How to Use Zotero

Bite-size search strategies to help you become an expert searcher.


  1. In Zotero, click "Edit" from the menu bar and select "Preferences"
  2. Set the following preferences by selecting the appropriate option:
    • General – Uncheck the option to "Automatically tag items with keywords…"
    • Sync (optional) – Enter your username and password for Zotero and click "Set Up Syncing"
      • For existing users, you can select specific libraries by clicking "Choose Libraries"
    • Cite (Word Processors tab)
      • If Word add-in is not installed, click "Install Microsoft Word Add-in"
    • Advanced
      • Click the dropdown menu in the OpenURL section and select "North America" > "University of Ottawa"
        This will allow you to use the "Library Lookup" feature by auto-filling the URL:
  3. Click "OK"

Complete Instructions


Task for learning: Set the preferences recommended by the uOttawa Library.

Review question:

All Review Questions

If you have questions, or if you run into problems that the course does not address, e-mail the University of Ottawa Library at


This online course is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. Unless otherwise stated, it is attributed to Mish Boutet, and is based on handouts by Patrick Labelle (also under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).

[How to Use Zotero online course updated: November 8, 2022]