Zotero 6.0 and note formatting

Hello. I've just updated to Zotero 6.0 and the formatting of my preexisting notes was changed. They all went from justified to left alignment, and I found no way of putting them back to justified.

I'd like to know if:

1) There's a way to put them all back the way they were, "automatically".

2) There's a way to justify the text "manually".

I imagine this information is around somewhere, but I just can't find it. The left-click on the note text, which previously gave the option to justify the text, doesn't show this option anymore.

Thanks.
  • I now also noticed the option to indent a paragraph (which I used a lot) is also apparently missing. Is it somewhere and I'm not finding it? Or is there a workaround? Thanks.
  • It appears that there's still a way to format text as a block quote in the text formatting dropdown (the Aa icon). It's the last choice on the list. It's not really indenting, but I use it to flag direct quotes if there's any ambiguity.
  • You can also just start a line with > for blockquoting
  • Thanks for the answers!

    Problem is, I don't use indenting as "just a different way to blockquote"... I organize many notes as "trees" of indented comments, in several "levels", and I can't reproduce that with blockquotes (I think, at least).

    Any tips about the paragraph justification?

    One more thing (this one I think is clearer with an example): I organize some notes (basically short quotations) around titles starting with the page number. For example, from a book about Portuguese history:

    113. King Carlos I on foreign policy in 1905
    158-159. An evaluation of the reign of Manuel II
    181. On the overseas budget of 1891

    Previously, these notes would be presented in the order above - that's why I started taking (this kind of) notes in this way, so I could be sure of the way they would show up in my screen afterwards. But after the update this has changed and the notes now show up in the order

    113. King Carlos I on foreign policy in 1905
    181. On the overseas budget of 1891
    158-159. An evaluation of the reign of Manuel II

    That is, notes with "two numbers" are all pushed to the end of the queue. Ok, not a big deal if there are only three notes, but on books which merit a close reading I might end up with hundreds of notes and I would like a way to make sure they show up in the order I want... This looks simple, but if this breaks I will have much more trouble to look up things in my database because I organized a good chunk of it around this principle.

    Finally - is there backwards compatibility between the updated version and the previous one? I've only updated zotero on a computer I keep a small part of my library on. The main part of the database - not updated yet - has over 300,000 entries. I would not like to lose the indentations, etc., on this main library - it would make a mess of tens of thousands of notes.

    Can I just not update it?

    And if I don't, can I "export library" from an updated zotero library in one computer and import it to the un-updated zotero library in the other?

    Thanks. And last, but not least, Zotero is an amazing resource and I thank you all for your hard work building and keeping it.
  • edited March 19, 2022
    Problem is, I don't use indenting as "just a different way to blockquote"... I organize many notes as "trees" of indented comments, in several "levels", and I can't reproduce that with blockquotes (I think, at least).
    You can create multi-level block quotes: type >, press space to expand it into a block quote, type another >, press space, and so on. Pressing enter once will create a new paragraph inside the same block quote, and pressing enter again will decrease the quote level.
  • notes with "two numbers" are all pushed to the end of the queue.
    That's a bug. Thanks for reporting - we're working on a fix.
    Finally - is there backwards compatibility between the updated version and the previous one? I've only updated zotero on a computer I keep a small part of my library on. The main part of the database - not updated yet - has over 300,000 entries. I would not like to lose the indentations, etc., on this main library - it would make a mess of tens of thousands of notes.

    Can I just not update it?
    Older versions of Zotero will eventually no longer sync with zotero.org, but in the short term sticking with Zotero 5 is fine.
    And if I don't, can I "export library" from an updated zotero library in one computer and import it to the un-updated zotero library in the other?
    Yes, that will work fine, although any items you create using the new Preprint type in Zotero 6 won't be able to be imported as that type in Zotero 5.
  • Thank you!

    I don't use sync anyway (library is too large for it). I'll keep the main library on Zotero 5 for now then.

    The blockquote workaround does work - it doesn't look great on the screen, but it works and that's what matters. Thanks.

    Justification of paragraphs?
  • Don't use export — that will reset Date Added/Modified for all items, will break links to citations in any existing word processor documents, and may lose various bits of data, as well as risking creating duplicates.

    Also, there's no reason you can't use syncing with 300K items. Are you saying this because the last you tried was with Zotero 4? Zotero 5 introduced a completely new syncing system specifically designed to support syncing of larger libraries.
  • edited March 20, 2022
    @tcarv:

    Justification isn't supported. That's pretty much just a layout that print publications use for aesthetic reasons — it results in awkward gaps between words and letters that make things harder to read. Why would you want that in your own digital notes?
    I organize many notes as "trees" of indented comments, in several "levels"
    Unordered lists do this — you can indent those with Tab/Shift-Tab.
  • hi!
    I am very happy about Zotero 6. I just wonder about new improvements about justify the notes for both side?
  • edited March 23, 2022
    @dstillman I guess this is a matter of taste. I like justification very much, as it gives me a sense or order and clarity, likely because it reminds me somehow the typesetting of a book. You're right, since it isn't a real typesetting (it's no LaTeX!), with justification one ends up also with gaps, irregular spaces etc. However, I'm really disturbed by uneven textual margins, much more than by such gaps.
    It's a subjective preference, but from this thread I can see that it might shared also by other users. Since the justification option was available in Zotero 5, why shouldn't be supported in Zotero 6? I hope you may accept this request.
  • @tcarv: 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.
  • @dstillman Thank you ! Great that paragraph indenting is back.

    On justification, well, I see that others share my strong subjective preference for its aesthetics... I also used it as a marker (e.g., when working a text for later revision in notes, I used to leave unrevised text left-aligned and already revised text justified).

    On syncing, it's been a long time I've tried to sync my library. Good to know it shoud work, but I don't really want to do it anymore, I distrust clouds and prefer to backup manually.

    The two drawbacks you mention about the export function - breaking links in word processors and resetting date added/modified - do not trouble me. I take care with the duplicates, I haven't had any problem with that.

    My only real concern would be "losing various bits of data"... How serious is this problem? I haven't noticed it happening, to be honest, but it certainly could happen under the radar with the number of notes I have...

    Thank you again!
  • My only real concern would be "losing various bits of data"... How serious is this problem?
    It would be things like this. It's just much harder to keep RDF export/import in sync with the data model, so little bugs like this tend to happen every now and then.
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