Group editing of attached pdf's

I have 5.0.96.3 running on Win 10.
I have set up a group and invited three members. It is a private group with members having view and edit rights.
As owner I can make edits to the attachment pdf using adobe standard features locally. I then save the edit (say a highlight). After doing refresh the updated pdf is visible on the online library.
When opening the file online however I do not have access to the editing features, it opening in the browser, and neither will the members.
What I need to offer them is the ability to collectively edit the document as well as add notes, which is straightforward.
Am I missing an obvious trick?
Many thanks,
Nick
  • They need to sync themselves and can then edit locally the same way you do. There's no reasonably usable option of doing this using only the web library.
  • I don't think you can edit collaboratively. From what I have gathered the PDF you highlight and comment on is on your library locally, despite it being in the group library. Therefore, when another member opens the PDF it will not show any of your highlights or comments (unless you have attached a separate sticky note in the library) as it is saved locally for them also.

    It is a real shame as this feature would be fantastic. Also a way to communicate to each other without having to leave little sticky notes in the group library would be good.

    If anyone knows that you can do any of these things and I have just completely missed it then please let me know as it will help me to no end!
  • edited October 29, 2021
    From what I have gathered the PDF you highlight and comment on is on your library locally, despite it being in the group library. Therefore, when another member opens the PDF it will not show any of your highlights or comments
    No, this is entirely incorrect.

    In Zotero 5, PDFs just open in your PDF reader of choice. If you add annotations and save them back to the file, Zotero will sync the file with everyone else in your group and they'll have the annotations. This has always worked.

    In Zotero 6 (the current Zotero beta), there's a new built-in PDF reader, which allows for collaborative annotation right within Zotero itself. Since annotations are stored in the database rather than in the PDF itself, multiple people in the group can annotate at the same time without worrying about file conflicts.
  • > In Zotero 6 (the current Zotero beta), there's a new built-in PDF reader, which allows for collaborative annotation right within Zotero itself. Since annotations are stored in the database rather than in the PDF itself, multiple people in the group can annotate at the same time without worrying about file conflicts.

    Is this functionality already in place? I'm running the latest beta, or at least I think I am, but my group library pdfs still open in the external reader.


  • edited 7 days ago
    @oi-peter: From that link:
    The new functionality is currently restricted to My Library to avoid affecting group libraries
  • @dstillman Indeed, I'd seen that, and that's why I was asking/confused. When you said "Multiple people can annotate at the same time", I gather you're talking about planned functionality rather than something currently possible?
  • Yes, though it's not exactly "planned functionality". It's the same functionality — the reader just isn't currently enabled in groups during the beta, but it will be in Zotero 6. (And the same reasoning about file conflicts applies to edits between syncs on multiple computers within the same personal library.)
  • Great, thanks for the insight and response. We're very much looking forward to that feature and hope it can be a good alternative to hypothes.is.
  • Hi,
    Thanks so much for running with this question. It sounds as though there might be functionality of the type I (and others it seems) would value around the corner.
    Best,
    Nick
  • Just to be completely clear @GreenDocs - you can already collectively edit and make notes on a PDF in a group library (as indicated in the reply), just that right now you can't do them in a group library at the same time. So one person can open, edit, and highlight a PDF; another person with a synced group library can then open the highlighted PDF and add their own comments; and you can use Zotfile to then extract the annotations into a note. In the (fairly unusual) event you both need to be working on the PDF document at the same time, you can do this using PDF software (eg Acrobat Pro allows this), and then extract the highlights using Zotfile.
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