[Feature request] Sort files by access time

It would be great to be able to sort the files by last access time !
The idea would be to have the files opened the most recently in the top of the library.

I am surprised it is not already done. Or maybe I didn't find it…
There is some access date but it seems to refer to the access of the website where I found a document but not of the document itself. Or is it not working well ?
  • The Accessed field is for storing when the item was downloaded, not opened on your computer. You can sort by Date Modified, which will capture if you made any changes to the item. You can’t current sort based on when you last viewed an item or opened a file. At the moment, I would recommend using the recent files function on your computer’s operating system to see which files were recently opened.
  • So you confirm what I thought, this should be added and maybe put as default sorting because we are often looking for the recently open files.
    Thanks for your answer !
  • I second on this request. There should be a way to sort entries by recent access. I don't think manually using OS to determine recently used files is a graceful solution...
  • What are you thinking would count as "access" here? We can't efficiently track the filesystem access time for all files, so the best we could do here would be tracking the time the file was last opened via Zotero. But that's potentially something we could make available as an advanced search condition ("Attachment Last Opened"), which you could use in a saved search.
  • Yes, it would be great!!
    The time the file was last opened via Zotero is sufficient, I never open them in an other way, personally.

    Thanks for your answer!
  • After more reflection, just a remark, instead of an advance search option which select the files opened in the last week/month it would be better to select the N last opened files, so that we keep the list of files when we don't use Zotero during few weeks and that we don't fill too much the list when we make a lot of bibliography during a week.

    Would it be possible? Difficult?
  • "... the best we could do here would be tracking the time the file was last opened via Zotero."

    This is perfect. My ideal version of this feature would be to have Zotero log the 'Last Read' time (i.e. log the most recent time the file attachment was opened via Zotero as an element of the parent item) and have this field be an option in the column dropdown list by which the whole library can be sorted. This is a feature I would use often enough that I would prefer it to be more accessible than an advanced search condition.
  • I totally agree, I think that maaany people would use it if it is this way.
  • Yes! Please add this feature!
  • Regarding the date last opened, it is extremely necessary to have this option. I do not know why I have not noticed this so far, but it is not an efficient way to rely on the "Recent" files on the computer. That's because most of the times I am not sure whether the file (pdf, excel, etc.) I am viewing is the one that I already added to the Zotero or not. Sometimes, it happens that I view PDFs from the Downloads folder. Even, I highlight some parts and then I realized I made a mistake.

    By the way, I am using Mac. However, because of this mismatch, I never trust opening PDFs from Spotlight, since if I stick to Zotero, I can even find the duplicates, the thing I cannot easily recognize using the macOS file management system.
  • In Spotlight, you can see if the file is stored in Zotero’s storage directory or not. You might also consider this Zotero workflow for Alfred: https://www.alfredforum.com/topic/11658-zothero-—-generate-zotero-citations-in-alfred/
  • Yes, but the problem is that you cannot identify if you have duplicate items/attachments. You may end up annotating one PDF file, while it is from a duplicate item and you will recognize later that this was not the primary PDF file you wanted to add annotations in the first place.

    Thanks by the way for Alfred. I know about that.
  • Has any of these features been implemented yet? I can't find @dstillman 's option (advanced search for last opened files, then save search), and I would be surprised to discover that there is no option to access recently opened files.
  • nothing new here and no, you can't access recently opened files.
  • This feature would be really useful. Sometimes you know you read some idea recently but can't remember exactly where.
  • I just want to add my voice to the chorus requesting this feature! Please Zotero, please!
  • This would be valuable to me. I guess there would be a question of, would the search capture accesses on mobile?
  • I agree with the previous speakers. Please make this happen!
    I recently switched from Mendeley (where this feature is available) to zotero and my my reading process so far would definitely benefit from this feature. Thanks!
  • This would be great, add "history" or "open recently file" feature.
  • I agree. The "recently added" and "recently read" documents are two essential features that are needed to be added. The marking documents, such as the star feature in Mendeley is the other essential one.
  • Throwing my agreement to the heap-- this would be very handy feature! It could even be implemented as a dynamically created "recents" collection (such as "duplicates" or "unfiled items") with the last 25 viewed papers, though a column heading would be ideal.
  • I agree, this feature would be extremely helpful.
  • I also think this is a very important feature
  • I also think this is a very important feature
  • I also find this an essential feature. Please add it. I think back in the day, when no pdf view and annotation was possible from within Zotero, the need for this was lowe. Not any more!
  • I also think this is a very important feature.
  • I also think this would be a great feature. Just a column option for "last opened" would be really useful. Recency is often relevance.
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