macOS Preview saving PDFs as copies

This discussion was created from comments split from: Editing PDFs Opened Through Zotero.
  • Hello, I am having the same trouble. When I open a pdf via Preview from Zotero and annotate (e.g., highlight a word) I get an error message that I will have to save the pdf as a copy. I have been using Zotero for over a year and not had this problem until this week. I am running Zotero 5 and the files are stored Zotero->Storage->
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you
  • I am running Zotero 5 and the files are stored Zotero->Storage
    Where is "Zotero", though? Is it in your home directory (i.e., /Users/[username]/Zotero) or is it somewhere else?
  • It is in Users/[name]/Zotero
  • So then the only other reason that should happen is if the file or other folders in your data directory aren't writable by your macOS user account. That should always be the case by default, but it might not be if you transferred the directory from another computer not via Migration Assistant. You can check by by using File → Get Info in Finder.

    If you do a Show File on the attachment and open the file in Preview directly, does this still happen? (There's no reason that should be different from opening via Zotero.)
  • It does still happen when I open from the parent Zotero storage folder.

    The migration piece may be the root of the problem, but it still leaves me a little befuddled. I upgraded my storage plan and also got a new computer so somewhere during that I may have messed something up because I definitely didn't use the Migration Assistant. Is there a way to do some sort of reset and not lose the existing references, notes, pdfs, etc?

  • You can just fix the permissions by doing a Get Info on the Zotero data directory and making sure that that directory and all files and folders below it are owned and writable by your current user.

    If you didn't use MA, it's likely that many files on your system have incorrect permissions. (I'd strongly suggest using MA in the future to move files to a new Mac.)
  • I checked the permissions, and they are all read and write. I will continue to try and trouble shot. Thanks for your time and help
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