Copy attachments to directory

I have an old collection of references (pdf's, websites, images etc.) and I would simply like to just bulk copy these into a directory on my harddrive for storage to make space.

I'm aware I can individually drag and drop by selecting each individual item but is there a way to do this by exporting or narrowing the search within this collection to just select attachments?

Thank you.
  • You can construct a search that matches just the attachments, use Select All, and drag those together to the filesystem, yes.

    You might be able to do that (or get close enough to adjust by hand with modifier keys) from the search bar, by searching for "PDF" or similar. Otherwise, you can do it by creating one saved search for [Collection] [is] ["Collection Name"] with "Include parent and child items of matching items" and then creating a second saved search for [Collection] [is] ["name of first saved search"] and [Attachment File Type] [is] [PDF].

    Again, Select All in the items list will match the results of the search.

    (Selecting child items in collections is a little complicated now, hence the two searches, but we'll make this easier in the future.)
  • can this be done with the attachments? that is, could the attachments be batch copied to a folder by dragging and dropping (or by other methods)?
  • The above works (in fact is explicitly) for attachments, yes.
  • edited July 13, 2021
    Hello -

    This does not work for me (for linked attachments). I have a collection, I select all (it selects the parent items), I drag/drop and nothing. If I hold CTRL and individually select the attached linked files and drag those, it will copy the files.

    And since there does not appear any way to instruct Zotero to select the attachments instead of the parent item in a collection, this becomes very tedious if there are many files. Is this behavior by design? or an oversight with the drag/drop capability? or user error?

    I'm using a Windows 10 machine.

    Please help!
  • You're missing the first step:
    You can construct a search that matches just the attachments
    You'd have to do that first.
  • Thank you, @adamsmith !

    This feature is so extremely useful and helpful. After creating the search, the drag/drop worked perfectly. I completely missed that as a requirement. It was a little counter-intuitive that the functionality would not be globally available in "static" collections as well.
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