Zotero as a Tab

Here's a UI idea. I use Zotero and Google Notebook...albeit for different tasks. When I want to make the Google Notebook "bigger" AKA into a full sized screen, Google Notebook opens a New Tab and takes over that particular tab.

I would like to see this kind of a feature in Zotero. Right now when I "maximize" Zotero it takes over most of my FireFox screen. I think it would be less confusing if it followed the FireFox convention and just gave itself a full sized tab.
  • edited January 26, 2007
    It's a good suggestion, also requested here.

    I said there that we'd implement it, but I realized later that it's actually a bit more complicated than I had thought due to the architecture of Zotero and Firefox. Google Notebook is simply opening up a new web page in a new tab, which is trivial. FireFTP, by comparison, only functions within a tab, not as a separate part of the browser window (like Zotero), and so has a different architecture. (In Mozilla speak, it's the difference between a standalone XUL window and an overlay.)

    If anyone can point us towards an extension that can switch between both modes, that'd be helpful.
  • not sure if this helps, but BlueOrgenizer by adaptive blue
    has what i believe is a sidebar (just like zotero, but on the side) which in turns opens a full tab which is some sort of xml/html file which display the rest of the interface.
    i've uninstalled it, so i don't recall what the file is exactly, but should be easy to find out.
  • edited January 27, 2007
    Thanks for the link. Unfortunately, while BlueOrganizer does load a XUL file into a new tab, it's not the same XUL as its main interface—merely a simple XUL page that allows you to set some application options. The goal here would be to open the exact same interface as a sidebar/pane, full-screen, in a tab.
  • OK, I think we'll be able to do this for 1.1 in a couple months' time.
  • Wow, that's terrific.
  • That will be great on my small laptop screen.
  • RE: Layout issues and screen space, I've got a few ideas.

    First, a dedicated tab is a great idea for a full screen version.

    Second, even though the current system works well, I feel that the layout of elements in the Zotero UI is inefficient. The Collections browser can be made small, but i would like the ability to hide it entirely, or optionally.

    Also, for a full-tab layout, I would opt to take the second and third current Zotero panes and pile them on top of each other. With a whole tab there are many possibilities..
  • another vote for hiding the collections pane, or replacing it with a space to view images/videos, etc (in a toggle mode perhaps). this way the images/videos will be viewable in their entirety even when the middle and right columns take most of the screen. right now i have to hide zotero or make it really small to get a full view of an image or video.
  • Another vote for the "Zotero as a Tab" function. Any news on when this feature is released in the open? Or will this be waiting for FF 3.0, tied with the next major release of Zotero?
  • edited February 6, 2008
    There might be a relatively easy workaround. I hope this makes some sense:

    You add a preference in Zotero for "Open Zotero in a tab". When checked, the behaviour of Zotero changes to:
    - Clicking the Zotero-icon opens a new tab named "Zotero" (if it is not already available). You can do this by just loading an almost empty HTML-file titled "Zotero". This tab is then automatically selected, and Zotero is maximized (but not to Fullscreen Mode, as this would obscure the tab-list).
    - If the user selects another tab, the Zotero-pane is removed/minimized, but the Zotero-tab remains. If the user then again selects the Zotero-tab, the pane is maximized again.
  • Can you describe how to specify what collection to add new items to if you're using zotero in this mode please?

    Collections are really important for me (basically what make the whole tool sane on my g4 ibook really), and I don't really see how that adding to collections would be implemented if you were using zotero in "tab mode". Anyone can see how to do this, then it sounds interesting to me.
  • edited February 7, 2008
    Can you describe how to specify what collection to add new items to if you're using zotero in this mode please?
    From a user interface perspective I'd think it could be as easy as selecting a collection in the left pane. Already now, that selection is maintained even if you close and reopen the Zotero pane. In fact, a record is imported in the active (displayed/selected) collection even while the Zotero pane is closed.

