Citation Management with Zotero

Installation and preferences

1. Install the application (desktop) and the Connector (browser)

1. Go to the Zotero Download page.

Zotero download   

2. Install the Zotero 5.0 application (for Windows, Mac, or Linux). This also installs the Word plugin.

3. Install the Zotero Connector for your browser(s)

2. Verify installation

  1. Open the Zotero desktop application.
  2. Open Word and verify that Zotero shows up as a tab in the Ribbon.
    Word plug in
  3. Open your browser and look for the Connector icon.
    connector icon for webpage

If you don't see these tools, visit our Troubleshoot page.

3. Create a free account

An account is not required, however, having one enables you to:

  • Add items to your library from any computer or mobile device
  • Sync with your Zotero desktop application, so you can then add citations in Word
  • Keep 300 MB of storage free (with an option to purchase additional storage)
  • Create Groups and collaborate with other Zotero users in shared libraries

To create an account, go to > Log In > Register for a free account
Zotero login


Bookmarklet (browser)

Alternate method of adding items to your library

  • Use on mobile devices

  • Or when the browser Connector is not installed (example: NPS networked computers)

With the Bookmarklet, you can add items your online library (, then when you are using your own computer with the desktop program installed, you can work in Word to cite in your paper.

Zotero bookmarklet
Install the Save to Zotero Bookmarklet

How to show your bookmarks in your browser

Chrome  Chrome

  1. To show your Bookmarks, click the Customize buttonChrome customize
  2. Go to Appearance > Show bookmarks bar > Toggle ON
  3. Go to the Install Bookmarklet link below and from that page, drag the button up to your bookmarksZotero bookmarklet

Firefox  Firefox

  1. To show your bookmarks click the Menu button Firefox menu button
  2. Go to bottom left > Click Toolbars dropdown menu > Choose Bookmarks Toolbar > Done
    Firefox toolbars
  3. Go to the Install Bookmarklet link below and from that page, drag the button up to your bookmarksZotero bookmarklet

Safari   Safari

  1. View > Show Favorites Bar


ZotFile plugin (helps with PDF management)

See all Plugins for Zotero


1. Syncing

2. PDF Indexing

3. Library Lookup


Windows Mac

Edit > Preferences 

Zotero preferences pc

Zotero > Preferences

Zotero preferences Mac

1. Syncing

While Zotero stores all data locally on your computer by default, Syncing allows you work with your data from any computer with the Zotero application installed, and access your online library ( on any computer with Internet access. it also allows for up to date sharing within group libraries.

Syncing has two parts:  Data Syncing and File Syncing.

Data syncing
Merges library items, notes, links, tags, etc.—everything except attachment files. Data syncing is free, has no storage limit, and can be used without file syncing.

  1. Make sure you already have a free account
  2. Open your Zotero desktop
  3. Go to Preferences > Sync tab
  4. Enter your Username and Password
  5. Choose what and when you want syncing to happen

Zotero data sync

Zotero data syncing


File Syncing
Syncs attached files (PDFs, audio and video files, images, etc.). Files will use some of your storage. You can link to files, but they will not be synced.

  1. Go to Preferences > Sync tab
  2. Enter your Username and Password
  3. Check the box: “Sync attachment files in My Library using" > Zotero
  4. Now, Zotero will sync your data with the server whenever changes are made by default.

Zotero file sync

2. PDF Indexing

You can search the full text of PDFs when you select "Everything" in the basic search drop down menu.

If PDF Indexing isn't enabled, go to Preferences > Search.

  • Click the “Install PDF Tools” button to install them, or
  • Click the "Check for Update" button


3. Library Lookup

To easily determine if the full text of an item is available through Dudley Knox Library.

1.  Go to Preferences > Advanced tab​

2.  Paste this URL into the Resolver box. Make sure you capture the entire URL, and that there are no breaks in the string.


Zotero library URL resolver


3.  To see if Dudley Knox Library has the full text of the item:

  • Select a Collection (folder)
  • In the middle pane, highlight the item you want to check for
  • Click on the little green arrow (the Locate icon).
  • Select Library Lookup
    Zotero library lookup


Layout and Font Size

You can choose a different layout, and a larger font.

Zotero interface layout font