relative paths with Zutilo

Hello Zotero friends,

I am trying to so the following:

I keep my attached pdf's separate from the metadata, and I work at two different computers with Zotero. Therefore, I make Zotfile move attachments automatically to my PDF-folder every time I add a new entry with a pdf to my bibliography, and have instructed Zotero to use relative paths, to be able to access them on both computers. This works wonderfully.

However, attachments to older items seem to be stored with absolute paths and on my work computer the links to them are broken. With the 'Show attachment path' option in Zutilo, I see they are stored like this:


Whereas the newer links with relative paths are stored like this:


So I'd like to change the older links to use relative paths as well. However, the 'Modify attachment path' option in Zutilo won't let me do that.

(Hope I made this clear...)

Is there a way to do this, without having to re-attach >1000 files manually?

Thanks for any tips!

  • are you positive you have both of your computers set to relative links and synced?
  • Hello valentijn,

    You can do what you need to do with Zutilo. I just did it.

    I had a somewhat different problem that ultimately originated from the same issue as you describe: the links stored as "attachments:(relative file directory)/(filename). Note that the "/" is different from the "\" that my Windows machines would expect. I am not sure why that change occurred, and check that it is not an issue for you as well. I am syncing with Dropbox so that is perhaps where the issue originated. I am not sure.

    To make the edits in Zutilo:
    (1) Select the option to change attachment paths from Zutilo context menu
    (2) Enter "E:\ZoteroPDF\" into the first box (do not include the "s)
    (3) Enter "attachments:" in the second box
    If you also need to change the slash direction
    (4) Again select to change attachment paths
    (5) Enter "\" into the first box AND select change all instances checkbox
    (6) Enter "/" into the second box

    That should do it. Hope it helps.
  • Hello -

    I have a similar issue. For the documents I can find, using Zutilo seems to work although on my first attempt the two files stopped responding to zutilo right-click. Somehow the filename didn't get fixed properly and zutio would not allow me to change them. I was able to use keyboard shortcuts to work around the functionality not responding to mouse right-click.

    How can I identify the files that are using relative addressing in order to change them? Is there a way to do that using advanced search?

    I have not found a query that works for me.

    Thank you.
  • For an explanation of Zutilo's "Modify attachment paths" function, see here.

    You only need to fix broken attachments. To find them, you could use the Zotero Storage Scanner add-on, which adds #broken_attachments tags to broken attachments. (I think selecting "Tools" -> "Storage Scanner" will update these tags.)
  • @qqbb thanks for the tip about Storage Scanner.
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