Note Extration Overwrite?

Every time I extract annotations from PDF, it creates a new [note] child item. This can become problematic for me because throughout the reading session, or days, I make highlights and notes consecutively.

For example, day 1, I could do 10x highlights. Extract them to Zotero. Make amendments, add in a few headers to make it tidy and more intelligible. Make Tags too.

Day 2, I make more notes. Extract. But the extraction is saved as a new child-item. It will contain my new annotations as well as the previous ones. But it won't have the changes I spent time on previously, like headers, tags.

I understand that the "tag issue" might not be such a huge deal, as it is advocated on Youtube tutorials that it is good practice to tag only parent titles. But having to do all the heading, in-note highlighting, bolds italics, etc every time I extract notes just does not seem viable.

Any tips guys?

Thanks a lot.

  • I’m not sure if this is the intended Zotfile behavior or not. I thought that it simply overwrote the previous extractions, rather than making a new note. It might be tripping up on your other modifications/additions. Try to see if the note overwrites if you don’t modify it in between.
  • Didn't make any notes and pressed it twice. Creates another child-item..
  • Is that normal so? Thanks.
  • I'm pretty sure ZotFile has always created new notes on every extract annotation.
  • Adamsmith, aha okay. But what's the deal if you amend the note-item (eh highlight, change font, etc) and then you extract annotations again. The new extraction doesn't have the changes you made the note-item. That essentially. Makes the ability to edit notes meaningless...
  • edited October 18, 2017
    Zotfile’s Extract annotations feature is built on top of Zotero’s general (manual) notetaking tools. It was designed to be a static one-time extraction feature (which is how most users seem to use it). That doesn’t particularly work with your workflow, but it would be really technically difficult to be able to integrate manual edits to notes with Zotfile’s extraction feature, and I can basically guarantee that such a feature won’t be implemented into Zotfile unless a user contributes it (and even then, I’m not sure how feasible this would be at all). My recommendation would be to modify your workflow to either put your outline and extracted notes into separate notes or to finish all of your annotations before extraction then making edits.
  • @bwiernik all good suggestions. One more however :). I could extract notes and make that my "primary note" into which I will make outlines and the cosmetics. After that, every time I extract notes I can just copy and paste the new parts into the primary note. And make more cosmetics if I want. That seems the best option for my workflow.

    Thanks for the tips. The power of collaboration is limitless :D
  • Right, just realised I cannot implement my suggestion. For the following reasons. If I go back to chapters I have already visited and made annotations to, but return after some time for re-reading and to make additional annotations it becomes messy. As previously assumed, Zotfile does not just add on new annotations in the new note item.

    For example 1st note on day 1 would contain highlights 1, 2, 3, 4. On day 2 you revise section 2 and make more notes, the following "new annotation extraction" will not be 1, 2, 3, 4, 2.1 and so on; but 1, 2, 2.1, 3, 4. It assorts the annotations chronologically with page numbers, not with time.

    I mean that's great, as it will keep the note itself tidy indeed. Highlights are going to be in descending order. But it's very messy when comparing notes. This way, without very diligent and time-consuming work, I won't have a clue which ones are the new arrivals.
    I'd previously thought I would just compare the new extraction to my primary (outline, graphically improved) extraction. See what's extra and then copy and add it in.

    It is rather rare to read like this, I admit, but certain situations call for that. In this instance it is syllabus. I had jumped ahead to have more detail view on syllabus of the time and made annotations, now I am reading the entire book from the beginning.

    Perhaps if there was a way to quickly compare the notes, that way I could identify new comers quickly.

    With all due respect, but I find one-time annotation extraction very limiting. I am considering trying to have 2 separate notes for outline and annotations, that might work. Thanks bwiernik.
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