Relocate "Preferences" button to center panel

Request: Relocate the "Preferences" button to above the center panel.

Reason: I usually keep my left panel (with tags and collections). On my office monitor, I like to be able to see as much item information as possible. On the small laptop I carry around, closing the left panel is a must for usability. If I need to open Zotero Preferences (which is MUCH more often than I use tags or collections), I have to open the left panel, make my changes, and close the left panel back. This would be unnecessary if the Preferences button was located above the center panel, instead of the left panel. Also note that users who do keep the left panel open all or much of the time would not see a decrease in usability, as the Preferences button would simply slide to the right 1/2 an inch.

I agree that there may be advantages to having only item-related icons above the center panel. It is intuitive while first learning Zotero, & it might possibly keep some people from accidentally pressing the preferences button when they mean to press a citation button. I believe these are overridden, however, by the disadvantages of having the Preferences button on the left panel (as described above) and the fact that none of the buttons. The latter means that a user will either hover over the buttons to see their function or memorize the buttons based on the images, in which case having the preferences button over the center panel would not decrease usability.

Thanks for the great program. I use Zotero religiously.

P.S. I searched as best I could to ensure that this was not a duplicate request. If it is, I apologize.
  • Well, it seems the first question here is why you find yourself needing to open the preferences so often.
  • Thanks for replying so quickly Dan. First a clarification in case it wasn't clear: by "Preferences button" I meant "Actions button". It was just a label mistake.

    To answer your question, I wouldn't say that I open Preferences too terribly often, but I do click it much more often than I use collections or tags. I suspect that I am not alone in this.
    But there are several reasons why one would open Preferences fairly often. Number one with me is adjusting PDF & snapshot grabbing options. For some things I would like to have a pdf or snapshot for, & for some things I don't care. For the items I don't need a PDF or snapshot for, having them would just be junk on my hard drive. I also use the Styles & Proxies tabs a fair amount.
  • Frankly, I suspect people who open the Actions menu more than they interact with collections, groups, or tags are in quite a small minority. I don't have any data on that, but I've never actually seen a library without collections.

    You can toggle the snapshot pref by holding down Shift when you press the Create New Item from Current Page button. This doesn't work for translator-based (URL bar) saving, but it probably should.

    It's pretty unlikely that we'd move the menu button, but there should be a keyboard shortcut for opening the Zotero preferences. In particular, needing to adjust the Quick Copy format or toggle proxying on and off are probably pretty common actions.
  • Again, thanks for replying so quickly Dan.

    Paragraph 1: I have some collections, but I stopped using them long ago. You may be right about people like me being a small minority.

    Paragraph 2: Thanks for this tip. I didn't know it. It would be great if it worked for translator-based saving.

    Paragraph 3: A keyboard shortcut to open Zotero Preferences would solve my entire problem. I wish I'd have thought of it before starting the current request. Should I put in a new one?
  • Nope. We'll try to add a preferences shortcut in Zotero 2.1.
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