Using a webdav or Zotfile

I would like to have access to my attached files on multiple computers, yet take advantage of the free zotero sync. My storage is currently at about 4 GB of attached files. I've tried Box webdav and Zotfile. With box I have two issues I can't figure out. 1) How can I have my attachments available when working off-line? 2) how do I migrate my current attached files? Only newly created items are moved to Box. With Zotfile I have 3 issues/questions. 1) I can't seem to get it to work with when a pdf is automatically downloaded with the citation. 2) I also can't figure out to migrate all my current attached files easily (rather than one at a time). 3) if I delete a zotero item, it is not automatically deleted from my zotfile file.

Any help would be appreciated.

Side note: I looked into using google drive with DAV-pocket as suggested here , but it doesn't seem to be working. If anyone has info on this service or any other way to use my google drive account, it would be welcomed. After great pain of having my zotero database located on google drive, I learned not to do that again.
  • WebDAV
    1) items are synced to the webDAV, they are not stored in the webDAV, i.e. they'd always be available locally/offline 2) If you just tun on file sync by webDAV that should do it.

    1) ZotFile should do that aumatically. Are you sure you have it set up correctly in general?
    2) You can select all items and select Manage Attachments --> Rename Attached Files (which will also move them)
    3) That's indeed not possible with that set-up. Zotero doesn't deleted linked files.
  • @adamsmith , I'm an idiot. How can the files sync if I don't have it on auto sync, and I didn't hit the sync button? Derrrrrrrrr... Seems to be working fine once I told it to sync. Now to let it finish (only 2,000 files to go!), go home and try it on my home computer. Not sure what I'm doing wrong with Zotfile, but now that I have WebDAV working, not worried about it at the moment. I may play with it later so that I have easy access to papers on my tablet while traveling.

    Thanks for the help.
  • My preferred workflow for my tablet is to use Zotero or WebDAV storage generally, and to use Zotfile’s send to tablet feature to send the papers I’m currently reading to my tablet.
  • Thanks @bwiernik . I read about that feature and it sounds like a useful tool. I plan to look more into it, especially before my next trip.
  • @bwiernik @ekrynak I appreciate this conversation. Long ago I tried to use Box without webdav to sync. Lots of corrupted databases later I learned the same lesson.

    I am now trying to do it right. Based on this conversation, I set up WebDav with Box and also Zotfile and new attachments are syncing correctly.

    Now I am trying to figure out how to move all of my old pdf attachments to my new Box location.

    Previously I was syncing my pdfs to /Box Sync/zotero/storage/

    With WebDAV, new pdfs are saved to /Box Sync/zotero/

    I have thousands of pdf's in the old .../zotero/storage/ folder, each in their own unique folder. I have a similar folder on a different computer with thousands of additional folders. Box will not sync the two folders, so they have unique files.

    Now that I have WebDAV set up, new attachments are zipped and there is a .prop file. My old attachments are pdfs inside folders with no .prop file

    I tried moving one of these old pdfs to the new location where WebDAV is saving things (/Box Sync/zotero/) and using zotfile 'Rename Attachments' but I receive the following error:

    'Attachments skipped because they are top-level items, snapshots or the file does not exist'

    I tried zipping the file and received the same error.

    I know this is a lot of information and may be difficult to follow, but any ideas would be appreciated. Thank you.
  • @mguycooper , sorry it took me a bit to get back to you, I was out of town over the weekend. I am by no means a Zotero expert. I was able to add Box as a dav server and everything synced fine (once I told it to, or turned on autosync). I had over 2000 pdfs stored in the storage file, and they all synced and were available on my other computer (once synced).

    Once I had my storage moved out of google drive into the typical location and updated my zotero version, this is all I did:
    fill in the file syncing section with and your username and password.
    Just hit enter, not 'Vereify Server'.

    Some good links and conversations here too:

    Beyond this, I don't think I can be much help. There are others on this forum that are awesome and super helpful. I was able to get my issues figured out fairly quickly once I posted a question.

    Good luck! Ed
  • Ed,

    You answered my question, thank you. The problem was that I did not move my files out of my old cloud storage location (Box/Zotero/storage/) into my local storage (/Users/.../Zotero/storage/). Once I did that, I right clicked on every item in my Zotero library and used the zotfile 'rename attachments' function to move all of these items out of the local storage and into the location where WebDAV is set up to store files (/Box/zotero/). I might not have needed to use Zotfile. I might have been able to use the WebDAV.

    For future readers, here is a summary of what I needed to do. My situation was unique because I had items saved in my local (default) location /Users/.../Zotero/storage/ as well as a cloud location /Box/Zotero/storage/. The latter was set up automatically by Zotero when I tried to use cloud storage without WebDAV for both file and data storage, which was the root of the problem. Since I did this on multiple computers (three in total), I had some library items saved in my local storage on each computer and some saved in my /Box/Zotero/storage/. I had it set up this way for a couple years, so I accumulate a large number of files in my /Box/Zotero/storage/ folder on each computer. At some point (after many corrupted databases), I switched back to using local storage for both data and files on my separate computers so I then built up a large collection of attachments in my local /Users/.../Zotero/storage/ folder. When I set up WebDAV, it automatically moved everything from my local storage into /Box/Zotero/, which is the default location if you use Box WebDAV. Notice that my old cloud location was inside this folder i.e. /Box/Zotero/storage/. It did not move anything from /Box/Zotero/storage/ to /Box/Zotero/.

    The solution was moving everything inside /Box/Zotero/storage/ to my local storage location /Users/.../Zotero/storage/ and then setting my zotfile preferences such that 'Location of Files' was set to 'custom' and pointed to /Box/Zotero/. I then highlighted every file in my library, right clicked and 'renamed attachments'. I got a ton of errors because a lot of the library item attachments were saved on one of my other two computers in /Box/Zotero/storage/. I repeated this for each computer and eventually all attachments were merged into /Box/Zotero/ and now these attachments are available on all of my computers.

    One thing I maybe could have done differently was to not use zotfile at all. Instead I think I could have just moved everything from /Box/Zotero/storage/ to /Users/.../Zotero/storage/ on each computer and let the WebDAV sync everything. This would have resulted in a consistent naming protocol with the corresponding .prop files for every pdf. With zotfile, it moves and zips the pdf and does not rename it to the 8-character random sting that zotero and WebDAV uses, and it also does not add a .prop file. As such, I now have a mixture of random 8-character file names and meta-data named files. i prefer the meta-data named files (i.e. the filenames zotfile uses) since they allow me to see the author and article title.
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