create outline when reading pdf

sincerely hope that Zotero can allow us to create outline shown rightside when using Zotero internal pdf reader
  • What do you mean by that, exactly?

    You can view the table of contents/bookmarks for a PDF in the left-hand sidebar already. It's not currently possible to create bookmarks within the Zotero PDF reader, though.
  • I would agree. This would be a terrific feature. It would enhance the functionality of the show outline feature. This outline is super helpful for navigating longer, book length documents that already have an outline in their metadata. Would it be possible to give users the ability to create such an outline by adding bookmarks to chapters in a longer document or other passages that they deem important. This would be helpful to navigate PDF of books that do NOT have chapters in their meta data. This is common when I scan older books.
  • I agree. Lots of articles etc. (even new ones) don't have an outline, so it would be great to be able to create bookmarks manually from headings.

    As a workaround, I currently highlight all headings (and only headings) in purple and have created a note template for the markdown export that exports all purple annotations as "## text".

    I'd love to be able to add entries to the outline instead, and then be able to have the outline entered into the markdown export as I have previously suggested (
  • edited December 16, 2022
    I would also have a lot of use for this.
    Posted a very similar discussion earlier (, but this thread seems to gather more traction.
  • I agree. Having an outline of the paper or book you are reading is a must when reading papers.

    I find most articles do have the usual IMRAD sections that should be detected by the Zotero Outline. In effect, many papers/books are provided with the Outline. However, for some papers, these are not detected by the Zotero auto-Outline even though the Headings for the different sections and subsections are there (Abstract, Introduction, Methodology, Results, Discussion, Conclusions, References). As an example, this happens with PLOS ONE, The Biological Bulletin, Methods in Ecology and Evolution articles, just to name the few I had opened right now).

    Apparently the Zotero auto-Outline feature needs to be revised to detect those.

    My personal solution to this is:

    1. close the paper pdf in Zotero
    2. opening the paper pdf in an external pdf reader (e.g. Nitro Pdf),
    3. use the auto detect Outline there (also called auto-bookmarks or similar),
    3. saving changes.

    When I re-open the paper in Zotero, the Outline is there.
    Of course, this workaround it implies many steps, so I tend to use it for really important references. I believe it could be easily solved within Zotero since all papers/thesis use the same, general, sections.
  • +1 for addition of a bookmarks function
  • +3 Are there any updates on this feature, however?
  • Devs have said elsewhere that adding bookmarks,(which make up the outline) is planned. No ETA as per usual,. though sounded like short term plans to me)
  • +5 would also use this
  • +1 I've also been using other software (FoxitReader) to change the outline but I would really appriciate the feature to be incorporated in Zotero
  • +1 Still looking forward to this feature
  • +1 expecting that feature very much.
  • +1 This would be great.
  • +1 this would be very handy. For reference, the Google Scholar PDF reader extension does this very well (as well as transclusion to Scholar entries on each citation in-text)

  • +1 Would really love to see this! Lots of textbook PDFs don't have outlines and it makes navigating them far more difficult.
  • +1 This would be amazing
  • +1 This would be helpful
  • +1
    I see an outline on my PDFs on Google Scholar PDF Reader but not on Zotero (or any other PDF reader for that matter). If Zotero could do whatever that reader extension is doing, it would be quite useful!
  • +1
    Exactly. Google Scholar PDF reader plugin has an outline for a pdf file but not showing on Zotero.
  • +1
    A tool for creating our own outline of a pdf is indeed quite needed. The possibility of the created outline to have headings/toggles would be an amazing +
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