Request: Font Selection for Annotations

Hello, I’m looking to use Zotero to annotate papers as an astrophysics researcher with low vision, as a way to help me find details quickly after distilling a paper on a first/second pass.

Something I need that neither Zotero nor Highlights offers is the ability to choose a font and size for the collected notes.

I’m using across devices and have the fonts installed on iOS for use in other applications.

I use Atkinson Hyperlegible and OpenDyslexic3 for most of my reading but it doesn’t translate well to research papers. Once I’ve put in the work to distill a paper, it would make a world of difference to have an easier time reading the notes. I can screenshot equations for notes so that’s not an issue.

Please consider adding this feature.

Wishing all the best in the New Year.
  • edited January 2, 2023
    You can change the Note font size in the top menu under View --> "Note Font Size"

    You can change the font in the hidden preferences under note.font-family -- all fonts available via your standard browser should be available there. You need to have the font name exactly right for it to take effect.

    edit: sorry -- the above is for notes, it won't work for annotations. Leaving it here in case it's helpful since you can extract the annotations to a note.
  • edited January 2, 2023
    @jokingspace: Are you asking about the Zotero desktop app or the iOS app? And are you in fact asking about notes or about PDF annotations?

    In the desktop app, View → Font Size controls the interface font size, including annotations. As adamsmith says, View → Note Font Size controls the note font size, and you can customize the note font as well.

    On iOS, Zotero obeys the Dynamic Text system accessibility option in general, including for the comment in the annotation popup. It looks like it doesn't currently work for the annotation text itself or the selected tags, or in some cases in the annotation sidebar, so we'll try to fix that.

    We don't have any plans to make the interface font (which would apply to annotations) customizable on either platform.
  • edited January 5, 2023
    @adamsmith: Thanks for the tip regarding note.fontFamily; I was able to use the fonts I had installed on the desktop version without issue!

    @dstillman: I was asking about font customization for both notes and annotations on the desktop and iOS/iPadOS apps. Apologies for the ambiguity.

    On desktop, between the view settings (font, note font), note.fontFamily, and scalable sidebar I'm actually good to make do (though a native dark mode would be wonderful).

    However, my iPad is my main assistive device and use case for paper reading/reference.

    If Dynamic Type will work for the iOS sidebar annotations then that will be helpful. It will be necessary to allow for adjustable sidebar width though to make the Dynamic Type useful for annotations; it's hard to parse/reference anything formatted in 4-word lines.

    Another comment on iOS, images do not appear to work in notes created on desktop and then synced/viewed on iOS; there is just a white outlined box. I'm not super concerned about this because I don't really work with notes on iPad but thought I'd mention it.
  • We'll try to improve Dynamic Text support for the next version.
    Another comment on iOS, images do not appear to work in notes created on desktop and then synced/viewed on iOS; there is just a white outlined box.
    The iOS app doesn't yet have the new note editor from Zotero 6, so embedded images aren't displayed.
  • Version 1.0.9, available now, uses the Dynamic Text setting in more places.
  • Regarding fonts on notes generated from annotations, I second this request.
    I use this as a means to summarize a document, but for longer documents the notes generated automatically from the annotations are a bit of a "wall of text", and not as readable as I would hope.
    Two alterantive ways I think this could be improved would be:
    1) Generate notes with pick the font and style from the original text -- In this way I could annotate some titles and subtitles to serve as visual markers to guide the reading of the notes.
    2) Create an new PDF viewing mode where non-annotated segments would be collapsed, effectively showing a condensed version of the original document, with the original formatting
Sign In or Register to comment.