Making note highlights easier

Currently to select text we need to move the mouse pointer exactly where the first word begins to where the last word end. It'd be nice if we can double click a word and then just drag it over the last word we want to select as with some pdf viewers.

Also it'd nice to have shortcut to switch between text highlight and area highlight.

Btw, is this forum the main forum for Zotero discussion? Do we have any other channels (that is also considered official) such as Discord, Reddit?
  • This is the only official channel for feature requests and support (there's a separate google group for development-related questions, e.g. by plugin developers).
  • You're referring to the PDF viewer, right? (You talk about "note" highlights, but what you describe works already in the note editor.)

    We'll see if we can support double-click-and-drag selection behavior. (The annotation-dragging functionality is currently interfering.)
    Btw, is this forum the main forum for Zotero discussion?
    Yes, this is where all Zotero support happens. See How Zotero Support Works for more info.
  • > You're referring to the PDF viewer, right?

    Thank you both for your quick replies. Yes I'm referring to making highlight in the PDF viewer. Having to really look closely when making highlight is quite distracting and taxing.

  • It'd be nice if we can double click a word and then just drag it over the last word we want to select as with some pdf viewers.
    This is fixed in the latest Zotero beta, and the fix will be included in Zotero 6.0.10. Thanks for reporting.

    (It will also be possible to switch between annotation tools via the keyboard in an upcoming beta.)
  • Thank you so much. This will greatly improve my experience!
  • Click and drag in 6.0.10 has made text selection/highlighting vastly easier. I had found placing the cursor at the start and end of text sections to be really picky in the PDF reader; one had to learn the precise skill of placing it 'just right' (low and to the right), which is different to all other PDF readers.
  • @timwr820: I'm not sure what you mean by that — regular selection in the PDF reader should work the way it works anywhere else. If you're having trouble with something, start a new thread and say more, and link to an example PDF, since for some PDFs text selection is going to depend on the positioning of the hidden text layer.
  • edited July 20, 2022
    Click and drag fixes (or rather avoids) the picky text selection 'problem' that I had, with ALL PDFs. So I don't really have a problem anymore. I hadn't made a bug (?) thread because maybe it's just my setup - I use a Logitech trackball so who knows ? (but I don't have that issue in other PDF readers) ... plus darkmode and translate plugins, amongst others. It appeared that the focus point (mouse cursor is correctly shown on screen) was being conveyed wrongly to the reader, leading it to select text that was off by a few letters (one line up and several characters to the left). If other people report the same issue I'll be happy to add my 2 cents.
  • edited July 20, 2022
    @timwr820 your issue is a bit hard for me to visualize. If you can, use a screen recorder and narrate when you demonstrate the bug (then upload it to somewhere, for example YouTube, and insert a link here). The text selection with the latest update 6.0.10 is perfect for me and is in line with the experience I have with other PDF readers.
  • edited July 20, 2022
    @timwr820: The change here was specifically about being able to double-click to select a word and then continue dragging, but obviously you should also be able to select text normally. Again, if you're having a problem with text selection across multiple PDFs — regardless of whether this change lets you avoid it — please start a new thread and link to the PDFs in question so that we can investigate. If it's specific to a few scanned PDFs with hidden text layers, it's likely just a problem with the PDFs and not something we can do much about.
  • Like I said, double-click in 6.0.10 allowed me to avoid the problem (rather than fix it). But in case it helps anyone else, I decided to try disabling add-ons, and the first one I tried proved to be the culprit - zotero night. When disabled, the cursor position and the text selected are now aligned as they should be. And it turns out to be a known bug, reported several months ago:

    Hopefully the zotero night addon will be more actively supported. Because most of it works very nicely.

  • Hi Dan @dstillman, I have feedback regarding the new double click and drag feature. It automatically includes all the punctuations (if there's any) adjacent to the last word. I think this is where people want to be a bit more meticulous on hovering their mouse to include the punctuations or not.
  • Good call — we'll fix it to omit trailing punctuation, which is more in line with other programs.
  • @nhan000: Zotero 6.0.14, available now, will omit adjacent punctuation when double-clicking words in the PDF reader.
  • edited October 9, 2022
    Hi @dstillman, it looks to me that colons (:) are still included when double-clicking words.

    I'm on 6.0.15, Windows 10.
  • We'll fix that.
  • Hi @dstillman, just found out that the quotation mark " is also included when double clicking words.
  • Hi @dstillman, could you consider excluding the quotation mark (") and (especially) the emdash (—) when double click to select text please?
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