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Writing 101: Coming of Age & Happiness: Zotero

Download Zotero for Firefox

Zotero works best with the Firefox browser (if you do not have it you can download it for free on their website).


  • To install the Zotero Firefox extension, visit the Zotero download page with Firefox and click the red “Zotero for Firefox” button on the left.


  • If a box appears above the web page with “Firefox prevented this site ( from asking you to install software on your computer.”, click the “Allow” button.


  • Then click the “Install ” button in the “Software Installation” pop up window (the button may be grayed out for a few seconds) and restart Firefox after the installation has completed.


  • You should now see the Zotero “Z” icon in the toolbar at the top of your Firefox browser window.

Installing Word Processor Plugins for Zotero for Firefox

To get the maximum benefit of using Zotero, make sure you download the word processor plugin in for Firefox. This will let you seamlessly add citations to your Word document as you are typing your paper.

Begin by going back to the Zotero Download page and click on "plugin for Word or LibreOffice"

Then click on the appropriate link (Windows, Mac or LibreOffice), and just as you downloaded Zotero, click "allow" to the pop-up, then "install" and then "restart".

Adding Articles to Zotero

To add articles to Zotero you just need to click on the paper icon in your browser. It will automatically be added to your Zotero Library:



  • Once the article has been saved, you can see it in your library by clicking on the "Z" icon in your browser. That will open up a box at the bottom of your screen to show that your article has been saved:

NOTE: When adding articles, it is best to do it one at a time, rather than using an export feature in a database to save multiple articles at once. The reason is because the export feature generally only saves the citation, and the not the full-text of the article. When you add articles one at a time, you generally get the full pdf text along with the citation.

Adding Books to Zotero

You can add a book directly from the catalog. Simply click on the blue book icon in your browser:

Adding In-Text Citation in Word

When you're ready to insert a citation in your paper, click on the Zotero tab and then "Add/Edit Citation"

  • You then need to select the type of citation style you wish to use:


  • Then a box will appear and you can start typing in the author or title. Zotero will start listing suggestions and you can select which source you want to use. 


  • Select the source you want use and you will see it added to the box:


  • At this point you can click on the source to add the page number. Once you have done that you can hit "enter" to add the citation