Feature request: colours and tags

edited November 26, 2018
Hello all,
I've got feature request(s) regarding coloured tags.

(1) It would be amazing to be able to select my own 9 colours (or just get a broader choice of more primary colours)

(2) It would be amazing to be able to assign more than 9 colours (even if those then didn't have shortcuts, even more amazing would be additional shortcuts, such as plain letters->See next message.)

(3) It would be amazing if the bottom-left tag window has a 'remove colour' option in the right-click menu (so you don't have to go to the main menu)

(4) It would be amazing if it was possible to drag tags from bottom left into middle pane to add tag to one or several selected items.--> Not needed.

Not really as a feature request, but as food for thought:

(5) Could the bottom-left tag window has an 'assign next available colour / key' option in the right-click menu (so you don't have to go to the main menu)?-->Not needed

(6) Would it be feasible to be able to label the little colour block (that appears in front of the item) e.g. with a letter or a number? I.e. in the colour selection menu, also be able to add a letter (or even a short string, that lengthens the block)? Or show the first three characters of the tag? That could be helpful, esp if there were more colours...

Thanks!
Bjoern
  • (2) … even more amazing would be additional shortcuts, such as plain letters
    Plain letters would interfere with find-as-you-type navigation of the list.
    (4) It would be amazing if it was possible to drag tags from bottom left into middle pane to add tag to one or several selected items.
    I assume you know you can drag items to tags? Going the other way doesn't really work — it'd be OK for a single item, but dragging something onto a selection of multiple entries to assign it goes against standard UX conventions. Dragging the other way is the standard approach.
    (5) Could the bottom-left tag window has an 'assign next available colour / key' option in the right-click menu (so you don't have to go to the main menu)?
    It already automatically chooses an available color and the next available number when you select "Assign Color…", and you can just hit Enter to assign it, which takes a split second, so I don't think that's worth the extra menu clutter.
  • No, I did not know about the dragging - that's very useful! Thanks also for the other comments, that's great. I've amended the request accordingly!
  • Just to say that I am still interested in this. I would love to have a broader palette of colours (e.g. Red, Blue, cyan, green, yellow, orange, purple, magenta, brown, black, while). Also it would be really helpful to have more than 9 colours (where anything above 9 doesn't have a keyboard shortcut).
  • Me and probably other partially color-blind users would also like the ability to pick a wider range of colors -- many of the existing ones look the same to me.
  • Yes, I agree, that's another important use case. I find the colours quite close as well... and that's without being colour-blind! I would also love it if the coloured tags could have the hotkey number or an assignable letter/UTF-character/symbol on them...
  • Btw. I don't really mind about the user interface for this - if the colours were settable in the hidden prefs, that would be a great step forward!
  • @dstillman just wondering whether this could be added to the issue tracker too?
  • Hello @dstillman - just a gentle reminder :)
  • @dstillman - just another gentle reminder! :)
  • @realtime99, @redes.diego. Just to summarise:

    (1) Able to select my own 9 colours

    (2) Able to add a UTF character to the coloured dot in the middle pane (e.g., in the colour selection menu, also be able to add a letter)

    (3) Assign more than 9 colours (even if those then didn't have shortcuts)

    (4) It would be amazing if the bottom-left tag window has a 'remove colour' option in the right-click menu (so you don't have to go to the main menu)

    The colours synchronise across users of a library, so a hidden pref might not work. I wonder whether some of this could be done with an extension? (@emilianoheyns ?)
  • I haven't found a manner to sync plugin data that would be robust. The only stuff that syncs cleanly that I could (ab)use are notes and extra fields, but if you chuck "the" metadata note, you'd lose everything. I've tried abusing the rdf relations, (which do sync and are not exposed to the user) and broke my account horribly.
  • OK, so sync is hard. What if one didn't sync, but just kept this as local?

    E.g. (1) could a plugin be able to change existing colours for new colours, even if that was a local (hidden) preference?

    (2) Would a plugin be able to add 'decoration' to the existing colours dots? E.g., Trello can do patterns ontop of the colours. I think a character ontop of the colour would be great.

    (3) Would a plugin be able to add extra colours to tags (as a local preference), again, without sync?

    Certainly (1) and (2) would be great from an access perspective, and I think there's an argument for Zotero to include those. Item (3) might be more of an extension thing.
  • There's very little limit on what you can do. Some bits are harder to do than others. What you describe here will likely require runtime patching (aka monkey-patching), and that's an easy way to mess with zotero's stability. Great care must be taken,and you're going to run into a lot of cases where race conditions lurk. That said, my plugin are basically a big bunch of monkey patches. I do have a fairly extensive test suite.
  • Just searched and came up with this because I too would really love a colour label feature.
    Or better yet an organizing structure similar to Adobe bridge or lightroom where you're able to add colour labels and ratings from 1-5, and the sort feature can sort by ranking, ranking and higher, ranking and lower, one or multiple colour labels, positive flag, and negative flag.

    I really think this is the largest gap in Zotero right now (other than a decent multiplatform app with pdf syncing; papership is hurting)
  • I'm also still watching this thread for updates on improving this feature.
  • +1

    It would be really good to have this - it's also an accessibility issue.
  • I would love to have a larger array of color tags available (maybe 12 or 15 instead of 9?) and to be able to choose the colors in one's tagging menu. The orange and the salmon, for example, look really similar to one another, and it's difficult as I'm scrolling through the library to distinguish between them. Likewise, the two shades of blue look similar. It would be helpful to have more color options to choose from in order to create the most diverse palette possible, with each color being as distinctive as possible!
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