Export to Excel spreadsheet?

I'd like to export fields (i.e. title, year, URL) to an Excel spreadsheet rather than a bibliography. Is there currently a way to do that, even in a roundabout way? If not, would you Zotero developers consider making one?
  • Royce Kommons has a blogpost up on exactly this:
    There are other ways to do this, but that should be pretty reliable.
  • Another way, which I have just used to create a publications-by-year statistic, is to export to BibTeX, import in JabRef, export from there as Microsoft Office XML, import in Excel.
  • I would also like a simple export format for excel. i don't need to export my entire database, just selected records.
  • There is not really a standard for tabular layout of citation data (though LibreOffice has a semi-popular ad hoc format).

    Solutions for CSV output are enumerated at:
  • I have also been looking for ways of exporting from Zotero to Excel, and have just found one partially successful way of doing so:

    1. Create a Zotero report (select entries, right click, choose Zotero report)
    2. Save as html page
    3. Read html page with Excel

    The listed documents appear down the spreadsheet, with column A mainly being used for field names and comumn B mainly for field contents.

    But not wholly so. Titles appear in column A without a prior field name
    Tags and notes appear _under_ their respective field names also in column A.
    Perhaps with a little mount of tweaking Zotero could ensure that only column names appeared in column A and all content in column B had corresponding field names in column A

    Maybe some one who is good with Excel could now help me move the field and contents from a vertical sequence layout to a more traditional row by row layout, with each document having one line for all its contents. Please post ideas here or email rick.davies at gmail.com

    regards, rick davies
  • Updated url to Royce Kommons's blogpost:
  • Concerning the SQL query of Royce Kommon: Does anybody know what to add to also export notes?
  • I proposed another approach and wrote a generic CSV export translator for Zotero, see https://github.com/zotero/translators/pull/742
    (Download the CSV.js file and copy it to your folder with the other translators.) It will export also notes and you don't have to mess around the SQL queries. If you try it out, please give some feedback.
  • This is quite doable with a customized CSL output format. My method (which works for me and may not work for anyone else) is this -
    1. I customized a CSL to have the fields I am interested in (author, title, journal abbreviation, etc). Each field is separated with a bar (|)for importing into Excel.
    2. I have an entry in each collection that contains each of these field names in their respective fields, prefixed with a tilde (~). This makes sorting of the columns work better and will give me column names after it's imported into Excel.
    3. I select the entries that I want to export, right-click, Create Bibliography from items, and choose my custom CSL as the citation style.
    4. I copy the output to the clipboard and paste it into a text file, then I import that into Excel.
    It's a complicated process, but it works for me. I didn't have any prior knowledge of CSL, so it took a lot of trial and error to get something that I liked. I would suggest looking into this kind of export process as an alternative to the SQL ideas mentioned.
  • as zuphilip says, we have his javascript-based (and thus significantly more powerful than CSL) export under review and I think we should be able to get it out within a week. It will publish all fields (and, as opposed to CSL, can include tags, notes, as well as the items online URL on zotero.org), so you'd have to clean up in Excel, but beyond that it'll work very nicely and be both more stable and less demanding on hacks than the above version.
  • Thank you all for you input! I'll check out zuphilip's work, but probably end up patiently waiting for the release - looking forward to all that extra functionality! :)
  • Wow! This sounds grest. Is this available yet? Or do you need any beta-testers?
  • it's not included in Zotero yet, but you can download the translator file:
    got to: https://github.com/zuphilip/translators/blob/master/CSV.js
    right-click on "Raw" at the top right, and save the downloaded file CSV.js in the translator directory of your ZOtero data folder http://www.zotero.org/support/zotero_data
    restart Zotero and this will be available.

    Aurimas is swamped right now, so review may still take a little longer, but I would expect this to be available soon.
  • Cool! Thanks much. I'll try it out. I'm curious to see what happens to attachments, as I am still desperately looking for a way to get Zotero items, including their attachments, into some QDA tool (e.g. Dedoose) in such a way that we can then code them there and extract the statistics for groups of items: e.g. how many times does a certain code occur in German articles as opposed to English or French ones. If I find a way to make this work. I'll report back as I suspect others might be interested in this as well.
  • I tried downloading the translator file mentioned above (https://github.com/zuphilip/translators/blob/master/CSV.js) and saved it into the translator directory of my Zotero data folder, but even after restarting Firefox, I'm unable to see this as an option when I try to export items from my library. Is there something else I need to do to be able to see this as an option for exporting citations? Thanks!
  • you can't just download https://github.com/zuphilip/translators/blob/master/CSV.js
    you need to go to that page and download via the "Raw" link. Else you're saving the entire webpage, not the javascript file.
  • Thanks - I was able to export using the translator file provided above. One question I have is how simple is it to modify that .js file? For example, I only want 4 fields to export into Excel, but simply deleting the remaining fields in the "var exportConfiguration=[..." section of the code gave me an error (there weren't any details though, so I'm not sure what else in the code I may need to change.
  • This should work (in theory), just make sure that the last field ends without a comma. If you still have problems, then copy your exportConfiguration here, then I can have a look.
  • Hey, guys! Just wondering, I'm getting a prompt that the CVS.js file already exists. Should I overwrite the existing one? Is there a chance that the existing file is the right one? (I've not downloaded this before.) Thank you!
  • aurimasv updated the CVS translator about 6 hours ago. Normally, it is a good thing to always stick to the newest version of the translators. If you have made any costum configuration you will want to copy that before.
  • Thank you! I'll be saving the Raw file from https://github.com/zuphilip/translators/blob/master/CSV.js , so I think it should be the latest.
    Sorry to be a n00b -- I didn't manually download the existing CSV.js file in my data directory, so I'm just wondering whether it's safe to overwrite it with the github one since I don't know what the original file actually contains.
  • You are looking for something like an installation guide, right? The CSV export is now (September 2014) included in the official Zotero, i.e., normally it is just working "out of the box" and you don't have to download anything. Please note that some of the comments above are older. Do you see the option "CSV" in the export menue?
  • I do -- under Export Library I have the CSV option! Sorry, I haven't updated Zotero in a little while, so I assumed I wouldn't have the CSV file. So no need to save the github version?
  • No, there is no need to save manually something. Zotero will update automatically if you have checked Automatically check for updated translators in the settings.
  • Thank you so much for all of your help!
  • Thanks for the CSV option which works smoothly.

    I look to output my tags, too, but don't see them in the csv file. Is this possible, and if so, how ?
  • Yes, the tags are outputed in the columns "Manual Tags" and "Automatic Tags".
  • Hi, I see the csv file export option in the menu of the desktop version of Zotero, when I am trying to export into csv using web browser I can't see it there. Do I need to fiddle with my settings?
    Thanks for your help.
  • currently no CSV export from the website, sorry.
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