Skip to main content

Zotero Citation Manager Guide: Citing & Referencing

A guide for downloading, installing and getting started using the Zotero Citation Manager.

Producing Bibliographies in Zotero

Zotero can create custom bibliographies and reference lists in most major publication styles, including MLA, Chicago Manual style, Turabian, Harvard, APA 6th ed, and many more.

To create a bibliography in Zotero:

1) Open the Zotero Database (click the "Z" for Zotero link in upper right corner of FireFox Toolbar if using Zotero for FireFox).

2) Open the subfolder from which you wish to draw records for your bibliography.

3) Highlight the records to be included in your list (hold down the shift key and left click the moust to add records to the batch).

4) Right click mouse (over highlighted records) to open process window.

5) In new window, locate and click the Create Bibliography from Items link.

6) This will open a new Create Citation/Bibliography window.


a) Select Citation Style (eg., APA 6th ed.)

b) Select Output Mode (Bibliography)

c) Select Output Method (Copy to Clipboard)

d) Click "OK."

7) Open new or saved windows document and position cursor where you wish to paste bibliography.

8) Click "Paste."

Your bibliography will paste into the document at the designated cursor point.

Creating Citations in Zotero

Zotero can create properly formatted citations in a number of formats including footnotes, endnotes, and parenthetical citations.

2 methods of adding citations:

a) Directly from the Zotero Library (same procedure as used for Bibliographies, except 6b: select "Citations" instead of "Bibliography.")

b) Create using Zotero for Word App (see instructions below).

Prerequisite: Download and install Zotero for Word App (see instructions below).

1.  In your Word document, place the mouse cursor in the text where you wish to insert a citation.

2. Open the Add-Ins tab in the MS Word utility bar (last option of the header).

3. Click the Zotero Insert Citation icon (1st option on the left in Custom Toolbars).

4. Opens the Document Preferences window.

 a) Select Citation Style (eg, APA 6th ed or Turabian) and click OK.

5. Opens Zotero Library (Red rectangle).

a) Select Classic View from drop down menu.

Note: you can set Classive View as the default in Cite tab:

(Gear wheel icon → Preferences → Cite tab → Use Classic Add Citation Dialog)

6. Opens Add/Edit Citation window:

a) Select Folder

b) Select citation record

c) Add page numbers where required in Page box (optional)

d) click OK.

Zotero will insert properly formatted citation into text at cursor point.

Downloading Zotero for Word App

1. Locate and click the Actions drop down menu (Gear Wheel icon) in the Zotero database.

2. Select Preferences (opens Zotero Preferences window).

3. Select Cite from the utility bar in the header.

4. Click the Get word processor plug-ins link in the Word Processor tab and click OK.

5. Click the Word for Windows Plugin link.

6. A Software Installation window will open, requesting your permission to install Zotero Word for Windows Integration:

a) Click Install Now

7. Zotero will install an Add-In tab to the MS Word utility bar in the header.

a) The write and cite icons appear in the Custom Toolbars submenu:

i. Zotero Insert Citation Inserts citations into the text of the document

ii. Zotero Edit Citation enables editing of inserted citations

iii. Zotero Set Doc Prefs enables editing of Document Preferences (citation styles).