How to avoid copies of pdfs when importing from bibtex file

Hi! I want to give zotero a try, but can't find out how to stop it making copies of my pdf files. I have nearly 6 Gb of files, and they are located in quite a few directories!

I was thinking of moving from JabRef to Zotero, but JabRef is happy to leave my files where I want them. My base .bib file has nearly 7000 records, so I really need an automatic solution.

I'm testing Zotero_linux_x86_64 (zotero 5, downloaded 2 days ago), with zotfile-5-0.9-fx and zotero-better-bibtex-5.1.50.

  • You mean you'd want to have the attachments show up in Zotero, but to have those attachments point to the existing files rather than have them imported into Zotero? Or just skip the attachments altogether?
  • @xadder: We're planning to add an option in the near future to attach linked files instead of stored files when importing.
  • There's a plugin that changes the import behavior to linking but you may have to play with its preferences to get the behavior you describe. By default it only intercepts files being attached that go into your personal library (not groups) and that live in the directory you configured as the base directory.
  • I installed the zotero-link-local-files, but I can't find where to set the preferences such as link-local-files. I have looked in Zotero - Preferences - General - Config Editor, but can' see anything like that.

    Just in reply to the first comment above, then yes, I want the pdfs to show up in zotero, but to leave them where they are.
  • In the config editor, search for "link-local". But I'm away from my computer right now so I can't do much. Oh, make sure to get the version from the first link, not from the releases page, the preferences haven't been merged to the latest release yet.
  • Also do note that this plugin is not discriminating - if you manually add an attachment and choose to store it, this plugin will override it. While it is active, *all* new stored attachments that are within the scope set by the preferences will be linked instead, regardless of how they get into zotero - manual stored attachments, imports, sync, *everything*.
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