Direct link to attached pdf

I'm using Zotero with the Zotfile plugin to manage a large (>10K items) academic library of pdf files stored on a NAS drive that's accessible via WebDAV. I'm undertaking a study that will require frequent access to two specific pdf files written by different authors and therefore stored on the NAS in different folders.

Accessing the pdf files is easy from Zotero: just click on the pdf attached to Zotero's reference item. But since I'll be using a spreadsheet to compare methods & findings used in the two articles, I'd like to find the reference in Zotero, highlight the attached pdf file, and copy a direct link to it that can then be pasted into the spreadsheet. I know there are other ways to accomplish this, but it seems this should be doable within Zotero. Since I'll be using other pdfs in the spreadsheet later on, and accessing them using the link in Zotero would be the best way, I'd like to learn how to do this.

Is it possible to copy the link Zotero uses to access an attached pdf? If so, how?

  • Do you mean a link to the attachment item in Zotero or to the file in your filesystem?

    You can generate a zotero://select link that selects the item in Zotero using the third-party Zutilo plugin. (It's possible we'll incorporate this into Zotero itself in a future version.)

    You can also link directly to the actual file on your filesystem, but the details of that would depend on your OS.
  • Thanks for the tip about Zutilo. I didn't know that, even though I already have Zutilo installed. Doh!

    But while linking to the Zotero item would be helpful, linking directly to the file on the filesystem is what I'm looking for. Once Zotero is set up to be a front end to an electronic library, using Zotero to access the library's contents becomes the easiest method by far.

    In this scenario Zotero acts somewhat like the old library card catalogs. Sometimes one needs direct access the card, but other times one needs direct access to the book it points to. In the latter case, Zotero is much easier to use than navigating the file system.

    But some experimentation seems to result in both links being provided! The reason I didn't know Zutilo did this was because I was using its default settings. Once I turned on "Copy attachment paths" the choice appeared in the context menu. When I used it to copy the paths of an entry with one attachment, subsequently pasting the clipboard contents returned two lines: the first is the path to the Zotero item, the second, to the attachment's pdf file.

    So problem solved! And thanks again for the tip, Dan!
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