Zotero: A Beginner's Guide

Location of Preference settings for 6.0 & 5.0

Setting your preferences can help your workflow for Zotero 6.0 and Zotero 5.0. 

Zotero preference setting location (Edit >> Preferences)

Sync your Library

It is ideal to create a Zotero account so you may sync your library (more info). Reasons to sync your account...
  • A backup in the cloud on the Zotero.org site. See the Storage tab on this guide about free/pay storage options.
  • Sync your library when using Zotero software on multiple computers
  • Share a folder with others. See the Groups tab.

Follow the steps below to sync your Zotero collections on multiple computers.

  1. Set up a free Zotero account
  2. In the Zotero software, Edit >> Preferences (images above)
  3. Select the Sync tab in new window
  4. Enter your Zotero account info and sync preferences. See the Storage tab, in this guide, for sync preferences.
    • See the Storage tab (on this guide) about free space limitations from Zotero.

Optional - Online account space saver (PDFs take up much of the space provided for free)

  1. Deselect the "Sync full-text content"
  2. Deselect "sync attachment files in My Library"

Search your Zotero Library

Zotero allows you to search your library by keyword. The default search lets you search the citation and abstract, but if you install the plugin below you can search the PDFs* in your library.

  1. Go to Zotero Preferences
  2. Select the Search tab in the new window
  3. Install the pdftotext plugin
  4. ok

*NOTE: PDFs that are images (unable to highlight/copy text), cannot be searched even with this plugin.

Find Full-text Articles

If you only have an article's citation and not the full-text, you can use the Zotero lookup (green arrow pointing right). There are two default Lookups - Google Scholar and CrossRef. Many times these lookups lead you to the citation again, but not the full text PDF. Below you can add the UNM Libraries Lookup, which can lead to the full-text. 

Add the UNM Libraries lookup.

  1. Go to Zotero Preferences
  2. In the new window select the Advanced tab
  3. In the Resolver field enter this URL, http://unm.on.worldcat.org/atoztitles/link
  4. Ok

To see if it works (and try the other lookups too).

  1. Select/highlight a citation in your Zotero library
  2. Now click on the green right arrow on the Zotero toolbar (top right)
  3. Select Library lookup
  4. A new window appears and you may get the option to view the full text OR order via Library Express
  5. If available full-text you can download the citation/abstract and article
    NOTE: You probably want to delete the original citation you selected since a new one was created that now includes the PDF article.

Zotero Lookup

Set Default Citation Style

Zotero has 12 default citation styles, but you may download others (over 8300 styles available). To set your default style

  1. Go to Zotero Options/Preferences
  2. In the new window select the Export Tab
  3. Select style from drop-down menu
  4. Ok
    NOTE: If style is not in list, follow directions below

Download other citation styles

  1. Find a style on this page, www.zotero.org/styles
  2. Select the style and download the file
  3. When you open the file Zotero will add it to your default style options.

Zotero: MS Word Setting

In Word, the default setting for adding a citation is a bar, but you may change it to the "Classic"  view. The Classic view provides more options and makes it easier to browse your Zotero library for a citation. See images below.

To change

  1. In Zotero, Select Edit >> Preferences
  2. Select the Cite tab in this window
  3. Select the Word Processing tab
  4. Check "Use Classic" box
  5. select OK