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Learn how to use the reference management software Zotero.

Use Zotero with MS Word

Zotero can be used in conjunction with Microsoft Word to format in-text citations and reference lists.

Zotero Standalone - this version includes the Word plug-in the initial download of Zotero.

You should see a Zotero toolbar which allows you to use your Zotero library with MS Word:

In-text citation and bibliographies

Insert Citations into a MS Word Document

Open your Zotero library while using Zotero with Word.

The first time you use the Insert Citation button in the Zotero Toolbar, you will be prompted to choose your referencing style. Choose the appropriate style. 


To add a citation to your Word document, click the Insert Citation icon. This will bring up a search box. There are two ways to insert your citations:

  • Enter a keyword, title or author name in the search box. Zotero will search your library for the appropriate reference. Simply click on the reference you want then press enter. Zotero will insert it into your document. 


  • You can also click Z to select Classic View, this will bring you to the Zotero library, select a reference from your Zotero library and click OK to insert this citation. 


Edit citations

  • Click an in-text citation you want to edit, then click Edit citation icon from the Add-on tool bar.
  • In the red search box (see the image below), click once on the citation (Wakeham et al., 2012), this will open the edit box.
  • Add page numbers in the Page field, or Suppress Author, as required. and press the Enter key.


Create a Bibliography (a Reference list)

Once you have inserted your citation, place the cursor at the end of your document and click the Insert Bibliography icon. This will start building your Bibliography.

You only need to do this once for the document. From thereafter, each time you insert a citation it will be added to your reference list in the correct order. 

Edit a Bibliography

  • Click the Edit Bibliography icon

To add or remove an item to/from your reference list: 

  • Select a reference in the middle or right column, and use the arrows to move it in or out of the reference list. Note: this will not add or delete the in-text citation from your document. 

To edit the details of references in your bibliography:


  • Edit the details within your Zotero library. Then click the Edit Bibliography icon in your Word document, select the relevant reference in the right hand column, then click ok. This will update the bibliography according to the changes you have made in your library. 


  • Select a reference on the right column and edit this reference in the free text box at the bottom of the window. Caution! This will manually edit the reference in the current document. This manually edited citation will not be updated if you make any changes in your Zotero Library.



Use Revert All to reset all reference in the bibliography to the original references in your Zotero library.