Renaming fields for use as database

Hi all
this is probably something already dealt with, but I couldn't see anything relating to recent versions.
I want to use an existing group library as the basis for a simple database. Zotero will already give me data for fields such as author, title, date. I've used tags for general subject areas. But now I want to add some precise data - eg research method used, sample size, location of study etc.. I'd like them to be in separate fields to make analysis easier.
Is there a way to rename unused fields (eg Archive, Extra, Call Number) to another name such as Sample Size in my library?
(I'll also note that exporting the data as csv doesn't seem to work well, but if I export it as a report and then create a table in Word from the that seems to give me separate fields to feed into excel or database programs. Any other approaches you know of would be great)
thanks heaps
  • Renaming fields isn't anything that's supported so with any reasonable effort the answer is no, but FWIW, the field labels are stored in the locale files
    so you can adjust those and rebuild Zotero and this should work to display different field names without changing anything under the hood.

    If there are problems with CSV export, we'd want to know details. That should be quite robust.
  • How badly would I screw everything up if I attempt this without knowing what I'm doing? I too want to rename field descriptors so that I can recategorize the info in excel. But I don't want to break my Zotero and I know literally nothing about software programming. Is there anyone that can help with this?
  • Changing fields on items will break syncing and might make the program not open.

    About the only “safe” way to do this would be to hack the translations—for example, you could change the translation of “Patent” to something else. You’re limited in the things you can modify there (some fields are shared across item types), and you will have to re-apply your changes after every Zotero update, but it’s an option.
  • I think there might be another way -- could you say a bit more what you're after?
    Changing the label of what Zotero puts into the columns in the CSV export is 100% safe and much easier, so if that's all that's needed that'd be simple. Even if you need specific columns in the CSV we can at least think about how to do that
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