When will Zotero for Mac v5 become Unicode savvy?

I'm a new Zotero user. If I posted this in a wrong place, please let me know.

I'm using v5 of Zotero for Mac, currently v5.0.92, and Nisus Writer Pro as word processor. I have noticed that if a citation contains an umlaut or diacritic [such as {Müller, 2019}], then a RTF scan is not possible. The Verify Cited Items window simply remains empty then.

However, if the author's name in Zotero is changed to {Muller, 2019}, then everything is OK.

Just for the fun of it, I tested TextEdit too. If the citation is {Müller, 2019}, then it shows up as M\'fcller 2019 in Verify Cited Items, and Zotero requires that I verify the citation manually before it can proceed. However, if the citation contains diacritic then nothing at all shows up in the Verify Cited Items window.

As if this was not bad enough, another strange and unexpected behavior is also the following: for RTF-scanning Zotero requires citations to be in {}. But when the user inserts a citation into a document by going to Edit > Copy Citation in Zotero, Zotero then inserts () instead of {}. Or in other words, Zotero inserts a citation as (Shakespeare, 2019), but the user has to manually change it to {Shakespeare, 2019} in order to make the scanning process work.

I'll be grateful for any help. And yes, I have already consulted the RTF Scan page https://www.zotero.org/support/rtf_scan

  • RTF scan isn't terribly well maintained, so yeah, definitely possible that Umlauts and accented characters aren't recognized properly (Zotero itself is obviously 100% unicode compliant. The problem is that RTF isn't really and Zotero's RTF scan doesn't robustly compensate for that).

    There are various markdown-based solutions as well as http://zotero-odf-scan.github.io/zotero-odf-scan/ that are more reliable alternatives.

    The format in which Zotero pastes citations is determined by the settings in Export --> Quick Copy in the preferences. You can install the RTF citation style from zotero.org/styles
  • Thank you for your reply, AdamSmith.
    (1) So there are no separate forums for Mac user. Is that correct?

    (2) How can I send my bug report directly to the developers? Since the program itself is already Unicode savvy, it shouldn't be a big deal to make sure that the scanning of citations with umlauts and diacritics are handled correctly.

    Thanks for pointing me to the "RTF/ODF-Scan for Zotero" page.
    Not particularly delighted though having to additionally install LibreOffice, but we'll see.

    You wrote:
    (3) "The problem is that RTF isn't really". What do you mean by "really"? Not really implemented?

    You also wrote:
    "The format in which Zotero pastes citations is determined by the settings in Export --> Quick Copy in the preferences."
    (4) Do you mean in the drop-down menu 'Default Format'? That's where you choose your citation style, but there is no way to change citation markers from () to {} there, as far as I can see.

  • 1) Correct
    2) Developers read along here
    3) RTF was developed before UTF-8 and represents non-Ascii characters as composites like the M\'fcller that you're seeing and that's making scan difficult
    4) Yes. There's an RTF-Scan style available from zotero.org/styles that you can install and set.
  • Thank you for your quick answer, AdamSmith. :-)
  • Yeah, it looks like this was just never implemented — I think you're the first to report this in the 10+ years that RTF Scan has existed. (RTF Scan doesn't get a lot of use.) I've created an issue to address this, though I don't know when we'll get to it.
  • I think you're the first to report this in the 10+ years that RTF Scan has existed
    We've talked about this before and I even looked at the code ~7 years ago but threw my hands up in despair after trying to work with the RTF format for a bit.
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