Breaking a Child Note into Multiple Child Notes

I am migrating some notes I have taken in MS Word to Zotero. I have an easy enough time moving the MS Word notes onto a child note created for the item in my bibliography. However, I would like (if possible) to have some way to easily break the items into separate child notes without having to copy and paste each one. To use a concrete example: I have taken notes in MS Word on an article, Benton, "Empires of Exception." I've created a child note for that article and copied all the text from the MS Word file onto the child note. I get something that looks like this:

060: Benton: “The ‘rule’ announces more than sanction, then. Its very expression depends upon the recognition of the ‘exceptional case,’ which is included in the juridical order at the same time that it is formally excluded."

061: Benton: “One can certainly read the violence committed against convicted criminals as something rendered acceptable by their conversion through sentencing to the status of legal outsiders.”

Ideally, I'd like these as different child notes (and a child note for p. 54, 55, 58, etc.)

My question is: if I wanted to create a separate child note for notes on each page, would I have to create a new child note for each page and then copy-and-paste text from to each individual child note? Or is it possible for me to separate a child note into multiple child notes another way?

Any assistance would be appreciated.
  • There is currently no automated/simple way to do this, no.
    If you know how to write code there is probably a way (or rather - several different ways) to script this, but that's the only option I see right now.
  • Thanks. I unfortunately do not know how to code, which would prevent me from a DIY solution. But I appreciate the quick response and would love to know if anyone has figured out a way to do a script for this.
  • Depending on the note content (e.g., if two newlines always means a new note), find/replace might be a non-code way to do this. You would essentially just need to prefix each note with
    "N1  - "
    and put those lines between
    "TY  - BOOK"
    "ER  - "
    such that it looked something like this:

    TY - BOOK
    N1 - 060: Benton: “The ‘rule’ announces more than sanction…
    N1 - 061: Benton: “One can certainly read the violence committed…
    ER -

    (Those are two spaces before each hyphen and one after.)

    You'd then import that RIS record into Zotero and drag the child notes to the existing item.

    Zotero expects RIS notes to be HTML, though, which could complicate things, particularly if there were embedded newlines in the notes. Might still be better than copy/paste, depending on how many you have.

    Can't help you beyond that, though.
  • edited March 20, 2012
    the way I understood the question, there is no RIS involved.
    If you're importing RIS files, yes, what Dan says.
    But if I understood correctly that you already have Zotero entries and you just have long notes in MS Word that you want to attach to them, that doesn't apply.

  • I was suggesting using Find/Replace to turn the notes into RIS.
  • oh right - I misunderstood that. That makes sense, yes.
  • Hi I have exactly the same issue as jsmolenski - just tried Dan's suggestion and it works! A bit clumsy for me this first time ... I started with a Word doc, did the find/replace as you suggest then saved it as a text file. Then imported it into Zotero where it landed as a collection of notes under page no. For some reason it didn't land in the main Reference library and in order to drag the notes onto the correct reference I eventually had to open two instances of the browser. Maybe some fiddling required - but basically this is going to save heaps of time for anyone who wants to import from a single document to separate notes by page etc for ease of sorting. Many thanks!
  • This worked great. If you have two lines between notes, it's pretty quick and simple to setup. What a time saver! Thanks!
  • This is a good use for a clipboard manager like Clipmate. You can do multiple Ctrl-Cs, then tell Clipmate to do sequential pastes, go back to Zotero, and do multiple Ctrl-Vs. Alternatively, Clipmate can "explode" a single clip into multiple pieces at a standard dividing sequence; you copy the note once, then keep pressing Crtl-V in Zotero and it puts in the pieces one at a time.
  • I got Dan Stillman's suggestion above to work

    TY - BOOK
    N1 - 000: This is a note about the whole book
    N1 - 061: This is a note about page 61.
    N1 - 099: This is a note about page 99.
    ER -

    Just copy the above, and click on the cog and "import from clipboard." The above creates a nameless book with three notes that can be copied en masse to the desired item.
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