Zotero PDF Reader: Why are annotations by other users locked?

When several people comment on a PDF, the annotations by other users are locked: They have a little lock icon, and cannot be modified by other users (bar deletion).

Is it possible to unlock those notes?
  • Why should you be able to edit other people's annotations, with their names on them? It's no different from comments in, say, Google Docs, where you can't edit other people's comments. Admins can delete them, but that's it.

    It may be possible to reply to annotations in a future version.
  • I agree that it's the same as google docs, but it's not the same as other things in Zotero. :) Anybody [with edit rights] can can edit notes, anybody can edit item metadata. I was surprised that annotations are different.

    What would be wrong with admins being able to unlock and take over the note? The user name could show the admin's user name. That would effectively be the same as deleting and recreating the note, but with far fewer steps!

    More generally speaking, if the user-based control is something that's going to make it into other parts of Zotero, I would certainly be all for more fine-grained rights in shared libraries, e.g., restricting the ability to delete anything to admins. That would be really helpful in our large group libraries (where things do get deleted by accident).
  • Don't understand it either, we use notes to instruct others to do something, but they cannot delete the note or edit it as completed
  • It would make sense to me to be able to edit annotations and have both user’s names next to them. Particularly because annotations can later be inserted as citations into documents.
  • For collaboration I think being able to reply to others' annotations would be super useful.
  • I agree that all annotations should be editable. I frequently receive pdfs from another agency that may have their personal highlights on them. But when I put it in my library, it's my personal copy now, not theirs anymore. I'd like to be able to remove their highlights before adding my own.
  • @amc Importing and deleting annotations from native PDF annotations is already possible.

    Or are those annotations made in Zotero in a Zotero group?
    I forgot what happens with those when you move a document from a group to My Library, but that'd seem like a different topic than actually editing them within the group -- so test out what happens with that and start a new thread if that doesn't work for you.
  • (When you drag a PDF from a group to a personal library Zotero-created annotations become editable.)
  • I have a pdf file associated with an item (say, Book). This item is accidentally added to multiple collections. I have notes in one of the copies, and later I decided to merge these copies together. After merging, some of the notes are not editable. It would be helpful to allow me, as the admin, to unlock the notes. @amc I support your view. @adamsmith are you saying that I can edit or delete locked notes directly using the native PDF reader?
  • edited July 27, 2022
    @franciswong: I think you may be misunderstanding this. This thread is about annotations created by other Zotero users in group libraries. If you're talking about embedded annotations in PDFs in your personal library, you just need to use File → Import Attachments to make them editable in Zotero, and that has nothing to do with this thread. See Annotations in Database for more info.

    (Also, to be clear, if you add an item in Zotero to multiple collections, you don't have duplicate items, and there's nothing to merge. And if you're actually talking about separate items that you merged, that wouldn't have anything to do with this annotations.)
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