Basic Troubleshooting

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Basic Troubleshooting

  • update Java, restart the computer, restart Zotero; if anything crashes, restart again; give it a lot of time to do the first run.
  • Getting an error about how PaperMachines can't find "pdftotext?" Go into Zotero "preferences" and choose the "Search" tab. There should be a button offering to install "pdftotext." Click it! You may need to restart Zotero afterwards.
  • You need lots of data. Some users have found that Paper Machines is reluctant to produce a Word Cloud, N-Gram, Topic Model, or Relational Chart with too few items. We recommend starting with at least ten items in your folder for most visualizations, and at least 50 items in a folder for a Topic Model by time.


Common Error Messages

"The process log is displayed below. Refreshing status in 15 seconds.

No log file found."

  • this is not actually an error message. pardon our mess. the processor is still running the algorithm. it will take some time. let the screen continue to refresh.
  • depending on the function you have asked the computer to perform, the speed of your computer, and the size of the pdf's, it make take some time to execute these commands.
  • if necessary, tell your computer not to go to sleep and leave it alone for 15 minutes to 15 hours. it will eventually run.

"ERROR:root:pdftotext not found"

  • You may need to install the software dependency pdftotext. Zotero can download and install it for you: go to the gear icon in the toolbar -> Preferences... -> the Search tab -> click "Check for installer."

"ERROR:root:Traceback (most recent call last)"

  • This is not actually an error message. The window should keep refreshing as the computer continues to read the texts in question. Let it continue to run -- overnight if need be.

Common Complaints and Their Resolution

  • I just installed Paper Machines and ran it on a folder with a few pieces of data, but the results were blank. * You need lots of data. Some users have found that Paper Machines is reluctant to produce a Word Cloud, N-Gram, Topic Model, or Relational Chart with too few items. We recommend starting with at least ten items in your folder for most visualizations, and at least 50 items in a folder for a Topic Model by time.
  • Golly, this is taking a long time. Can this be sped up? * Depending upon the speed of one's machine, it can take a long time to do the initial read of a folder -- even on my ramped up macbook pro, I typically leave topic modeling or other large visualizations running overnight on big folders.
    • If you have a 64-bit machine, you can allocate more memory to Paper Machines, thus asking it to run faster. Right-click on a folder, choose "Paper Machines Preferences," and look at the tab for "General Settings." Check the box for "increase memory allocation"