Need to italicize part a title

  • edited September 4, 2010

    (1) Take a deep breath;
    (2) Open a clean Firefox profile for testing;
    (3) In the new profile, install the development trunk extension and plugin;
    (4) Add tags to a title field as described here;
    (5) Create a document and insert a reference to the newly decorated item into it;
    (6) ???
    (7) Profit!

    (Edit: I hasten to add that I do not speak for the core developers of Zotero, and nothing in the glib response above should be taken to reflect the views of the Zotero project or of its staff!)
  • There is much hope in the Zotero user and developer community that a version of Zotero incorporating the new CSL processor will be released soon. Zotero 2.1 will support this. Zotero 2.1 should be coming rather soon.
  • @Avram and Frank
    Thanks for both your answers.
    I will give the development trunk a try (albeit I won't let it anywhere near my working data).
    Also, thanks for the (albeit understandably evasive) date you put on this feature.

    Am I right to assume that it is save to adopt the title field tags you link to in your post above (under 4)?
  • mheim,
    Am I right to assume that it is save to adopt the title field tags you link to in your post above (under 4)?
    Yes, you should be safe relying on those. Rintze had put up guidance notes for his macro workaround that relied on a subset of HTML tags, so we just adopted the same scheme in the processor when I implemented rich text markup. So you should be able to use Rintze's approach for the present, and then shift seamlessly to automatic formatting when 2.1 becomes available. That's the plan, anyway.
  • Hi all,

    I've run into this problem too - I have taxonomic names of species in the titles of journal articles that NEED to be in italics. Is there a solution for this yet, or will it be in v2.1x?

  • @mdwa: Both of your questions are answered in the thread.
  • Has this issue been resolved? It's really important for humanities citations.
  • yes:
  • Well, this is not very easy. I just moved my library from Endnote to Zotero (standalone version for use with Safari), and it seems that Zotero's solution is really geeky. Endnote has an "edit font" menu to solve this and it never occurred to me that Zotero would not have a similar pull-down menu. This is especially odd considering that Zotero has been developed by a humanities consortium. I love all of Zotero's features and find the program superior in most ways to Endnote, but this one really needs to be fixed for users like me who need this feature regularly and need it simple. Thanks for your help though.
  • Is typing <i> </i> completely not an option for you? I know it's not pretty, but it does work.
  • Putting <i> and </i> around part of a title hardly takes longer than a GUI solution, no? Yes, you need to learn 5 html tags and that may not be ideal, but especially if you're using it a lot hardly seems a show-stopper.
  • Thanks for the suggestion, but I tried it and it doesn't work. Shows up in the citation as text, i.e.: <i>Book Title</I>. Obviously I don't know html but it doesn't seem to be to big a request to develop a bibliographic system that is specifically for humanities users with the understanding that most humanists aren't going to be too savvy about such things. I love Zotero but it seems that each of these citations (and I have hundreds) will have to be manually edited in my text. Perhaps I need more specific instruction; perhaps Zotero simply doesn't support this rather elementary requirement that was noticed several years ago on this forum.
  • I can promise you Zotero supports this - people are using it actively.
    If you're going to insist on a GUI menu you're out of luck unfortunately - generally something more novice friendly might be nice, but there are downsides to cluttering the GUI and it's certainly not high on the priority list of developers.

    It's hard to say what's not working in your specific case w/o more detail - to start, both is would have to be lowercase - as in <i>Book Title</i>
  • It's odd that this feature is "certainly not high on the priority list of developers" since so many humanities scholars like me use this (otherwise) really great program. Italicized titles are so common in citations in our fields. Maybe my problem is that I'm using the standalone version that is compatible with Safari instead of the Firefox add-on version. Who knows? I can work around this but it's a damn nuisance.
  • First, let's try to work out what is and isn't working. The current solution does require some manual work, but any approach will require some sort of tweaking, since almost none of the formats Zotero imports from have any support for this.

    This should work equally well in standalone as in the Firefox version. Enter the title so it looks like:
    Citation or partition: subalterity in &lt;i&gt;A guide to Polish bibliographic practice&lt;/i&gt;
    Then try again. If it doesn't work, right-click (control-click on a Mac) on the item in the middle pane of Zotero and select "Export this item". Select "Zotero RDF" as the format, and save the item. Then open the file and paste its contents here. Something funny is going on if it won't work.

    As for the convenience of the current markup system-- it's not pretty, and we need to add more guidance on how to use it, but there's no way to do this without using some convention of some sort, and this convention is familiar enough to be recognizable for many.
  • Also, it occurred to me that part of the problem could be that this won't show up as italics in Zotero itself - only for citations/bibliographies you create.
  • edited December 8, 2011
    @weamon: I've read through your reactions to our solution for italics (and other in-field markup). Just a few comments by way of information:

    (1) The markup scheme grew out of work by a bioscientist who, like you, needed to mark up species names. He had been inserting markup into fields, and then running a Word macro over his document to apply the formatting. We use the same tags (<i>italics</i> etc), but apply the formatting automatically when the citations are inserted into the document.

    (2) The solution above is not yet polished, but it can be polished. The polishing will take some time. We hope you'll bear with us, but if you decide to revert to EndNote, check back from time to time, because with steady feedback from the community (of which we hope you will remain a member) this feature (and many others) will improve.