    I think Rintze's suggestion is really great, and it seems not very difficult to implement.
  • Rintze: Nice. That just might work, at least as a temporary workaround...
  • Some extra changes you might want to make if you do implement this, are:

    - disable the pane resizing
    - open up snapshots (together with the annotation toolbar) in new tabs instead of in the active (and obscured) tab.
  • edited February 8, 2008
    Generalizing: any actions that now load stuff in the active Tab by default need to open their stuff in new tabs in the 'Zotero as a Tab'-mode. That includes snapshots, but also the 'locate' button and of course reports, the timeline, and any URLs linked to from the Zotero interface (e.g. Documentation, which BTW opens in a new window right now).
  • Since I started to use Zotero last night, Zotero as a tab would be a great feature to have. This would increase the screen real estate to make viewing items easier. I have one more add-on to this feature. This is similar to what mark wrote on Feb 8th.

    How about creating a Zotero toolbar that can be customize and place just like Firefox's Navigation and Bookmark toolbars? Here's the scenario: Firefox is opened and the first tab is Zotero in fullscreen mode. With each additional tab (2nd, 3rd and so on tab) opened, one can use the Zotero toolbar to add New Item, Create New Item from Current Page, and many more functions without going back to the Zotero tab (1st tab). One could even choose what collection the new item is saved in.

    Now let's take this idea further. There is a Firefox add-on called Cooliris Previews. Here's the link (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/2207). Continuing with the above scenario, let's say the 2nd tab contains an item to add to a Zotero collection. One could put the mouse cursor over an icon (similar to the icon in the Cooliris Previews) in the Zotero toolbar, triggering a temporary Zotero interface to popup (similar to previewing a link in Cooliris Previews), and allowing one to add Info, Notes, and etc. When one is finished, he/she moves the mouse cursor away from the icon and the Zotero interface disappears. This temporary interface would only have functions related to the newly added item, which is the same as Zotero's right pane. In another word, the temporary interface is a smaller version of the complete Zotero interface.

    The trigger icon to bring up the temporary Zotero interface can also be a keyboard shortcut.

    The advantage to have a temporary Zotero interface that appears whenever one needs it to is to efficiently utilize screen real estate. I apologize for the lengthy suggestion. Please let me know what you think. Thanks!
  • It's been more than a year now and I cannot find a way to open Zotero in a new tab yet. But a quick solution is to open a new firefox window and open Zotero there, in fullscreen mode.

    Thanks for the great work everyone...
  • (Crossposting) There is a temporary workaround in the form of the Zoterename plugin that allows you to save a shortcut which opens a new FF window with Zotero maximized. See here, and explanation here.
  • ScribeFire works in a tab and a bottom panel. Might be worth looking at.
  • Agree with naught101, ScribeFire works very nicely in Firefox, and it will be very helpful if zotero can do the same.

  • I had posted a mockup for zotero as a tab & sidebar in a separate thread (http://forums.zotero.org/discussion/9187/zotero-as-sidebar-tab-mockup/#Item_0)

    If you'd like to see the pictures directly, there you go:

    So +2 for zotero as a tab (and a sidebar:)
  • edited February 12, 2010
    My vote also for the zotero in a tab feature.

    Hasn't happen yet, despite Dan's note at the very top of the thread?

    The new window is indeed a very good workaround, except that I find multiple tabs easier to handle than multiple windows, especially since they can be reached using hotkeys Ctrl+1, Ctrl+2,.. in Firefox.
  • Support this proposal by dwang.
  • Zotero in a tab--bump!
  • Since Dan said "OK, I think we'll be able to do this for 1.1 in a couple months' time" in 2007, it seems like they didn't get to it for specific reasons.

    Possibly the developers are of the opinion that the fact that you can give Zotero a window of its own is already enough; or perhaps the issue is that they haven't seen a good example.

    Some light on this from the devs side? What about the Scribefire example given above?
  • I'm also quite interested by this eventual functionnality. I want to work with FF on full screen mode on my netbook, but I can't access Zotero easily. I will love to have it in a tab...
  • Firefox 4 'App Tab' feature begs the questions whether we will see Zotero in a tab at all. I know that the official release of Zotero is not compatible with the Firefox 4 beta at this point but I just checked out FF4 which will be released later this year. App Tabs seem ideal for Zotero (if Zotero would support that, of course)!
  • edited January 24, 2011
    See https://www.zotero.org/trac/changeset/7819

    No official comment on it yet, but looks like Zotero-as-a-tab is coming for 2.1 final, possibly in 2.1b5.
  • Sweet! That's the most exciting news I've heard so far this year!!!
  • wow, that's great!! hope it also works as 'app tab'... :)
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