Warning: Delete all automatic tags also removes edited tags!

I saw a few weeks ago the option to "Delete all automatic tags", which I took the opportunity to do, as I have never found useful these automatic tags (appearing in a different color). I only realized days later that this process *also removed all automatic tags I had edited and later added to many other documents*!

To give you a concrete example, let's say I added a book, which came with automatic tags "Games", "Psychology/Education", and some other things. At some point, I removed all useless tags, but kept "Games" and changed it to "games" (I keep all my tags lowercase), or some even more edited name. At that moment, being edited, it showed up in the normal color, so I assumed these edited tags where no longer considered "automatically added". Even worse: after that, I added this "games" tag to many other documents. When I used this function the tag "games" was deleted and thus removed from ALL documents.

This is clearly not the behavior I was expecting from this function. I would recommend to, AT LEAST, print out a warning about the severity of the consequences, with ideally the list of tags that would be definitely deleted. A better solution would be not to delete all automatic tags that have been edited.

(P.S. If you know of a way I could recover these lost tags [sadly, I could not use the 1 day old backup, since I realized these tags were missing several days after deleting them], I would be interested! I lost many important things there...)
  • I can't reproduce that. If I edit an automatic tag (even just to change the case) and delete all automatic tags, the edited tag remains.

    Can you provide precise steps to reproduce?
  • I will try to do it in a new instance of Zotero. As I said, I realized recently that many tags I started using around 3-4 years ago did suddenly disappear. I am assuming it was the "Delete all automatic tags" function, as it is the only thing that could explain that, and timing coincides, but I have no proof (yet)...
  • I think this is becasue some of your manual tags have the same name with the automatic ones. after a "Delete all automatic tags", the manual ones with the same name to automatic ones are also deleted!
  • This just happened to me as well, in a collection of 400+ items that I will not be going through again to re-tag. I'd like to add my voice to that request to somehow keep your edited tags separate, even if it shares the same name as an automatic tag. Or better yet, is there an option to never import automatic tags? I never use them and they only get in my way. I would love that feature.
  • edited March 4, 2019
    @larsonce: You can disable saving of automatic tags from the General pane of the preferences. You can also likely restore your tags from the last automatic backup. I'll look into this issue of manual tags with the same name being deleted.
  • @dstillman Thanks! I found the setting now. And I was able to restore from the last automatic backup, so everything has turned out OK for me. So glad the Zotero team has accounted for these kinds of things.
  • All right, sorry for the delay here. This should be fixed in the latest Zotero beta, and the fix will be included in 5.0.61 soon.
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