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 casing of the title (capitalization)

To change the casing of the title:

  • Hover over the title
  • Right click
  • Transform the text to the casing you want

Zotero transform text


Capitalization (Title Case / Sentence case)

Title Case Sentence case
Love among the Ruins: A Memoir of Life and Love in Hamburg, 1945 Love among the ruins: A memoir of life and love in Hamburg, 1945

Capitalize everything except:

  • conjunctions (and, but, or, etc.)
  • prepositions (to, of, on, among, between, etc.)
  • articles (a, an, the)

Capitalize only:

  • the first and last words in titles and subtitles
  • proper nouns


Note: Always format the information in your citations (titles, author names, etc.) according to the requirements of the citation style you are using, regardless of how it appears in the original source.

Change to Book Chapter

Sometimes you want to cite a book chapter, not the whole book. 

  1. Change Item Type to Book Section
  2. Use the plus (+) to add editor(s) or more authors
  3. Use the down arrows to switch from author to editor or other creator
    • Authors go with the chapter 
    • Editors go with the whole book
  4. Remember to include the page range for the chapter

book chapter metadata

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