Scannable Cite / Zotpicker / BetterBibtex etc. for text-mode writing.

Hi all,

Without going into detail about my workflow (in brief, most of my draft writing is now in Scrivener for iOs and Windows, compiled to Word, etc.), I wonder if there's a more convenient way to package up the 3rd-party tools used to drop scannable-cite in-text citation markers that would be useable by anyone using a text editor, writing in pandoc or markdown or a distraction-free writing tool, and bundle them in a single installer.

There's a scattering of tools here - - but I'm hoping something a bit more integrated, working with zotpicker, could be put together, for one-click installations.
  • Tricky. There are basically two ways to call Zotpicker:
    - you build something in an apps native extension system like the Atom Zotero integration
    - you use a systemwide hotkey app to assign a keystroke across apps to call the picker and go through the clipboard

    Both require Better BibTeX and at least one additional component that can't easily be bundled with Zotero.
  • That said, the zotpicker is often fairly unnecessary for plain text writing systems. Just switch to Zotero with Cmd/Alt+Tab and Quick Copy the citekey/Scannable Cite.
  • edited February 19, 2021
    I've been using the citation picker here - - with Better Bibtex and Scannable Cite; that's the one I had in mind. I think there are a couple of others as well.


    From the Scrivener picker site, these are the steps used to get Scrivener working with Zotero

    1. Install the RTF/ODT plugin for zotero

    2. Install the Better BibTeX plugin

    3. Download the zotpick.7z file from this website

    4. Unzip the folder

    5. Place this folder somewhere out of the way (a.k.a somewhere you won't accidentally delete it someday). I suggest leaving it in the Scrivener folder located at C:\Program Files (x86)\Scrivener but it doesn't actually matter, as long as you can find it later

    6. In scrivener, open the Options window (F12). Under the general tab, click on choose under the bibliography/citation Manager section.

    7. Navigate to wherever you previously placed the folder. This will appear empty at first. Click on the dropdown menu to change file type, to display .lnk files.

    8. Select the file named zotpick-scannablecite - Shortcut.lnk and press okay. Exit the Options window.

    I was thinking that steps 1 to 5, at least, could be packaged into a single installer, and perhaps even a one-step conversion to .docx to save the step of opening in LibreOffice.
  • edited February 19, 2021
    Hey there! That's my picker, glad to see other's using it:) I have dabbled with trying to package it as a single .exe - my issue is that I couldn't get it to work without it triggering windows security alert every time (currently, the way I am getting around it is by running the bat script first, which sets the security settings, and then calls the powerhell script). I couldn't figure how to wrap both into an .exe file. I also have no idea how you would automate the installation of better bibtext and ODF scanner.

    That being said, my programming skills are fairly elementary - I got the whole thing to work with lots of googling and some emergency help from my programmer partner - so if someone with a bit more experience would know how to package everything neatly I would love to see that happen!

    I will mention as well that there is another windows picker out there which is a bit slicker then mine, written using auto-hotkeys:

    The main difference is that mine is program specific (i.e. currently set up to primarily work with Scrivener - you'd have to change some thing in code to work with other programs, though I could probably change that to double check what the active window is when triggering if there was demand) whereas theirs is global. If you don't mind it always running in the background, then I would go with their solution. I like to keep it program specific because I don't want cross-over of the keystroke combo, but that's just me.
  • edited February 19, 2021
    My personal preference is not-global, so I do prefer your solution: I could imagine combining the two to make the global hot-key a toggled option.

    I wouldn't ask for this to become part of Zotero itself, but integrating a few of these tools into a single install might be nice! If I could find the way to hide the bits of Better Bibtex that aren't needed for this (since I don't use LaTeX) that would also be a plus.

    Maybe this thread will attract someone who can sort some of this out.
  • Agreed - might have a another go another time. I'm also hoping at some point to speed up my script which is not quite as lightning fast as the other solution I shared above, but it probably involves changing the scripting language, so it's a project for another day.

    re: skipping libreoffice, I think that would be possible to automate. I already have a script that converts from pandoc generated md file to libreoffice via word, and so I *think* it is just about doable. I don't have time to play with that at the moment, but might in the future. I have a pretty strong distaste for libreoffice, so the less time I can spend in it the better...

    I have also seen various rumours on the forum that the devs for zotero are working on replacing the built-in RTF scan with something more robust, so in the future, it might be possible to skip ODF scan altogether, which would be my dream. I wouldn't hold your breath though, as there is no clear timeline as to when this might happen.
  • edited February 26, 2021
    Hello, I have used some complicated workarounds for a while (on Mac), but is there still no direct way to call up Zotero in Scrivner, like one can in Word?
  • @morjena There is a way! It takes some setting up but once you get used to the workflow, I think it's definitely worth.
  • I absolutely cannot figure out how to make this work practically. Would anyone be available for a quick and paid Zoom/whatever consulte, to walk me through it?
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