Position of buttons in annotations


when I add an annotation to a snapshot of a website, each annotation has three buttons:
(1) delete this annotation
(2) move this annotation
(3) hide this annotation

My request is to swap the positions of delete and hide buttons.

When an annotation is hidden, it is represented as a speech bubble. Clicking on that speech bubble shows the annotation. That's great.

Unfortunately the delete button in the opened annotation is exactly at the same position where the speech bubble of that annotation in closed state is.

Therefore if I want to open an annotation and click twice at the position of the speech bubble, Zotero asks if I want to delete that annotation. Also, I often want to have a quick glance at the content of an annotation and just want to show it and hide it immediately afterwards. It would be great if I could click on the speech bubble to show the note and just click on the same spot again to hide it.

If the positions of the hide button and the delete button would be swapped, both issues would be taken care of.

  • edited April 1, 2013
    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but annotations and highlights are no longer supported, and haven't really been for a few years (since they've never synced with the server). We're removing the ability to create them in the upcoming Zotero 4.0, though they'll still appear on existing snapshots.

    We might integrate a third-party HTML annotation tool into Zotero at some point, or provide better ways of working with external ones. See the linked threads for more discussion of that.
  • Thanks for that piece of information.
  • edited April 8, 2013
    Ha! That's very very bad news as it was one of the main reasons I was using Zotero instead of other solutions such as Evernote. :-(

    Any hope for quick equivalent?
  • I think not supporting annotations is a terrible decision. When I first started using zotero, the annotations worked just fine. So what if they aren't synced? I keep my rather extensive database on my own computers.

    Other programs similar to Zotero, for example Scrible (www.scrible.com), incorporate this nicely, but Zotero has some nice features that Scrible does not, as well as a long history with me, and I'd rather have all of my pages in one database anyway.

    And if you make annotations before saving the web page, as I think Aurimas is saying in the post referred to by Gracile, what if you want to make more later on? Do you have to go back to the original web page (if it still exists), make a fresh copy of the annotations you've already made, and then make more?

    Why can't annotation be integrated into Zotero Standalone? Wouldn't that obviate inconsistencies between Chrome and Firefox?
  • The existing annotation functionality is buggy, can result in unexpected data loss due to its failure to sync, and isn't something we have the time to maintain. It also just wasn't used very much.

    There are dedicated annotation tools that are under active development, and it would make sense to integrate one of those or provide better ways to use them in combination with Zotero. We're unlikely to be able to work on that anytime soon, but we're happy to look at contributed patches that do one or the other of those things.

    We obviously don't like removing features without offering a good alternative, but if there's no one to maintain the functionality and it's broken in important ways without warning, it's worse to keep it.
  • edited April 18, 2013
    And if you make annotations before saving the web page, as I think Aurimas is saying in the post referred to by Gracile, what if you want to make more later on?
    Aurimas suggests saving the annotations to the html file, which could, in theory, also happen to the html file opened from your harddisk (i.e. the Zotero snapshot). Unfortunately, that doesn't quite work right, since at least FF only has a "save page as" not a "save" function, which ruins that a bit.
  • Dan Stillman's comment is reasonable. It's the first time I've actually seen an explanation for dropping annotations. (Of course, I don't spend a lot of time on the Zotero forums. Just when I feel like venting. So it very well might have been explained before.)

    adamsmith, I like the way FF integrates Zotero, so after using Chrome for a while once the Zotero plugin for it became available, I decided to go back to FF. I'm back to Chrome again, because of repeated crashes of Flash with FF, which was another reason why I left FF in the first place. I'm perfectly fine with having to have Zotero Standalone open as long as I don't have a Flash-crash every few minutes.

    I really do wish that someone would integrate annotations into Zotero again. I'm surprised that not many people used it. It won't be me, though, because I'm a user, not a developer.
  • Dan Stillman and adamsmith, have you guys checked out Scrible?
  • same issue with Chrome - it doesn't allow you to save local html files to where you opened them from (i.e. it also only has save as..., not save).

    Scrible isn't open source, it can't be integrated into Zotero.
  • I'm not sure what you mean that "it doesn't allow you to save local html files to where you opened them from". Using the Zotero plugin in Chrome does save a local copy of the web page on my disk. I just looked at one. If that were annotated from within Zotero Standalone, wouldn't those annotations be saved locally?

    I know Scrible is not open source. I just wondered if you were aware of Scrible and its ability to save annotations to an online database. If I remember correctly, Scrible has the opposite problem from Zotero: Those annotated pages can't be saved locally.
  • The problem is this:
    1. Save a webpage as a Zotero Snapshot.
    2. Open it with a browser - be it Chrome or Firefox
    3. Make some changes to the page- e.g. with the annotator plugin as suggested by Aurimas
    4. Now try to save the page - there is no way to save the page to where you opened it from (i.e. it's location in the Zotero storage folder).

    But that 4th step is crucial for the ability to save annotations and to annotate webpages later on.
  • Oh, now I see what you meant. Well that's why I think it would be good to incorporate an annotation tool in the Standalone rather than a third-party browser tool. The Standalone doesn't depend on browser integration, does it?
  • Standalone does depend on browsers for viewing (and hence annotating) snapshots, yes.
    We understand the functionality you want, but I don't think it makes much sense for you to make suggestions on technical implementation if you're not a developer.
  • I'm a researcher that use Zotero practicably since the first version got out.
    I have a Library with more than 5 years work, mostly with highlights and annotations. From the beginning I found this to be an important feature, that now is gone...

    Over the years I've been very conservative on upgrading/updating Zotero... afraid of loosing any important feature.

    Where can I download the latest version of Zotero that still supports annotations, and will that work with my current 4.0.8 database?
  • Same for me: The annotations feature (text marker) was the most important for me. Will try to go back to an older version of Zotero.
  • I liked the Zotero annotation feature but I can believe it was a pain to maintain.

    I've been using Crocodoc.com when I need to annotate or highlight in a a document. Crocodoc supports collaborative annotations and dialog as well. I then add the Crocodoc url for that web-document to my Zotero citation.
  • edited September 3, 2013
    What would be ideal is if we could also cycle through the various highlights/annotations that we make.
  • Please consult my other post I belive this could be of help

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