formatting article title

Hello, I am using Zotero Could you add some formatting tools to the reference "info" panel. For example, some article titles contain bacterial species names which need to be italicised and if you have this option installed, you can format it once and use it thereafter for any reference style
  • Can you provide a link to a style guide that requires this?
  • edited January 15, 2013

    There's no formatting tool but you can use (manually) these tags: <i> (italics), <sc> (small caps) [edit:actually it does not work at the moment, I'll investigate], <b> (bold), <sup> (superscript) and <sub> (subscript).

    eg, type in the title field: <i>E. coli</i> is a bacteria

  • @Gracile: The markup for small caps has changed to align it with HTML:
  • Frank: it doesn't work either.
  • @mronkko: this request is about formatting fragments of item titles (such as a species name, e.g. "Of Mice and <i>Homo sapiens</i>"). This is often not described in citation style guides, since this markup is also required in the body of the text and is common to the entire field (e.g. biology).

    @Gracile: markup isn't processed within the Zotero UI (although I think it should). Formatted citations and bibliographies (e.g. created via the word processor plugins) should show the desired formatting, though.
  • @Rintze: Yes, I know ;-) .
    When I wrote "it doesn't work either", I was referring to <span style="small-caps"> xxx </span>. I confirm that it doesn't work (in csledit.xul and in MSWord 2010 - Zotero 3.0.11).
    [where I was mistaken though is that <sc> does work - strangely. My mistake was that I tested it with an unsuitable style.]
  • I think the syntax should be <span style="font-variant:small-caps;">text</span>

    Can you confirm?
  • edited January 15, 2013
    Ok. Issue solved. The documentation is incorrect:
    <span style="small-caps"> and </span> for smallcaps does not work.
    I think this has worked in the past but Frank changed the syntax to:
    <span style="font-variant:small-caps;">

    I update the documentation.

    (edit: html format)
  • edited January 15, 2013
    @Rintze: Yes (cross-posting). But <sc> works too (probably to avoid breaking compatibility?).
  • From this thread and others, as well as the page, I understood that I had to manually type <i> and </i> around names that need to be italicized in titles.
    Before doing it "manually" for an exhausting number of references, I just wanted to make sure that there was no trick to add these tags "automatically" after selection of the words to be italicized? I was thinking of an "italics" button, that you would have to click after selection of the words to be italicized, and that would add <i> and </i> before and after the selection.
  • There are plans to support shortcuts to add these tags, but it hasn't been implemented yet. It's unclear when it will be. See also
  • Thanks!
    So in the meantime, I will do it manually.
  • Question to the devs: It's great that Zotero has this capability. But I guess I've viewed this method as a stopgap until something more comprehensive comes around. Is that the current thinking?

    The problem comes in when there are different styles for a given thing. For example, some journals have species names italicized, others underlined. Same goes for book titles or other "title within a title" situations. Under the current system, if you switch styles, you'd have to manually go back and change all your markup. Ideally, there would be some way to mark up a species name (or whatever) as what it is, and then the style could act on that.

    I don't know how this matches up with CSL though, and whether the styles even have this capability at this point. It would obviously take a lot to get Zotero to that point, but I think the payoff in terms of flexibility would be great. I was just wondering if there have been thoughts along this line.
  • Can you point us at a journal style manual that requires species names to be underlined rather than italicized?
  • Perhaps species names was a bad example. Most, if not all, styles that involve underlining give a choice of underlining or italics. (Underlining is a hold out from the typewriter days.)

    Book titles within a title would be a better example. MLA, APA, and Chicago all have an integrated title that is in plain font:

    Ruland, Richard, ed. Twentieth Century Interpretations of Walden. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice, 1968.

    Ruland, R. (Ed.). (1968). Twentieth Century Interpretations of Walden. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice.

    Plainreader, Jack. The Month I Nodded and Plodded through Finnegans Wake. Stamford, Conn.: John Kocinack, 1988.

    The Modern Humanities Research Association, however, specifies that internal titles should be in single quotes:

    Debra Linowitz Wentz, Fait et fiction: les formules pédagogiques des ‘Contes d’une grand-mère’ de George Sand (Paris: Nizet, 1985), p. 9.

    Approaches to Teaching Voltaire’s ‘Candide’, ed. by R. Waldinger (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1987), pp. 3, 10, 27.

    So when changing from one of the former styles to MHRA, you'd have to edit out your plain-font markup and add quotes, and vice versa when switching the other way. A better way would to have some kind of tag that specifies that the marked-up piece is a title. Then the style could add the appropriate formatting/punctuation as necessary.
  • We haven't considered this. I'm not sure if we're going to implement it. It's a huge effort - we need to implement it in Zotero (and all the other applications using CSL), then we need to find an elegant way to implement that in CSL itself and finally we'll need to code it into styles. And this would likely have to be in _addition_ to the existing mark-up, not instead of it (because I'm sure MHRA has some rule where it does call for italics - non-English words or so).

    How common is this?
    I've never seen the single quotation marks thing before. It's a stupid departure from one of the few conventions that's actually followed across countries.
  • edited June 19, 2013
    What adamsmith says. In discussions that led to the current markup scheme, semantic markup was pushed as a design objective, but there was a scarcity of concrete use cases in which it would be relevant.

    If I remember correctly, the predominant view in the group was that pure semantic markup would be excessively cumbersome, and that for most purposes, visual markup would be sufficient. Some of us (certainly including me) reasoned that if semantic markup became necessary, it could be spliced in as "mapped" markup that is converted to one of the rich text visual effects as defined by individual styles, falling back to some default mapping. That would certainly work here, but as adamsmith says, it would need to be implemented in the CSL language, so that it could be set in the MHRA style, and the processor would need to be extended with logic to map the "title" markup to italics by default, or to single-quotes where styles (such as MHRA) request it.

    I don't think there would be any impact on Zotero itself: it's pretty much a CSL-and-CSL-processor issue. But it will require consensus in several fora, and coordinated action in the CSL style repository and the (several) CSL processor projects (the citeproc-js processor used by Zotero is only one of several CSL implementations). It will in any case be awhile before a solution emerges.
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