Some options in the note feature feel missing


I open a new thread following a previous discussion about the new "note" panel.

Some options I found very useful and used a lot feel missing :
- Indenting a paragraph
- Coloring text : we can highlight text but not change it's color. However if I copy paste some colored text from another text editor the color appears well. This leads me to write my sums-up in a separate text editor and then copy-paste them in Zotero's note panel, which is way less convenient than before
- I can't find any button to add a picture to the notes

Also I just noticed the "lists" options are back, maybe it would be more intuitive if it was not in the same menu as headings styles and bold mode etc.

Speaking about headings, the new styles of headings (title1/2/3) looks like "only" bold text, which also leads me to copy-paste titles from another text editor. Previous headings style were very nice, underlined by full length lines which looked like a separator for example.

Also, I think a lot of people would love to see a "dark theme" mode released.

  • edited March 21, 2022
    I can't find any button to add a picture to the notes
    Zotero 5 didn't support images in notes at all — the fact that it worked at all was a fluke, and it broke syncing.

    Zotero 6 officially supports images in notes — you can drag them in. They're saved as attachments and count against your file storage quota. It's not currently possible to paste in images but that's planned. See below.
    Also I just noticed the "lists" options are back, maybe it would be more intuitive if it was not in the same menu as headings styles and bold mode etc.
    They're basically paragraph styles, the same as the other options in the bottom half of the popup. Note that you can use Markdown-style syntax to quickly start ordered and unordered lists.
    Indenting a paragraph
    You're not the only one to request this, but can you explain what you need this for and why nested lists or blockquotes aren't sufficient?
  • This may be a minor issue for most, but I'm pretty upset that the highlighter colors have been reduced to only 5. There were way more than that before and I heavily utilized the variety of colors and shades. I don't understand this change so I hope it gets fixed asap!
  • edited March 20, 2022
    (Thx for the amazing work with 6/iOS versions)

    @dstillman Just one question : What do you mean by "They're saved as attachments" ?

    I noticed that when we add to note a select area, the image is stored in Cache>Library.

    But I can't find where the images are stored with a drag & drop.
  • edited March 20, 2022
    @olissen: Previously, images pasted into notes were just note content stored in the database, which is why they caused performance problems and broke syncing — notes just weren't meant to be that big. In Zotero 6, images added to notes are automatically saved as files within your Zotero data directory and synced the same as other attachment files.
  • edited March 20, 2022

    After reading your answer, I confirm that I've just located the image (drag & drop) on the "Storage" Folder.

    After some trials, I've noticed that the image is erased from "Storage" we delete the note & empty trash. Nonetheless, if we only suppress the image from the note, the image is still present in "Storage". It's not a big deal but it could be problematic for people with few online storage available.

    One more time : I'm an old 'Zotero user' but I'm impress with this updates.
  • edited March 20, 2022
    @martynas_b can confirm the specifics, but images should be automatically removed from 'storage'. I believe they're kept around for a while in case you undo. E.g., if I remove an image from a note, it's deleted when I quit Zotero.
  • Unused image files are deleted when all instances of the note are closed.
  • edited March 21, 2022
    Sorry, to correct something I said above, pasting images from the web is already supported in the new editor. It's just pasting image files from the filesystem, which before only semi-worked by accident on Windows (and still broke syncing), that isn't.
  • I also vote for paragraph indenting!

    I was hoping that the update would not only have that but finally expose a way to have a keyboard shortcut for it!

    (even just being able to navigate to the commands with the keyboard somehow with a series of several keys would work, such that I could autohotkey it)

    I am actually very happy to use plain text notes for a lot of things, but for me I rely specifically on paragraph indenting to organize things hierarchically.
    Not being able to quickly change indent level with the keyboard is one reason that I haven't used Zotero notes seriously in the past and have used other tools.
  • edited March 21, 2022
    Lists (which you can start with Markdown syntax) support indenting and unindenting with Tab/Shift-Tab.

    We'll think about restoring paragraph indentation.
  • I would also like indenting without the numbered list symbols from Markdown syntax! I organize my notes in outline form, and numbered/bulleted lists have a concrete function within that format that do not have to do with indentation (per se). Not being able to indent (without a bullet or number) throws off my entire note organization and makes it difficult and confusing to process. I agree with moore.709 and LBoban.
  • Sorry, to correct something I said above, pasting images from the web is already supported in the new editor.
    Could you say how -- I'm trying on Windows in 6.0-beta.12+388d18d01 and am not finding any way to paste web images into notes
  • edited March 21, 2022
    Go to, right-click on image, Copy Image, Cmd/Ctrl-V into note. Test with Chrome and Firefox on macOS.
  • Interesting -- on Windows works with Chrome and Edge(ium) but not Firefox for me (I have tons of add-ons in FF, so could be related to that, but pasting into Word, say, FF and Chrome behave identically)
  • edited March 21, 2022
    That is interesting that "copy image" from a browser does something special. It does work for me from Edge right now.

