Change Bibliography Style Zotero Free

If you are running Zotero 5.0 or Zotero Standalone 4.0, the word processor plugins for Microsoft Word and LibreOffice are bundled with Zotero and should be installed automatically for each word processor when you first start Zotero. The plugins will allow you to insert citations as you write.

You can reinstall plugins from Edit > Preferences > Cite > Word Processors. If you need to reinstall the plugins, close your word processing software first.

Using Zotero with Word

The Microsoft Word plugin will add to your menu either a Zotero tab, an Add-Ins tab, or both. In Windows, Zotero installs two files -- Zotero.dotm and into the STARTUP folder. (On my PC, this is located at C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word\STARTUP). Zotero.dotm is required for Word for Windows 2007 and higher; if you delete from the STARTUP folder, the Add-ins tab will be removed.

Under the Zotero tab, you will see this menu.         Under the "Add-ins" tab, you will see this menu.



Using Zotero with LibreOffice

Installation of the plugin adds a toolbar to the LibreOffice Writer menu. [Note that LibreOffice for Windows requires Java Runtime Environment and the version (32-bit or 64-bit) must match the version of LibreOffice that you downloaded. Avoid installation problems by making sure the JRE on your computer is up-to-date and is chosen as an option under LibreOffice's Tools > Options > Advanced menu before installation (or re-installation).]


Adding citations to a document

While writing your document, when you get to a point where you want to add a citation, click on the insert citation button in the toolbar and then search for the citation in your collection. Click on it, then press enter. If you would like to insert multiple citations, continue typing after selecting the first reference. 

If you want to add details to a citation, such as a comment before or after, or a page number, click on the citation quick format bar to open a pop-up that allows you to enter the information. 

If you click on the Z in the red bar, the option to look at the "Classic View" will appear. This opens a window that gives you access to all of your directories and saved citations in your folder. You can also add comments and page numbers in this window, as well as selecting multiple references to be combined in one citation. If you prefer this view, you can set it as the default under Preferences > Cite > Word Processors and check "Use classic Add Citation dialog."

(See the FAQ to learn why it is important that you use Zotero to add or edit information in your citations.)

To generate a bibliography from all of the items you have referenced, position your cursor where you want the bibliography to start, then click the Add/Edit Bibliography button.

Zotero: NMU Customization Guide

For version 5.0 (July 2017)

Stand-alone for all browsers


Created by Mike Strahan
rev. 07/22/2017

Zotero is a free Web application developed for Firefox, Chrome, & Safari Internet browsers that allows you to quickly cite in-text and format references in a multitude of styles (APA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian, etc.). Zotero allows you to collect, manage, cite, and share references you've collected for your research.

This guide will walk you through modifying the Preferences tabs screens to configure Zotero.

Important: This guide is intended for users who have just installed Zotero for the first time.

If you already have entries loaded into a past Zotero installation, we recommend you backup your Zotero folder before proceeding, and then after completing customizing, copy your old Zotero folder to the new location on the Desktop.

Please connect to the Internet while configuring Zotero.

If you have not yet downloaded and installed Zotero, please see the Library's Installing Zotero guide for directions with screen shots.


You need to decide where to save your Zotero files & retrieved articles.

We highly recommend saving to either Documents, or to the Desktop (makes it much easier when migrating to a new computer or quickly backing up), so the first step is to create a New folder in that place & name it: Zotero

To access the Preferences settings, open Zotero, then click on the Edit menu choice, and select Preferences
(set setting changed with Zotero 5.0.6 on July 20, 2017) :


Advanced tab -- Files and Folders sub-tab

Under Data Directory Location, click on the Choose button and select the newly-created Zotero folder which appears on your Desktop.


Zotero will add the information to the screen similar to above, but with your username.

For the new standalone version, you will be prompted that it must re-start Zotero.

After re-starting Zotero, we recommend waiting until making all
the changes before clicking OK.

To access the Preferences settings, open Zotero, then click on the Edit menu choice, then select Preferences:



Advanced tab - General sub-tab

Modify OpenURL Custom Resolver:



[either copy & paste, or right-click & Copy link address & paste]


General tab

On the General tab you may adjust the User Interface Layout, Font size, & Note font size (recommendations below).

A new feature in Version 5.0 is selecting the Layout (red outline below):

Standard Layout displays a selected entry on the right side of the list of items.

Stacked Layout displays a selected entry underneath the list of items.

All boxes are checked by default.


Sync tab

Only use if you plan on creating an account & using storage on Zotero server for yourself or group work.

Sync is also beneficial if you are using multiple computers (e.g., work & home) to manage sources.

Enter the username & password used when you created account on Zotero web site.

Note that Sync does not replace making regular backups of your local Zotero files, and cannot be used to restore your Zotero files if your hard drive is damaged or requires re-imaging.


Search tab

PDF Indexing is a feature which allows you to drag-and-drop previously downloaded pdf files into Zotero, and then have it search for metadata on that file & create an entry for you.

As Zotero facilitates creating your own "library" of sources, enabling PDF Indexing will include those sources when searching within Zotero.

In order for that feature to function, you must first go to the Search tab & click on the Check for installer button to install the PDF Indexing programs. Installation is quick.



Cite tab -- Word Processors sub-tab

It is highly recommended using the classic insert citation interface. So on the Word Processors sub-tab,
check the box next to the label: Use classic Add Citation dialog

Cite tab -- Styles sub-tab - VERY IMPORTANT

There are over 6,600 citation styles available for Zotero including many styles based on individual journal titles. Zotero only comes configured with the more popular 15-20 styles but go to the Zotero Style Repository and you can add any of the other styles. You may also add while inside Zotero preferences.

After clicking on the Cite tab, click on the Styles sub-tab.

Next, locate the style from the list& click on it to select.

If you do not see your specific style, click on the Get additional styles... link which will go to that web page, and search the repository for your style.

Right-click on the style name, select Save link as, save it to an easy-to-access place such as your Desktop. Next go to Zotero Preferences, click on the + button, and open the .csl file you just saved. Click on it to select.

Citation Options - Real important especially for APA, MLA, & Chicago styles

Check the box next to the label: Include URLs of paper articles in references.

Export tab

This is another area where you should set the Default style you will use. Note that you may always change the default. Under the Default Output Format, click on the button to choose to change style.


IMPORTANT: You MUST click the OK button to save all changes.

You are now ready to use Zotero. The videos below will show you how to use the key features of this program.

Using Zotero
The following videos will take you through the process of importing citations into your Zotero databases, manually creating an entry in Zotero, organizing your citations by collection, and using the MS Word feature to format citations in your research paper. The first two videos have some overlap. However, it is helpful to see how to import citations more than once. Also, the second video goes into more details.

As with most things, Zotero is not perfect. Always check your citations for accuracy. Zotero will not correct data or capitalized titles for instance. Be sure to check the data for each citation. You can always edit the citations in Zotero.

  1. Quick Bibliographic Demo (3:50) - A quick overview of importing citations from Websites or databases

  2. Getting Stuff Into Zotero (4:03) - A more detailed presentation on importing citations into Zotero.

  3. Manually Adding Items (3:05) - Shows you how to manually create a database entry

  4. Organizing Your Sources (3:07) - Shows you how to create folders to manage your citations.

  5. Zotero and Microsoft Word (2:55) - Shows you how to use the Zotero plugin with MS Word to create footnotes, endnotes, in-text citations, and bibliographies. There is also a helpful User Guide for the word processsor plugin.

Additional videos can be viewed at the Zotero Screencast Tutorials page.

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