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

Ooooh! Now I get it! Must have overread that xD Thank you!

Having the same problem here.

  • If I set “always place the comment made to a highlight before the test of the highlight” it works
  • ‘ToDo’ comment it works partly (makes a checkbox, but doesn’t display the comment).
  • % Comment works

First had the json file in a subfolder. Moved it to the main folder, but didn’t solve the problem.

Has still somebody got this problem or could solve it?

Hi everybody. I just wanted to explain the lack of updates and fixes over the last couple of months. Unfortunately with the beginning of the academic year, the free time I have in my hands to dedicate to this plugin is extremely limited. I’m still using Zotero, Obsidian, and this plugin in my workflow, and I hope to have more time in a few months.

In terms of development my priorities are:

  • find a way to automatically import the annotations directly from the Zotero database without having to update them in zotero (I would welcome suggestions on how to read the sqlite zotero database)
  • bring the plugin to the list of community plugins
  • incorporate a number of the feature requests that I have received here and on github

Thanks a lot for the update, much appreciated. Regarding the access of Zotero 5 sqlite database, I can recommend you looking at how this library does it. I use it to push highlights, annotations and metadata from Zotero 5 onto Readwise. It is written in Python but the web API from Zotero has wrappers for JS, TS and others.

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Thank you. This is intriguing. Am I right in understanding that this is taking advantage of the web API? If so, do you know if this is able to extract highlights annotations that have been added to the pdf via the internal reader but that have not been extracted into a note?

My plan was to find a way to directly read the sqlite database on your computer because highlights/comments made to the pdf are stored there even when they have yet to be included in a note in Zotero. But I have so far failed in my few attempts to achieve this.

That’s right. The library I shared uses the Python client but the Zotero web API docs have clients for different languages including TS and JS. And also yes, this handles highlights and annotations made with Zotero’s native reader without having to extract them (which is currently required in BibNotes). The Zotero2Readwise library can even handle updating new highlights and annotations without duplication.

Do anyone know how to set the author’s name variable to show only the surname? The titles of my “Zotero” notes in my Obsidian vault are now the respective citekey, e.g. @husserl1982, but I would like to have it like this: Husserl 1982. Is that even possible?

I am afraid you will have to change the way the citekey value is handled in Zotero via Better BibTex (but maybe someone knows a different way. Here is a guide on how to create your own citekey values.

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In case you haven’t seen it, there is a recent release of a plugin that accesses the Zotero db via sqlite as you had previously considered.


Hello! I had some problems with the plugin in so I uninstalled it and tried to install the latest version from GitHub but all I get is an error message when I try to activate the plugin (unable to load plugin). Is somebody experiencing the same issue?
thanks Nestor

Installing via BRAT doesn’t seem to be working. If you go to the repository on GitHub, download the main.js and manifest.json files from the latest release and put them in a folder in the .obsidian/plugins local folder, you should be able to load the plugin without issue.

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Thanks @PR-C, yes this seems to be the point but on GitHub I can’t file a “main.js” file…maybe @stpag knows what’s happening? :thinking:

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[Feature request] Open a note based on a field in the note

Usecase description

In Bibnotes settings, I don’t use something simple like {{citeKey}} or {{title}} as note title. But something like DOC_TYPE YYYY-MM-DD {{title}}, where DOC_TYPE is a special character that quickly indicates if the document is a book, paper or article (this was inspired from Bryan Jenks Obsidian Workflow).

Hence, bibnotes is never able to open a note because of its title.

Possible solutions

Look for a field in the note (e.g. : itemID, citeKey, title, etc…) and open the corresponding note.

E.g. : If there is citeKey :: kennanCount1998 or zoteroID :: Z8D45F5 or title :: The art of Counterpoint, then bibnotes could recognize the note and open it appropriately.

FR on Github

@stpag : Thanks a lot, this is what I needed.

Now, in addition to what is proposed here, it there a way to obtain the same thing for all the attachments of a given document ?

Say I have a Zotero item with multiple attachments :

  • book.pdf
  • noteA.pdf
  • noteB.pdf

With the technique mentioned above, we can get {{localLibraryLink}}, {{select}} and {{itemKey}} of book.pdf. But how to get the same fields for noteA.pdf and noteB.pdf ?

Thanks !

I’m literally so new to Obsidian, I started yesterday. My mind is reeling.

I really want to use this plugin as it seems to have more functionality than the Zotero Integration one, so far. In any case, I’m able to create a new note, but I can’t figure out how to update it. I think I’ve understood that I need, for now, to “Add note from annotations” in zotero. That’s how I got my first bibliographical note to appear WITH the annotations.

Then I tested the updating capabilities: I went back into my document and made additional notations. Of course, this doesn’t modify the note on the exterior of the pdf. I tried modifying the note itself, nothing updated in Obsidian.

I created a new “Add note from annotations”, still nothing happened in Obsidian. I’ve tried pretty much all the work arounds mentioned in this thread, but nothing seems to work.

I very obviously might not be doing the right things, but I have no clue where to even start, which info is needed, and hot to get that information here. I’m no noob to computers or basic coding and learn fast, but things do have to be spelled out for me the first time (or at least links to other tutorials are also appreciated, I wouldn’t even know what to google at this point).

Any help and advice at all is appreciated

Bug description

In Zotero, the note looks like this :


But once extracted by Bibnotes, it looks like this :


So it creates a unnamed link and is unable to retrieve page and annotation reference (undefined or empty).

I waded through lots and lots of posts on here and elsewhere I actually found how to make a template, so I’m just going to learn on the pile like everyone else :slight_smile: