Last Updated: Jun 01, 2020     Views: 204

Zotero is a free open source reference management program. It works with Mac, Windows and Linux with the browsers Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

How do I install Zotero?

Download the latest version of Zotero from

After downloading Zotero, you need to download Zotero Connector for your web browser. The add-in automatically detects the meta data on a web page and you can then save references to Zotero in just one click.

The symbol for Zotero changes depending on what browser you use, and the type of material you want to save references for. When you hoover over the symbol in the panel of your browser it says "Save to Zotero"

Create a user account in Zotero in Edit > Preferences > Sync. You can choose the default setting. Click on Synchronize, then all your references will be saved on your account when you are logged in, unconditionally what computer you use.

Zotero in Word

A Word plug-in is installed automatically when you install Zotero on a PC. If a warning about macros appear in word, you have to activate macros in Word in order to see the tab Zotero. 

If you still have a problem: go to Zotero and Edit > Preferences > Cite and the tab Word Processor. Install the plug-in for Microsoft Word once again, even if it says it is already installed. 

If the tab Zotero still does not appear: go to Zotero Tools > Add-ons and click on Disable the Zotero Word for Windows Integration. Then close both Word and Zotero, and then enable the Zotero Word for Windows Integration. Close Zotero once again before you open both Zotero and Word. Sometimes you have to re-install the wordprocessor plug-in yet again in order for the Zotero tab to appear in Word.

If you use a Mac computer, you may have to install Zotero’s Word plug-in directly in Word. Open Word and go to the tab Tools Templates and Add-ins, click the option for Zotero.dotm and press OK. Now Zotero’s Word plug-in should be visible.

As always: restart the program if you get problems after an installation. 

Zotero and Google docs

​Zotero and Google Docs are compatible, see instructions.

How do I use the SLU Harvard style file in Zotero?

Download the SLU Harvard style sheet (Acta Universitatis agriculturae Sueciae) from Zotero Style Repository

When you insert references in your word document using Zotero, you can then choose style in the Citation style list. After download the SLU Harvard Style sheet will be included in the list.

You can change citation style for your word document after you have already started to write references with Zotero: In the word document, go to the Zotero tab and choose document preferences. There you can choose a different citation style in a list. 

If the citation style writes out the information differently than you expect it to: Check the bibliographic information in Zotero for the specific reference to see if the metadata is inserted and in the right fields. You might have to change the type of material, or add/change information manually in Zotero.

If you want to edit information in the reference: Do the changes in Zotero and not in the word document since Zotero will override the changes the next time you update Zotero in Word. If you need to make changes in the word document, do them as the very last thing, and do not sync the document with Zotero afterwards. It is possible to remove all the linking between the document and Zotero with unlink citations in the zotero tab. Be aware that if you choose to do so, you can not undo the unlinking and get the links to Zotero back.

In order to include web links to references of journal articles, reports etc. you need to activate this in Zotero. Go to Edit > preferences. choose the tab Cite and Styles and under Citation Options: mark the alternative "Include URLs of paper articles in references".

If the changes you have made in Zotero does not show up in your document even when you press refresh in word, go to the Zotero tab in Word > Document preferences and activate Automatic updates .

The style Acta Universitatis agriculturae Sueciae does not include all the item types described at the Library web

Get metadata from Primo 

Sometimes it is not possible to transfer bibliographic information from Primo to Zotero using the web browser Zotero symbol. If this is the case, go to the page you want to get metadata from and chose "export to RIS”, and save in UTF-8 format. Then import the file to Zotero. Sometimes it gets imported automatically if Zotero is running and you click on the file, otherwise import in Zotero: File > Import and choose the file you want to import.

As always, you need to check the metadata, and maybe change type of material, remove parallel titles etc from the bibliographic post. 

How do I get metadata from a pdf to Zotero?

Zotero is designed to get metadata from abstract pages, e.g. from reference databases, but there is a way you can add metadata (bibliographic information) to the pdf:s you have in Zotero:

Right click on the pdf in your Zotero library and choose "retrive metadata from pdf". The post will then automatically be enriched with metadata from google scholar. In order to make this work, pdf indexing must be activated in Zotero. Go to Edit > preferences > General and mark the relevant boxes under File handling. The system prompts users to activate the pdf indexing function the first time you try to retrieve metadata, see instructions.

If this does not work, go to an abstract page for the pdf in a reference database and get the metadata from there, or add the metadata manually in Zotero.