Word plugin doesn't appear if Preview Pane is enabled in Windows File Explorer

This discussion was created from comments split from: Zotero tab disappeared from Word.
  • If you are using the "Preview Pane" in Windows File Explorer, try deselecting it and restarting Word. I repeated this several times and every time the Preview Pane was selected (and the preview is displayed in File Explorer when you try to open your file), the Zotero Citation tab would disappear. Although I like to use preview, I'll just have to leave it off
  • That seems extremely unlikely. The preview pane in File Explorer shouldn't have anything to do with Word. If the plugin is installed properly into Word, you should see it in every existing document regardless of how you open it (including without opening a file from File Explorer at all), as well as in brand new unsaved documents. If you really you're seeing something different, we'd want more details on the exact cases where you do or don't see the toolbar.
  • Completely agree, and I do realize it could have been a coincidence (I'll explain the order of events below). I tried to go back to replicate it and now I can't remove the Zotero tab from Word. I went into the Zotero desktop application, disabled the Word Extension, closed both Zotero/Word, opened again and it was still there. I even uninstalled Zotero (with Word closed) and when I opened Word again, the Zotero tab was there. I'm using Windows 10 with Office 2019.

    Just to back up a bit, I'll explain what I saw with my first installation. After experiencing the issue where the Zotero tab would disappear from Word, I could restore it by disabling the extension in Zotero desktop and reinstalling the extension. This allowed the Zotero tab to appear for one round of opening Word, even if I opened multiple Word docs, it was there. But after this first round, if I closed all Word documents and opened a new Word doc, the Zotero tab was gone.

    I actually had a simliar issue with Mendeley's citation plugin. That is, if I opened an existing Word doc and lost the plugin, I could restore it by uninstalling/reinstalling from Mendeley Desktop (the older Mendeley Desktop, not the newer "Mendeley Reference Manager"). In attempting to uninstalling the plugin, I had to close both Word and File Explorer if my file was being shown in the preview pane. After removing/installing the pluigin and restarting both programs, the citation plugin would remain for the first round of opening, but then it would disappear if I closed Word. I switched to Zotero after this, so I can't comment further.

    In trying to resolve the issue with the Zotero extension, I initially followed the Manual Installation Instructions I found the Word Startup folder was empty. As described in the Instructions, I tried to copy the Zotero.dotm file into the Word Startup folder but I received a warning from Windows "The destination already has a file named Zotero.dotm". I selected "replace" anyway, but it didn't resolve the disappearing tab.

    I hope that all makes sense, but I can try to clarify if needed.
  • Just commenting to update that the citation tab disappeared again and I was able to reproduce the conditions. It looks like the citation tab will disappear if I use File Explorer (preview pane on) and if the text of my document actually shows up in the preview pane when I am opening the file. If I quickly click the file and open it before it is displayed in the pane, then the citation tab will be present. The same is true if Zotero, word and explorer are all closed and if I open a new word doc from the start menu/word icon. It seems to happen specifically when the text is displayed in the preview pane. If I turn off the preview pane, then I can open word in any way, and the citation tab will be present.
  • Sorry it took a while to get back to you. This is a good bug find, but not really something Zotero can fix. You should try to report this to Microsoft if you can.
  • My recommendation would be to disable the Preview pane and instead install a QuickLook plugin like this one:

    This plugin adds much more robust and usable preview features (ala macOS) and is lightweight (it’s also supported in Zotero via the Zotero QuickLook plugin).
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