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Help! Trying to follow instructions to set up live citation export (zotero)


I'm trying to set up zettlr to export live citations as per the instructions here:


but i'm stuck on two points:

  • what do I do with the zotero.lua file once it is downloaded?

  • should it work if I just format the YAML front matter and export as .docx?

  • I'm sorry I am fairly new to working like this on computers and I guess there are quite a few steps missed in the instructions which most people would be able to figure out, but not me, lol!


  • If anyone has the same question as me, the author of Better Bibtex helped me. You can see our conversation here: https://github.com/retorquere/zotero-better-bibtex/issues/1670

  • edited October 16

    For several reasons, you may still be better off creating a .bib file instead of going directly to YAML.

    1. Many LaTeX-related document processing apps can use .bib files, but mainly Markdown variants use YAML.
    2. Zettlr's Zotero interface works well with .bib files, and it's very painless.
    3. There are far more third-party apps for working with .bib files. Many of these, like BibDesk, are excellent.
    4. As far as I can tell, creating a .lua file for pandoc just adds more complexity with very little value added.
    5. For tasks other than document processing (rendering), bibliometrics for example, you far more likely to find software capable of handling .bib files than YAML or .lua files.
  • I understand that Better BibTeX can export bibliographic data directly usable by pandoc via a .lua file. But you still may be better off exporting the data as a .bib file.

    This is so for several reasons:

    1. Pandoc is a useful add-on for rendering documents in various formats, but LaTeX can always send output to Pandoc (e.g., to create Word documents).
    2. All LaTeX variants can use .bib files, but mainly Pandoc uses lua files.
    3. Zettlr's Zotero interface works quite well (and relatively painlessly) with .bib files.
    4. You're more likely to find auxiliary software for handling .bib files than .lua. The excellent free Mac app BibDesk is an example.
    5. You're also more likely to find auxiliary software for tasks other than bibliographies that handle .bib files but not .lua files. The Bibliometrix R package is a good example.
    6. In general, softwares dealing with .bib files are likely to be more mature.

    In short, .lua adds relatively little value for Zettlr users, while .bib is almost as good and has much wider applicability.

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