Feature request – tagging "portions" of notes


I would like to request a feature for a better management of notes and annotations. It seems that tags can only be added to full references (I can tag a book or an article as a whole) or to notes (I can tag each notesheet I add to a reference). But, to me, it would be even more useful to be able to tag portions of texts as readings can refer to great numbers of topics (= tags) : filtering by tags would thus enable me to find all the portions of texts on one topic more quickly instead of having to go through the content of each note to check where the portion on the specific tag is.

For example, if I have a book on History of France in my bibliography, I will tag it, let's say, as "History". As I read and take notes of it in a Zotero notesheet, I find that a few lines on women during the French revolution are very interesting. Instead of adding the tag "women during the French revolution" to the whole notesheet, I would like to add it to the specific section of notes I have taken on this subject so that I can sort exactly what focuses on this topic even in very general books.

Do you see what I mean ? Would it be possible to add such a feature in Zotero (I mean in practical terms) ? Is there another way to achieve this ?

Thank you in advance !

  • edited December 2, 2019

    http://zotfile.com/ pluging allow you to extract the annotation from a PDF file and transform those in a note attached to the references. Perhaps it may help in your case.

    I don't think Zotero is going to be able to add such features in a praticale way. I think citations managers, in general, are pretty archaic, to be honest. They only solve one problem well: citation formating and bibliography generation (and still, it's buggy, slow, citation of law doesn't work well and you can't collaborate easely using two different citation manager).

    I'm still waiting for a new generation of reference and knowledge management. Yet, I will not hold my breath. Academia is notably slow regarding such tools and tends to use legacy tools for ages in the lack of proper alternative and because of the inertia (LaTex, R, ...).


  • Actually https://www.citavi.com/ is the way to go. Sadely it doesn't exist for macOS.
  • My recommendation for this use case would be to do it in two steps. Add the tags to the note as a whole, then also add them in a searchable way to the relevant section of the note, for example, using punctuation to separate them out from the text.

    For example, you could add this after the relevant section heading to tag the section as a counter argument.

    (Personally, I use Zotero’s tools for file management, organization, and collaboration much more than I use it for doing citations. Zotero is much more than a bibliography generator.)
  • Hi and thank you for your answers.

    I guess I'll have to follow bwiernik's recommendation for the moment, but I've been dreaming for months for the day Citavi gets a macOS version !

    Thanks again :)
  • Instead of making several sections within one note, you can also create several notes and attach them all to the same entry. Each note can then have different tags attach to it.
  • I have been wondering about this. I'm a new user, but my first thought was to do as as zuphillip suggests, ie separate notes for each quote, all attached to the same entry.
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