Tag Archives: Ubuntu 12.10

Integrate Zotero in Ubuntu 12.10

26 Mar Zotero Standalone in the launcher

This has been tested in Ubuntu 12.10, but should probably work flawlessly with other versions – please let me know!

Zotero is an amazing open-source reference management software that integrates in your browser, your office suite and even as a standalone app. It is supported by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media – go have a look at their website, it is well documented. It is without a doubt the best of its kind in the FLOSS ecosystem.

Here is how to use it to its full capabilities in Ubuntu.

Get plugged-in

You should start with installing the plug-in / add-on / extension / whatever you want to call it in your Internet browser.

In Firefox, go to “Tools > Add-ons” and search for “Zotero”.

In Chromium / Chrome, go to “Tools > Extensions > Get more extensions” and search for “Zotero Connector”.

After installing one of those, you will be able to add references to you database by clicking on the icon that appears in the address bar.

Quick link to add a reference to Zotero

Click the icon that appears in the toolbar to add a new reference to you database. The icon – here, the little book – depends on the kind of reference Zotero detected.

In Firefox – the browser for which Zotero was originally designed – you can invoke the Zotero panel by hitting CTRL + SHIFT + Z in order to have a look at your collected references.

Get Zotero Standalone

To be able to use Zotero as a separate app, you will need to install Zotero Standalone.

A very well-kept PPA (“Personal Package Archive”) can be added to your software sources in order to always have an up-to-date version of the app. To add it, follow those easy steps:

  1. Open you Terminal by hitting CTRL + ALT + T
  2. Copy and paste those code lines:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:smathot/cogscinl
    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install zotero-standalone

    …and press Return after each one, then follow the prompts

  3. And you should be all done!
Screenshot from 2013-03-26 22:07:51

Zotero Standalone can be locked to the launcher for easy access.

You can now manage you database directly from the desktop.

Zotero standalone

Fancy that.

Integrate Zotero in your office suite

Finally, you just need to be able to cite away like a boss directly from your office suite, be it Apache Open Office or LibreOffice.

This could not be easier.

Simply into Zotero Standalone, navigate in “Edit > Options… > Cite > Word processors” and install the extension directly from there.

You should be able to see a new toolbar in Writer!

Zotero integration in LibreOffice

The toolbar in LibreOffice, with the nifty citation dialogue

This makes it über easy to insert citations in document, as well as directly adding the whole corresponding bibliography at the end, which will automatically update as you go. Fucking rad, in my humble opinion.

If you need to tweak your citation, you can always choose the oldschool citation dialogue that lets you edit it, which is pretty useful if you want to integrate it in a sentence for example, like Grünenschweinbergen (2006) and Ög (2009) profusely did in their respective papers. (This can be permanently toggled in the same “Cite” panel of the standalone app’s preferences.)

So there you go. Hopefully you will find this little how-to useful, and will enjoy citing away like one bloody should.


Install LibreOffice 4.0 in Ubuntu 12.10

25 Mar LibreOffice 4.0 splash


LibreOffice, the successor of OpenOffice.org – or let’s just say fork, before I get harassed by the Apache OpenOffice community -, saw its 4.0 version released a few weeks ago (on the 7th of February to be precise). The bugfix version 4.0.2 should be released next week (check out The Document Foundation’s release plan), which means that more users would like to install it as it is getting more stable.

LibreOffice 4.0 splash

The brand new “splash” image for LibreOffice 4.0

LO 4.0 comes with a number of new features, including:

  • Attaching comments to text ranges in Writer
  • Many import and export support improvements for DOCX, RTF and PPTX formats
  • New conditional formats in Calc
  • Automatic rotation of a chart’s axis labels if overlapping, and capacity to export a chart directly as a picture in Calc
  • A number of new functions in Calc
  • An Impress presentation can now be remote-controlled from an Android phone
  • Improved handling of videos in Impress
  • Four new open-source font families
  • Possibility to send documents via Bluetooth
  • Import filter for Microsoft Publisher format and extended filter for Visio format
  • Better display quality for pictures
  • Styles can be directly previewed in the drop-down box
  • Unity integration is improved
  • Firefox Personas are supported to personalize your window
  • And lots more stuff that you can check out in this full list or in this fancier-looking version.

With the launch of this version (which changed it’s name from 3.7 to 4.0 a few months ago), The Document Foundation renewed its façade with their schmick brand new website.

LibreOffice new website

The new façade of LibreOffice, launched with its 4.0 version

However, this is just a few pages to present the software. Most of the information is still in the older-looking pages.

In Ubuntu 12.10, the default version is 3.6. If you want to enjoy the new features and fixes, as well as keep up to date with the 4.0 cycle’s security updates, you will have to add a PPA (“Personal Package Archive”) to your software sources. Don’t sigh, it’s effing easy.


Now, here are the easy steps to achieve this, lucky bugger:

  1. Open a terminal by using the keyboard shortcut CTRL + ALT + T
  2. Copy and paste this line, press enter and follow the prompts:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/libreoffice-4-0
  3. Copy and paste this next one when Terminal stops talking:
    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
  4. You should then have the newest version of LibreOffice.


Beware: if you have another LibreOffice PPA installed, you might have problems with packages being kept back for a dependency issue, even if you delete it beforehand. To avoid this, make sure you purge the old PPA, which means that you go back to the original package versions that are in the official repositories.

To do this, run the following commands in a terminal before installing the new LibreOffice PPA (copy-paste, replace the PPA name by the right one, press enter, follow the prompts):

sudo apt-get install ppa-purge

sudo ppa-purge ppa:nameoftheppa


If this is not enough, you might have to chase down the naughty package that messes everything up, by trying to figure out what the unmet dependency is. A good way to figure this out is to try and install problematic packages on their own. For example, the problem I encountered previously was related to libexttextcat-data having a higher version number than needed. I figured it out by trying to install the main LibreOffice package (libreoffice-core), which told me that libexttextcat was problematic, and then trying to install libexttextcat on its own, which told me about libexttextcat-data being a shit. I had to uninstall this package, and everything went swell afterwards.

There you go! Hopefully this can help a few!