BibNotes Formatter: New Plugin to Export and Format Annotations from Zotero into Obsidian

I’m not sure. In the past I had a similar problem where I was not able to export file directly in the Obsidian folder, but you should be able to export the BetterBibTex Json file somewhere else and copy/paste it inside your vault. Keep in mind, however, that the plugin does not work on mobile.

But does BetterBibTex then register where the file is for auto-update?

Yes. If you select “keep updated” when you export the file the first time, you can then manage that by going on the Zotero main menu → Preferences → Better BibTex → Automatic Export

Thank you, I managed to copy/paste it into the vault, but unfortunately I can’t change the path in preferences → Better Bibtex → Automatic export

I guess I will have to do manual export

I am loving the plugin! I had 2 questions. All my extracted annotations appear in the same bold, italic, and highlighted color. In the settings, I noticed that the settings for colors all show {{highlight}}. How do I change this to carry over the color info from zotfile?

Also, the collections list shows the collection that the items are in and its parent collection. I have a lot of nested collections. Is there a way to make it show more than 1 level of parent collection?

very nice, this looks very promising. i think citation plugin also uses similar json export form BetteBibText, can i use the same file? i think the path for that file is in the settings but it is not located inside my vault

Yes, the Citation plugin accepts either a bib or a json file. I limited this to the latter format because it was considerably faster in parsing a large library.

Unfortunately I could only make it to work when the file was located inside the library.

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i figured out that part, altho i cant search into the list it offers and have to navigate into it manually. my main problem is that i cant get annotation out and get only metadata. i did the “Add Item Note from Annotations" thing and the note is there. what else i should do? should i export it too? I thought that the part the plugin should do. the annotations that stored in pdf file get imported tho

The plugin is currently able to export only the annotation that has already been exported from the PDF into Zotero, either by using the Zotero plugin Zotfile (right click on the pdf → manage attachment → export citation) or exported from the Zotero native reader.
In the future I would like to cut this intermediate step and integrate in the plugin the same library that zotfile uses to extract the annotation from the PDF, but I’m not there yet


looking forward to see that, the features mentioned in the readme are very exciting. also hope to get available on community plugins as well

the thing is that i used the zotero native reader and have the annotation note (in html) in zotero but it don’t get imported. I guess i need to update it somehow because when i created the note the first time it had no annotations

I would check two things:

    1. have the annotations been exported in the json file?
    1. if so, the content of the json file seems to be cached by Obsidian, so in order to import new changes I have to close and re-open Obsidian
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i think reopening obsidian did the trick, i think i was restarting zotero instead of it.


P.S. I think it is not a bad idea to add a refresh database button or something. reopening obsidian every time is going to be annoying

P.S2. it also doesn’t deletes removed annotations

Thanks. I agree that a refresh button would be helpful. At the moment, I do not know how to do that but I will look for advice on this.

Regarding the deleting of the annotations, this is by default. I have set it up so that when you update a literature note (or the entire library), new annotations that were missing from the local note are added but the existing ones are not deleted/overwritten to avoid deleting/overwriting something that I had added to the note manually. I could change the default or create the option to simply over-write the note if it makes sense for somebody.

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yes i understand the danger of that option, but certainly it is useful. Just need to warn people when they activate that option and leave it inactive by default.

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Good idea. I will do that.

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Regarding the collection, I have added two placeholders:

  • {{collections}}: this will extract only the actual folders where where the entry is located, not their parent folders
  • {{collectionsParent}}: this will extract only the actual folders where where the entry is located plus two levels up.
    Are you looking for only one level up? I add the option for that

To carry over the information from zotfile regarding the settings for all colour you can either let zotfile do the job (and leave the settings within Bibtex as they are now) or do this:

  • restore the default settings in zotfile “extensions.zotfile.pdfExtraction.colorCategories”. This will make Zotfile export the name of the colour and Bibtex will be able to recognise and manipulate the colour.
  • in the settings of Bibtex you can add the custom text you want for each colour around the {{highlight}} placeholder. For instance "#important {{highlighlight}} will add the #important tag before highlights of that colour.

Currently the highlight settings that are specific to a colour do not override the general highlight settings (e.g. italic, bold). I can add the possibility of overriding those if this is helpful

@stpag is there a way to specify the folder by a variable? like rootvault/{{citeKey}}? It doesn’t work for me. I think it makes sense because it is importing raw material from zotero and they are going to be other notes beside it in this folder and there should be a MoC as the main note not navigate between them.

also using ( in the title somehow ignore for me when i test it.

Are you referring to the folder where the notes will be exported? It is not possible at the moment as I built it around my workflow which involves collecting all the literature notes into the same folder. But it is certainly possible to programmatically change the export path based on some value.

What value would be helpful? The example you mentioned (rootvault/{{citeKey}}) would lead to a different folder to be created for each entry since the citeKey is unique. That would generate hundreds if not thousands of folders. Maybe the option of exporting the note into folders that mirror the structure of Zotero’s folder?

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