Zotero 1.5 sync: tag too long

I had been awaiting the Zotero synchronization functionality with great anticipation, so that I can easily share my citation library between home and work. I recently downloaded the first beta version of Zotero 1.5, which supports sync, and got it up and running.

For the most part, the library sharing is great (kudos Zotero dudes!)… but I hit one frustrating problem recently. When attempting to synchronize my library with the server, it failed and complained of this error:

“Tag ‘…’ is too long”

I eventually tracked the problematic tag down to a document I had recently added. Seemingly, Zotero had extracted huge chunks of the abstract as separate tags by accident, so I deleted the tags, and tried the sync again. No luck… it still complained. Then I remembered that I had accidentally stored the same item twice, and deleted one, so I purged the trash can… but still no luck. Sync was still complaining, even though the tag no longer existed.

A quick search of the support forums for Zotero 1.5 Beta showed a few people with similar problems, and a little digging uncovered the solution. Hopefully Dan won’t mind if I quote the relevant text here:

“type about:config in the Firefox address bar, hit Enter, and search for the extensions.zotero.purge.tags pref. Set that to true by double-clicking, and then close and open the Zotero pane. The unused tag should be deleted, and the sync should proceed.”

That worked a treat. Thanks Dan! 😀

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