How to add URL for download link to PDF attachments seperate from Item URL


I notice that when Zotero is able to download a PDF directly from a website that the information in the right pane for the attachment includes the URL for that download between the attachment's Title field and Filename field.

When I have to save the document to my computer first (the website opens the Save As dialog when the download link is clicked) there is no option to add/update the PDF with the URL for the file download to the attachment's meta data. I can only copy the download link to the attachment's note box.

Is there a way to update the attachment's (not its parent item's) meta data with the download URL?

Thank you.
  • No, the only editable fields in the PDF metadata are the label at the top and Tags, Related, and Note at the bottom. What's the use case for the URL there?
    I'd say typically where this is a full text PDF, it'd make sense to include in Zotero's URL field.
  • Hello @adamsmith , I encounter this scenario quite often. Here is an example:

    I read an article (URL#1) that references a download resource (URL#2). URL#2 may be a PDF version of the article or it may be a supplemental resource for the article. I save the article to Zotero and then click URL#2 for the download which happens to be stored on a google drive (or in some other location). I save the download to to my computer and then use the Zutilo "Attach New File" to pull the file into Zotero as a child of the parent article.

    I do not want to create a new Item in zotero for the downloaded file, because logically it is part of the original article. I also want to keep the direct download link for the the file (URL#2). Since there is not a way for me to directly associate it with the file, I paste it into file notes.

    Similarly, in some instances when Zotero can retrieve a file from the internet, it will create the file attachment and add the file's URL to the attachment (not the parent). For example, when I download a paper from ResearchGate, Zotero will typically create 3 objects: the item, an attachment link called "ResearchGate Link", and retrieve the pdf attachment usually called "Full Text PDF" instead of the file name of the document.
    > No URL is put in the Item URL field.
    > The URL on the Link attachment goes to the page you would navigate to in a web browser.
    > The URL on the attached PDF document is to a direct download. Clicking it opens a PDF, not a webpage.
  • edited February 3, 2021
    If viewing the PDF in your browser (which is the default setting in browsers, though some sites override it), you can drag the page proxy icon (padlock or tab icon) straight to the item in Zotero to add it as an attachment with a URL. If not viewing PDFs in your browesr, you can drag the link itself to the Zotero item, as long as it's a direct link to the PDF and not a redirect page or an HTML frame.

    If viewing the PDF in your browser, you can also just click the Save to Zotero button (which should have a PDF icon) to save it to Zotero, though that might create a parent item if the PDF is recognized. A future version of the Zotero Connector may add the ability to save a PDF as a child item of the selected item, or to skip PDF metadata retrieval.
  • This would be a useful feature.
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