Instructions on how to download, install, and use Zotero, a free open source bibliographic management program

Step 1. Install the Zotero Application

Zotero 5.0 application

Download and install Zotero from the Zotero website.

(There's a different version for each operating system: Windows, Mac or Linux.)

Proceed to Step 2. To effectively use Zotero, you need both the application and the connector for your browser, which allows you to save citations to Zotero.

Step 2. Install Connectors

Connectors allow your web browser to save citations to your Zotero library.

The Zotero downloads page should automatically detect what browser you're using and give you a link.

alert for zotero connector installation

Each browser has its own version of the Zotero connector, so if you use Chrome, Firefox and Safari you'll need to install all three.

The connector looks differently in each browser.


Chrome Zotero Capture 


Safari Capture


Firefox Capture Button


Installing Zotero for iPad

Zotero on the iPad

You can use Zotero on the iPad browser by installing a "Bookmarklet," a special link that saves items directly to your Zotero account on the web. You must have a Zotero account, and your iPad must be online, to use Zotero.

  • Open zotero.org/downloadbookmarklet in iPad Safari and bookmark it.
  • Click “iPhone/iPad” and copy the code from the text box on the page.
  • Edit the bookmark you just created.
  • Change the bookmark name to "Save to Zotero".
  • Paste the code from the text box as the URL for the bookmark.

When you're on a page with a citation, select the Save to Zotero bookmark. The iPad browser will save the citation directly to your Zotero library online.

Adding the bookmark

adding the bookmark and copying the javascript code

Editing the bookmark

editing the bookmark and adding the javascript code

Saving Citations

Adding a citation by clicking the bookmark

item is saved