Edit citations in Zotero - Best Practice

It is best practice to edit your citations within Zotero. After fixing the citation, it will be correct every time you use it.

To edit, put your cursor into any field and start typing.

Zotero edit citation

Change item type

Sometimes the Connecter brings in the reference as an Item Type that's not right, or that doesn't export to Word in the format your style needs. For example, you may need to cite a book chapter rather than the whole book. 

  1. Change Item Type to Book Section
  2. Use the plus (+) to add editor(s) or more authors
  3. Use the arrows to change from author to editor or other creator type

edit item type

Change casing of the title (capitalization)

To change the casing of the title, right click in the Title field, and transform the text to the appropriate casing.
Zotero transform text

Fix formatting in Chicago NB

For Chicago Notes/Bibliography style, changing the Item Type will help Zotero format correctly.

Learn more Zotero editing tips: 

Manually edit in Word when Zotero won't cooperate

Although it is best practice to make edits in Zotero, there may be times when you just can't get the software to format the citations correctly in Word. Rather than spend a lot of time wrestling with the software, the workaround is to break the coding connection between Zotero and Word, and manually edit them in Word.

It's best to wait till the very end when you just need to do some final clean up of your citations.


  1. First make a backup copy of your Word document with coding intact
  2. Open Zotero
  3. In Word, click Unlink Citations
  4. On your copied document, proceed with manually editing footnotes and/or your bibliography as needed.

Zotero unlink citations              Zotero remove codes