Create external link to open pdf within Zotero

Hey all,

I think I have encountered links to open Zotero AND files within it from any external source, but I can't find it anymore. What I want to do is attach this link to summaries of papers I write, so the pdf is opened through Zotero when I click it.
Is this possible?
  • Install the Zutilo plugin. It will add a Copy Zotero Select Link option to the right click menu. You can use this link to select the item in Zotero from your notes app.
  • For files (or rather: PDFs), there is zotero://open-pdf/ , which is implemented by ZotFile. I don't think there is an option for this by Zotero proper.
  • Zotero proper implemented an open pdf protocol a while back. Don’t remember if it’s the same syntax or not...
  • edited September 26, 2018
    Thanks for the replies guys. @bwiernik : the "Copy select item links" does almost what I want. It opens Zotero and selects the corresponding file. The link it creates is zotero://select/items/.

    @adamsmith : I already had ZotFile installed but I am unable to find this function. Changing the select-link to open-pdf does not work.

    Edit: when I extract annotations with ZotFile, links are created such as zotero://open-pdf/library/items/?page=. It works if I remove "?page=, but how to acquire these links more easily?
  • Create a zotero select link for the attached file, not for the parent item, and that will give you the item id that you can use with open-pdf
  • edited September 27, 2018
    Amazing, that works! Thanks @adamsmith.

    So in summary, I use the "copy select item links" function from the Zotilo extension, and use this on a PDF item. This creates a link in the following form:

    zotero://select/items/[item ID]

    I then replace select/items with open-pdf, like so:

    zotero://open-pdf/[item ID]

    If I open that link from anywhere, it opens Zotero if that is not active, and the right PDF file in my preferred PDF reader.
  • This is an extremely useful thread!

    Any suggestions on how to make my Windows to recognize that zotero:// is a hyperlink that should me made clickable in Office based processors and opened by the default browser?
  • Select the text and then click the insert link button. It should either link-ify the existing text or open a dialog window where you can paste the text as the link to open (depending on what program and version you are using).
  • @bwiernik thank you, that is the solution I also found. I was thinking something more fundamental that would make Windows/Office tools recognize the zotero:// is a hyperlink and autoformat it to the hyperlink automatically. There is a setting in MS Word to autoformat hyperlinks, but it only recognizes http, https, www. ... and so on. But this is probably a Microsoft forum question, not a Zotero :)
  • Yeah, that would be a Microsoft question as to how to get it to auto-recognize links for other protocols (that’s what the part before the colon is called).
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