Errors in Google Docs

Hi,

I'm using Google Docs with Chrome and Windows 10.
I'm getting the messages below when i try to update citations.
I don't want to use Word or LibreOffice and want to stick with Google Docs.
Additionally all the citations were built in Google Docs and not in any other programs.
I now have nearly 1,000 citations in one document and am concerned that i might have lost 2 years of work. Help please.

Message 1.
Your document must be permanently upgraded in order to work with Zotero 5.0 or later. It is recommended that you make a backup before proceeding. Are you sure you want to continue?

I click Ok and then get:

Message 2.
Zotero cannot update this document because it was created by a different word processing application with an incompatible field encoding. In order to make a document compatible with both Word and LibreOffice, open the document in the word processor with which it was originally created and switch the field type to Bookmarks in the Zotero Document Preferences.

Charles,
  • @adomasven will need to look at this, but what happened between the last time you used Zotero with this doc and now? (The error message you're getting certainly doesn't make any sense, since Zotero didn't support Google Docs before 5.0. So don't click through that.)

    Have you tried simply restarting your browser and Zotero?

    If that doesn't help, you should be able to make a copy of the doc and use version history to figure out when/why this broke.
  • Thanks DStillman,
    I was trying to change a citation which seemed to link to the wrong articles. When i did this it failed 4 times in a row. I then closed everything and rebooted my computer, and then tried again when it was back. Butt his time i got the messages above. I do wonder if my copy of the Chrome connector has become corrupt.
    I can roll back to an earlier saved version, but would like to hear what @adomasven thinks first. Charles
  • To be clear, the version history is more for debugging, to try to figure out how long ago this happened and, if possible, what you did before it happened. I'm not suggesting that you start by wiping out all your recent changes.

    If you're able to reproduce this error in an excerpt of a copy of the document and don't mind sending a share link to support@zotero.org with a link to this thread, we'd be very interested to look at that.
  • @cjoynson I too wonder what occurred to this document between it being in a working condition and breaking? Using the version history to go over the changes would be the way to investigate. Did you transfer this document to Word or LibreOffice at any point?
  • I'm still struggling unfortunately. I rolled back to a copy of my document a week old. This didn't have the same error (1 and 2 above) but never finished adding or updating any zotero citation. However it took 3/4 hours to get to the failure point for each citation.
    So on the assumption that there was an individual citation causing the problem i cut the document into three roughly equal parts (chapters 1-5, 6-10 and 11-15). But the same errors 1 and 2 occur with each part when attempting to add a citation to any one of my 'chunks'..
    Other failures or errors which occur with some frequency are:
    3. "code": 429, "message": "Resource has been exhausted (e.g. check quota).",
    and
    4. This document is being edited by another user.
    I have now upgraded to 100mb storage on google drive in case that was causing the quota problem, and only i edit this document, i've not shared it with anyone.
    I also have seen the citation type page open unexpectedly, I'm using Vancover superscript and have nearly 1000 citations in my main document.
    I also had problems with google drive showing as http rather than https and being flagged as not secure, but i think this is fixed now.
    I also cleared my cash and deleted temp files. My internet download speed is 33mbps and upload 6mbps. Also the document was initially created in Word 2010, but all the citations were recreated manually in zotero rather than being imported. I export a copy to Word each month as a backup.
    Any help much appreciated.
  • I rolled back to a copy of my document a week old
    You likely only need to revert the document to a version prior to the last time you cited in this document with Zotero (if that time is less than a week ago).
    However it took 3/4 hours to get to the failure point for each citation.
    What message did you receive for these errors? How long did it take to cite in this document prior to you starting to get the problem? When was the last time you attempted to cite in this document?
    So on the assumption that there was an individual citation causing the problem i cut the document into three roughly equal parts (chapters 1-5, 6-10 and 11-15).
    You would have to do this with an older version of the document. The error 1 that you are seeing is due to corrupt document preferences and slicing the current version of the document into smaller chunks won't help in this case.
    3. "code": 429, "message": "Resource has been exhausted (e.g. check quota)."
    This means the Zotero operation of trying to update the document took too long to run. The quota is a time limit.
    4. This document is being edited by another user.
    This is the result of 3. Zotero soft-locks the document to prevent multiple users from inserting citations at the same time as it can create conflicts. However if an operation fails to complete due to errors like the one above, the soft-lock remains in place and you get this error.
    I also have seen the citation type page open unexpectedly, I'm using Vancover superscript and have nearly 1000 citations in my main document.
    While documents with 1000+ citations in Google Docs are not unheard of, Google Docs is certainly not the best platform for works of such scope. Not least because Zotero will work much slower on a large document in Google Docs than in Word or LibreOffice, but also because if strange corruption is to occur, it is relatively much more difficult to troubleshoot, regardless of whether it's related to Zotero or not.

