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Troubleshooting Issues with Zotero Translators

Before you post that a translator is not working, try these steps:

  1. If you don't see an address bar icon at all:
    1. Make sure you're looking at a supported site. If you're not sure, try a New York Times article or an Amazon product page.
    2. Are you using Zotero Standalone? If so, have you installed a Zotero Connector in your browser? Zotero Connector should be listed under Settings/Preferences → Extensions in Chrome/Safari. In Firefox, you should see Zotero listed in the Add-ons Manager under Extensions. You can install the connectors from the Zotero download page.
  2. Check Known Translator Issues to see if problems have been noted on the site you're trying to save from.
  3. Check your Zotero version to make sure you have the latest version available from While Zotero 3.0 is still receiving updated translators, we will only troubleshoot translators that also fail for the current 4.0 version of Zotero.
  4. If using Zotero for Firefox, make sure you have an up-to-date version of Firefox. This can be either the latest available stable version (Zotero does not always work with beta, alpha, or nightly versions) or the latest Extended Support Release version (currently 24.0.x).
  5. In rare cases where the address bar icon isn't appearing on any sites or saving is failing on all sites where the icon appears, there may be a problem with your translators directory. (This is extremely unlikely unless you've edited translators yourself or have your Zotero data directory stored in a service such as Dropbox, which is strongly discouraged.) Select “Reset Translators” from the Advanced pane of the preferences or manually delete the 'translators' directory from your Zotero data directory and restart Standalone/Firefox.
  6. If you know that a translator was just updated, make sure you have the latest available translators by clicking “Update now” in the General tab of the Zotero preferences. If the button displays “Updated”, reload the page that was failing and try saving again. If the button displays “Up to date”, you already had the latest available translators. (Zotero automatically checks for updated translators every 24 hours, so this generally isn't necessary unless you know that the translator has just been updated.)
  7. If you see a Zotero icon in the browser address bar when viewing a supported web page, hover your cursor over the icon. The tooltip shows which translator Zotero will use for the site you are viewing. If the displayed translator is incorrect, post the site name, a URL, and the name of the incorrectly detected translator to the Zotero forums. Note that “Embedded Metadata,” “DOI,” and “COinS” are generic translators, and Zotero will not be able to save automatically from all sites on which it appears. Also, PDFs will usually not be saved automatically on such pages.
  8. If you don't see the address bar icon on any supported sites (Amazon, NYTimes), there may have been a problem loading translators. If you received an unresponsive script warning related to Zotero while starting Zotero Standalone or Firefox and clicked “Stop Script”, restart Standalone/Firefox. If you receive the message again, click “Continue”.
  9. Make sure your system clock is set to the correct time and time zone.
  10. Zotero for Firefox–specific solutions:
    1. Make sure that your Firefox privacy settings (Firefox preferences → Privacy) are not blocking cookies. Under History, you should generally have “Firefox will:” set to “Remember history”. If you have it set to “Use custom settings for history”, be sure that “Accept cookies from sites” is checked. Some sites also require “Accept third-party cookies” to be checked.
    2. If you are having chronic problems getting Zotero to work across multiple sites, you may have an extension conflict. First, check if you have any Incompatible Extensions installed. If not, try disabling all extensions except Zotero. To do this, open the Tools menu (or the main Firefox menu in Windows 7), click “Add-ons”, and then go to the “Extensions” tab. Click “Disable” for every add-on other than Zotero and the Zotero word processor integration plugins, and then restart Firefox. If this solves the problem, re-enable the add-ons one-by-one until you find the conflict, and then post the name of the add-on that was causing the issue to the forums.
  11. If none of these solutions solve your problem, please make a new thread in the Site Translators category (or use an existing thread if you've already created one) and provide the following:
    • URL of a page that isn't working (even if none are)
    • A Report ID from after attempting to save an item or, if no URL bar icon is visible, from after refreshing the page.
      • if you're trying to save from Zotero Standalone or Firefox, follow these directions.
      • if you're trying to save from Chrome or Safari, follow these directions.
      • if you cannot submit an Error Report because the button is disabled (i.e. no error has occured), you can submit a Debug Log and provide a Debug ID for importing an item or refreshing a page.
    • Any other relevant information (operating system, browser and version, Zotero version, etc.). Please mention if you are using Zotero for Firefox or Zotero Standalone when reporting a translator issue
    • If possible, please include the name of the translator from step 6.
troubleshooting_translator_issues.txt · Last modified: 2014/04/02 22:18 by dstillman