"An error occurred while trying to export the selected file." Can you QuickCopy a PDF?

When I attempt to QuickCopy a PDF, I get this message "An error occurred while trying to export the selected file." even after I have retrieved metadata and renamed and associated the PDF with the parent item. I believe this error began appearing only after I installed Zotfile.

  • I'm not sure what you mean by Quick Copy a PDF. Do you mean Quick Copy the parent item?

    Can you provide a Report ID?

    Does the problem occur if you disable your third-party extensions?
  • @dstillman I have not yet disabled Zutilo and Zotfile.
    Here is the error id. 1826395651.
    I guess if I asked the question a little differently---when I attempt to drag and drop a PDF reference into a Scrivener document, instead of getting curly brackets enclosing an eight digit zu reference, I get a path (without curly brackets) that shows the location of the PDF in my user storage. I believe this change from having a scannable cite to having what ever that is, a path?, began to occur after I installed Zotfile. Perhaps I have a wrong setting in Zotfile preferences? I have scrutinized the preferences settings in Zotero and Zotfile and just can't figure out what is going on. Any ideas? Thank you!
  • This sounds like it is working as intended. Dragging a parent item from Zotero produces quick copy output (citation/export). Dragging a file copies the file -- when dragged to a text application like Scrivener, that'd be the file path.

    Are you saying when you're trying to drag the parent item you get the above-quoted error?
  • @adamsmith In answer to your question-No-when I drag the parent item, I do get the desired quick copy output (i.e., a scannable cite). But, if I understand correctly, no PDF, no matter how high quality the metadata it carries, will work with the drag and drop method I am contemplating. My assumption is that only non-PDF parent items can be used to drag and drop into a word processor, to be scanned and output in the citation style of my choice in Zotero. Is that assumption correct? Is Zotfile the best way to annotate PDFs? I thought I saw some forum discussion on a brand new beta feature involving PDFs, but I am not quite certain what all that is about.

    By they way, are the Zotero and JurisM libraries the same thing? In my case, it looks like they are. Is that correct?

    By way of context, I am trying to annotate a web page article, and have the annotations appear as notes in my Zotero/Juris M library, which I understand to be the main use for Zotfile. I thought I might use Zotfile to read/research online sources, such as webpages containing pertinent information that I would annotate as a PDF, then save the annotated version to the sync folder in my Dropbox created for this purpose. The thing is that, once added to the Z library via this method, there is no "parent item" from which to extract "parent metadata." I had hoped that the PDF would contain sufficient metadata to make my workflow of right-clicking to retrieve metadata from the PDF sufficient to then drag and drop the Zotero PDF item into my text documents for scanning through Zotero.
    As always, Thank you!
  • Retrieve metadata will typically only work for PDFs that were "born" as PDFs, not for PDF prints of webpages, which is what I understand you're using? For those cases, to cite these, you'll need to right-click --> Create Parent Item and then fill out the information manually.
  • Thank you for your quick response. I have PDFs from scientific journals that may have been "born" as you say, as a PDF. These PDFs do not have a parent item. Do I still have to manually create a parent for these PDFs?
  • What happens when you right-click --> retrieve metadata for those? Where Zotero finds metadata, it would attach those PDFs to a parent item with said metadata.
  • Yep, that is what a sample item imported from ProQuest did.
  • Right, and you can then drag the parent item to get the citation.
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