Zotero 7 Beta: "Rename File from Parent Metadata" changes file name but not the displayed name

Hi: I just made the switch from Zotero 6 to 7. I noticed that the attached PDF files have a generic name displayed in Zotero (such as "ScienceDirect Full Text PDF") but have the proper file name in the file system (such as Authors - year - title.pdf). In Zotero 6, the pdf was shown with the actual file name in Zotero already. Is this a known issue that can be fixed? Thanks!
  • edited June 3, 2024
    Hi: I've been working with the Beta for 3 weeks and would like to provide feedback on the "Rename File from Parent Metadata" feature (if there is a better way to provide this feedback, just let me know).

    First of all, thanks, Dan, for pointing me to the relevant discussion. I understand now that there is a difference between "Attachment Title" and "Filename".

    Here is what I found inconsistent in the current Beta:

    1) When I add a pdf via the Zotero Chrome plugin, the "Attachment Title" has a generic title such as "ScienceDirect Full Text PDF", which can never be changed. However, when I manually add a pdf, the "Attachment Title" is set to "Filename".
    2) Moreover, I can change "Attachment Title" via "Rename File from Parent Metadata" when I change data that is relevant to the file name (author, year, or title). This is very much in line with how Zotero worked in the past (but only for PDFs I added manually).

    Will naming the "Attachment Title" be unified in the future? Also, I think there are many benefits to setting "Attachment Title" to "Filename" by default if possible. For instance, when I tested the "Rename File from Parent Metadata" for this post, I accidentally "dragged and dropped" a PDF attachment from one reference to another. Yet, the "Attachment Title" was "ScienceDirect Full Text PDF" so I had to click into both PDFs to determine which PDF I needed to drag back to the correct Zotero reference.

    As always, thanks for your great work for the community!
  • 1) When I add a pdf via the Zotero Chrome plugin, the "Attachment Title" has a generic title such as "ScienceDirect Full Text PDF", which can never be changed.
    Are you sure that it can't be changed? I just go to the right side pane, click on Title or Filename, and change both or either as I like. And it seems to stick.
  • I can confirm a similar behavior in the beta, but this seems to be a recent change. When I add a PDF manually, and update the PDF according to the parent metadata, only the file name changes, but not the attachment title. Renaming the file from parent metadata used to change both the attachment title and the file name. I think this change happened sometime in the past 3-5 days.
  • @darrylmy: Nothing has changed here in months. This behavior is all described in the threads linked above.

    And yes, both the title and filename can always be changed manually from the right-hand pane, as @enozkan says.
  • @dstillman: thank you for pointing me to the threads linked above. I think I tracked down what I'm experiencing. Still not sure if this is expected behavior.

    If I add a bibliographic entry first and then attach a PDF and rename the file from parent metadata, then both the attachment title and the file name get changed. However, if I add a pdf first and allow Zotero to retrieve the bibliographic data and create the entry, then renaming according to the parent metadata will only update the file name (but not the attachment name).
  • It's what I say in the first linked comment in the above-linked thread: we change the attachment title if it already matches the filename. If it doesn't, we leave the title as is.
    If I add a bibliographic entry first and then attach a PDF and rename the file from parent metadata, then both the attachment title and the file name get changed. However, if I add a pdf first and allow Zotero to retrieve the bibliographic data and create the entry, then renaming according to the parent metadata will only update the file name (but not the attachment name).
    Unless you've changed default settings, these should be equivalent, because currently in both cases the attachment title would already match the filename. If you're not seeing that, we'd want to see screenshots showing the various steps of what you're describing.

    But in an upcoming version, we'll likely be changing both cases to set the title to just "PDF", which will be more equivalent to the titles assigned by translators.

    Also, to be clear, if you just attach a PDF to an item, there's no need to manually run Rename File from Parent Metadata. Zotero does that by default. That's one of the core points behind all of this — for years, people have been mistakenly running Rename File from Parent Metadata because they haven't realized that Zotero automatically renames files, and misinterpreted the attachment title changing as the file being renamed We're going to be disabling that option altogether when the filename already matches the current name format to help convey that it's not necessary.
  • edited June 4, 2024
    @dstillman: I found the field where I can change the "Attachment Name" (even for PDFs that I have imported via Chrome -- I was not aware of this function). Thanks!

    However, there is one inconsistency in the naming of "Attachment Name" and "Filename":

    1) When I add a pdf manually, Zotero keeps the "Attachment Title" and "Filename" the same when I use the "Rename File from Metadata" -- as in previous Zotero versions.
    2) When I add a pdf via Chrome, Zotero does not update "Attachment Title" when I use the "Rename File from Metadata" -- "Rename File from Metadata" only updates "Filename".
    3) However, as soon as I changed the "Attachment Title" manually, then "Rename File from Metadata" keeps "Attachment Name" and "Filename" in sync again (same as in #1 above).

    It would be great if Zotero kept the "Attachment Title" and "Filename" in sync (as it does when I drag and drop an attachment manually (#1) or as it does after I changed the "Attachment Title" manually (#3)). Thanks again!
  • Just following up on my previous post on the beta. Is the naming behavior I describe in the aforementioned post intentional or will this be addressed in a future version? Please let me know if I can provide more information on this issue. Thanks!
  • edited 14 days ago
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  • The inconsistent naming is no longer an issue in the new beta version. I also like that there is a notification that the file was renamed. However, I still miss the option to rename the "Attachment Title" easily. My workaround to sync the "Attachment Title" with the "File Name" is now 4 clicks (1 click on attachment; 2 expand "Attachment Info"; 3 Copy File Name; 4 Copy into "Attachment Name"). Is it planned to sync the Attachment Title and File Name in a future update? Thanks!
  • edited 12 days ago
    Is it planned to sync the Attachment Title and File Name in a future update?
    No. The whole point is that we don’t think it makes sense to clutter the items list with filenames that duplicate the parent item's metadata, so we have no plans to facilitate that.

    https://www.zotero.org/support/file_renaming#attachment_title_vs_filename

    https://forums.zotero.org/discussion/comment/467717/#Comment_467717
  • Dan: Thank you.

    I read through the two links you provided and am happy to "give the new behavior a try". I see the issue with the search when attachment name = file name (I solved this issue by activating "Show only top-level items", which worked fine).

    This attachment file issue is mainly cosmetic (when one attachment is added). You wrote in one of the posts that you "set the title of the first attachment of a given type to "PDF" [...]". I think that would be a good compromise for anyone with "design OCD". This consistency would be better than random attachment names such as "Full Text PDF", "EBSCO FULL TEXT", etc. -- there is no meaning to these attachment names.

    Appreciate all the work going into this project.

    Steve
  • The HTML file is the only attachment when saving a webpage or blog post, etc. The attachment name is displayed as Snapshot but the file name is random. Can it be renamed in the same manner as PDF/EPUB? Is it planned?
  • I think my comment also applies to HTML files. The names are pretty random and I agree it would be nice to have consistent Attachment Names...
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