renaming pdfs question

Hi all

There are multiple threads on this topic I know. Either they were too technical for this n00b to understand or weren't asking the same question exactly. Hopefully this will be a really easy answer for someone.

I am a new Zotero user. I have 3-4k pdfs in a folder with numerical names. Is it possible in Zotero to do the following: 1) drop the pdfs into Zotero and have it register them and also look up their metadata and then 2) rename the pdfs in the same folder. #1 is obviously possible but I can't figure out #2.

The catch: I have very limited hard drive space, so I want to use Zotero without it automatically linking the pdfs to itself. I have 10k+ pdfs so that would take up a ton of space. That is why I am trying to have them renamed in the same folder so I can later move it to an external drive.

Thanks for any help folks can offer!
  • First go to the General pane of the Zotero preferences and make sure both "Automatically rename attachment files using parent metadata" and "Rename Linked Files" are checked. (The latter isn't checked by default.)

    Then set that directory as the Linked Attachment Base Directory (not the Data Directory) in the Advanced → Files and Folders pane of the Zotero preferences, so that when you later move the directory to your external drive you can just change that setting and Zotero will immediately be able to find the moved files (since it will store only relative paths from the specified directory).

    Then open the New Item menu in the Zotero toolbar, select "Link to File…", and select all the files in the directory. Zotero will add them as linked (rather than stored) files, create parent metadata items for them where possible, and rename them based on the metadata.

    Just to be clear, you'll lose the original filenames this way, but it sounds like you're OK with that.

    You can use the ZotFile extension to automatically move files you add going forward to that same directory as linked files.
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