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Zotero is a free software to help you manage and cite your resources. This guide was originally created by Kelsey Nordstrom.

Plugin Installation

The Zotero Word plugins will be installed automatically into Word for most users. After installing the plugin, you will see a Zotero tab at the top menu bar of your Word document. From here, you can use the icons under the Zotero tab to choose your citation style, insert citations, and create a bibliography. 

If you don't see a Zotero toolbar in Word, you should attempt to reinstall the plugin from the Cite → Word Processors pane of the Zotero preferences.

If you receive an error or still don't see the plugin after trying to reinstall from the preferences, you can try the manual installation instructions.

Choosing a Citation Style

Zotero offers a large variety of citation styles. Follow the instructions below to change your citation style. 

1. Select Edit in the top menu bar in Zotero.

2. Find "preferences."

3. Select "cite."

4. Click on the "Styles" tab

5. Select a citation style and click OK. 


You can begin citing with Zotero by clicking the “Add/Edit Citation” button in Word.  The citation dialog is used to select items from your Zotero library, and create a citation.

Start typing part of a title, the last names of one or more authors, and/or a year in the dialog box. Matching items will instantly appear below the dialog box.

Matching items will be shown for each library in your Zotero database. Select an item by clicking on it or press Enter when it is highlighted. Next, press Enter again to insert the citation and close the Add Citation box. 


Clicking the “Add/Edit Bibliography” button in Word inserts a bibliography at the cursor location.

If you need to edit the items that appear in the bibliography, you can do so by clicking “Add/Edit Bibliography” button again, which will open the bibliography editor. 

Word Integration

Zotero can be integrated with Microsoft Word to create in-text citations and bibliographies using references from your Zotero library.

To get started with these plugins, see the following pages:

Using the Zotero Word Plugin
Using the Zotero LibreOffice Plugin
Using Zotero with Google Docs

If you run into problems while trying to use the Zotero Word plugin, make sure to check out the word processor plugin troubleshooting page.