[MacOS] Spotlight and Zotero Directory - best practice? (feat. Alfred)

edited February 27, 2022
So I've been having trouble w/ Smart Folders (of Zotero's storage directory) on MacOS: it doesn't cache (if this is indeed the right term) all the contents in the directory *unless* I perform a complete re-index but then slowly but surely the result will be reduced (from 9,000 to 800ish)

Understanding that this is by no means the problem of Zotero... I wonder:

1. That there are over 9,000 folders in the storage directory - might this be the obstacle to spotlight's ability to index *and keeping* the index? - if so, might, say, relinking as opposed to copying files into Zotero's default directory help alleviating the issue? (So, more directory folders with fewer files within each.)

2. Aside from not showing up in smart folders - Spotlight still caches attachments w/o problem (the result will still show up quickly upon search - so index is definitely working), what other good tips could you offer, to manage Zotero's storage directory holistically?

Apologies if this discussion post is a bit out-of-bound, would be grateful for insights!

PS. am also using Alfred and I knew that many are frustrated by Alfred's inability to completely inherit spotlight's index result: once you get used to it (like I did) and to use spotlight *and* Alfred for different purposes, I don't mind (as much) Alfred's little hiccup.

  • Spotlight is unfortunately just very buggy, with things mysteriously appearing and disappearing all the time. I've pretty much given up on it, personally (for general use — not related to Zotero).

    With LaunchBar you can add specific folders and specific file types (e.g., PDFs) to the index. If Alfred supports the same, you could do that. There's also an Alfred plugin for Zotero — I don't know anything about it, but I assume it lets you open items in Zotero itself, which will be more useful than searching for PDFs directly if you start using the built-in PDF reader in Zotero 6.
  • edited March 27, 2024
    Just a short follow-up for those in my position:

    I suspect a new issue has emerged from spotlight, that its effort of trying to index zotero storage folder renders corruption/usability issue even with non-zotero directory searches.

    I have just now excluded zotero storage folder for spotlight.


    Some months ago, I started using launchbar specifically for Alfred (thanks dstillman!), works like a charm (when it has done its indexing.) I still use alfred/spotlight for other searches. I have used Raycast but no longer so since it dropped its own indexing service and inherited result from Spotlight.

    When it comes to citation and searching/accessing in zotero from outside it, i use https://github.com/chrisgrieser/alfred-bibtex-citation-picker

    I have 11572 items in my zotero (i know, i know). 7.0.0-beta.68+c31a40c74
    On M1, 8GB (I know, I know).
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