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Zotero is a free, easy to use software that helps you save, manage, and cite research sources.

Creating Your Bibliography While You Write

Zotero offers word processing plugins for Word and OpenOffice. The plugin adds a Zotero toolbar to your word processor that allows you to add citations to your document while you write.

Locating your Zotero tools depends on your operating system and your version of Word. To access the Zotero menu in Microsoft Word for Windows, look for the Zotero tab or the Add-Ins tab. In Word for Mac, look for the Add-Ins tab or the scripts menu.

To add a citation, look for a button or menu item that says "Add/Edit Citation" or "Zotero Insert Citation." In the red search bar that appears, search for and select the reference you want to cite, then press Enter. Zotero will add the citation at your cursor.

To add a bibliography, look for a button or menu item that says "Add Bibliography" or "Zotero Insert Bibliography." Your bibliography will appear at your cursor, and any new citations will be added automatically. To change bibliographic styles, look for a button or menu item that says "Document Preferences" or "Set Document Preferences."

Word 2016 for Windows:

Zotero word for windows menu


Older versions of Word for Windows:insert citations


Word 2016 for Mac:


Older versions of Word for Mac:

Using Zotero to Insert In-Text Citations and Bibliographies

Creating Quick Bibliographies

It's easy to create a bibliography from your Zotero library.

Select the references or collections you want to include. Hold the control key and click to select multiple items. Right-click one of the selected items and choose Create Bibliography.

Choose the bibliographic style you want, select Copy to Clipboard, click OK and paste into your word processor.

This method works with any word processor (or anywhere you can paste text).

Adding Additional Styles to Zotero

Zotero comes with the most common bibliographic styles, but many more are available to download.

To install a style (Firefox):

  1. Go to the Zotero Style Repository page in Firefox.
  2. Search for the name of the style you need.
  3. Click the link to the style you need, then click the Install button to confirm.
To install a style (Zotero Standalone):
  1. Go to the Zotero Style Repository.
  2. Search for the name of the style you need.
  3. Download the style (clicking the link to the style should automatically start the download; otherwise, right-click the style link and choose Save As). A .CSL file will be downloaded to your computer.
  4. Making sure Zotero Standalone is open, click the downloaded .CSL file you just downloaded. In most cases, Zotero will recognize the file and automatically install it. If not, open your Zotero preferences. Click Cite, then Styles, then the "+" button, and select the style you downloaded (a .CSL file).

The new style will appear in Zotero's style lists.

Subject Guide

Kyle Denlinger
302 ZSR Library

Credit & License

Creative Commons License
Except where noted, material in this guide is borrowed or modified from material originally created by Jason Puckett licensed by Georgia State University Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License. The original guide can be found here.