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Zotero: Setting Preferences

Setting preferences

The Preference window is divided into the following panes:

  1. General: Adjust appearance, import settings, and other general features.
  2. Sync: Set up data and file syncing.
  3. Search: Manage PDF fulltext indexing and see relevant statistics.
  4. Export: Set default settings for generating bibliographies and citations.
  5. Cite: Add, remove, edit, and preview citation styles and install word processor plugins.
  6. Advanced: Zotero data location, library lookup, and other advanced settings.

Follow the instructions below to se up the preferences - and do this before you start using Zotero.

1. General

Open Preferences

Begin with General and make sure the following are CHECKED:

  • Only check this option: Automatically attach associated PDFS and other files when saving items if you want to attach full-text pdfs to the bibliographic record.  This does take up space on your Zotero account on the cloud. 

2. Sync

 Next go to the Sync tab

  • Add your username and password (the one you used to register with Zotero)
  • Syncing merges library items, notes, links, tags, etc.—everything except attachment files—between your local computer and the Zotero servers, allowing you to work with your data, i.e. references, from any computer with Zotero installed. It also allows you to view your library online on Data syncing is free, has no storage limit, and can be used without file syncing. More information here.

3. Search

Search tab

  • Click on the Check for installer option and install now
  • This opion enables searching within pdfs too. More on searching here.

4. Export

 Export tab

  • The settings on the Export tab allow you to choose which citation style you watn the references to appear in when you copy and paste to a document, web page etc.

5. Cite

Cite tab

  • Here you can select the Styles you want the references to appear in form a default list
  • You can also add the IOE house style from Harvard here by clicking this link

  • You can also get additional styles and some publishers have created styles for their journals.
  • Search for these in Zotero's Style Repository by clicking on Get additional styles:


  • Now open the Word Processors subtab
  • Check the 'Use classic Add Citation dialog'. This is a user-friendly option that allows you to more easily cite multiple references.

  • If you are not able to see Zotero on Word, you can reinstall the MSWord Plugins which lo
  • Open up Word and to see if Zotero is installed.






  • Like this on a Mac:


6. Advanced

Advanced tab

  • Add the proxy so that clicking on the URL of a document takes you straight to the authentication option in order to access the full-text
  • Here you can select the Styles you want the references to appear in form a default list

  • You can set up the 'path' which tells Zotero where (i.e. in which folder) you want to save the full-text if you are automatically attaching the full-text of the document.