Do I need to sync Better Bibtex folder between two computers?

Hi, I've got Zotero set up with Zotfile and Better Bibtex on my PC. I'm looking for a good solution to syncing Better Bibtex on my laptop also.

The Zotfile folder is sync'd on the cloud (Dropbox) so it shares the files on my PC with Zotero on my laptop, and vice versa.

I understand that the pinned citekeys from Better Bibtex are sync'd through Zotero's online account since they are stored in the Extra field.

My question is, what is the best way to ensure that Better Bibtex is sync'd between both PC and laptop, so that changes made (items added and citekeys generated) on one will sync to the other? Specifically, do I locate the Better Bibtex folder so that it is sync'd using the cloud sync (Dropbox)? Or would changes sync'd by the Zotero database force changes in the local Better Bibtex if it not sync'd using the cloud? I'm concerned that if the Better Bibtex folder is updated through both cloud sync as well as Zotero forced updates there could be conflicts and the data could become corrupted.

Any thoughts?
  • edited August 16, 2022
    I have simply set an identical citation key format under the Better BibTeX tab on all installations of Zotero. I'm not sure how the keys are synced but identical format ensures that each item has the same key on all computers.
  • That's helpful. Thanks Iillemets.

    I wonder, do I even need the Bibtex folders to be sync'd? What purpose do they have after the citation key is generated?
  • Do not sync the BBT files/databases. The reliable way to sync keys is by pinning them. If you don't want to do this manually, you can have bbt auto-pin them. When zotero adds a supported citekey field (which is planned), BBT will migrate keys there, but the DB will stay.

    The databases are needed even with pinned keys because they offer fast and synchronous lookup of keys. It is true that this db can (and will) be rebuilt from the pinned keys if it is missing. The other thing stored in the db is auto exports.

    The json files are the cache. If they are missing they'll just gradually be rebuilt as exports happen.
  • Thanks emilianoeheyns. That confirms that I shouldn't place the BBT files/database in a sync folder. That's just what I needed to know.

    So, I understand that the only folder I need to be sync'd using a cloud sync solution then is the Zotfile folder. The remainder will be sync'd through my Zotero web account in the database fields.

    You mentioned BBT auto-pin option. I haven't seen that (or I didn't notice it) in the BBT preferences. Can you please tell me how to enable that?

    Thanks again
  • That's great. Thanks again.
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