Import of Attachment Locations


I would really like to see the ability to export and import the location of linked attachments. I still have, for example, a big library in another reference management software (namely Citavi). Nearly all of the roughly 1000 items are linked to an pdf file on my hard drive (in endnote the relevant field is called "file attachments"). I would love to see the possibility to import this library without having to link all these pdfs again (in zotero I add attachment as "Link to File").
Is this somehow possible?
  • I support this idea. It would be really useful for people migrating from other ref managers who still cannot get rid of the old one.
  • You can currently do this if you are able to customize the BibTeX export of your old reference management software to output well-crafted PDF links.

    Unfortunately, there is no common syntax for attachments in any of the the old/common export formats. Some formats (such as bibtex) allow you to make a custom field. In other formats, you must cram it into something like a link field (and sometimes only a single link is allowed).
  • There was a question in another thread, so I thought I'd expand here.

    In BibTex:
    works right now and more may work in the future:

    In RIS, UR and L1 get pushed as attachments. There are at least plans to accept EndNoteĀ®'s quirky file syntax at some point in time.

    I have submitted a patch to the MODS translator to handle attachments.
  • thank you, that is really helpful!

    The problem is that the files get still "stored as copy of file". Is it somehow possible that to link link them (same as this attachments->add->Link to file)??

    ps: sorry for starting the other thread...
  • edited October 16, 2008
    Are you using RIS? As far as I recall, the RIS attaches files & BibTeX links to them.

    I actually prefer the former behavior & was thinking about patching the BibTeX translator to have the same behavior).

    If you have no other links for your files & don't want to store attachments, you can also make the PDF the one URI that the file has & be able to go to it by pressing the button in the right pane.
  • No, I am definitely using BibTeX and the import does not link the files but stores the attachment in a new location. I use 1.5. Maybe this makes a difference?

    Using the URI is an good idea. I rarely have more then one attachment. The problem is, however, that I can not manually add links to attachment in the URL field (I can with cops/paste the file path but not with navigating to the file).

    I am much in favor of the approach to link files, because I can give them meaningful names, store them wherever I want and therefore access them much easier from outside of Zotero.
  • Yes--you're right; I was mistaken about the default behavior in BibTeX.

    If the URI work-around is not suitable, I don't have a good answer for you. One can still use zotero as a file browser & therefore copy/paste links to pdfs in that field fairly easily. There has also been discussion of being able to more easily add information (e.g. the currently address and/or a selected URL and/or the URL of a selected link) to fields within the currently selected records. I don't know if anything came from that.

    I actually prefer attachments--they are consistent across manual importing and site translators & they are easier to keep in sync, etc. There have also been requests to add the ability to customize naming and storage directories of attachments.
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