Q. How can I extract annotations or highlighted text and comments on a PDF document in Zotero?


To extract annotations on Zotero, you need to install a Plug-in called Zotfile first. 

Follow the steps below to install Zotfile. Once you have installed Zotfile, you will be able to extract annotations, including highlighted rext and commets from a PDF and store these as searchable notes in your Zotero library.

1. Go to zotfile.com and download and save the file (which has an xpi extension) in your Downloads folder on your computer.

2. Next, select Tools from the menu in Zotero and click on Add-ons. This will open up a new window in your browser. (For this explanation, Chrome is being used and the window that appears is shown below).

3. Click on the wheel at the top RH-corner and seledt the Install Add-on from file option.

4. Pick up Zotfile from your Downloads folder and follow the on-screen instructions to install it.

5. Once you have done this, restart Zotero and you will see Zotfile has been installed. 

Screenshot showing the installed Zotfile

Now,  follow the instructions outlined below to extract annotations, including highlighted text and comments, from a PDF document:

1. Right-click on the title and select View PDF from the menu options:

Screenshot of a reference in the Zotero Library

2. Next Highlight the text you want to extract and add comments - these are your annotations.

3. Next re-save the file as you have now changed it.

4. Then right-click on the reference and select Manage Attachments, then  and Extract Annotations

screenshot showing the steps to extract annotations

5. Zotfile will extract the annotations automatically as a 'note' and this will appear as a  sub-folder below the main reference with 'Extracted Annotations' and the date and time of the annotations were extracted. 

Tip! The extracted annotations/notes are searchable on Zotero.

  • Last Updated Aug 14, 2020
  • Views 8
  • Answered By Nazlin Bhimani

FAQ Actions

Was this helpful? 0   0

Contact Us

We're here to help.  Below are details of who to contact for assistance.

UCL Library Services, UCL (University College London), Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT