zotero 2 machines - cite keys and betterbibtex

Hi folks, I have zotero and betterbibtex installed on laptop #1 with syncing of data with zotero.org and files on box.com.

Syncing to new laptop. Installed zotero and synced - all data was added. Then installed betterbibtex but now cite keys are in a different format.

On the new laptop it says citation key format as [zotero:clean] while on old laptop the citation key format box is empty! Yet each article seems to have a [author][title][year] format.

If I try to change the format box on the new laptop to match it lights up in orange!

Can anyone help me get the cite keys to match?

R Haynes
  • I can't readily tell from the description what has gone wrong, but if you open two new issues (one for each laptop please, they don't share config) on https://github.com/retorquere/zotero-better-bibtex/issues I'd be happy to take a look.
  • Hi - thanks for the response. Not sure if I posted correctly on github but I have two different messages with the reference code pasted into both with a brief description of the issue.
  • Hi folks, just a note that all is now well thanks to @emilianoeheyns ! Not sure how the problem arose but setting the better-bibtex cite format the same on both machine and then selecting all items and right-clicking to give the better-bibtex submenu allowed me to update the cite keys.
  • One possibility is that you synced before installing BBT. On install, BBT will generate new keys for existing items with the default pattern; changing the pattern afterward doesn't automatically update the existing keys.

    Settings sync used to prevent this to some extent (although never 100% reliably, and for this case there'd be a race condition for the pref to have synced before BBT started), but it no longer works I think. With the planned Zotero-native citekey field things will likely get better.
  • I have a related question. @emilianoeheyns

    Does Zotero ever sync BBT keys or are they only generated (and kept) locally?

    I use Zotero with BetterBibTex on computer A, syncing to a WebDav server. With BBT I have an auto-export set up and I use the citekeys in Latex.

    Now I just installed Zotero on computer B and synced with the WebDav server. However, I forgot to install BBT so I don't see citekeys.

    I do want to use BBT with citekeys on computer B as well. However, I don't want to risk screwing up existing citekeys that I already used in Latex. If I install BBT on computer B, it will generate new keys using the default pattern; however my 'old' citekeys on computer A, that I already cited, are not always that perfect (e.g. contain '-1' because of previous duplicates etc.).

    Is there a way to get the same citekeys on both computers without screwing up existing documents? I don't mind reinstalling and re-syncing Zotero/BBT on one or both computers, but I would mind fixing existing citations. :)
  • edited October 29, 2018
    Zotero syncs the BBT keys if they're pinned, which will store them in the "extra" field, which Zotero will sync. There's currently no other way to sync keys, although that will change in a future version of Zotero which will have a Zotero-native field to store keys in.

    WebDav doesn't figure into this because it only syncs attachments, not the references themselves.

    If you like the citekeys on A as they are (perhaps after fixing some of them), pin them, then sync on A, then sync on B. That will get the same pinned keys on B. There is no way for me unfortunately to sync non-pinned keys.

  • That's awesome, thank you @emilianoeheyns!
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