The University of Texas

  1. Which is better: EndNote, Mendeley, or Zotero?
    View this in-depth chart from UW:
    Major differences are price, PDF annotation, and online storage.
  2. Which is better: Standalone or using a Zotero connector?
    For the novice user, there is very little difference and it comes down to personal browser preference. If you generally use Firefox, then use Zotero Standalone. If you use other browsers, then use the Connector. More information is at   
  3. Can I import an existing bibliography or a pre-existing library into Zotero?
    Yes. You will need to grab the RIS file from your other citation manager. Full instructions for how to do this are at

  4. Can I annotate PDFs?
    Zotero itself does not have the functionality to do this, but it will keep most annotations created with third-party applications, such as Adobe Acrobat.
  5. What do I do if I want to import something but don’t see an icon in the URL bar?
    First, check to make sure you have the latest version of Zotero and its connector (if using) installed. If everything is up to date and you don’t see an icon in the URL bar, you have two options:
    Right click (PC) or Control + Click (Mac) on the page. A contextual menu will pop with the option to “Save Zotero Snapshot from Current Page”. This will create an image of the item in library, but it will only save metadata pertaining to the webpage itself.  If it is an online journal (ex: open access journal), blog, or newspaper, you’ll want to change the item type (in the Info tab, in the far right pane). You can select from other options by click on the “Web Page”; a drop down list of other item types will appear.You can create an item from scratch by click the green plus (+) sign in the Zotero menu bar. The five most commonly used item types will appear, or you can select from numerous other in the More > area.
  6. How do I create a bibliography?
    Right click (PC) or Control + Click (Mac) on the item or collection you would like to create a bibliography from. Then select Create Bibliography from Collection / Item. Follow the prompts to select citation style and output.
  7. How do I change citation styles? Does Zotero have _____ style?
    Zotero comes pre-loaded with numerous citation styles which can be found using the following path: gear > preferences > cite (tab) > styles (tab). You can add more styles by click the link that says “Add more styles”. This will take you to the Zotero Styles Repository where you can search for a particular style by Journal, Association, or Subject Area. Hover over the style to see a preview, then click it to download the style to your desktop. Open the .csl file while Zotero is open and it will prompt you to confirm that you want to install that style. Once installed, it will be listed among the other styles in the styles tab.
  8. What do I do if a PDF isn’t automatically attached?
    You will need to attach it manually. This is done by dragging and dropping the PDF onto the item’s citation information in your library. Alternatively, you can also use the Attach feature (paperclip icon in the menu bar) to browse, search, and attach the file to the item.
  9. Where is my Zotero library saved on my computer?
    Great question! Zotero creates a very complicated maze of folders on your local computer. The easiest and most reliable way to find your Zotero data directory is by clicking the “Show Data Directory” button found using the following path: gear > preferences > advanced > files and folders (tab). More information about this is at

  10. If I have a citation, can I find it in the UT Library? (hint: Open URL Resolver link)
    Yes! Once you’ve created or imported a citation in Zotero, you can use the Library Look-up feature. This is the green arrow found the third pane of the Zotero window. Click the green arrow and you’ll see an option for Library Lookup. This uses your authentication as a UT student, staff or faculty member to search our databases for the citation in question. It’s important that you’ve added the Open URL Resolver information for the UT Libraries in order to make sure this works. To see if you have the correct information, open this using the following path: gear > preferences > advanced > general (tab) > Open URL Resolver. Copy and paste the following url in the URL space:

  11. Can I use Zotero on my smartphone or tablet?
    Yes, but they are not developed or supported by the creators of Zotero. A few options here:

Need more help with Zotero? Email a librarian to ask questions or to request a training session for your group.



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Phone: (512) 495-4350

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