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Zotero Citation Manager Guide: Installing Zotero and Plugins

Installing the Zotero Standalone App

To create your free account go to​ and click the "Download Now" button. When creating your account you can use whatever email address you would like, it is not necessary to use your FDU email address. 

Once you've installed the Standalone App a page will open in your default browser letting you know Zotero successfully installed. It will also ask you if you would like to install the Web Plugin for the same browser. 

Further down the page you will be given the opportunity to register with Zotero and create an account. This is important if you would like to use Zotero's web based client. 

If you forgot to register or accidentally closed this window before doing so, you can still register at

Once you create an account you will need to enter your information in to the Zotero Standalone App to sync your account. it should give you this option on the main screen of a freshly installed Zotero client but if not you can do the following: Click on Edit >> Preferences >> SYNC >> Enter your username and password and keep the Sync options checked. 


Installing MS Word Plugin

Zotero comes with a Microsoft Word plugin which allows you to insert citations and bibliographies in to your Word document without having to cut and paste or leave Word. 

To install the plugin Word and Outlook must be closed first. Next open the Zotero Standalone App. Go to Tools >> Add-Ons >> Enable Microsoft Word Add-in. 

Zotero Word Add-on

The plugin will appear in a newly created Zotero tab of MS Word.

Word plugin

Installing the AMA style framework. 

Visit and search for American Medical Association. Click the link for the appropriate version. This will download a .csl file to you computer. Once you've downloaded the file, double click it to install the AMA style framework. It should now appear as an available style option in the Word Plugin.


Sometimes the MS Word plugin will not install automatically. This is usually due to the security settings of your device. You will have to install the Zotero plugin manually. To do so follow the steps below:

  • First, you will need to open Word.
  • Open a blank/new Word document.
  • Select File >> Options >> Add-ins
  • Make sure the Zotero add-in is not already installed or installed twice. If it is you will need to delete it. 
  • At the bottom of the box select the Template option from the drop down menu then click Go. 


install word plugin\


  • Click the Add option to the middle right of the box.


add zotero plugin

  • You will now need to browse to the Zotero plugin located on your computer. If you performed a standard Zotero installation it should be located at C:\Program Files (x86)\Zotero\extensions\
    • Go to My Computer on the left >> click your C: drive >> scroll down to and open the Program Files (x86) folder >> scroll down to and open the Zotero folder >> open the extensions folder >> open the folder >> open the Install folder >>select the Zotero file and click OK.
  • This will add the Zotero plugin to Word. Double check the Word menu bar for a Zotero tab.

Installing the Browser Plugin

Zotero also provides a Web Importer tool which allows you to import citations, and sometimes the full text article, directly from your browser in to Zotero's online version which will then sync with your Zotero Standalone App. To install the plugin first visit and select your browser. Zotero does not work with Internet Explorer.


Chrome Plugin

To install the plugin for Chrome:

Click the Chrome icon on the Zotero download page. At the top right of the next page click the Add to Chrome button.

Chrome will ask you to verify the add on. Click Add Extension.

Once the plugin is installed the status should change to Added to Chrome. 

The first time you try to use the plugin, Chrome will ask you to update some permissions. Click the Accept Defaults button. This will share your browsing information with your Zotero Standalone App. 

The installed plugin will show up as a sheet of paper icon to the right of your address bar. 

Firefox Plugin

To install the plugin for Firefox:

Click the Firefox icon on the Zotero download page. Firefox will download the plugin to your default download location. Double click the downloaded file. It should open in Firefox as seen below and ask if you would like to install the extension. Click Install. 

Depending on your security settings, Firefox will ask you to confirm the plugin installation. Click Allow. 

Firefox will once again prompt you to install the plugin. Click Install.

The first time you try to use the plugin it will ask you sync with your Zotero Standalone App. Click Yes. 

The plugin will appear as a Z and Paper icon in your browser's tool bar. The Z will open your Standalone App while the paper icon will import citations in to your Standalone App.