Zotero 5.0 multiple windows of zotero standalone

first of all thank you for all the great work on zotero, which features very high on my favorite softwares list. Upgrading to the new version of zotero, I had to switch from firefox version to standalone version, and love the new rss feed eatures.
However, I find myself missing one feature of the firefox version that I used all of the time while researching/writing, the ability to have multiple firefox windows with multiple zotero pannels open. I would have one windows with some filters selected, while another would have a different set of filters selected, and I could compare the item in both, or rapidly select one on a different topic while still having the main topic selected.
I am not sure how much of a edge case it is, but is there any way of having two zotero windows open at the same time? Or a tabbed system? Or anything that would easily make me switch between selections?
If not I guess I will have to get used to it :)
  • There is not currently an way of having two views open at one time, sorry. You can quickly switch between views using the Saved Search feature—right-click on the Library name in the left column and click "New Saved Search".
  • Yes I'd like this feature too. I see others asked for this some time back too https://forums.zotero.org/discussion/23754/multiple-windows-in-standalone
  • I'd like this too! In the firefox version, I could open multiple instances of firefox and open a zotero tab in each. This was VERY useful.
  • I would like to echo what other people have already said. With the Firefox extension soon becoming obsolete, I have switched to standalone and sorely miss the ability to have multiple windows of Zotero open simulataneously.

    Having different views saved does not help, as I specifically want to have different windows open that I then distribute over different workspaces. Please consider adding this functionality to Zotero standalone.
  • I totally agree. Multiple windows would be extremely useful.
  • I agree, especially since items in my main library and group libraries cannot be searched together
  • For me, the main function of multiple windows is to keep something selected (a specific note from a specific article of an specific collection) while I do check an info of an related paper (maybe to copy paste a reference in the note, or check if it is the right paper before adding it to the "Related:" field). Basically, it is pushing state in a stack while I do something else, and when I'm finished with something else I can close the new window and be right back where I want, instead of remembering where I was and deciding how is the best way to get back to it (two hotkeys for "save selected state" and "return to last saved state" would already avoid 90% of my problems with not having multiple windows).
    It does not seem much, but when I'm doing such work over my references my mind is already full of dates, authors names and paper titles, and the task gets much more frustrating by losing time because of a sudden blank in how to get back to the paper I was half a minute before. The way Zotero interface is right now, you can't work with two things at the same time (edit a note and search for something related) and this is very frustrating.
  • Agreed with all the posters, multiple windows at the same time become extremely useful when working with (somewhat) larger libraries.
  • And are there really no work-arounds? I don't want to mess up my current Zotero setup, but could I create another totally new instance of Zotero by logging out of windows, logging on as a different user and then re-install Zotero with a different data directory?
  • You don't need to log out. You can open multiple instances of Zotero with different data directories and sync between them. But you'd be duplicating your database (or at least specific libraries you've chosen to sync in the Sync prefs) in both data directories, and there are various other limitations when running multiple instances, so it's not a great solution. But it would work. You'd probably want to disable file syncing in one of the profiles.

    We might be able to add the ability to open multiple views in a future version.
  • Thanks Dan. I'm trying to figure this out. So is this really only possible through cygwin? And we really have to do 'Restart with Logging Enabled' and everything else?
  • No — it's just linking to the debug output logging section for the executable path. You just need to start Zotero from the command line to bring up the profile manager, the same as you would in Firefox.

    But to be clear, we're in no way recommending using multiple profiles to display multiple windows — using multiple profiles is an advanced configuration and not a good solution to this. This is just a feature that doesn't exist currently.
  • edited June 27, 2018
    (I do understand and appreciate your warnings, but I am really am eager to explore this intermediate sub-optimal solution while awaiting the more optimal one :) )

    Thanks. This did work. But so you may want to adjust the page you directed me to - because it is slightly misleading. For others struggling with the same problem: what I did on my Windows machine was to go into my Zotero folder that has the Zotero executable (in my case C:\Program Files (x86)\Zotero); to open a command prompt (or - in my case - a Powershell prompt); to type .\zotero.exe -p. (PowerShell does not load commands from the current location by default, so this is the way to execute 'trusted' programs). And that command did open the profile manager that we also had with Firefox and allowed me to define a new Profile folder.
  • I second this request. Multiple windows extremely useful to manage my 2+ gb library across mutliple groups. Multiple profiles is not a viable solutions at this moment in my case.
  • Hi, we would greatly need such a feature too. In particular when working with multiple literature folders (for instance when writing a proposal)
  • I discovered by accident on macOS that if I:

