. You would need to to have separate code for each OS-email client combination to make this work because even within a single OS, there is no standard way to start an email message with an attachment.

    In my opinion the best way to email items is just to use a PDF reader that has "send by email" option and use that.

    The second best way would be to have a separate plugin that has the option to configure your own SMTP server.
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