Fields are easily modified in LibreOffice

  • Hi, I don't know if this is addressed elsewhere, but I have been working around an issue I frequently have seen over the years with Zotero openoffice plugin on Debian (various).

    Screenshot demonstrates:
    It is easy to accidentally insert new text into a citation field which can only be seen with field code highlighting on.

    Reproduce: make new citation in text. Move cursor away. Move back right at end. Type.

    Hit refresh and you'll get that same error. Clicking no deletes what was intended to be normal text.

    Related issue: I have just realized that sometimes I have been pressing "yes" when this error happens for no apparent reason--does anyone know how I can review a file for where these "overridden" fields are so I can make them automatic again? Would be appreciated.

    PS I love Zotero thanks so much!
  • I should note: my workaround has been to sacrifice the adjacent character and begin new text after it. Or make new line and type starting with space then remove newline. Works fine.
  • @adomasven knows the details, but as I understand it this is just a longstanding LibreOffice bug.
  • Yeah, this is a long standing bug, we've reported it to LibreOffice and they were positive about fixing it, but there hasn't been any movement on the bug report for a while. You can post on their bugtracker directly, the more comments they get, the more likely it is they'll move it up in their priority list. See and
  • Awesome, thanks Adomasven!
    I left a comment over there.
  • edited December 4, 2019
    Hi again, I just wanted to inquire about the other part of my question there, as to the ability to find overridden fields. Is there any way short of re-doing all citations singly? I suspect I have pressed yes in the past not really understanding the process and am worried I will have unupdated citations lingering around...

    I've found that in the field code (seen in navigator's reference pane) includes following--
    --and is otherwise identical to non-overridden field code.
    So I can scan the navigator for this and find overridden fields but it's pretty slow on a big document

    I appreciate the amount of support you all are offering here, and am very grateful for Zotero, so please forgive my prodding :)

    I found this old thread which seems to center on my question:

    Ok, I found a way to do this in Debian Linux at least. Requires installation of package "xml-twig-tools" and I don't recommend using except on a backup copy of a document and also I don't garuntee the security of the command, I don't know how to evaluate that. Here's the line (replace the file name):

    unzip -p test.odt content.xml | xmllint --format - | xml_grep 'text:reference-mark-end' | grep 'dontUpdate' | sed -e 's/\&quot/\"/g' | grep -o "formattedCitation\";:\";[^\"]*\"" | grep -o "(.*)"

    Outputs the internal citation formatting without any added text, so you should be able to use that to search within your document for the overridden fields.
    My output looked like this:

    (Comas-Díaz, 2010; Cushman, 1992; Leahey, 2009)
    (Staeuble, 2006)

    So I can ctrl-f these in writer.
    Maybe someone can improve this to return the actual in-text material, which is in the xml there as well.

    I used the following to make this:

    ** and can confirm, I searched for those citations and found one that matched (there are duplicates), and found a single space that was mistakenly added to the reference mark as noted above. I had evidently seen the error come up and hit yes without thinking about it. Now I am more worried that at some point I hit a 'no' without realizing it might have taken half a sentence with it that I'm not aware of being gone somewhere. I also searched another document and found the same again.

    Nevertheless, I reccommend Zotero to everyone, good work folks!
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