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All text/information on this page has been taken from Please visit the website to download the Zotero program, the Zotero Word plug-in, and register your online account.



You might want to migrate to Zotero but already have an extensive library stored in other reference management software. To import such libraries into Zotero, start by exporting the bibliographic data from your other software program. Then, in Zotero, click the gear icon and select “Import…”. Browse to your file, select it, and click the “Open” button. This should import the exported items into your Zotero library in a date-stamped collection.

For detailed instructions on how to make the switch from Endnote to Zotero, see Importing Records From EndNote.

Note that import/export is generally not recommended for transferring entire Zotero libraries between different Zotero installations. Import/export usually does not give you an exact copy of your Zotero library, and, if you use Zotero's word processor plugins, any links to Zotero items from existing word processor documents will be lost after recreating a Zotero library via export/import. Instead, you can use Zotero's sync features or manually copy the Zotero data directory.


Adding Files via the Zotero pane

Drag and Drop


Files can be copied into your library by dragging a file from your operating system's file browser into the Zotero pane, and either dropping it onto a collection in the left column, or onto the center column. Files dropped onto an item in the center column are added as child items. Files dropped onto a collection, or among items in the center column, are added as standalone items.

You can also drop an existing standalone file item onto another item to create a child item.


New Item Button


File copies and file links can be created by clicking the “New Item” () button at the top of the center column and selecting “Store Copy of File…” or “Link to File…”, respectively. This creates standalone items.


Adding and Editing

Web Translators

One of Zotero's most convenient features is its ability to find bibliographic information on the web pages you visit. For example, when you are looking at the record for a book in an online library catalog, Zotero will often show a book icon in the address bar of your browser (circled in red):

When you click this book icon, Zotero will save all of the bibliographic information about that book to your library, in a newly created “Book” item. On some web pages that list information about multiple items (e.g. a list of Google Scholar search results), Zotero will show a folder icon. Clicking this folder icon will open a window in which you can select the items that you want to save to your library:

If you have selected a collection in the left-hand column of Zotero (that is, a collection is highlighted in the left column rather than “My Library”), items are saved into that collection.

Whether or not Zotero can recognize bibliographic information on a web page depends on the web page. Some websites use a standard way to provide Zotero with data (via embedded metadata). For other sites, Zotero relies on website-specific translators. Zotero works with most library catalogs, several popular websites such as and, and many (gated) databases and websites of scientific publishers. Just look for icons in the address bar of your browser (for more information, see our compatible websites list). By default, translator updates are automatically installed, independent of Zotero updates.

Manually Adding and Editing Items

To manually add an item to your Zotero library, click the green “New Item” () button at the top of the center column, and select the desired item type from the drop-down menu (the top level of the menu shows recently created item types; the complete list of item types, minus Web Page, can be found under “More”). An empty item of the selected item type will now appear in the center column. You can then manually enter the item's bibliographic information via the right column.

Note When you want to create an item for a web page, it usually easiest to visit the page in your browser and then save it to Zotero (see Saving Web Pages). Because of this, Zotero developers removed the Web Page item type from the “New Item” menu. However, you can still create an empty Web Page item by creating an empty item of another type and switching the item type to Web Page via the right-hand column of the Zotero pane.

Editing Items

When you have selected an item in the center column, you can view and edit its bibliographic information via the Info tab of the right column. Most fields can be clicked and edited. Changes are saved automatically as they are made. Some fields have special features, which are discussed below.

Saving Web Pages & Using Snapshots

With Zotero for Firefox, you can create an item from the current web page by either clicking the “Create New Item from Current Page” button () above the center column of the Zotero pane, or by right-clicking the page and selecting “Create New Item from Current Page” in the “Zotero” menu.

If “Automatically take snapshots when creating items from web pages” is enabled in the General tab of the Zotero preferences, a copy (or snapshot) of the web page will be saved to your computer and added as a child item. To view the saved copy, double-click the snapshot.

Holding down the Shift key while clicking the “Create New Item from Current Page” button will temporarily toggle the snapshot setting, allowing you to create a web page item with no snapshot even if the snapshot preference is enabled, and vice versa.

With Zotero Standalone, you can create an item with snapshot from the current web page by right-clicking the page and selecting “Save Zotero Snapshot from Current Page”.

Double-clicking a Web Page item without a snapshot in your library will take you to the original web page. Double-clicking a Web Page item with a snapshot will display the snapshot instead. You can also visit the original web page by clicking the ”URL:” label to the left of the URL field in Zotero's right pane.