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Zotero: Installing Zotero Standalone

Step 1. Install Zotero Standalone

image of Zotero icon which has the letter Z1. Go to the Zotero website.

2. Register (note your username and password).

3. Download the latest version for your operating system (Windows, MacOS or Linux) following the onscreen instructions.   

Tip! Zotero will update automatically as and when the software designers make changes.

Step 2. Install connector

  • Zotero picks up bibliographic information (metadata) by using a 'connector' which is an Add-on installed on the browser's toolbar.
  • There are connectors for FireFox, Chrome and Safari.  
icon for FireFox icon for Chrome icon for Safari
  • Once you have installed the connector for the browser, you will see an icon on the browser toolbar. This confirms that the connector has been successfully installed. 
  • Zotero is able to download the bibliographic data for different types of resources. These can be blogs, books, journal articles, theses, web pages, archive files etc.
  • The icon changes according to the type of resource you are looking at on screen:

icon for act icon for art work  icon for article  icon for blog post icon for book  icon for case  icon for dictionary entry  icon for interview transcript icon for manuscript icon for newspaper article icon for podcast  icon for presentation  icon for report  icon for thesis   icon for TV broadcast  icon for web page  icon for radio roadcast  icon for video recording  icon for email  icon for film


Step 3: Zotfile

screenshot of install Add-on for ZotFile.

  • If you want to extract the text that you have highlighted on a PDF file, you will need to download a Zotero plugin called ZotFile.  
  • Download the file and save it to your desktop.
  • Open Zotero, go to Tools and select Install Add-on From File.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions.
  • Re-start Zotero.
  • Check to see that ZotFile Preferences appears under Tools.​ If it appears in the list, you have successfully installed the plug-in.

Step 4: Word Plugin

screenshot of preferences which allow you to install MSWord plugin

  • ​​Zotero Standalone should automatically download the MSWord plugin but if it does not do this, follow the instructions outlined below:

1. Go to Preferences.

2. Select Cite and select the Word Processors tab.

3. Select Install Microsoft Word Add-in (or Install LibreOffice Add-in if you are using Libre).

4. Finally, make sure you tick the checkbox Use classic Add Citation dialog.

5. Next, open up MSWord and check to see that you have Zotero as one of the options on the menu-bar at the top of the page.

screenhot of menu-bar in MSWord showing Zotero