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Zotero: A Citation Tool

TriCo Libraries Guide

Zotero Application

Installing the application:

  1. Visit the Zotero Download page
  2. Click "Download Zotero for [your operating system]"  Zotero is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux

Browser Extensions

What are browser extensions?

  • The browser extensions save information like author, title, URL from a website with a single click, making it easy to quickly save citations to your Zotero library.
  • Each browser has its own version of the extension.
  • Downloading the browser extension also lets you use Zotero with Google Docs.

Installing browser extensions:

  1. Visit the Zotero download page
  2. Select the appropriate browser extension (Safari, Chrome, or Firefox)
  3. Follow the instructions to add the extension.  You may need to restart your browser afterwards
  4. When the extension is installed an icon will appear next to the address bar of your browser:

      Safari Extension:


      Chrome Extension:


      Firefox Extension:


Word Processor Plugin

What are word processor plugins?

  • Word processor plugins let your word processor (MS Word, LibreOffice/OpenOffice/NeoOffice) communicate with your Zotero library while your write, allowing you to quickly insert citations into your document and automatically generate a bibliography.
  • To use Zotero with Google Docs, install the browser extension.
  • The word processor plugin appears as a toolbar in Microsoft Word.  In some versions, the Zotero toolbar is located in the "Add-Ins" tab


Installing MS Word plugin: 

  1. Word processor plugins should be automatically included when you download and install the Zotero application and browser extension.
  2. To make sure the word processor plugin is installed, first open Zotero
  3. Click the Actions button at the top:


           and select "Preferences...


        4.  Select the "Cite" tab

        5.  If you see a message saying "The Microsoft Word add-in is not currently installed" then click the "Install Microsoft Word Add-in"

        6.  If the message says "The Zotero Word add-in is currently installed" then close the preferences

Mobile apps for Zotero

Several mobile apps exist, including a Zotero-created iOS app. See the Zotero guide to recommended mobile apps.