Archive for January, 2007

Feature Spotlight: Tagging

This week we are profiling some of the new features accompanying the Zotero 1.0 Beta 3 release. Today we would like to highlight the expanded tagging functions now available in Zotero.

Tagging is an easy way to categorize items by attaching descriptive words to them. You can tag your information with whatever relevant keyword or term you would like associated with that given item. These tags allow you to sift through your information in a personal way, by the categories that deem relevant.

Located in the bottom-left-hand corner of your screen, the tag selector adds an additional layer of information management to complement the collection and search systems. The selector updates its inventory from tags you place on individual items in your Library. By clicking on any of the tags you can filter the items within your Library, collections and saved searches by as many or as few tags as you like.

You can toggle the tag selector in and out of view by clicking the tag selector box icon (). The tag selector defaults to showing all the tags on items in the current folder. When you click on a given tag, the center pane updates to display only the items with that tag. You can select multiple tags to further focus the results in the center pane or click on a tag again to deselect it. To quickly find a tag in the list, type part of its name in the Filter box; selected tags not matching what you type remain selected, allowing you to quickly find and select multiple items. It is also possible to click the “Deselect all” button to return the center pane to displaying all the items in the selected folder.

From this box you can also control the tags globally. By right-clicking on a tag (or Control-clicking on the Mac) you can choose to rename a tag across all items or delete it from all of the records it is attached to. You can also assign tags to multiple items at once by dragging items from the items pane onto tags in the tag selector. This is where the “Display all tags” checkbox comes in handy: while the tag selector normally only shows you tags on items in the current view, clicking “Display all tags” causes tags not assigned to currently visible items to appear in gray. You can then drag items onto one of the gray tags to assign it to those items.

As an example, while working on your project on the history of bottled water (see above image), you decide to tag five items “Bottled Water.” It is as easy as selecting the items and dragging them onto the Bottled Water tag in the tag selector box.

Note that some items that you save will come with tags already attached. If Zotero detects classification information or other metadata as part of a catalog record, it will, in some cases, extract that information as a tag. For example, OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog) record subject headings become Zotero tags. You can manage these automatic tags in the same way that you manage the tags you add manually.

We speak your language

The new beta release of Zotero includes native user interface support for Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Norwegian (and even supports Serbian, although Firefox doesn’t have a Serbian-localized build). A big tip o’ the hat to the BabelZilla community for helping to make Zotero a multilingual tool.

Interested in translating Zotero into *your* language? Please visit our localization documentation.

Major update to Zotero now available for public download

We’re pleased to announce that the latest beta release of Zotero is now available. Existing users who downloaded from can update manually via Tools->Add-ons in their Firefox web browser. The update includes many new translators, features, enhancements, bug fixes, and international language localizations that we’ll be spotlighting over the next few days. For a comprehensive overview of what Beta 3 offers, see the extensive changelog.

Interview with Rosenzweig and Greenberg

CHNM’s Roy Rosenzweig and Josh Greenberg recently talked about Zotero with Matt Pasiewicz of EDUCAUSE at the Fall 2006 Task Force Meeting of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI). The interview is now available as an audio recording online. Listen in as Roy and Josh discuss everything from microformats to tagging to the Semantic Web. The 15-minute interview also previews some of the up-and-coming social functionality of Zotero 2.0, including recommendation systems and collaborative spaces.