Monday, March 4, 2013

Zotero II (tips and tricks)

Now that I've made a formal post about Zotero, this is the important follow-up- call it Zotero Part II. Of course there are tons of tips and tricks out there (just Google 'Zotero tips and tricks'), but the following are some of my favorite. I also think these are some of the most important to really get you started and so you get the most out of Zotero. I realize that many of these tips are probably available if one takes the time to carefully read the Zotero's manual, but I'm not one of those people (for better or worse) and frankly, I just don't think user manuals are all that user-friendly (an issue that has always mystified me). At any rate, many of these links will lead you to other great tips and tricks...
  • Zotero bookmarklet
    • "The Zotero Bookmarklet can be added to almost any modern browser—including Safari on the iPad or iPhone—and it allows you to save a source to your Zotero library, as long as the Zotero web service recognizes that source. In other words, the Zotero Bookmarklet works well with common research databases, electronic journals, and new sources, while it's not likely to recognize regular blogs and random websites."
  • using Zotero standalone with Zotero Firefox
    • "Additionally, Zotero 3.0 for Firefox, available above, will automatically switch into connector mode when Zotero Standalone is opened."
  • Expand/Collapse All references
    • Press "+" (plus) on the keyboard within the collections list or items list to expand all nodes and "-" (minus) to collapse them.recognize regular blogs and random websites."
  • Zotero collections
    • "It is important to understand that items can be assigned to multiple collections, and that doing so does not duplicate the item. In this sense collections are more like iTunes playlists than physical folders in a filling cabinet. When a collection is selected, the center column shows the items in that collection. "My Library" always shows all items.
  • use a saved search to keep track of recent additions
    • "Often you add new items without worrying about tagging or putting them in collections. Click Advanced search, select "Dated Added" > "is in the last" > X "days/months" and fill in the desired period; then save the search. This gives you a dynamically updated overview of your latest additions, so that you can go back to them and do the categorization and tagging work when it suits you."
  • show sub-collection references in parent collections (aka recursive collections)
    • By default, items added to a subcollection do not automatically appear in the parent collection(s). This can be changed with the "recursiveCollections" hidden preference."
    • do the following:
      • Preferences > Advanced > Miscellaneous > Open about:config
      • then use Ctrl+F to search for "recursiveCollections"
      • right-click and select "toggle" which will change to value to "true"
      • close the modal window (the change is saved automatically)
  • What collections are my references in?
    • When you have selected an item in the middle column, you can highlight all collections that contain this item by holding down the "Option" key on Mac OS X, the "Control" key on Windows, or the "Alt" key on Linux.
  • How many items are in my collection?
    • To see the number of items in the selected library or collection, click an item in the middle column and use the Select All shortcut (Command-A on Mac OS X or Control-A on Windows and Linux). A count will appear in the right column (attachments are included in the count when visible, i.e. when the parent item is expanded).
  • Batch renaming/deleting tags in Zotero
    • "The tag selector allows tags to be globally renamed and deleted. To rename a tag across all items, right-click the tag (control-clicking on OS X) and choose "Rename Tag…". To delete a tag from all items, right-click the tag and choose "Delete Tag…".
  • Assign a tag to multiple items at once
    • "drag a selection of items from the center column onto a tag in the tag selector."
  • Qnotero
    • Zotero is great, but has a somewhat clumsy search interface.Qnotero offers a better and fast search/interface client for Zotero. Qnotero also offers superfast access to the PDF files in your Zotero library. Available for Windows and Linux. Free download (GPL3 license).

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