    How is that different from the Windows Clipboard, and can they be merged somehow?
    (because I personally prefer Clipboard for arbitrary image sources, but, hey - I can ask :) )

    It looks like both methods -- Copy-Image-in-Edge and screenshot-to-Clipboard -- both generate a file entry in my preferred clipboard ring, but only pasting from Copy-Image-in-Edge works in the zotero Note.
    So maybe does the code in zotero depend on a specific piece of metadata that could be more flexible?
  • Interesting -- on Windows works with Chrome and Edge(ium) but not Firefox for me (I have tons of add-ons in FF, so could be related to that
    Thank you for posting, @adamsmith! I thought i was going nuts. It doesn't work for me on FF (2 addons -- Integration for LO and Word), but it does on Chrome.
  • I completely agree on paragraph indentation and text color, they are definitely missing. I was using both of them as "codes" and their absence is annoying.

    Paragraph indentation is not a "quote within a quote", but a hierarchical organization of different sections, sometimes even very long.

    The note toolbar is half empty, and frankly it would be great to have some of the old tools back at one-click distance

  • I also add my vote to the restoration of paragraph indentation and text color function. Those two functions have played such an important role in my note organization, and I am missing them dearly.

    As for the indentation, I am well aware of the tab/shift+tab shortcut, but the indentation function provided by the old note editor had the state of the art user-friendliness.

    Thank you very much.
  • Hi everyone,

    thanks for the update ! But I agree with the lack of changing notes coulours and the diversity of paragraph titles. I rely heavily on those tools to identify quickly something in my notes and their disappearance is uncomfortable.

    Thanks !
  • @dstillman @adamsmith hi, are y'all considering restoring highlight color options? please let me know if i missed something, but i haven't seen it addressed yet. thank you!
  • We've restored paragraph indenting in 6.0.3, available now via Help → Check for Updates. You can press Tab and Shift-Tab to indent and unindent the current paragraph.
  • Hi everyone.
    I'm pleased that someone has posted about this. I've just updated to Zotero 6.0 and am very disappointed to discover that I can no longer use different font-colours in notes as I could before. I rely on this heavily in my note-taking - to the extent that note-taking is almost useless to me without this feature. I'm going to try using the text-highlighting feature instead, in the meantime - but to my eyes this makes the text quite hard to read.

    I really hope you decide to add font colours back in again!
  • Thanks for restoring paragraph indentation. But I still badly miss colored text, and all the highlight colors of the rainbow! Please, please restore them! Make the update a better Zotero, not the other way around.
  • @jamesmooney dstillman noted elsewhere that they're bringing font colors back, too.
  • We've restored the ability to paste images into notes on Windows in the latest Zotero beta, and if there are no problems it will be included in 6.0.5 soon. If you try the beta, let us know in a new thread if you run into any trouble.
  • @dstillman Hi, thank you very much for your work. I found that the new notes are not plain-text compatible.
    Some information are lost or modified when copying notes to plain text editors:
    - Tab indentations, bullets, existing empty lines are all removed.
    - Extra empty lines are added between paragraphs.

    Some behaviors are similar to OneNote, but this is the exact reason why I do not use OneNote to write code or maths notes. I would much like to have reliable plain text editor options.
    Can we have options such as: converting tab to spaces, turning off auto bullet list when typing "- ", keeping empty lines. The new OneNote-like autocorrect features are good enough in some cases, but options to turn them off are much necessary.
  • @tranhungnghiep: Zotero 6 supports Markdown export, so notes are more compatible with plain-text editors than ever. You can use Quick Copy on the note item in the middle pane to copy Markdown to the clipboard. We'll try to improve plain-text copying of selected sections of notes — that should indeed be more equivalent.

    (Please start new threads for other requests.)
  • edited April 5, 2022
    First: Thanks for the great work on zotero 6!

    @dstillman I also miss the option to color text in the notes editor because I've been using it to discern cited text (black) from my own comments on the text (blue). This way I was always sure what I copied from a text and what my own thoughts on the text were — and I would see it at a glance. Maybe there's a different way to distinuish citations from comments but I've always found text coloring to be very intuitive and super helpful to achieve this.

    Relatedly: I love the new pdf editor and like that it allows to add comments to highlited (cited) text in the annotations. And of course it's wonderful that highlighted text is put in quotation marks automatically, while the comments are placed outside of them. I still wonder, however, whether there's a way to configure the editor in a way that all comments will be displayed in a different text color (say blue) when creating a note from the annotations.
  • A couple of queries:

    1. Is it is possible to merge several notes into one? For example, I might make 10 notes on articles on ships then wish to merge them into a big note called Ship for reference.

    2. Headings 1,2,3 all appear as the same on Word via the new notes plugin. All as normal/12pt/bold. Although Word Styles recognises them as Headings 1,2,3 even though they look the same. Is there a way to alter this?
  • The image pasting into the notes does not work on macOS with either Safari, Chrome and Firefox (tried with the Mona Lisa example), nor does moving an image from the system to the note.
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