Zotero pdf reader issues/feature request

edited March 20, 2021
Hi, I posted these observations as a comment in the general pdf reader thread a few days ago but it might have gotten lost in the shuffle, so I thought I'd try in a new thread.

1) The shortcut CMD/Ctrl + F does not work immediately when opening a pdf, I have to click in the document first.
2) When the whole page of a pdf is viewed, normally no sideways movement/scrolling is possible. However, when selecting/highlighting text, one can suddenly scroll far to the right into the gray background area. I observed this issue on the Mac version of Zotero only.
3) When selecting text and dragging it into a note, it is set in quotation marks. Oftentimes, an unnecessary space appears before the second quotation mark, even though the selected text seemingly did not include a space at the end. The pasted text should probably never end with a space.
4) The pasted text is followed by a citation. Will it be possible in the future to copy both quote and citation into a Word document to produce a citation in the style selected in the document preferences? Currently, the citations are pasted as plain text.
5) For reasons of consistency, I wondered why the context menu in the left pane is activated by clicking the three dots on the annotations and the one in the right pane by right-clicking the note.
6) When viewing a pdf, it is currently not possible to add a new file to the library by dragging it into the Zotero window. I would suggest that the library opens up when hovering over the library tab while dragging a file.
  • Hey, I also find the second problem on my PC (Win10, version 19041.867). Every time when I add a note on the highlight section, the page shift to one side and the scroll bar appears, so I have to zoom in and out to make it back in the center of my screen...
  • @mschwarze thanks.

    1) It'll be fixed
    2) We can't reproduce that. @mschwarze @linansybil does that happen for all PDF files all the time or only for specific ones? There's a chance this is improved in the latest beta.
    3) It'll be fixed
    4) We'll try to, if that's possible from the technical side
    5) The context menu will be added
    6) Good point
  • @martynas_b Thanks, sounds good!

    Ad 2): It happens with almost every pdf and consistently across devices. I took a short video of the issue using a random Journal article which can be retrieved here: https://www.jstor.org/stable/26490237?refreqid=excelsior:5b4c5248b2abeb591dedd2cd3bd935a1&seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents
    Link to the video: https://1drv.ms/v/s!At2iVKW7O0Q9qXLAEA8ytb66OVsV
    Before I selected text no sideways scrolling was possible (as it should be).
  • @mschwarze could you send this PDF to support@zotero.org also referencing this thread URL?

    Have you tested this on other platforms besides macOS?
    Are there PDFs for which this issue never happens?
  • @martynas_b Sure, can do.

    Yes, different to @linansybil I don't observe the issue on my office PC (Windows 10, beta 7 of Zotero). Could it have something to do with the mouse used? The mouse in my office doesn't allow for sideways scrolling whereas the Magic Mouse and trackpad do...

    No, upon testing about 20, I couldn't find any pdf where the issue does not appear.
  • edited March 22, 2021
    @martynas_b Actually, it might be connected to the monitor used. I just witnessed that the issue doesn't appear when my MacBook Air is connected to an external monitor (1920 x 1080p) - the same one connected to the Windows 10 machine where this also doesn't happen. However, when disconnecting the monitor, closing the pdf and reopening it on the MacBook (retina) screen, the issue is present again.
  • I can reproduce issue 2) on a Windows 10 setup. I think mschwarze is right, this seems unrelated to the PDF file, but dependent on the DPI scaling settings. If I set layout.css.devPixelsPerPx to 1 in the Config Editor, the issue disappears. See also https://github.com/zotero/zotero/issues/1972 for possibly related settings.
  • @martynas_b Thank you for your reply! Unluckily the problem 2) happens to me every time when I annotate the pdf without exception.
  • I agree with 5), it would be nice if one could access the context menu by right-clicking anywhere on a (minimized) annotation item in the left-hand sidebar.
  • @mschwarze @linansybil the "gray area" issue should be fixed in the latest update.

    @qqbb thanks for pointing me to layout.css.devPixelsPerPx. It helped to reproduce the issue.
  • edited March 25, 2021
    @martynas_b Yes, it's fixed, thanks very much. 1) and 5) have also been addressed.

    I noticed one further issue which you probably have on your radar anyway: when selecting text, clicking on the blue area does not prompt the text to be deselected. Also, selecting text is a bit less responsive than in Acrobat, for example.
  • @martynas_b: I can also confirm that 1), 2), and 5) are resolved. Thanks for the quick fix!

    Here are two new issues. These would be enhancements to the PDF reader, which already works quite well and is aesthetically pleasing.

    7) Double-clicking on an annotation item in the sidebar maximizes the highlight. I think it would be nice if triple-clicking could open the comment box. Also, it might help to allow for the same actions in the PDF pane. So, two clicks on a highlight in the PDF pane would maximize the highlight text in the sidebar. Three clicks would put the text cursor to the end of the comment box in the sidebar.

    (There's also the action of selecting or editing the highlight text in the sidebar. I think this can currently be reached with double-clicking on a maximized highlight. For a closed highlight, this would be double-click, pause, double-click. So, it should be already separated from the proposed three-click action.)

    8) When opening a PDF in the reader, show the outline in the sidebar if the PDF has bookmarks but no annotations.
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