iOS beta: Notes and highlights are not synced

This discussion was created from comments split from: iOS app - not showing all annotations.
  • Unfortunately, when I import and edit a document in the iOS app, the notes and highlights are not synced.
  • Please start new threads for new issues — the thread you posted to isn't related. I've moved this to a new thread.

    Can you explain the steps to reproduce the problem you're experiencing?
  • I perform the following steps on the iPad:
    1. import PDF into Zotero iOS
    2. read the document in Zotero iOS, highlight text passages and make notes.
    3. finish editing
    4. synchronise the database

    Follow the steps below on the Mac:
    1. synchronise the database
    2. open the edited document from the iPad
    3. notice that neither the marks nor the notes have been synchronised.
  • edited April 5, 2021
    What's the URL of the parent item in your online library (or the 8-character folder name if you do right-click → Show File on the attachment on your Mac)?
  • @hibaxxvi: Can you also take screenshots of the PDF on your iPad and Mac, upload them somewhere (e.g., Dropbox, Google Drive), and provide a link here?

    Just to be sure, you have the PDF reader preview enabled on your Mac and are viewing the PDF within Zotero?
  • Oops. The annotations are visible in the internal PDF viewer. Not in the external viewer. Why is that? Could this be synchronised?

    The order is "7YRWPMC3".
  • edited April 5, 2021
    @dstillman: Hmm. However, Zotfile does not recognise the notes and markings created "internally" in this way either. Is there an alternative?

    I would like to export the marks as quotations and the corresponding notes as a Markdown file in Obsidian, my "Zettelkasten".
  • Zotero annotations are stored in the Zotero database, not in the file.

    It's possible to export a PDF with the annotation embedded, but they're not embedded by default.

    See the PDF reader announcement for more info on this.
  • How do we export a PDF with annotations embedded? Is there an easy way to do so within a Zotero item?

    My work flow is:
    1. Download PDF on Mac, sync to iPad
    2. Read + annotate on iPad
    3. Sync back to Mac, ideally with the changes reflected in the PDF and not just the Zotero reader.

    Is there something additional I should be doing for step 3?
  • edited July 11, 2021
    I am facing the same problem. I annotated on Zotero app for iPad, synced ipad and then desktop app. But I don't see annotation on desktop. annotation1.png?dl=0

    Debug IDs created using
    iPad: D1097986842
    Desktop beta app: D2059211183

    The iPad annotations are not syncing properly. I am able to see updated annotation between iPad and iPhone even after force restart but not able to see changes on web library, Zotero beta app, zotero app.

    Edit 1: Added Debug IDs.
    Edit 2: I figure out that I need beta version of Desktop app that allows inbuild Zotero pdf reader to see the sync from iPad beta app.
    I am assuming that web library will still have the nonsynced version of pdfs annotated using iOS beta app. Is it correct?
  • I am also having the same issue. The file pdf is on both the ipad, desktop, and web library. The web library and desktop are synced up (annotations appear correctly), but annotations from the ipad app are not syncing. Annotations done on the ipad don't appear on the desktop or web, and annotations done on desktop/web do not appear on the ipad app.
  • edited September 7, 2021
    @chancemusky: The iPad will sync annotations with the new PDF reader in the Zotero beta. Those annotations won't currently show on the web.

    Annotations you make in an external PDF reader on the desktop (e.g., if not using the desktop beta) should show on the web and on iOS as long as the reader you're using a PDF reader that saves annotations back to the original file and have file syncing using Zotero Storage enabled. Those annotations won't be editable elsewhere.
  • @dstillman Thank you. I can see the desktop annotations in the new pdf reader, so that is working correctly.

    When I make annotations on the desktop, I save the marked pdf over the original (i.e. In the same zotero folder). This method does sync between desktop and web library, but still no dice for IOS.
  • OK, that part is a bug — the iPad app doesn't currently redownload a remotely modified file. We'll fix that.

    Note that this only applies to annotations you make using an external PDF reader on the desktop. If you use the PDF reader in the desktop beta, annotations you create will be synced properly.
  • @dstillman Ahh, I see! Thanks for the quick responses. I'll make sure to make annotations on desktop in the beta pdf reader. Thanks for clearing that up
  • Thanks for sharing this issue. I'm looking to make the same markdown from annotations. The new reader is great to see the iOS notes on the desktop but I can't export a md file with notes form iOS app. Would be great to see that fixed in the new year.

    Thanks @dstillman
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