PDF Translate addon: Annotation/Note/Title Translation Available Now

edited April 19, 2022
Update on 19 Apr.

Hi everyone,
Thanks to all your support and suggestions, this add-on becomes more mature in the past weeks.

I'm glad to share the new features of the PDF Translate of v0.6.6:

1. Annotation modification available now.
After selecting and annotating, you can edit and retranslate the raw text & translation in the right sidebar. A new 'Update Annotation' button will be available until you select other text.

2. Add to note with translation available now.
When a note editor is active, the popup will show an extra '[icon]Add to Note' button. Add the selected text along with translation to the note with just one click.

3. Title translation available now.
Right-click on the items/collections and click the 'Title Translation' menu: the translations are stored in 'short title' and updated to the item list.

4. New UI settings. Customize the right sidebar in the Edit->Preferences->PDF Translate->Advanced->UI.

Suggestions & codes are welcomed!


Hi! I publicated a new Zotero add-on, Zotero PDF Translate(https://github.com/windingwind/zotero-pdf-translate), which might be useful for paper-reading.

Select some text and the translation will show up.
Support words and long paragraphs. Support different languages.

After a two-week test, the addon is finally stable enough, with a lot of new features in v0.2.0:
1. select-to-translate. Instead of selecting and right-clicking, now you can just select some text and see the result.
2. Annotation translate. Annotations can be translated automatically now. The translation will be saved inside the annotation as a comment.
3. Rightside Bar. Since v0.1.0, you can find results via the Rightside bar->Translate as well.
4. More Translate engines. Up to 7 translate engines are supported.

Thanks to all users from the Zotero forums! Thanks all Zotero developers!

Download link is here: https://github.com/windingwind/zotero-pdf-translate/releases/latest/download/zotero-pdf-translate.xpi
  • I guess this plugin may not be helpful for most researchers(anyway, reading paper do not require much English). However, it can provide other functions inside the PDF viewer, like select to search in google sholar/google/dictionary... Imagine as your will.

    The new PDF viewer is calling for new functions, which will not be natively provided but can be realized in this plugin. Looking for suggestions, as well as pull requests!
  • I don't success to translate my documents....My pdf's documents are save in cloud services (Mega) but i sync this on local computer
  • Thanks a lot, I find it very useful on macOS, since the system wide translation engine does not work on the Zotero native pdf viewer.
  • @Abdoulbi Select some text and then right-click to get the translation. Could you please provide a screenshot? communicating via https://github.com/windingwind/zotero-pdf-translate/issues may be more convenient.
  • Microsoft Translate is now supported.
  • Oh wow! This will be amazing for meta-analysis work! Thank you!

    You can feel free to add this to the plugins page of the wiki and just note that it requires Zotero 6.
  • Thank you for this extraordinary plugin. It is great even at 0.0.x! I have opened two issues with suggestions.
  • @DWL-SDCA Thansk for your excellent suggestions!
  • @bwiernik I didn't find any edit entrance on the wiki page, maybe that's because I'm not an admin?
  • v0.0.3 released
    Language setting added.
  • 你好,请问您有没有能在zotero主页里自动翻译题目的插件?我的英语比较烂,英文文献还比较多,想找个这样的插件提高一下效率
  • edited March 22, 2022
    @oldstone I can't judge whether 'translate paper title' is a necessary feature for most Zotero users. Anyway, as I said, reading paper do not require much English.

    This feature may not be realized by this plugin until I receive enough request about it. However, as long as I know, there IS a plugin claiming to have it, though not published yet.
  • edited March 11, 2022
  • edited March 11, 2022
    Thank you for the add-on - I've been looking for something like this. Sadly it doesn't appear to work for me. I'm using Google-Translate to translate from French to German, but after selecting and right-clicking text the pop-up only shows the french word for a second before turning white. I'm using the latest version (0.0.4) of the addon from Github.
  • @samvimes I'll fix it in the next release. Thanks for letting me know!
  • @samvimes v0.0.5 released. Google Translate parse error of some languages are solved.
    Seem like it work well for me now.
  • Wow, that was impressively fast and solved the issue for me! Thank you!
  • I've added this to the plugins page.
  • Just came across this. What a beautiful and useful plugin — I'll be making much use of this for my terrible German. Thanks so much!!
  • Almost a perfect plugin! But it seems that all translation engines are unable to recognize ' % ' in the text and show 'undefine' or some messy code in the result frame.
  • @Mascheric Fixed in the latest v0.2.1

    Thanks all your support! v0.2.0 has some incredible wonderful new functions:
    1. select-to-translate. Instead of select and rightclick, now you can just select some text and see the result.
    2. Annotation translate. Annotations can be translated automatically now. The translation will be saved inside the annotation as comment.
    3. Rightside Bar. Since v0.1.0, you can find result via Rightside bar->Translate as well.
    4. More Translate engines. Up to 7 translate engines are supported.

    Issues are welcomed! See https://github.com/windingwind/zotero-pdf-translate for more.


  • Amazing work! Thank you!
  • edited March 22, 2022
    I guess this updated overnight? It was working fine yesterday, but now every time I get the following error:
    [Request Error]
    Engine not available, invalid secret, or request too fast.
    Please consider using another translate engine or posting issue here: https://github.com/windingwind/zotero-pdf-translate/issues
    Error: HTTP GET https://translate.google.com/translate_a/[etc.]
    failed with status code 400

    Edit: this happens no matter which translator I use.
  • @reimerth Thanks! Seem like the recent update changed some inside code and causes this. It should be fixed in v0.2.6
  • Update has fixed it for me. Thank you!!
  • Thanks a lot ! I find it very useful !! But I think maybe one day we can adjust the size of the pop-up window as we like ~
  • @YanjingLi v0.2.9 can resize popup automatically.
  • @oldstone 用quicker里面的翻译动作可以实现全局划词翻译
  • @willemchy This add-on already has select-to-translate function.
  • I've noticed that the translations in Zotero with the Google translator are different from results of the same passage in Google Translate itself (and of significantly lower quality). Wondering if this can be helped, or if it's just an API-type issue?
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