Feature Suggestions

I've been using Zotero 2 to organize research-related articles for about a month now, and I absolutely love it. I have a few suggestions to make it slightly easier to use in an academic setting (in order of importance):

1. When dragging PDFs into my library, it would be nice to be given an option on whether Zotero "copies" them into its data files, or whether it merely creates a link to the existing file on my PC. I just realized I have 2 copies of most of my articles for that reason....

2. I love the "Retrieve Metadata for PDF" feature---it's incredible! It would also be useful to have a "Manually Enter Metadata for PDF" option. If "Retrieve Metadata" fails, it's a bit tedious to "Create New Journal Article," fill in the info, and then try to find the PDF in my huge library, and drag it into the newly created article. The "Manually Enter Metadata" should create a new "article" that is already a parent of the PDF, and then I can fill in the information.

3. It would be wonderful to have a drop-down select box next to the Quick Search box, with at least the options "Everything", "Title", "Creator", "Journal". Quick Search hasn't been very useful for me as of yet, because if I type in "McAdams" it will return many articles that simply mention his name, and not just the papers by him (which is what I want).

4. Currently when viewing a PDF in the browser, there are two options: "View File" and "Show File", which respective load the PDF in Acrobat Reader inside of Firefox, and open the file's containing folder. It would be nice to have a "View File in External Program" button, which would directly launch the PDF in Acrobat (or provide an option of which program to use). This would be useful because while I like pressing the "View File" button to quickly preview a file in Firefox, I prefer to view the file in Acrobat proper when reading it, so that I can use the highlighting and commenting functions.

5. For some reason, my notes don't have spell-checking. That would be a great new feature.

6. This is a bit nitpicky, and very low priority. It would be nice to have customization over the export format for reference lists (without having to modify the XML files). In particular, I use APA style, and Zotero includes the DOI numbers at the end, which I do not want included.
  • 4 would be very convenient. it would be nice to add the feature to define in a command line which program on the computer to be used to open the file, besides using the default program.
  • 1. Yes, that has been requested before, seems very sensible
    2. Here the idea I've heard mentioned most including by devs would be to automatically create an empty entry when retrieve fails. (not sure that's ideal, though - for me, usually when it fails for a journal article I just go to JSTOR or the journal's page to get the whole thing).
    3. Absolutely
    4. that seems to add to much menu space for something that just takes one extra click: You can already configure Zotero to open pdfs with an external program per default. Allowing for differing behavior would not really save much work effort as compared to "show file" and open the file - and it would create cluttered menus.
    5. http://forums.zotero.org/discussion/6393/spell-check-notes/
    6. It's really very easy to take that out using csl
    - and for papers that have pages if you unselect the relevant box in the styles preference panel I don't think there'll be a doi (not sure, though).
    That said, medium run an online style editor for csl is planned.
  • 1: http://forums.zotero.org/discussion/8072/
    2: http://forums.zotero.org/discussion/7684/
    3: http://forums.zotero.org/discussion/2386/
    4 has numerous discussion threads. "View file" merely performs the action you have registered with firefox for that pdf. If you prefer the external acrobat, why not make that change for all of firefox.
    5: http://www.zotero.org/support/2.0_beta_known_issues (and also other threads)
    6: http://forums.zotero.org/discussion/4884/doi-reference-in-apastyle/
  • I didn't know I can change that in firefox. Thanks.
  • 1. There's an open ticket for this: https://www.zotero.org/trac/ticket/781
    2. I would really like to see this too. The OS X app "Papers" has a pretty good approach to this.
    3. Yes.
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