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In-Text Citations

There are two ways to use Zotero to generate your in-text citations.

1.  Get the appropriate Zotero Add-On for your word processor from:

Select citations from your Zotero database to add as you go along.  Screencast showing how to insert in-text citations and an associated works cited list in Word:




2.  Save your working document as a "rich text document" (.rtf) file.  Follow the instructions for RTF import, and all your citations will "magically" be formatted at the same time.  Instructions:

Zotero and Google Docs

Zotero can be used with Google Docs in the same way as with plain-text documents or emails. See the screencast on Zotero and Google tools.

  • To add a bibliography, simply select items in Zotero and drag them into the document.
  • To add a citation, hold the Shift key before dragging.

To use a different style, change your Quick Copy settings in the Export pane of the Zotero preferences.

At the moment there is no way to get an automatically updating bibliography in a Google Docs document. (There are several requests to the Google Docs team for allowing Zotero integration.)

For more about using Zotero with Google Docs, see Zotero's documentation on the subject.

Using Wizfolio to Convert "Old" Text-Based Bibliographies to Zotero

1.  Open your word-processed document.  Select your entire Works Cited section or bibliography, and copy it, the same way you would normally copy text. 

2.  Go to Wizfolio's home page.  Set up a Wizfolio account.  Once you have the account, you can log in.

3. Hold your mouse over the Add icon toward the top center of the Wizfolio window.  This will open up a menu of options.  Select Import from Clipboard. 

4.  Paste your text into the big box that opens, either by right-clicking and choosing "Paste" or by holding down the control (Mac: command) key and typing v.

5.  You should start to see Wizfolio inserting blank lines between the entries in your bibliography.  The more references you paste, the longer this takes.

6.  After Wizfolio has inserted the spaces, click the Import Now button in the lower right corner of the page.

7.  Wizfolio will attempt to locate full text for the articles in PubMed, but this is not the important thing right now.

8.  Select all the citations you've just imported by clicking the first one, holding down the SHIFT key and clicking the last one.

9.  Click the RIS Export button at the top center of the page.

10.  Save the file.  It will be called MyReferences.ris. 

12.  In your Firefox browser, open Zotero.

13.  Go to the gear icon and choose Import…

14.  Locate the file.  On my computer, the default download location was C:Documents and Settings\Brekhusr\My DocumentsDownloads and the name of the file was My References. 

15.  Double click on the file when you find it.  The references will be imported. 

Once you have the references in Zotero, you can treat them like any other references you’ve added directly into Zotero from a database.  To generate a quick bibliography from Zotero:

1.       Select all the items you want to add to your list of references, either one at a time by holding the control key down while clicking the items you want, or in blocks by clicking the first reference you want, holding the shift key, and clicking the last one you want – all the references in between will be selected too. 

2.       After you’ve selected all the items you want in the bibliography, do a right-click.   Choose Generate Bibliography From Selected Item.

3.       In the popup box that appears, choose the citation style you want (e.g., APA 6th).  Click the radio button for Copy to Clipboard, if that isn’t already selected by default.

4.       Open up your Word document.  Right-click and select Paste.  (Or: hold down the Control key and type the letter v).  Your bibliography will be formatted in APA 6th format.

Bibliography Only

To create a bibliography in Zotero, highlight one or more references and then right-click (or control-click on Macs) to select “Create Bibliography from Selected Item(s).” Then select a citation style for your bibliography format and choose one of the following four ways to create your bibliography:

  • Save as RTF will allow you to save the bibliography as a rich text file.
  • Save as HTML will allow you to save the bibliography as a HTML file for viewing in a web browser. This format will also embed metadata allowing other Zotero users viewing the document to capture bibliographic information.
  • Save to Clipboard will allow you to save the bibliography to your clipboard to paste into any text field.
  • Print will send your bibliography straight to a printer.

For most users, the Save to Clipboard option is most common.  Once the items are saved to the clipboard, just hit "paste" in your document, and the formatted citations will be pasted in, in the correct order as specified by the style you select.