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Learn how to use the free resource management system Zotero to store, organize, and cite scholarly resources.

Zotero Download

You can start the installation process immediately by going to the Zotero download page and following the instructions. 

In order to use Zotero to its fullest, you'll want to confirm the following 4 things: 

  1. You have installed and can open the Zotero standalone application (Zotero 6 for Windows or Mac).
  2. You have installed the Zotero Connector for any Web browser you intend to use with Zotero.
  3. You have created a Zotero account and logged in on the Zotero standalone application.
  4. The Zotero plugin is installed and working in Microsoft Word.

Scroll down for more instructions on installing all components. 

Installing Zotero Application & Web Connectors

To use Zotero on a laptop or desktop computer, install both the following components from the Zotero downloads page

  • Zotero standalone application for Windows or Mac
  • Zotero Connector for any and all browsers you plan to use

The webpage will predict what device and Web browser you are using and provide you with the appropriate download links. Install both components by clicking on the blue buttons and following the installation instructions. 

Zotero works well with most major browsers but works a little different in Safari. More information about using Zotero with Safari is available on Zotero's website. For the most seamless experience, Google Chrome or Firefox are recommended. 

You will know both components have been successfully installed if you can open the Zotero standalone application and locate the Zotero Connector on your Web browser. 

Optionally, you can also download the official iOS app for your iPhone or iPad. Read more about the Zotero iOS App. There is currently no Zotero app for Android devices. 

Zotero application

Above: Icon for Zotero desktop application

Above: different icons for the Zotero connector. When a tab is blank, the connector icon is a Z. When a tab has content on the page, the icon reflects the type of content, such as the page icon for an article. 

If the Zotero tab is installed but not displaying, try checking your extensions (usually indicated by a puzzle piece icon, as pictured above) and "pin" the Zotero Connector extension to make it show up on your toolbar. 

Installing Zotero Plugin for Microsoft Word

The Microsoft Word Zotero plugin should automatically be installed when you install Zotero, but some users need to go through additional steps before it is working properly. 

When working properly, you should see a Zotero tab included in your menu options, like in the image below. 

Zotero Plugin Tab for Microsoft Word

If you have installed Zotero, closed all Microsoft Word windows and opened a new document in Word, and the Zotero tab in the toolbar still does not appear, follow Zotero's instructions for word processor plugin troubleshooting

If you need personal librarian assistance with Zotero troubleshooting, book an appointment or email 

Zotero features are also available in Google Docs. A Zotero tab should appear in your Google Docs toolbar if you have installed the Zotero Connector for the Web browser through which you are using Google Docs. 

See Zotero's documentation for more information about using Zotero with Google Docs

Creating a Zotero Account

Before using Zotero, you will want to create an account in order to save and sync your work and access the group sharing features in Zotero. 

Go to to create your account. A Zotero account is free (though an option exists to purchase more cloud data storage) and is not connected to your ACU login.