Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Canisius Logo Andrew L Bouwhuis Library Canisius College | myCanisius | Desire2Learn

Zotero: Using Citations in a Document

A guide for using Zotero, a free, browser-based citation manager

Word plug-ins

The Zotero Word plugin allows you to make better use of your libraries within Zotero by adding citations directly to your Word document. For more information please see the Word Processor Plugin page @ Zotero.

Google Docs Plugin information

Data syncing

Zotero's sync feature can keep your library up to date on all computers that you use and can also double as a backup.  Zotero can store a copy of your library on the server and check it for updates whenever you open your library on a different computer.  All your computers must be running the same version Zotero and be configured to sync to the server.

First, set up a (free, of course) user account.

Open Zotero preferences (via the gear menu) and select the Sync tab. 

Enter your Zotero user name and password. 

Check the "sync automatically" box.  Zotero will upload your library to the server. 

Repeat this configuration on each of your computers.  Any updates you make on one of your computers will be reflected on the others.  This even works to synchronize your library among Windows, Mac and Linux computers.

For more details and help troubleshooting sync problems, check the Zotero Sync site and the Zotero File Storage documentation for more information.


Cite a Source While You Write Your Paper

To add a citation, click the first button ("Insert Citation") on the toolbar. Select the reference you want to cite and click OK. Zotero will add the citation at your cursor.

At the end of your paper, click the third button ("Insert Bibliography"). Your bibliography will appear, and new citations will be added automatically. Change bibliographic styles with the last button on the toolbar ("Set Doc Prefs").