Zotero picker for Scrivener (Windows)

edited April 17, 2018
Like a lot of academics I've been searching around for a while for a better way to cite using Zotero and Scrivener. I don't mind having to scan my document after compilation using the ODF scan (http://zotero-odf-scan.github.io/zotero-odf-scan/), but what I really wanted was the ability to call up the zotero picker you see in the word plugging using a keyboard shortcut, without ever having to leave Srivener . You know... this thing:


Well, a while back I found Dave Smith's solution (https://github.com/davepwsmith/zotpick-applescript). The problem? I'm a windows user. But after stumbling across a powershell script online that didn't have any instructions, lots of trial and error and enlisting my partner who is actually a programmer for help debugging, I've finally got it to work!

Click the following link for instructions on how to use the Zotero picker in Scrivener: https://github.com/AmomentOfMusic/Zotero_scrivener_picker_windows

What this script does: using the keyboard shortcut to call up Bibliography/citation manager in Scrivener, this pulls up the Zotero picker and then inserts a scannable-cite citation directly into your document.

What this does not do: insert live citations in Scrivener. You will still have to scan the document after you compile.

It's a bit finicky to set up, but I think it is well the effort, and really streamlines the citation process. Happy citing!

*Disclaiming* I will try to answer as many questions as I can, but I am not a programmer... If anybody wants to find a way to package the whole thing a bit more neatly, be my guest.

(And totally unrelated... it would be really appreciated if the instructions for the conventions for posting things in rich text on forums would be more visible... I don't need a rich-text editor built in, but I spent a good 15+ minutes googling and I couldn't even figure out the convention to make things bold)
  • The BBT first-run process will offer you the option to change your quick-cite format, but the default is to leave it alone -- it certainly should *not* be automatically changing this, and having just glanced through the code that handles the first-run bits, I don't see how it could.

    WRT to better integration... the best way would be for L&L to integrate this straight into Scrivener. It should be drop-dead simple to do in a cross-platform way for them. Not holding my breath though.

  • Ah, right, I didn't really know what I was doing when I installed the BBT plugin. Must have just accidentally changed it without really realizing! I'll remove that line from my read-me file.

    And yeah... this method is far from ideal, I'll definitely be writing to them to have my voice heard. So far though, they seem pretty uninterested to make it any easier. Until then, hopefully this might help some people such as myself who are Windows users.
  • I don't think anyone actually reads the first-run text, but at least I do get to say "I warned you and offered you a choice". Small consolation but I'll take what I can get.

    I've been in touch with L&L; they hardly ever answered my questions. They're not interested, academia isn't their primary audience. Could have been pretty nice though if they would also finally switch to pandoc. And wouldn't save all their stuff as RTF so it'd be git-friendly. I'd probably use it myself if they would.

    Who am I kidding. They'd also have to add vim-emulation before I'd switch.
  • The problems you've had installing scannable cite are likely due to this not yet being released: https://github.com/Juris-M/zotero-odf-scan-plugin/pull/11

    Until that's released it's not likely to work well. There's a race condition I can't fix on my end.
  • @emilianoheyns @gagarine Sorry about the delay - my release chain for plugins was broken, but it turned out to be a simple issue at my end. The plugin release with the fix by Emiliano (at v2.0.37) is now available.
  • @gagarine that probably means you can take out the manual install bit from point 1 in your readme.
  • @fbennett @emilianoeheyns Ah great, thanks! Will update the read me accordingly.
  • Tinkers to Evers to Chance.
  • Thanks for the post, I followed every step but failed eventually.
    It says "bib/cit manager not found...The bib/cit manager set in options could not be launched. Please check Options to ensure the correct manager is specified and check that it is installed correctly on your system."

    What should I do? HELP!!!BTW I am using Zotero 5 and Scrivener 3
  • This is on Mac?
  • No. on windows 10
  • The script says it hasn't been tested on Scrivener 3; I'd assume that's the problem and I'd ask the creator:
  • Thanks for the reply. One more question, it is mentioned in the link you send me that I should try to “ you should be able to solve the problem yourself by deleting the .lnk file in the folder and right-clicking on the batch file to create a new shortcut.” How do I do that? Many thanks
  • No idea if this will help -- note that I sent you to the page to create an issue, not because I think this issue applies to you. But FWIW, both of those files are in the zotpick.7z folder. Once you've unpacked them as per the instructions, you can delete the file with -Shortcut.lnk at the end and then right-click on zotpick-scannablecite-win.bat and create a new link, giving it the same name.
  • I created the shortcut as previously instructed, and then new Error occur, what has been launched in Scrivener when I press reference/citattion shortcut is not zotero but the batch file.,,
  • Creator here. That is indeed what is supposed to happen. The batch file then launches the powershell script, which in turn fires up Zotero (convoluted I know, but I swear this is the most efficient way to get the whole thing to run!). If Zotero is not already running, it might take a while, so be patient. Try launching it again with Zotero already running, the picker should pop up in just a couple of seconds.