    1) click on the 'minimize' window button (yellow, middle), or instead type 'cmd-M'
    -- this causes Zotero to minimize into the macOS dock on the bottom of the screen

    2) Now choose on the Zotero menu (Window... Zotero), or merely type 'cmd-0'
    -- the result: it will pop open a new Zotero window

    We've seemingly arrived!

    I can then, for example, move the second Zotero window to another monitor, and actually browse different material in the database, and drag copy between collections, etc.

    I haven't spent too much time with this, but it seems to reliably work.

    In the "Window" menu, there are now two instances of "Zotero" that can be chosen to make active.

    Any reasons why I should not use this 'workaround'?

    It would seem to address some of the concerns on this thread, at least for the macOS platform.


    -- madison

  • madison437, you have no idea how much easier you've made my life with your comment!

    I'm busy sorting about ~1,000 sources into a hierarchy of ~60 subcollections I'm building, and it's been driving me NUTS that every single time I do anything with a subcollection -- rename it, move it, create another subcollection below it -- that I lose my place in my overall list of sources. And, vice-versa, that every time I go back to my list of sources, I lose my scroll position in the subcollections.

    I was so frustrated I found this forum post... and your hacks works. I can keep two windows side-by-side and drag from one to the other without losing my place! Hallelujah.

    It's working OK but not perfectly though -- I can drag and drop between windows onto folders and tags no problem. But still somewhat frustrating, when I create a new subcollection it navigates to that subcollection in *all* windows.

    Still, it's a big improvement. But I'd 100% welcome multiple windows as an officially supported feature. (NOT tabs, but windows -- my main use case is drag & drop without losing your place in either one.)
  • Folks, has anyone tried to emulate madison437's method in Windows? Does it work? How does one pull it off?
  • Multiple windows and better features for managing complex and large libraries are desperately needed, just reiterating...
  • just echoing mjbaldwin that this is also my use case and a feature i'd really appreciate - i use zotero for archival research and like to use collections a lot, so end up with a lot of nested folders. madison437's hack is great, but would love it if this was a supported feature!
  • I have the same need. Would be _massively_ helpful as I have large, complex libraries with many nested folders. Windows 10 user. Please!
  • I have a question about using multiple instances on Windows:
    The other day I think I was able to open multiple profiles just by adding the profile name in the command call. Today, I was not able to do that until I tried adding the -no-remote command-line flag.
    What would be the cause of that intermittent behavior? (Windows, Zotero, Firefox,...) Is there a way to avoid that?
  • Well, it looks like we all need multiple windows but this forum has been active for four years and nothing seems to have changed... :)
  • edited September 8, 2021
    Came across this currently while migrating from Mendeley.

    While resolving duplicates I kept having to go switch between search and "Duplicates" to resolve conflicts, e.g. one duplicate having the wrong file type or a file being attached to the wrong entry.

    Afterwards I am now trying to resolve the remaining PDFs, where metadata could not be obtained. In order to check if an equivalent item already exists, I have to jump back and forth between search and "unfiled items".

    Having multiple views is a very powerful workflow enhancement, please add it!

    Meanwhile the "create second profile" version works as a workaround. The downside being, that it won't work for purely-offline profiles or when the internet is not working.

    @acortinois We must not give up :P
  • Also have the same need for multiple windows! :)
  • Multiple windows would be fantastic, both for the library organisation, and the ability to pull out a tab from the tabbed interface.
  • edited December 27, 2021
    my vote to multiple windows at the end of 2021.

    On a side note, I think people asked for the multiple windows (to edit the same file) too for vs code, years ago. But seems in the case of vs code, there's something intrinsically limiting that makes this feature very hard to realize. I don't know if it is also the case here for Zotero. Would love to get some clarification from the developer.
  • Totally agree.
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