Setting Up Zotero

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Guidance on setting up a fresh zotero installation.


This is one of a series of posts where I document some configurations for various software that I use. This post, which is meant for personal reference, documents the configurations for Zotero.


  1. Go to the download page and download Zotero, then extract the contents to a location of your choice (e.g., /opt/zotero).
  2. For Ubuntu, the tarball includes a .desktop file that can be used to add Zotero to the launcher. Run the set_launcher_icon script from a terminal to update the .desktop file for that location, and symlink zotero.desktop into ~/.local/share/applications/ (e.g., ln -s /opt/zotero/zotero.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/zotero.desktop). Zotero should then appear either in your launcher or in the applications list when click the grid icon (“Show Applications”), from which you can drag it to the launcher.
  3. Go to the download page and install Zotero Connector.
  4. Go to this page and download Better BibTeX (an .xpi file), then:
    1. In the main menu, go to “Tools” > “Add-ons”;
    2. Select “Extensions”;
    3. Click on the gear in the top-right corner and choose “Install Add-on From File…”;
    4. Choose .xpi that you’ve just downloaded, click “Install”;
    5. Restart Zotero.


Go to “Edit” > “Preferences”, and change the following settings:

  1. In “Better BibTeX” > “Citation keys”, make sure that the “Citation key format” is '' + auth.lower + shorttitle(3,3) + year.
  2. In “Sync”, login with <user_name>.