    Another thing to try would be to select "Switch word processors.." from the Zotero menu in Google Docs on a copy of the latest version of this document. If that procedure completes successfully, go to the very bottom of the document and copy the line that starts with "DOCUMENT_PREFERENCES" and paste it here.
  • You can also try pasting
    ZOTERO_TRANSFER_DOCUMENT

    The Zotero citations in this document have been converted to a format that can be safely transferred between word processors. Open this document in a supported word processor and press Refresh in the Zotero plugin to continue working with the citations.
    to the start of the document, make sure to leave a couple of empty lines before the beginning of the document body and pasting
    at the end of the document. Then select refresh in the Zotero menu. It will prompt you about restoring your citations, to which you should agree. That should then fix the corrupt document preferences in the document.

    Note that the "DOCUMENT_PREFERENCES" text has to be a link to "https://www.zotero.org/google-docs/?". If you copy the text above and paste it directly into Google Docs it will work fine without any modifications.
  • Hi Again,
    I tried to "Switch word processors" with my data, but this repeatedly failed with each month end file i had kept in Google Docs. I finally got it to work with the file from the end of February 2020. I guess i will need to manually recreate all the document citation i made between then and now (about 600). Can you suggest how I might do this, and if Word 2010 is a good program to use from here on in?

    DOCUMENT_PREFERENCES {"style":{"styleID":"http://www.zotero.org/styles/vancouver-superscript","locale":"en-GB","hasBibliography":true,"bibliographyStyleHasBeenSet":false},"prefs":{"fieldType":"Http","automaticJournalAbbreviations":true,"delayCitationUpdates":false,"noteType":0,"dontAskDelayCitationUpdates":true},"sessionID":"QCWB9xrq","zoteroVersion":"5.0.89","dataVersion":4}
  • Can you suggest how I might do this, and if Word 2010 is a good program to use from here on in?
    Word 2010 should work fine.
    I finally got it to work with the file from the end of February 2020. I guess i will need to manually recreate all the document citation i made between then and now (about 600)
    There is something seriously corrupt with your document (and its version history) if you managed to insert citations in this document between Feb and now, yet any version restored from those periods no longer allows to perform any commands including switching word processors.

    Do note that the procedure I described above might allow you to restore your current version of the document to a functional condition. You just need to paste the first block of text at the start of the document, the second to the end of your document and then hit refresh in the Zotero menu.
  • Thanks for your help so far.
    Unfortunately the "Switch word processors" function only works on the February copy of my data. All the others fail and only seem to convert some of the citations into the new format. I'll have another go, but suspect i'll be working with the citations from the February version and the text and frozen citation numbers from September. Could i convert the citations in the current version into some other style. Currently i'm using Vancouver Superscript, which is just a number, if i have an author or title it would be easier to find them again.
  • Please try the instructions above for the current version of the document. They are likely to fix your document completely. If you still get the error about document corruption on the current version of the document then you won't be able to change the style either.
  • Thanks, I've been trying this with various version of my document. The newest (2020 09) fails on refresh with the 'Your document must be permanently upgraded in order to work with Zotero 5.0 or later' error.
    The previous version (2020 08 15) refreshes ok, but then fails during 'switch word processors'.
    I will try 2020 08 01 to see if that will refresh and complete 'switch word processors'.
  • Would you share a cut-down copy of your current version of the document with support@zotero.org? Leave a couple of pages of content with some citations in there.
  • Many thanks for your continued help.
    I've cut the full version down by removing a lot of the text, but leaving the citations in place. I've shared that with you but the link is https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ByU9t5euMXqSqZC_hgmD997sZCPjxKuJE8J1CkRK5v8/edit?usp=sharing
    If you can work out where the corruption is i would be very grateful and you could improve Zotero for future heavy users.
    Charles
  • edited 18 days ago
    OK, i've shared with [REDACTED adomasven email] so hopefully you'll get the email and link now,
  • Ok, so after testing the document, this is my conclusion:

    You have reached a size for this document so large that the operations Zotero needs to perform to update this document take too long on Google's servers and timeout, which has lead to the document corruption. I am not sure why a version from say one month ago doesn't work with Zotero, if you have used Zotero to cite since, but needless to say, this document is too much for Google docs, mostly because of its length (and to some smaller extent due to the number of citations in it).

    I recommend moving this document to Word. The procedure will be complicated and take a while due to the corrupt nature of this document, but if you bear with it you can transfer the full current version of the document to Word along with all your Zotero citations intact.

    1. You will need to split the document into a bunch of pieces, about 100 pages each. Do this by making copies of existing document and trimming the document where needed.
    2. For each split of the document you will need to perform the procedure in the above comment precisely. I.e. the first piece of text has to be the very first thing to appear in the document, and the last piece of text has to be the very last thing.
    3. When you start the refresh for each piece of the document it will take some time to update it, which will be aproximately equal to number of citations in the document * 5s. I.e. if there are 100 citations in a given piece of the document, it will take about 500 seconds or 8 minutes to update.
    4. After the refresh that piece of the document will have citation editing restored. You should then use the "Switch word processors..." option in the Zotero menu, which will probably once again take about the same amount of time as the refresh above.
    5. After this operation is complete you should download it from Google Docs as a .docx file.
    6. Once you've done this for all pieces of the document you will have to import them into Word by clicking refresh in the Zotero plugin in Word. This should take much less time for each piece.
    7. After you've refreshed all pieces of the document, you can recombine the document in Word by copy-pasting from one document to another.

    You can try splitting the document into larger pieces than 100 pages, say 250, but I have not tried measuring how that will impact the speed of each refresh. If at any point a piece of the document fails to refresh with a "Zotero encountered an error" message, you should split that piece in half. You might want to run the full process of the steps above one piece at the time and make sure each one is successful before moving on to the next one. I estimate this process will take 3-4 hours for the number of citations that you have in this doc.

    Overall, we're very sorry that you have to deal with this. We try to provide the best possible citing experience for all word processors and have spent countless hours working on ways to improve their performance and reduce the likelihood of corruption, yet with documents of such scope there is a chance for failure of grandiose scale, especially with online word processors.

    Please let us know on whether you'll attempt the procedure and whether it's successful.
  • Many thanks, i'll split the document into the 16 chapters and try that.
  • Many many thanks for your help with this Adomas and Zotero.
    It was much easier than i expected and all i had to do was to follow your instructions.
    There were 16 chapters in the latest corrupt copy of the document, so i split it into 16 whilst keeping a copy of the original.
    The largest was 35 pages and the smallest 5.
    They all refreshed successfully in less than 1 minute each.
    They all allowed me to 'switch word processors' successfully again in less than a minute each.
    I was able to export them to Word without problems, refresh them in Word, and then copy paste them into a new document which also refreshed successfully.
    All together it took about 2 hours, and has saved me potentially a month of reentering the citations.
    The only thing i would have done differently would have been to have left some blank lines below 'ZOTERO_TRANSFER_DOCUMENT' as it wiped out some of my chapter headings, though this was not a real problem.
    Now Word allows me to add or edit citations in about 5 seconds where Google docs was taking 45 minutes.
    Absolutely brilliant and amazing. Many thanks again.
    Charles
  • Oh, I was under the impression this document was quite a bit larger than what you seem to have had. Either way, good to hear this worked for you. Best of luck with your writing!
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