Trouble with Renaming Pdfs in Zotero

Hello, I've recently migrated to Zotero from Mendeley.

Since my pdf titles were very disorganized in the Mendeley cloud, I'm trying to rename all my imported pdfs within Zotero according to parent metadata.
Here are some of the ways I tried to do this so far.

1) Individually right-click on each pdf child item and hit "Rename File from Parent Metadata." But this would be painstaking to do for all the entries in my library.

2) Ctl+A to select all and right-click, but the option "Rename File . . ." is unavailable if I do this.

3) Make an advanced search (Attachment type: PDF) and hit ctl+A, but the option "Rename File" is still unavailable.
I suspect this happens because in some entries, I have pdf links instead of pdf files (which the advanced search attachment type "PDF" doesn't differentiate). I've tried to change the links into actual pdf files--at least the links I could manually find by scrolling down, since I couldn't find a way to search just the entries with pdf links.. But there is still no option for renaming pdfs when I right-click.

Is there an easy way to select just all the pdf files and rename them according to parent metadata within Zotero?
  • 3. should absolutely work, including for links. Are you doing this in the saved search created from the advanced search? If so, could you post a screenshot that shows select all and the right-click context menu to any free image hosting site (, Dropbox, etc.) and link to it here?
  • This is the settings for my saved search:

    And this is what the right-click menu looks like after I select all:
  • You have to deselect any top-level attachments that were selected, since those don't have parent items.
  • As far as I know, the advanced search for PDF+ ctlA seems to select only the pdf child items (all under parent items):

    I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, but there is still no right click menu for rename..
  • the advanced search for PDF+ ctlA seems to select only the pdf child items
    No, it doesn't — if you choose Attachment File Type is PDF and have a top-level PDF, it will be selected.
  • Could you clarify what a top-level PDF is? I took it to mean standalone pdf files that are without parent item, but all pdf files in my library right now are under parent entries.
  • edited October 29, 2021
    Yes, a standalone PDF. It's the main reason you wouldn't see "Rename File from Parent Metadata" for this. You can quickly check whether there are any by selecting "Show only top-level items" in the search.

    If it's not that, you'll have to look through the results, or selectively select them, and figure out what causes the menu to change.
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