    (3) If you are having difficulties with in-field formatting, please follow the steps indicated by adamsmith (edit: ajlyon [oops]). If we can look at your actual data, we will have a better chance of giving meaningful advice.
  • in 3) fbennett means the steps indicated by ajlyon, not by me.
  • ajlyon's solution seems to work. Thank you. It's a little inelegant, but it will do until a better solution is found. What I would hope for is some sort of pull-down menu with editing options that would include italics and other markup, similar to Endnote. But the other features of Zotero make it far superior (for me) that I much prefer it over Endnote and will definitely stay around, hoping for a fix for this (minor) inconvenience. Response on the Forum has been very helpful.
  • I've suggested before that Zotero needs to add a user-friendly process for rich-text formatting so that, for example, parts of titles (like scientific names) can be shown in italics in the Zotero record as well as a bibliography that is produced from it. Since that is not yet possible, I was interested in how I might transfer records containing italicized words in titles from EndNote to Zotero. Here is what I did, which didn't work:

    (1) I exported a set of records in RefMan (RIS) rich-text format to an rtf file.

    (2) I opened that file in Word, then searched for italic formatting, then added the codes <i> and </i> before and after the italicized words (scientific names in this case).

    (3) I saved this as a plain text file.

    (4) When I open this in a plain text editor (I use EditPad Pro), I see the appropriate text with the <i> and </i> codes in the proper places, e.g.,

    TI - Influences of predation risk and energy maximization on food selection by beavers (<i> Castor </i> <i> canadensis </i>)

    (5) When I import this plain text file into Zotero 3.01, the records are imported correctly EXCEPT that the <i> and </i> codes are stripped off!

    This would seem to be a bug in Zotero.

    Thanks for your advice,

    Steve Jenkins
  • Perhaps it is not a bug but a feature of Zotero to remove html codes from imported references. If so, this implies that converting a large EndNote database with scientific names and other italicized words in titles can not be automated in a way that is apparent to me.
  • This is clearly an explicit decision built into the RIS importer, and I can change it pretty easily. Are there any thoughts either way from others who use RIS?

    If we lift this restriction, we'll probably still limit it to titles and abstracts, and only a small set of tags (italic, superscript, subscript, bold, underline)
  • Are there any thoughts either way from others who use RIS?
    Since RIS doesn't support local formatting, this is a hack. I would think the answer of how to address it ought to come down to empirical evidence: how different apps export this sort of information.
  • Thanks for these comments, though I'm not sure I understand what constitutes a "hack" as opposed to a programming change that improves usability.

    Another solution to my original problem of importing large numbers of references containing italicized scientific names in titles from EndNote into Zotero would be to modify step 2 of my original posting to use codes to identify the beginning and end of an italicized block of text that are not html codes, so presumably wouldn't be removed by Zotero. E.g., I might use $$ at the beginning and $$$ at the end. Then, if Zotero had a global search-and-replace feature, I could use this to change $$ to <i> and $$$ to </i> in the Zotero database. Or, I suppose this could be done directly in sqlite. But this is all not very user-friendly. The best solution of all would seem to be enabling Zotero to import rich-text files in RIS format that can be exported by EndNote.
  • it's a "hack" because it implements something into a supposedly standardized format that's not part of the standard.

    The actual solution for this would be for EndNote to export in any reliable, documented, and stable standard.
  • I'll add my interest in having some solution to this problem. This is the final hurdle impeding my switch to Zotero from Reference Manager (2000+ records, with more 10% containing italics in the titles). My preference would be for the RIS importer to not strip the html codes, because that seems far easier (and quicker) to implement than building a global search and replace.
  • edited August 6, 2012
    Message deleted by author. It wasn't relevant to this thread. Sorry.
  • RM11, but that is immaterial - I massaged the RIS file to make it follow zotero's own system. The problem is exactly as described by shjenkins above. Everything imports correctly *except* the italics, despite my placing <i> and </i> before and after the italicized words by doing a search and replace on the hex (?) characters RM exports as the start/end tags for italics.

    For example, the RIS text file with this:

    T1 - Intrasexual aggression in <i>Metridium senile</i>

    becomes this in Zotero after import:

    Intrasexual aggression in Metridium senile

    So, the problem is that Zotero does not import its own method for indicating italics in titles.
  • edited April 7, 2012
    Apart from the visual clutter, markup in Zotero fields affects sort behavior. This may be addressed in Zotero 3.5, but you might look at the Abbreviations Plugin as a solution. You would import your records to Zotero with markup tags stripped, and register the stripped version of the titles in the abbreviations DB.

    There are some refinements needed for production. The main point is that markup would only take effect when the title is rendered with form="short", and for entries that are mapped in the Abbreviations Plugin, the Short Title field is ignored. To address this limitation, there are two unofficial extensions to CSL to cover "real" short-form titles: virtual variables title-main and title-subtitle; and for greater flexibility, a hereinafter variable that can be set freehand in the Abbreviations Plugin.

    A thought, anyway. Certainly keeping visual markup out of Zotero field content would be a good policy, so long as production needs can be met.
  • It's easy enough to put up a version of the RIS translator:

    Save this file (right-click --> save link as) to the translator folder in your Zotero data directory
    , overwriting the file with the same name.
    Imports should work w/o html escaping immediately - if not, restart Firefox/Zotero and try again. The altered translator will get overwritten with future updates of Zotero so this is for a one-time import, but that sounds like it's all you need.
    How to properly implement a permanent solution requires more thought, but I'm happy if this helps people to transfer their libraries.
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