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Installing the Zotero Plug-in in Google Docs / Microsoft Word

i. Introduction: Zotero can automatically format citations and create bibliographies in documents, assignments, manuscripts, and more in a multitude of different citation styles.  Before you can use this functionality, you must install Zotero's plug-in.

ii. Google Docs: When you download Zotero and the Zotero connector, the Zotero plug-in will appear automatically in Google Docs:

iii. Microsoft Word: Install the plug-in for Word from the Cite tab in Zotero's list of Preferences. You will notice that under the Cite tab there are two smaller tabs: Styles and Word Processors. Click the Word Processors tab for a drop-down menu.  While Zotero also supports LibreOffice you might as well use Word since it is now free for university students and faculty as part of the Office suite.


a)  Before the install, make sure your Word is completely CLOSED, otherwise the install will not work. 
b)  Click on "Use classic Add Citation dialog" for an better experience in Word itself.

Using Zotero in Your Word Processor

i. Important:   Make sure Zotero is open on your desk-top before you start using your word processor.

ii. Zotero Options

a. Add/Edit a Citation: Transfers a reference from a Zotero collection as a cite info the document you are working on. When first using this, you will be asked to pick a citation style, e.g. APA, MLA, Harvard etc. If the style you want does not appear, click on the "Manage Styles" link, search for the style you need, and install it. Click OK.    

Return to your document and you will see the following graphic unless you have made "Use classic Add Citation dialog" the default as you were installing the word plug-in.  

Click on the inverted triangle and you will then see your Zotero Collection.  As emphasized, you will avoid this step if you have made "Use classic Add Citation dialog" the default. Note you have the option of inserting a prefix (e.g. As quoted in:)or a suffix; you can also insert multiple references in the same area and finally you can add page numbers if you want:

b. Add/Edit Bibliography. Converts the items you have cited in your document into  the same style you have picked for your document. Be sure to place your cursor at the end of the document before you choose this option:))
c. Document Preferences.  This allows you to change from one citation style to another...automatically. e.g. from APA to MLA.
d. Refresh.  Hardly ever needed.
e. Unlink Citations.  Used to eliminate Zotero's hidden information which allows the writer to add an extra citation and generate a parallel addition to the bibliography, or maybe change citation styles. Hardly ever used.

Google Docs add two other options which are normally not required: Switch Word Processors and Unlink Citations.

iii. Google Docs

When you click on the Zotero tab, you are given various options, likely in the order you would use them:


iv. Microsoft Word

Has fewer options than Google Docs, but as noted avove, the missing options are not normally required.