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An introductory guide to bibliographic software, Zotero.

Creating Your Bibliography While You Write

Screenshot of Zotero's Microsoft Word toolbarZotero 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.

To add a citation:

  • Click the first button ("Add/Edit Citation") on the toolbar
  • Search for the reference you want to cite and press Enter. Zotero will add the citation at your cursor.

At the end of your paper, click the "Insert Bibliography" button. Your bibliography will appear, and new citations will be added automatically. Change bibliographic styles with the "Document Preferences" button.

The toolbar looks different on different operating systems and versions of Word. Mousing over the toolbar will pop up each button's function if they're not clearly labeled.

Zotero With Google Docs

Zotero works with Google Docs! You must have the Zotero Connector installed in Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Instead of a toolbar with buttons, as in the Word screenshot above, look for the Zotero menu in your Google Docs editor.

Download the Browser Connector

Screenshot of google docs and zotero

Adding Additional Styles to Zotero

Zotero comes with the most common bibliographic styles. Download other styles from the Zotero website.

To install a style:

  • Go to the Zotero Style Repository page
  • Search for the name of the style you need
  • Download the style (right-click the Install link and choose Save As)
  • Open 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.