save web pages and pdfs

with the new standalone version, I don't seem able anymore to save web pages nor to create or save pdfs to zotero. I have installed zotero connector, but firefox alwas tells me that it is an old add on type. don't know if this is linked to the problem.
thank you for your help!
  • what version of the connector do you have installed? (click on "more" next to the connector in the Firefox add-ons list)
  • Not sure how you installed that (or what version that even is)? You should have 5.0.18 Install from
  • sorry, 5.0.19
  • And Firefox tells you that's a legacy add-on? Because it's not.
    As for saving webpages, you can simply do that by clicking on the Save to Zotero icon. For PDFs, you can do the same with the PDF opened in Firefox (or any other browser with Zotero support).

    What's gone is the option to "Save to Zotero" when you're saving a PDF. That's no longer possible with the new extension framework for Firefox.
  • I dont see such an icon. the only thing I see, is when I right-click. then I have an Icon Zotero connector. it asks me to save with or without snapshot, but that does not work
  • You're likely just overlooking it. Top right -- it turns into a book here:, is grey on regular webpages.
  • yes, it is blue on this page, but grey on the page I want to save. and nothing happenswhen I click on it then
  • Do you have Zotero Standalone running when you click the grey button? That should still work.
  • yes, it's running
  • but it does not work
  • Can you provide a Debug ID from the connector for a save attempt that doesn't work, including the loading of the page?
  • ok, my fault. it was a page that I had opened through zotero, and (strangely) it was not the link to Internet that had opened, but the one to zotero storage. all the other pages are working. sorry for that.
    just a pity that one can't save pdfs directly to zotero anymore. is there a chance that it will change in the future?
  • just a pity that one can't save pdfs directly to zotero anymore
    Not sure what you mean by that. You can just load the PDF in your browser and click the save button, which should be a PDF icon. If you have a PDF file on your computer, you can drag it into Zotero or use Store Copy of File.
  • Oh, you're referring to the Open/Save dialog modification. Yes, we're not able to do that anymore, but if you have the built-in PDF viewer enabled in Firefox, as it is by default, you can use the save button. If you don't have the PDF viewer enabled, you can drag the link to Zotero or drag the file in after you download it.
  • well, you wrote yoursellf: What's gone is the option to "Save to Zotero" when you're saving a PDF. That's no longer possible with the new extension framework for Firefox.
  • (@adamsmith wrote that, not me. But see my second comment for alternatives.)
  • edited September 19, 2017
    ok, thanks for the tip! I wondered already if you never slept :-)
  • I am trying to figure out how to save pdf after losing the "save to zotero" option. Right now when I click on a pdf link, the file is downloaded and opened in Adobe Reader external to Firefox and the zotero connector turns into a pdf icon. But when I click on the pdf icon to save the file, I get "An error occurred while saving this item" message and the item is saved as a webpage.

    I have also tried to set my pdf application option to using Firefox's built-in preview. In that case, when I click on the connector the pdf is saved as a journal article entry with no pdf attachment. Where did I go wrong?

    I run Firefox 55.0.3 and Zotero connector 5.0.18
  • When it shows a journal article icon, what URL are you saving from, and what does it say when you hover over the save icon? That likely just means you're on a site that Zotero can already save metadata from, and you should save from the article page instead. While saving from the PDF view on such sites will sometimes work, you'll get more consistent results just saving from the article page. (We may be able to fix this one to save the PDF too, though.)

    If you just save a random PDF (e.g., this one) that's not on a site recognized by a translator, you should see the PDF icon.
  • And again, you can always just drag either the PDF link or the area to the left of the URL into Zotero. But if you're on a site that Zotero can save metadata from, you still don't want to do that.
  • I was trying to save a pdf file from a researcher's own page returned in Google search. When the file was opened using Firefox preview, the connector link became a folder icon saying "Save to Zotero (DOI)"; that created a journal article item in Zotero.

    But dragging the pdf link directly to Zotero works (saves a copy of the file in the collection). That'll do for me.

    Interestingly, when I first clicked on the pdf link, the embedded url was the direct url (the "real" link), and Zotero connector didn't seem to recognize that; the icon remained as save to zotero webpage with snapshot . After I clicked on the link the second time, the url turned into the dreadful lengthy Google link. It was until then that Zotero connector recognized it and changed its icon to pdf. Note that this was when Firefox was set to open pdf using Adobe Reader.
  • Do you mean that when you were viewing the previous webpage it showed "(DOI)", or when you were viewing the PDF itself? You shouldn't see "(DOI)" when viewing the PDF itself — if that's happening, there's something strange doing on (e.g., the PDF is actually in a frame, and the page around it has a DOI that's being recognized first).

    Note that you'll still want the metadata, either by using Retrieve Metadata from PDF in Zotero or by saving the journal item and then, if the PDF doesn't come along (which it won't in the case of "(DOI)", but will for most publisher sites and some results from Google Scholar) dragging the PDF onto that item.

    We haven't done much testing with the Adobe Reader plugin (since both Firefox and Chrome have built-in PDF readers), so I can't really speak to that.
  • I see Save to Zotero (DOI) in the same browser tab where the pdf preview is shown. The preview opens up inside the same tab as the Google search results.
  • Do you have a URL for that, please?

    Or, to replicate what I did, Google attention on autopilot andrew leber. The pdf link will be the first search return.
  • Interesting -- I'm surprised that's happening, but I guess it makes sense given the way Firefox's PDF reader works.
    You can still import the PDF by right-clicking on the Folder and selecting "Save to Zotero --> Save to Zotero (PDF)" -- you can actually do both and then drag the PDF to the metadata -- that way you don't have to rely on retrieve metadata, which, while it will probably work well here, might fail.
  • Ah. I forgot there are more options available from right-clicking on the connector.

    Now, if the connector can save DOI and PDF, albeit separately, it is too much to ask for them to be combined into one step? ;-) That would work effectively as the former "Save to Zotero" function when opening a PDF, wouldn't it?
  • We do this in some cases, but in cases like this it's a bit tricky -- for one, we're not 100% sure the DOI actually describes the item you're saving (could be a CV, could be in a bibliography). But also, I'm just not sure detecting DOIs in these cases is actually desired behavior (especially as it's going to be Firefox-only. The Chrome/Safari PDF readers work differently.
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