Zotero 6 Open in External Reader

Is there a way to open files in the default external pdf reader rather than the integrated reader? Something a little bit easier than "show file" and "open"?
  • You can set the PDF reader from the General pane as the preferences, as before.
  • Works for me, might be nice to have an "open with..." in the right click menu
  • edited March 19, 2022
    @emilianoeheyns Could you maybe whip up an Open in External Reader plugin? This is a fairly common request
  • Sure, I'll take a look.
  • You can take a look at DOI manager for a prefpane UI if you need one
  • A few pressing problems in other plugins to deal with first though. Might not be this weekend.
  • Would this need to have a prefpane though? It could either just only offer the option in the right-click menu if the default is "Zotero", or offer the opposite option depending on what was configured in Zotero.
  • Is there a way to open files in the default external pdf reader rather than the integrated reader?
    The ZoteroQuickLook add-on allows you to specify a custom viewer. It provides a shortcut and a context menu option for the viewer. The release version is currently broken, but the fix isn't complicated, see here and here. I'm planning to create a pull request soon with some additional improvements. My current version can select the best attachment in case there's more than one. It also fixes issues related to notes. I was looking into making it a bootstrapped extension, so there's no need to restart Zotero. We could also think about adding a new preference, so it uses the default external viewer. This could be the default in case no QuickLook tool is found.
    Something a little bit easier than "show file" and "open"?
    The Zutilo add-on provides a shortcut for "Show File".
  • @bwiernik would it provide more value to update ZQL rather than create a new plugin?
  • edited April 30, 2022
    I can see value in a separate plugin as it could be less complex. It would be nice if you could add the option "Open PDF in External Reader" with a PDF icon below "Open PDF in New Window". One would need to warn users that editing the PDF in the external program can interfere with annotations in Zotero's PDF reader, though.
  • I'd like to second that request to add an "Open in External Reader" option to the right-click menu. I really appreciate the functionality of the Zotero pdf reader for adding notes to my pdfs, but for some reason it performs poorly for printing pdfs.
    Having a more efficient way to switch to Acrobat would be nice.
    Thanks @emilianoeheyns
  • @qqbb that warning would also have to be present when Zotero is set top open the PDF externally by default? I'll just follow the Zotero behavior on this one (also: I do not like doing UI work, so I'll gladly reuse whatever UI Zotero wants to put up here).
  • that warning would also have to be present when Zotero is set top open the PDF externally by default?
    No, because in that case you're not using the built-in PDF reader, so there are no Zotero annotations that would get out of sync if you alter pages. (Note, BTW, that deleting and rotating pages can be done now be done within Zotero itself in the latest beta, and soon in 6.0.9.)

    Anyhow, this would just be a confirmEx, but I think if someone goes to the trouble of finding and installing this plugin, they take responsibility for what might happen. I would just add a warning to the GitHub readme that modifying PDFs outside of Zotero (e.g., deleting, moving, or rotating pages) may result in inconsistencies with Zotero-created annotations.
  • there are no Zotero annotations that would get out of sync if you alter pages.
    there would be if you changed the default to external after having used the zotero reader for annotations.

    Confirmex would be easy enough, but having to click trough that every time would be pretty annoying.
  • You can add a checkbox with confirmEx to not show again.
  • @emilianoeheyns Thank you, that was quick!
    I see the right-click menu now, but it doesn't open the external viewer (Acrobat Pro; set as standard option for pdfs in Win10; Zotero 6.0.8). Tried to figure out what could be the issue in the 'zotero-open-pdf.ts' file, but couldn't wrap my head around it.
  • @emilianoeheyns Thank you very much! That is so helpful!
  • @donauprinzessin please open an issue on github

    @dstillman I'll add the confirmex. Any suggestions for the text to display?
  • @emilianoeheyns: Thanks for the plugin!
    I would just add a warning to the GitHub readme that modifying PDFs outside of Zotero (e.g., deleting, moving, or rotating pages) may result in inconsistencies with Zotero-created annotations.
    I added this warning to the GitHub readme in a PR. I don't think that it's necessary to create a prompt.
    I see the right-click menu now, but it doesn't open the external viewer
    This should be fixed in another PR.

    @dstillman: Could you perhaps add "PDF" to these labels? The open-pdf plugin is using them and the context menu would look more uniform with "Open PDF in External Viewer". (I'm not sure where the property strings are currently being used in Zotero.)

    (BTW, I was able to turn ZQL into a bootstrapped plugin following the Zutilo code, but there're still some things to fix, so I'll probably create a PR later this year.)
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