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Zotero: Get Started / Install Zotero

How to install Zotero and use it to manage bibliographies. Includes how to install Microsoft Word and other word processing plugins.

What's in this guide?

This guide provides information on how to use the bibliographic management software, Zotero to capture citations, organize references, and create bibliographies.

To get Started:                           Download Zotero

Zotero in its original form worked only with Firefox.  If you are a Firefox user,  start by downloading the latest version of Firefox.

Zotero now has a standalone version for Chrome users, as well as a version that works on an iPad.  For help, go to

Once you are running Firefox 3.0 or higher, download the Zotero add-on:

  1. Go to and click on the red Download button.

  2. A dialog box will appear asking you if you would like to install your download. Click on Install Now.

When the download is complete, Firefox will prompt you to restart. Once you restart Firefox, you will see the Zotero icon in the lower right corner of your browser window.

Don't use Firefox as your browser?

Follow the links below for instructions.

Zotero Standalone (works with a variety of browsers)

iPad instructions

Introduction to Zotero - Video

Play video

Introduction to Zotero - Video
(Click the image to view.)

Running Time: 3:11

View more Zotero video tutorials

Zotero Key Features

Zotero logo

  • Run Zotero right in your Firefox browser, separately from web pages.
  • Automatically extract citation information from websites, library catalogs, databases, and more.
  • Save PDF files, images, screenshots, and other files.
  • Record your research notes.
  • Automatically create formatted bibliographies in many different styles.
  • Use Zotero with word processing programs like Microsoft Word.
  • Sync the citations and files you save online.
  • Access your saved information from anywhere.
  • Share your saved information online with groups.
  • Use Zotero -- an open source tool -- for free.

More Help with Zotero

 View screencast tutorials from

Citation Manager Comparison

Trying to figure out which citation manager is right for you? 

View this comparison of three citation managers: Endnote, RefWorks, and Zotero.


If you have questions, contact Gail Stucky


Thanks to the Knowledge Navigation Center at  the University of Michigan Library for the bulk of this guide.

Thanks also to Jason Puckett of Georgia State University for his pages about Zotero standalone/iPad.

Print Handouts


Full-length Handout
(web page suitable for printers and screen readers)