    (also - if you don't want the batch file to flash in front whenever you run the script, right click on the newly created shortcut and click properties. Change the drop down menu next to run to "minimized")

    I'm not sure how to create a shortcut that is relative to the computers path... I'll look into it to try to make sure that future users don't have to create their own shortcut.
  • Ok, thanks.
    I finally can get launch Zotero, But nothing happened....the footnote cannot be inserted...
    Could it be the conflict bewteen footnote short cut and zotero lauching/ reference shortcut?
  • I have to make it work. Please help me. The old drag-drop approach does not allow me to add page number and staff..
    It would be great to have Zotero pump up in Scrivener
  • By "launch zotero" do you mean the "the picker"? (See picture linked in original post to see what I mean) Or just zotero the program?

    When I push the shortcut key, picker pops up, I find the citation I'm looking for by typing. I then press enter, and voila, citation inserted.

    FYI, this doesn't create a footnote. It merely pastes the citation text, in this case in the format of "scannable cite". Footnote will be created when you scan the citation code in ODT. If you want to have the citation code contained in a footnote, however, you can do that. Just create the footnote first, then press the reference citation key.
  • I am confused...paste the citation text where? So there will be no mark at all on the Scrivener text until the compilement?
  • I read the original post, but still confused.......
  • It would be really nice if you can create a youtube video for this. I am sure it can help a lot of people...but I know it takes a lot of time..
  • Sorry, I realize that wasn't 100% clear (I might try to make a YouTube video at some point, but it'll have to be when I have more time).

    When you press enter, after you've selected the source you want from the picker (this thing http://mossiso.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/zotero-new-view-find-citation.png ), it will insert a place holder, known as "scannable cite" (see this page for what they look like, and how to scan it afterwards when you are exporting the document: https://catherinepope.com/how-to-use-zotero-with-scrivener-part-2/)

    This place holder will be inserted wherever the cursor is at the moment. It does not actually create an independent footnote within Scrivener. Later, when you compile as ODT and scan the citation, a live Zotero citation will be created. It's at this point that Zotero will create a footnote.
  • ohh...I think the problem is I did not do anything to create the "scannable cite" option..I don't have "scannable cite" in the droplist of export..
    So may be I should set up zotero by installing and choosing "scannable cite" for export format?
  • Ah, yes, that sounds like it is the problem. Make sure that the scannable cite plugin is installed. See this page for the latest version: https://github.com/Juris-M/zotero-odf-scan-plugin/releases/tag/v2.0.37

    If afterwards there is still no scannable cite option in the drop down menu, try installing it manually (I had to do that... I was told it was fixed but it might still not be) See this forum post for details: https://forums.zotero.org/discussion/57428/scannable-cite-not-showing-up-in-zotero-standalone
  • edited July 14, 2018
    Thanks! It finally works on my computer.
    Two more questions
    1. after the doc being compiled and exported as word, the citations will be linked to t he Zotero lib, so that i can refresh the citation in the book in case I make changes in Zotero, is that right?
    2. what if I insert a citation in a footnote in Scrivener then I come back and want to insert another citation to the same footnote, what should I do? The two citation should have a ";" in between...instead of a full stop
  • You need to export as ODF, not Word, and then run it through the Scannable Cite function in Zotero. This will convert it into a live Zotero-connect ODF file that you can open in LibreOffice to select a style and finish formatting.

    If you place citations immediately next to each other in Scrivener, the ODF scan process will place them in the same Zotero citation. The delimiter between sources is controlled by the style you pick.
  • Thanks. But the file will be eventually converted to .doc or .docx, right? Otherwise how could I share with others? or send to my supervisor who use neither Libreoffice nor Scrivener..

Sign In or Register to comment.