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Zotero: A Citation Tool

TriCo Libraries Guide

Using Zotero in Google Docs

Zotero Google Docs Integration: easily add citations as you write in Google Docs

  • Cite sources
  • Add and format your bibliography
  • Format your citations in ALA, MLA, Chicago, or any other style

Additional Help

Troubleshooting Google Docs + Zotero

Issue: Zotero and Google Docs freeze after you try to insert a citationscreenshot google docs and zotero frozen

You may see the message "Zotero is updating document. Please wait..."

First, see if this fixes it:

  • Check the Zotero desktop app and see if you need to select a citation style.
    • The Zotero window can hide behind the Google Docs window, causing you to miss the prompt to choose Chicago, MLA, etc.

If not, there may be a citation error causing Google Docs to freeze. Here's how to find and fix it:

  1. Quit the Zotero desktop app
  2. Reload your browser tab with Google Docs
  3. Use Edit -> Undo or Version History to remove the last citation you added or edited. See if this fixes the problem.
  • It's easy to accidentally replace a citation with a space or a period. When this happens, Google Docs and Zotero will cycle repeatedly through matching characters in the document, causing it to freeze.


You can reach out to your college's librarians for help with Zotero.