Zotero - Collect, Organize, Cite, and Share References

Create Free Zotero User Account

Register for a free Zotero user account

Set Zotero Preferences

Set Preferences in Zotero by clicking Edit on the Zotero menu and then selecting Preferences

Preferences - Sync Zotero Account with Desktop Zotero

Sync your Zotero user account to your desktop Zotero

Zotero's online syncing allows you to access your Zotero library on any computer with internet access. Zotero syncing has two parts: data syncing and file syncing. Data syncing merges library items, notes, links, tags, etc.—everything except attachment files—between your local computer and the Zotero servers, allowing you to work with your data from any computer with Zotero installed. It also allows you to view your library online on zotero.org. Data syncing is free, has no storage limit, and can be used without file syncing. Data syncing syncs library items, but doesn't sync attached files (PDFs, audio and video files, images, etc.). To sync these files, you can set up file syncing to accompany data syncing… Each Zotero user is given 100 MB of free Zotero File Storage for attached files, with larger storage plans available for purchase. See https://www.zotero.org/support/sync

In Zotero Preferences:

Click the Sync tab and enter your Zotero Username and Password

Click the Set Up Syncing button


Preferences - Enable PDF Indexing

Fulltext PDF indexing allows embedded text within PDFs to be searched in Zotero. To enable PDF indexing, you need to install two small plugins.

In Zotero Preferences:

Click the Search tab

In the second section, PDF Indexing, click Check for Installer, and then Install

(You can also come here to check for updates for the plugins)


Once PDF indexing is enabled, PDFs are automatically indexed as they are added to your library, for example, by dragging a PDF file into the Zotero middle column. (PDFs that already existed in your Zotero library before you activated indexing can be indexed by going into the Zotero Preferences Search tab and clicking Rebuild Index.)

Preferences - Selecting / Updating Citation Styles

Select and update the scripts for commonly used citation styles.

In Zotero Preferences:

Click the Cite tab

Click the Styles tab

If you do not see a style you think you will be using, or even if you see a style you think you will be using, note the date that style was last Updated in your Zotero installation

Click Get additional styles


On the Zotero Style Repository page that appears, search for the style and note the date last updated. If the date is more recent than the Zotero installed file, click the Install link


Preferences - Selecting Default Quick Copy Citation Style

You can highlight references in the Zotero middle pane and drag them into any text field, e.g., an open word processing file, to generate a bibliography in any supported style. To set the default Quick Copy bibliographic style:

In Zotero Options Preferences:

Click the Export tab

Below Default Format select your default style

Preferences - Enable EMU FindText+

To enable access to online EMU Library subscription content via the EMU Findtext+ button:

In Zotero Options (Preferences):

Click the Advanced tab

In the OpenURL section, following Resolver, type https://emich.alma.exlibrisgroup.com/discovery/openurl?institution=01EMU_INST&vid=01EMU_INST:Services&<metadata>

Click the OK button at the bottom of the window

The Zotero library lookup feature allows you to use EMU FindText+ linking to search the EMU library’s holdings to find if an item in your Zotero library is immediately available via EMU.

Select an item in the Zotero middle pane, click the Locate button, and click Library Lookup on the menu.

Library Guy

Keith Stanger's picture
Keith Stanger
Eastern Michigan University Library
955 West Circle Drive
Room 100G
Ypsilanti, MI 48197


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