Richtext notes in Zotero (already)...almost.

I'd be glad for a way to preserve longer pieces of my own writing in Zotero (paragraphs and small sections which I intend to include in my dissertation at some point.) And I'd like something with a little more visual appeal than Zotero's current plaintext notes. There may be obvious reasons why the following won't work or is simply a Bad Idea. If so, I'd be glad to hear it, but here's a suggestion as a near-term way to do richtext notes. I apologize in advance for the length of this post. I couldn't manage to make myself clear in less space.

Richtext notes (already):
1. I begin my note in an (external) HTML editor, or otherwise produce HTML (using Markdown or a wiki language).
2. I view in firefox, capture in Zotero and tag or add to collections as appropriate)

So far this is already possible, and (it seems to me) would work fine for notes that I don't want to edit. Just now, editing such notes means:

1. Throwing the captured file to my HTML editor manually.
2. Saving (probably with a new name, and not in the Z profile), viewing in firefox, and recapturing in Zotero
3. Re-adding Zotero metadata and children
4. Deleting the old version from Zotero

But if Zotero could add the following functionality, this could be made easy:

1. A way to easily throw an existing snapshot to an external HTML editor.
2. A way to 'replace' that web snapshot with the new version, preserving important Zotero stuff (ideally: tags, collections, children, relationships, attachments, creation date and even child notes created by Z's builtin editor).
3. Ideally, a keyboard shortcut to make it easy to begin a new note from within Zotero.

I guess that such externally-edited notes must have disadvantages in terms of easy and quick management by Zotero/SQLlite. But they apparently have the advantage that it would be easy to add context-excerpts to search results. Most importantly, it seems like a way to get working richtext notes with a minimum of development.

With a few more steps, it might even be possible to use a wiki language to make those notes. What if Zotero's plaintext note editing window would have a keyboard shortcut or GUI button which does the following: (a) send this text to the user-configured filter, and (b) capture the resulting HTML as a web snapshot which will be the parent of this note. (Either replacing a current parent snapshot or subordinating the current note to the captured result of the filter). Then I can always edit the (wiki/markdown) plaintext, but still read and search the nice-looking HTML version.

Side note: you could perhaps even do something like the above by pairing other file combinations (by means of attachments or local links): (plantext/PDF, OOo/PDF, MSWord/HTML). Just relate them in some consistent way (as siblings for example) and allow recapture of the Presentation version when the Source version is edited. This could also prove a nice way for people to store and search (yet still preserve the originals of their existing OOo or Word files. Snapshot them as PDF or HTML and make use of Zotero's search and tagging functions. This is of course already (mostly) possible manually, but could be usefully automated, particularly with the addition of a 'replace snapshot with new version' feature.

Possible problems:
1. highlighting and annotation is likely not preservable, (without complected heuristics, which could never be perfect).
2. Kinks in working with external programs
(But since any features like this could be (say) for 'users who know what they are doing'. or even "unsupported." These are perhaps not show stoppers.)

You would (I'm sure) want to still proceed with your current plans for making internally editable richtext notes, since that would allow a more seamless user experience in the long term. But even then, the ability to replace one captured page by another (preserving metadata) would be useful for pages whose content we might want to update, and the ability to edit your captured pages externally might have some uses (even alongside Zotero's excellent annotation facilities), as would the ability to easily 'create a new web item via an external program and snapshot it when I return'.

Is this perhaps a way to provide the short-term gain of (a sort of) richtext notes, and still provide a few useful long-term features?
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