Making ZotFile move file automatically after Saving to Zotero via browser connector

Hey guys,

#1 Act
I'm trying to have this behaviour:
(1) Opening a journal paper PDF in Firefox;
(2) Clicking on Zotero browser connector;
(3) Having entry created in Zotero and PDF attached filed moved to a folder inside my cloud folder.

I already had Zotero working fine and syncing storage by means of WebDAV. But then I got the Zotero's original folder structure, and I was looking for something more similar to a single folder with all files. I've learned that with ZotFile I could do this.

#2 Act
So first I've done the following:
(1) Installed ZotFile;
(2) In ZotFile preferences, I've changed "Location of files" to "Custom location" and indicated the folder I want;
(3) In "Renaming rules", I've activated "Use Zotero to rename".

Then I've run some tests and it worked great, exactly the behaviour expected in #1 Act. Then I asked ZotFile to rename and move previous saved entries. Everything fine.

#3 Act
But then I've done this in Zotero preferences:
(1) Deactivated File Syncing with WebDAV (I didn't want files to occupy my cloud storage twice);
(2) Changed "Linked attachment base directory" to the same path indicated in ZotFile preferences.

After doing all of this and restarting Zotero, whenever I save a PDF with the browser connector, it gets stored in Zotero's original storage folder, and not in the folder indicated in ZotFile preferences and in "Linked attachment base directory". If I click on the entry and ask ZotFile to rename and move it, it does what I want. But I would like to have the behaviour #1 Act, whereby any attachment would be automatically renamed and moved to that folder.

What have I done wrong? Any hints how to fix this?

FYI, I've already tried to reverse #3 Act both partially and fully. But even so I don't get anymore the automatic behaviour.

Thanks!
  • Act 1 is where you're going wrong. Open the abstract or HTML view of the article and save from there. This will attache the PDF and ZotFile will automatically move it.

    If you download the PDF directly, Zotero tries to retrieve metadata after the fact and then attach the PDF to that and ZotFile isn't aware of that operation so can't move the PDF automatically (you can still do the manual manage attachments --> rename attachment).
  • I really cannot understand what is happening. Your tip works for this paper: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01972243.2017.1391913, but isn't working for this: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1369118X.2019.1573914. Any idea?
  • What exactly is happening in the second case?
  • File is stored in original Zotero storage folder, not in the folder indicated both in ZotFile preferences and in "Linked attachment base directory".
  • It's worth noticing that, at my first time, before proceeding to Act 3, all attempts to save papers to Zotero had the same result, i.e. saving the file in the desired folder and creating the adequate link/attachment to Zotero entry.
  • @talestomaz: Only the first paper is open-access. Maybe there was some related issue with the second paper. In case there's an issue like this, you could use Zutilo's keyboard shortcuts for ZotFile's renaming function, see here.
  • What I suspect is happening is that you don’t have access to the PDF from the journal page for the second item. When you saved it, Zotero was able to find an open access copy of the item from another site and downloaded. Zotfile wasn’t aware of that and so didn’t move it.
  • @qqbb and @bwiernik: Yes, this could be an explanation. I'm accessing both papers with the account of my university, which gives me free access to both PDFs, so I don't get why Zotero+ZotFile would treat them differently. But thanks anyway. Maybe I go for this workaround with Zutilo...
  • Feedback: I've installed Zutilo and my shortcut (Alt + Q) has helped to accelerate the process of renaming and moving files to the assigned folder.

    My new question: would there be a way to automatise my shortcut? I mean: each time a new item is added to Zotero, it triggers the shortcut (or, what actually matters, the desired behaviour).
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