Collecting, organizing, and citing your references

Bibliographies, Footnotes, and Endnotes

Zotero allows you to create simple bibliographies or works cited pages, footnotes and endnotes, or in-text citations in a number of citation styles.

Zotero style manager will work with

  • Microsoft Word
    • Local installs only, not yet with Office 365 online. 
  • LibreOffice
  • new Google Docs

The default installation of Zotero includes popular styles such as Chicago, MLA, APA, and more. You can download additional styles at the Zotero Style Repository; there are also tools to make your own style.

Creating Quick Bibliographies

It's easy to create a bibliography from your Zotero library.

  1. Select the references or collections you want to include. (Hold the control key and click to select multiple items.)
  2. Right-click one of the selected items and choose Create Bibliography.
  3. Choose the bibliographic style you want.
  4. Select the output format: Save as RTF or HTML, copy to clipboard or print. (The RTF file format is compatible with all word processors.)

Right-click a collection and choose Create bibliography

Or you can just drag and drop references from Zotero into your document! They'll turn into fully formatted citations. This works with any word processor including Google Docs. Change the default style under Preferences on the "gear" menu.

Even Quicker: Drag and Drop

A quick way to add references or a bibliography to your paper is to drag and drop any item from the center Zotero pane into your paper.


To do so, you should first set up your citation preferences by clicking on the options button (gear icon) then choosing Preferences and then Export.


Set your Zotero preferences for default citation style




Once you have set up your preferences, you can drag any items in the center Zotero pane to create notes or bibliographies.




Highlight items in the center Zotero pane, and then drag them to the document.


More about quick copy.

Microsoft Word Integration

About Word Processor Plugins

Zotero offers word processing plugins for MS Word*, Google Docs, Libre / OpenOffice. The plugin adds a Zotero toolbar to your word processor that allows you to add citations to your document while you write.

*Note that Zotero does not yet have an Add in for Word 365 online

The word processor plugins are bundled with Zotero and should be installed automatically for each supported word processor on your computer when you first start Zotero.

You can reinstall the plugins later from the Cite → Word Processor Plugins pane of the Zotero preferences. If you're having trouble, see Manually Installing the Zotero Word Processor Plugin or Word Processor Plugin Troubleshooting.

Using the Word Processor Plugins in Word

To add a citation, position your cursor where you want the note to go and click the first button on the Zotero tab ("Insert / Edit Citation").

Add a citation to Word document in Zotero

Choosing a Citation Style

The first time you use Zotero on a document, you will be asked to choose a citation style.

Choosing a citation style in Zotero

Choosing a Citation from Your Library

The default citation insert method is a search bar. Choose Classic View instead if you prefer a hierarchical browse option.

Zotero insert citation search boz

Zotero Classic View Citation Browse

Select the reference you want to cite and click OK. Zotero will add the citation at your cursor.

Adding a Works Cited List or Bibliography

At the end of your paper, click the third button (Add/Edit Bibliography"). Your bibliography will appear, and new citations will be added automatically.

Add a bibliography or works cited list


More about Word Processor Integration,

Annotated Bibliographies

Step 1: Download and Install the Appropriate Style

Zotero supports annotated bibliographies or abstracts in 3 styles


To use these styles, you must first download them from the Zotero Style Repository. Click the links to install.

Zotero Style Repository

Step 2: Annotate your References

Gather the references into a folder / collection  and add annotations by using the Extra: field.

Annotate records in the "Extra" field.

Step 3: Select the Items for your Bibliography

Right-click on the folder / collection name and choose Create a Bibliography from Collection.

You can also select specific items in a folder / collection to create a bibliography from with Create a Bibliography from Items.

Right-click to create a bibliography

Step 4: Select a Bibliography Format.

Choose Chicago or APA annotated styles (the styles you istalled in step 1). Be sure to choose the Bibliography output mode. For us in MS Word or other word processors, you will want to use the RTF output option.  

Choose bibliography style

Your bibliography should output with annotations.

Annotated bibliography created by Zotero