Citation Management with Zotero

Word Plugin

Works only with Microsoft Word, Word for Mac, LibreOffice (not Word Online)

When you install Zotero, it also adds a Zotero tab to your Word application. See our Download and Install instructions.

Zotero Word tab

The plugin allows you to:

  • Choose a citation style
  • Add a new citation or edit an existing one in your paper
  • Add or edit a bibliography or list of references

If you don't see the Zotero tab, try these Troubleshooting Tips. (Does not work with Office 365.)

Add a citation to your paper

Select a Citation Style

  1. Open Zotero desktop
  2. In Word, click on the Zotero tab in the ribbon
  3. Click Document PreferencesZotero add citation to Word
  4. Select a style > click OK
    You have set your default style

Add a citation

  1. Put your cursor where you want to add the citation
  2. In the Zotero toolbar, Click Add/Edit Citation
  3. Enter a title or author from your library
  4. Select the item you want
  5. Hit Enter
  6. To add a page number, click on the citation
  7. Hit Enter

Choose a citation style

You can view available citation styles, add more, preview the style output, and edit installed styles.

1.  Make sure Zotero desktop is open

2.  Go to the Zotero tab in Word

3.  Click on Document Preferences to see a list of the installed citation styles

Zotero citation styles

4.  Click on the one you want to use, then click OK

5.  If you don't see the one you want, click on Manage Styles > Get additional styles

    Zotero additional styles

6.  Search for and click on the style you want to use. Now it will be available in your Style Manager.

Quick Copy for short papers

For short papers, Quick Copy is the easiest way to go. You can use this technique with Word, Google Docs, email, or blog posts.

Important! When you use this method, you are not linking Word to your Zotero program and coding will not be added to your document. So if you update references, or if you change the placement of them in your Zotero library, those changes will not be reflected in your document.

Add In-Text Citations: 

1. Set your Quick Copy Export Preferences. You can do the following:

  • Set the default export format
  • Set up site-specific export settings
  • Choose whether you want Zotero to include HTML markup when copying
  • Set up keyboard shortcuts
  • Learn more about Export Preferences

2. ​Hold down the shift key while dragging a reference from Zotero's middle pane into Word.

You can also create a quick bibliography using this same technique.

Remove Zotero coding only before final review of theses and manuscripts

This step is only necessary before submitting your thesis or manuscript for Final Review  -- not for class papers.

Once you break the coding connection between Word and Zotero, it is irreversible, and you won't be able to make synced edits to your citations.

  1. First make a backup copy with coding intact
  2. Open Zotero desktop
  3. In Word, dlick Unlink Citations
  4. Zotero unlink citations              Zotero remove codes