Is there a bulk import of multiple pdf files in a single action available?

Hi there.

I have multiple PDF files in my PC which are not in my zotero library yet. And I am looking for the fastest way to add them. What is your suggestion? Is there any shortcut to avoid adding them one by one?

Thank you very much for reading.
  • Just select all of them in your computer's file system and drag them into Zotero.
  • Dear bwiernik,

    Thank you very much for your quick response.

    But In this way the PDF files will be added as files not as Journal articles.
    Is there any way to fix it?

  • I am looking for a way which can add multiple PDF files as well as their publication data (at least their names as journal articles). A solution in which I don't have to add bibliography of each file separately.

    Is it available in zotero?
  • If you drag-drop PDFs that are journal articles, then Zotero will create a parent item that is a journal article with all the necessary metadata and attach the PDF file to that parent item. On rare occasions or when the PDF is a scanned (non OCR'ed) document, Zotero cannot pull the correct metadata. In such cases, you will have to make a manual entry which can be somewhat simplified by adding the item using DOI, ISBN, etc.
  • Dear gurdas,

    Thank you very much for your guidance.

    Most of my PDF files are OCR'ed but unfortunately zotero behave all items the same and just insert them as files without any parent item and metadata.

    However, thank you for your comment about DOI, ISBN,.. . It seems there is no way but a manual entry through these codes.
  • It sounds like you may be using an old version of Zotero. Update for metadata to be automatically retrieved. You can also invoke the metadata retrieval yourself by selecting the PDFs in Zotero, right clicking, and choosing Retrieve Metadata for PDFs.
  • Dear bwiernik,

    Many Thanks. Finally, that works.

    My zotero has been updated recently (just yesterday) but it still does not retrieve metadatas automatically. However, I have selected the PDFs in zotero and right clicked them as you commented and it retrieved Metadatas.

    My deepest gratitude to all zotero colleagues,
  • Whether metadata is retrieved automatically is controlled by a checkbox in the General pane of the preference window. You can check to see that it is enabled.
  • Dear bwiernik,

    Thank you for your guidance. I am writing this for future development of zotero:

    The box which says "automatically retrieve metadata for PDF files" in the general pane was checked but it did not do anything after dropping a file.
    Perhaps it is because I am running over free volume.

    However, as it is possible to select multiple items and retrieve them at once, it takes few moments and is an easy task.

    Best Wishes,
  • Dear all,

    Thank you for your useful answers - I just learned that a recent version of Zotero automatically scans PDFs for metadata - very useful.

    Is there a way to scan several PDF documents for metadata at once? I've already imported a bunch of PDFs in my old version of Zotero, and it would save a lot of time to do so - instead of checking each pdf individually.

    Thank you,

  • Zotero should automatically check for metadata for all attachments if you drag them in at once.
  • Is there some limit for how many PDFs we can try dragging-and-dropping at a time? I tried dragging-and-dropping 3000+ PDFs and it didn't seem to work. (Or perhaps my computer is just not very good.)
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