Edit citation style in notes added from annotations

Is it possible to change how annotations are cited in automatically extracted notes? Right now, it has the following format: (title, year, page). I would like to turn this into ('author, year, page'), which was possible with the ZotFile plugin.

Also: is it possible to copy annotations from the PDF reader directly to Obsidian with clickable citations?
  • edited May 25, 2022
    See this explanation. Short answer: it's not really a citation style within the note itself, but it may be possible to choose a citation style for note export in a future version.
    Also: is it possible to copy annotations from the PDF reader directly to Obsidian with clickable citations?
    Yes. Zotero's Quick Copy always makes plain-text Markdown with back-links available, both for notes and for individual annotations, but you have to change a setting in Obsidian to keep it from using the rich-text version, which doesn't currently include the back-links:


    Alternatively, you can force Obsidian to use the plain text each time by Shift-dragging. There might be a keyboard shortcut to force Obsidian to paste the plain text as well.

    We plan to add an option to include back-links in the rich-text note export in a future version.
  • Thanks for the clarification! So, if I understood it correctly, I have to manually change the citation into my desired format each time I copy annotations from Zotero to Obsidian, as there's no Zotero plugin for Obsidian in which I can define my preferred citation style?
  • edited May 30, 2022
    @dstillman I'm confused, as the format suddenly has changed to "(author(s), year, page)" while I didn't change any settings. But I actually prefer this format to "(title, year, page)", so I'm happy!

    @erazlogo Thank you, I was not aware of this plugin. But I don't think it's possible to format annotations copied directly from the Zotero reader to Obsidian with this plugin?
  • It's a placeholder author-date style. You might get a title if there's no author or for certain item types.
  • Ah, yes, of course, the first time I copied something directly into Obsidian was a quote from an edited book.
  • edited May 30, 2022
    @margot.fonteyene Sure, Zotero Integrator can import Zotero annotations into Obsidian with clickable citations, with many further options for formatting available: https://publish.obsidian.md/history-notes/

    But I'm not sure what you need exactly--this is probably more than you need.

    Zotero Integrator also allows you to paste formatted citations and bibliographic entries directly from Zotero into Obsidian in the cite-as-you-write mode.
  • @erazlogo Thank you for the link to your article. I enjoyed reading about your notetaking workflow! But mine looks a bit different.

    I actually like to copy-paste my annotations directly into Obsidian while reading a PDF (as I know once I've finished reading something I won't go through all my annotations and split them up into different research notes, despite my good intentions). So I want to customize the formatting of the citation that appears in Obsidian when I copy-paste text directly from a PDF in the Zotero reader. Instead of "[(author, year, page number](Zotero select link) [PDF](Zotero open link)", I would like to see "[[citekey]] [PDF](Zotero open link)".
  • I see--then you have to wait for Zotero to add the citekey feature.
  • Yes, I was already afraid that would be the case. It'll be manually for now, then!
  • Hi everyone,

    There is a new way to export annotations/notes with any format of metadata, including citekey!

    With the template function of this addon: https://github.com/windingwind/zotero-better-notes , you can do this easily.

    - How to use it with Obsidian?

    Only 4 steps:

    1. Choose a template. There are some default templates and you can modify them or ask the comminity for help;
    2. Create a new note in Zotero(as main note)
    3. Insert items/notes with theis sub-notes or annotations to main note with your template.
    4. Export the main note to Obsidian in standard markdown format(with images!)

    The template documentation is here: https://github.com/windingwind/zotero-better-notes/blob/master/Template.md

    Discuss everything about template here: https://github.com/windingwind/zotero-better-notes/issues/23

  • @margot.fonteyne

    This zotero-better-notes provides another possible workflow to note while reading:

    you can insert an annotation/sub-note to a certain main note(with a pre-built outline from your custom template), and export the main note after you finished reading on one topic!

    No need to switch applications, or copy-paste between Zotero & Obsidian;
    No complex configs of Zot-Ob import/export; Easy to use!
    And much easier & flexible to customizable!
  • @hsiangyu_wong Thank you for this exaplanation! Unfortunately, I don't think the addon allows me to customize the formatting of the citation when I copy-paste text directly from a PDF in the Zotero reader?
  • @margot.fonteyne
    This addon uses a different workflow, not a copy-paste. There are two ways to collect attachment text/images to a markdown/rich text document:

    - The Obsidian plugin way(just a so-called name. not related to any other plugins):
    1. Highlight text/select area while reading;
    2. Import annotations of items to a new note using your ‘Item template';
    3. Export the note.

    - The Better Notes way:
    1. Create the main note with outline headings;
    2. Highlight text/select area while reading. Click to create a sub-note from them/use the Zotero 'add to note' function and insert a link to a certain position in the main note;
    3. Export the note with the 'Embed linked notes' checked, using your 'Quick Import' template.

    Copy-paste has many limitations and we keep Zotero taking care of this part.
Sign In or Register to comment.