Good practices for smooth Zotero 5.0 experience - attachments - Windows

I saw that overall, Mac experience is likely to have speed issue with big files and you may want to cut it in shorter pieces to avoid slowing down issues.

But letting aside Mac issues and also the cloud sync usercase where linked file has some advantages.

- If I want to include audiofiles or any file format file in my local library, any reason why I should link those files instead of doing a proper copy to User/Sotero/Storage/randomZotItem?
- Overall speed? Indexing and search speed?
- Does it change something if it's big files?
- More general, is there some size limits regarding zotero, would be number or size of items (again besides MacOs)?
- My guess is that there is no problem but I prefer to ask
- Alternative would be to keep those audiofiles in a tree folder somewhere but the point is to find it through quicksearchbar in zotero, not having to ask myself where it is (missing the point of a reference manager I suppose)
- It's file from interviews, let's say up to 512Mo but would be nice to have an idea of a limit

Another ground of concern: I start a thesis but also like to write personal things, for others purpose, so I would like to avoid the case that "everything breaks at the worst moment" in couple of years... Does the multiple profile is a recommended use for separating academic purpose from the rest? My guess is that again everything is simpler both sides if I do everything from the same place but also prefer to ask.


  • Large files, especially non-text files like audiovisual material, shouldn't affect speed or other functioning at all. (Btw. speed issues on Mac are only related to Word. Everything else is at least as fast on Macs)

    There are no theoretical limitations on the number of items, but you' start seeing performance issues somewhere between 30,000 and 100,000 items in the library.

    I don't believe there's a documented maximum file size for individual files, but I'd guess it's 5GB based on the server platform Zotero uses (and I believe I've seen dstillman mention this). 512MB is definitely not going to be an issue.

    There's nothing wrong with multiple profiles -- I guess I'd say that more moving parts leave more room for human error, but there's not really anything technical that makes them more risky. I'd generally recommend collections and/or groups to work on multiple different topics/issue areas. Quitting and restarting Zotero every time you switch between activities is going to be tedious: Zotero is built so that a lot of activity is front-loaded on the start, so opening is fairly slow.
  • Okay thank you very much for this answer adamsmith
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