Getting Zotero to see a document as "new"/removing remaining old Zotero traces?

I'm using Zotero standalone and Word 16.11.1 on a Mac.

Firstly, Zotero seems to work just fine when I create a new document from scratch and start inserting citations. And it also works just fine if I copy the text from the document I've been working in into a new document, using "Paste Special" in Word to retain only the unformatted text. In either of these cases, things work normally: citations appear as field codes and can be used to generate a bibliography. However, for various reasons, I'd like to avoid having to do that, and don't want to give up on my old document just yet.

So here's the problem: I have an old document I created about 8 months ago with an older version of Zotero and a several-updates-ago version of Word for Mac. When I open it now, all the Zotero citations are broken (no longer showing up as codes) and if I try to add a new citation (I was just going to go through and replace the broken codes) it doesn't work. Specifically, it allows me to use the toolbar insert button to search for, choose, and insert a citation; but it just inserts it as plain text, not as a code. Hence I can't edit it or use it to generate a bibliography.

Here's a couple of things I have tried:
1) My doc had a bunch of track changes in it. I've heard this can create problems, so I accepted all the changes and stopped tracking.
2) Some of what I read suggested that maybe the track changes had left corrupted field codes, so I got rid of all the old broken Zotero insertions. I also used the toolbar icon for remove codes. It gave me its standard warning that this might create problems for me, but I accepted.

Neither of these things solved the problem. And I have two more pieces of evidence:
a) when I create a new document from scratch and first try to insert a citation, Zotero asks me what format I want. But even after doing the above, it doesn't do that in this old document.
b) also in my new clean document (if I haven't yet added any citations), when I press the Remove Codes icon, it tells me I can't do that if I haven't added any citations yet. But when I press the Remove Codes icon in my old document, I get the message about being sure I want to remove codes, not the "you can't remove codes till you've added some" message.

All this makes me think that even when I've deleted all the old insertions I could find, and also used the Remove Codes function, there's still something embedded in that old document that is from the old, now-broken Zotero inserts, that is messing with me. Can anyone shed any light on what and how I might get rid of it to take the document back to a clean slate from Zotero's perspective? I'll give up if I have to, but as noted, there are various reasons why I'd prefer not to.

Many thanks!
  • edited May 13, 2018
    Let’s take a step back. The behavior you describe about Zotero inserting references as plain text is incorrect, so let’s figure that out first. Does that happen in a new, empty document? What specific versions of Zotero and Word are you using?

    (You can remove all traces of Zotero from a document using the Unlink Citations but in the Zotero tab, but that’s probably not the actual source of the problem, so let’s figured that out first.)
  • Hi Bwiernik! If you look above I actually addressed both of these things first thing - listed the versions I'm using and what happens in a new, clean document. If there's something missing there that I need to cover, please just let me know - this is my first time on the forums!
  • HOWEVER, this morning when I opened up the document just now and started experimenting again, things seem to be working. I dunno, guys! I know they say that sleeping on it solves problems, but I haven't usually had that be true with computers. My best guess is that an update that hadn't quite finished, did whatever it needed to do to finish. I updated Zotero last night as part of trouble-shooting, and then experimented for quite a while after that. But this morning, the Zotero add-in to Word looks different than it did last night, so clearly the update wasn't fully complete last night. I thought I had restarted everything involved last night, but either I hadn't or maybe it needed some particular combination or order of restarting to get fully linked back up. I'll update if I run into further problems.
  • Glad things seem to be working. The appearance of the Word add-in hasn’t changed in a long time, so it’s possible you were using a very old version of the Word add-in.
  • Pretty old - I got this computer in probably November 2016 and would have downloaded it around that time or early 2017, most likely. I updated it about an hour into fiddling with it last night, and then spent at least another hour experimenting after that. Didn't know to look for the change in the Word add-in appearance, though, so I thought the update was fully complete.
  • I'd guess that updating Zotero helped here -- lots of changes & fixes to Word integration between 5.0.35 and the current version.
  • Oh yes, definitely - I only came to the forums AFTER I thought I'd fully updated it and then continued to experiment for a while. Imagine my chagrin when it started working this morning!
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