[papercuts] (26) Clipboard import into an open collection UPDATED

Allow me to repeat a request that was first made back in 2009. When importing an item from the clipboard, please create a mechanism that allows it to be directly imported into an open collection instead of into its own collection.

When items are downloaded using the address bar icon they are placed in the open collection. Even when each article record must be downloaded separately (in the case of articles being in different journal issues, etc.) from a website that isn't Zotero-friendly; it is still easier than hand-entering the information. However it seems to me unnecessary work if in addition to having to: 1) download a BibTeX or RIS file; 2) edit it so that it fits the standard that allows Zotero to read it, and 3) copy it to the clipboard and import it to Zotero; needing to also: A) open the new temporary collection with the one item; B) move the record to the desired collection; C) remove the item from the single-item useless collection; and then D) delete the collection.

In a later comment on the papercuts thread, it was suggested that a problem with my request might be that importing into an open collection would be inconsistent with other import behavior. I think that the current system of importing from the clipboard into a new collection is inconsistent with the import behavior when items are brought into Zotero from the address bar icon.

This has been discussed / requested on earlier forum threads:

In the thread: http://forums.zotero.org/discussion/283/
Dan Stillman wrote:

"In Zotero 2.0: Select BibTeX text, copy to clipboard, and use "Import from Clipboard" in Zotero's gear menu (or open/focus the Zotero pane and use the keyboard shortcut specified in the Shortcut Keys pane of the Zotero prefs). This will currently create a new import collection each time, which it possibly shouldn't." (emphasis mine)

See also




Thank you for considering this for a future version of Zotero.
  • I thought this has even been changed for Zotero 3.0, but maybe not. I certainly agree that importing from the clipboard would be more useful if it didn't create a new collection.
  • Nope, still creates a new collection. Ideally that would be configurable in the preferences - I'm sometimes quite happy import from clipboard goes to a new collection, but as a general rule I agree it shouldn't.
    This seems a small-ish change, no? Maybe we could even still get this into 3.0?
  • Just another vote. I agree that clipboard import should go into the open collection. Anything else is quite a surprise.
  • beogl: You were actually asking about direct RIS import, not clipboard import.
  • @Dan: I used the clipboard import. I have no idea what the direct RIS import is. (I use to sometimes download the RIS files and open them in my favorite editor which I use as another system for storing references with my own comments. So I got the RIS file to my editor and just copied it to the clipboard from where I imported it to Zotero.)
  • (beogl - people don't know/remember you're using standalone. You need to mention that to avoid constant misunderstandings.)
    RIS files import directly into Zotero when you download them using Zotero for FF. It may be possible to replicate similar functionality for Standalone.
  • Sorry, adamsmith, yes I should have mentioned which version I was using here. However actually I was using the FF version for the moment, but I have FF set up so I download RIS files (for the reason I mentioned) so I know nothing about the direct import or how to use it.
  • +1 that Import from Clipboard should not create a new collection. I never need the new collection and it's inconsistent with the behaviour how entries are imported via the address bar. (Zotero 3.0.2 in Firefox)
  • edited February 17, 2012
    I agree that clipboard import should go into the open collection. Anything else is quite a surprise.
    I don't think it's quite that simple. If you're importing one or a few items (e.g., the same number you'd be importing via the address bar icon), importing into the current collection is likely what you want. But "Import from Clipboard" will happily import hundreds or thousands of items from the clipboard, in which case that behavior is somewhat less obviously what you want, particularly given that it's in the menu below "Import…", which does create a new collection. Imported items do have a Date Added that makes them fairly easy to deal with after the fact, but not everyone would think to (add and) sort by that column.

    So, options:

    1) Always import from the clipboard into the current collection, regardless of import size.

    2) Have a pref that toggles the behavior.

    3) Have a cut-off size (which for technical reasons might need to be in bytes rather than items, but I'd have to check the code) above which a new collection would be created.

    4) Have a size above which Zotero would prompt whether you wanted to import into a new collection.

    5) Ask each time regardless of size.

    These options could also be applied to file-based imports.
  • I don't like the idea of automating the behavior, that seems like it would just be perplexing - I would suggest 2 or 5, possibly a combination of the two?
    A prompt with a "don't ask again" checkbox that mentions that you can change the setting in the preferences.
  • I agree with suggestions 2, 5, or a combination.

    My current practice when bringing items via the address bar icon is to make a choice between selecting a particular collection where i want them to reside or creating a new collection for them. It would be great to have more flexibility with imports from the clipboard.
  • I agree with 2 above.

    Btw, has this already been implemented?
  • Yes, although it won't be available until the next major release.
  • Thanks Simon!
  • Very nice.
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