PDF reader feature request: open the same pdf twice in split screen

This is necessary to view and mark up both main text and footnotes of a book at the same time.

This could be done in one of two ways:

1. Include split screen as a feature in Zotero PDF reader, and allow users to open the same pdf on both sides.

2. Include an option in Zotero preferences to automatically import/convert external annotations. Users will be able to open the document in an external PDF reader, view in split screen via iOS/Mac OS, and mark up the external version counting on those annotations to appear as editable in Zotero later on.

  • +1

    This is why I still need to use Skim for pdf reading.
  • I use a horizontal split screen in Acrobat constantly to view endnotes below the main text. Would love a feature like this.
  • Not quite the same thing, but note that you can open a PDF in a separate window, even if it's open in a tab, by Shift-double-clicking in the items list.
  • @dstillman makes a good suggestion, but there is a use common case which can be significantly improved by viewing all of these three things at the same time:

    - Zotero library
    - PDF main content
    - PDF references section

    This use case presents when reviewing a PDF as part of a lit review and adding/categorising multiple references from that PDF to the Zotero library.

    Adding a split view feature (such as in Acrobat or Word) would make this super easy, so I'd +1 this feature request for sure.
  • +1
    It is effectively to read the paper and check the figure which is on another page
  • Appreciate @dstillman's suggestion as a workaround to open the same pdf twice – and would nevertheless like a genuine split window option as suggested by the OP (option 1). Thanks for considering.
  • +1
    was just looking for this feature. Will be using an external editor in the meantime, but it would be great if it is integrated with Zotero
  • +1
    This feature would be really helpful. If this is to be adopted, please consider adding vertical as well as horizontal split screen mode. Many articles in Japanese are written vertically, in which case horizontal split screen does not come in handy.
  • +1
    I frequently need to check the references while reading a paper. This feature will be really helpful.
  • Not a split view, but we've added a Duplicate Tab context-menu option in Zotero 6.0.6, available now.
  • +1
    The split view hugely enhances the productivity and smooths the workflow. It also reduces the distractions of viewing the same PDF in another tab using the duplicate feature, though it is useful in its own way.
  • Would love this feature. The only reason I am still sticking to pdf expert.
  • @resol342 How exactly are you using split view? What is your workflow?
  • @martynas_b I find my reading more efficient when I open the same pdf twice on the left and right side of the screen (currently using pdf expert to achieve this). I use the left side version to read the text while scroll the right side to the corresponding figures. I have recorded a video to better illustrate this. I would really appreciate it if this can be implemented. https://www.dropbox.com/s/ncw281iwp6ymr3j/Screen Recording 2022-06-15 at 9.12.45 AM.mov?dl=0
  • +1
    This is also one of the reasons I am sticking to PDF Expert for the time being… Whilst the workaround works, it is too fiddly for me…

    I hope this can be implemented at some point.
  • +1
    Same here. Jumping back and forth between a mention of a reference and the reference is very time consuming.
  • +1 Would really appreciate to have an option to open same/different files in split screen.
  • +1 I agree this feature would be valuable to see footnotes, bibliography, or figures/tables at the same time as the main text
  • +1
    this would be really appreciated. It will save the time in scrolling to the references and back, or having to open the PDF in a separate window.
  • edited September 30, 2022
    In the latest Zotero beta, we've added Split Horizontally and Split Vertically options to the PDF reader View menu and context menu.

    The second view is just a plain PDF view without annotations, intended primarily for viewing references and endnotes without having to jump back and forth (though there are also shortcut keys, a toolbar button, menu options, and mouse buttons for that). Split views will be preserved across restarts.
  • Great! Thanks everyone who worked on this!
  • The split view is now available in Zotero 6.0.15.
  • It's a great new feature! How to open internal link the the split view?
    Is there a shortcut/hotkey to open/jump an internal hyperlink in the second pane?
    Are the a plans for it in the future?
  • Terrific, thanks!
  • edited October 4, 2022
    Another question: if I click on a bookmark/document outline entry in the left pane, only the original pane will navigate to it, even if I'm sure the second pane is active (by highlighting a word). It would be nice to be able to navigate to bookmarks with whatever pane is active. Thanks.
    Edit: a similar limit happens with 'find' (ctrl + f won't bring up a find window if the second pane is active).
  • edited October 5, 2022
    Yes, most UI actions will currently apply only to the original view. We'll see what we can do to support more things in the split view (annotations, find, etc.), as well as more options for triggering the split view, but there are some technical challenges, so it may take a little while. We wanted to push this out first to address the most common use case.
  • Thanks for the clarification. I've already been using the split screen a lot as is, and it is extremely useful.
  • Thank you for the nice new feature! I think it would be very useful if the split screen view could remember the last page location on which it was opened to allow hiding it when it isn't needed (currently after hiding and re-enabling it, it shows the same location as in the main view, but I think there are very few cases where that is the desired behaviour).
  • Thank you for adding this splendid feature!
  • Having used the great split-view feature I second the wish of having the annotation tool in the split view as well. It's mostly endnotes and bibliographic data there and I'd find annotations there equally important.
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