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We're in the process of updating the documentation for Zotero 5.0. Some documentation may be outdated in the meantime. Thanks for your understanding.

Changes in released versions of Zotero 5.0 are documented on this page. To follow development, see the commit log on GitHub. More recent changes may be available in a beta build.

Changes in 5.0.21 (September 21, 2017)

  • Fixed editing in classic citation window
  • Fixed sync error after deleting local collection containing remotely modified item
  • Miscellaneous bibliographic output and word processor integration fixes
    • Updated citeproc-js to version 1.1.178

Changes in 5.0.20 (September 20, 2017)

  • Fixed saved search deletion (since 5.0.19)
  • Close progress window on import error
  • Show better error for invalid security certificate during file sync

Changes in 5.0.19 (September 18, 2017)

  • Prevent further typing and require restart if an error occurs saving a note
  • Fixed error migrating from Zotero for Firefox due to corrupted Firefox preferences file
  • Fixed errors after using “Delete Collection and Items…”
  • Speed up emptying trash
  • Show better error message if data directory can't be created
  • Fixed startup error due to corrupted locate engine file
  • Fixed download of CrossRef locate engine icon

Changes in 5.0.18 (September 11, 2017)

  • Allow setting data directory via -datadir command-line flag
    • Pass an absolute path, or pass 'profile' to use a 'zotero' directory within the Zotero profile directory as in 4.0
    • Useful in situations where only the profile directory is writable by the user (e.g., an institutional roaming profile setup)
    • If Zotero is started without the command-line flag, it will revert to the previous location
  • Fixed intermittent item selection failure
  • Fixed restart error moving away from note that hadn't finished loading
  • Continue lookup process in Add Item by Identifier if an identifier isn't found
  • Fixed potential error relocating file with extended characters
  • Fixed potential error with full-text phrase search
  • Fixed “Create Bibliography” for saved searches
  • Fixed slow startup with many items in trash
  • Miscellaneous bibliographic output and word processor integration fixes
    • Updated citeproc-js to version 1.1.177

Changes in 5.0.17 (August 22, 2017)

  • Miscellaneous bibliographic output and word processor integration fixes
    • Updated citeproc-js to version 1.1.175

Changes in 5.0.16 (August 19, 2017)

  • Provide option at startup to switch to a recently updated Zotero for Firefox data directory, in case it was orphaned during data directory migration before 5.0.15

Changes in 5.0.15 (August 19, 2017)

  • Fixed data directory migration from Firefox profile directory

Changes in 5.0.14 (August 19, 2017)

  • Fixed error recognizing metadata for some PDFs (since 5.0.12)
  • Miscellaneous bibliographic output and word processor integration fixes
    • Updated citeproc-js to version 1.1.174

Changes in 5.0.13 (August 18, 2017)

  • Fixed handling of linked files when base directory is set to drive root

Changes in 5.0.12 (August 17, 2017)

Functionality changed or added

  • Restored Cut/Copy/Paste in note context menu

Bugs fixed

  • Show proper error messages for access-denied errors during file sync
  • Import intercepted RIS/BibTeX from connector into the selected collection
  • Fixed link opening in Add-ons pane
  • Fixed potential error updating citations
  • Fixed cleaning of passwords for some WebDAV errors from debug output

Changes in 5.0.11 (August 13, 2017)

Functionality changed or added

  • Download missing attachments as needed even in “at sync time” file sync mode
  • Show files remaining to download in sync button tooltip

Bugs fixed

  • Fixed first-run error with some upgrades
  • Fixed cases of files not being downloaded after interrupted syncs until files were changed remotely
  • Fixed handling of an error during Retrieve Metadata for PDF
  • [Mac] Fixed “Open in Library” from Quick Format popup if main window is closed

Changes in 5.0.10 (August 11, 2017)

  • Fixed opening of some links

Changes in 5.0.9 (August 10, 2017)

Functionality changed or added

  • When upgrading to 5.0 and a previous data directory is found for both Zotero Standalone and Zotero for Firefox, use the most recently opened directory
  • Show “Queued” for an attachment's full-text index status if synced full-text content is available but not yet processed

Bugs fixed

  • Faster shutdown speed when a file sync is in progress
  • Better handling of Unicode paths in WebDAV URL
  • Fixed opening of some links in the About window
  • Fixed a potential file sync error

Changes in 5.0.8 (August 5, 2017)

Functionality changed or added

  • Debug Output Logging improvements
    • A new menu under the Help menu allows for quickly generating and submitting debug output to Zotero developers
    • Debug output can now be displayed in real-time using the View Output option
  • [Mac] Allow Zotero window to be closed without quitting Zotero
    • Syncing, word processor integration, and saving from browsers will continue to work while the window is closed
  • Improve handling of data directory–related startup errors
    • If configured data directory is missing but data directory is found at default location (“Zotero” within the home directory), offer to use the default location instead
    • Provide better guidance when data directory is inaccessible
  • Update Quick Copy menu options based on current settings and URL
  • Don't include notes and attachments when generating bibliography via Quick Copy
  • Improve authenticated proxy detection at startup

Zotero Connector changes

  • The Zotero Connector for Firefox can now be used with more restrictive privacy/cookie settings

Bugs fixed

  • Trash didn't refresh properly when emptying deleted attachments
  • Auto-expand parent items to show search matches when viewing saved search
  • Fixed various problems when Zotero is started while Zotero is offline
  • Fixed external zotero:// links
  • Fixed various problems with Attachment Content search condition
  • Fixed crash switching from item Notes tab to feed item
  • Avoid unnecessary file access during full-text content syncing
  • Fixed “Copy as HTML” Quick Copy option (since 5.0.5)
  • Searching for “Presentation” attachment file type didn't find many PowerPoint files
  • Timeline fixes
    • Fixed error generating timeline with many items
    • Show item at beginning of month/year if date is incomplete
    • Fixed icons on high-res displays

Changes in 5.0.7 (July 24, 2017)

Functionality changed or added

  • User interface language switcher
    • Easily switch between supported languages from the Advanced pane of the preferences
    • Zotero will continue using the OS locale setting by default
  • Moved Style Editor and Style Preview to Cite preferences
  • Use HTTPS for Google Scholar lookup for Retrieve Metadata for PDF
  • Increased font size in word processor integration document preferences

Zotero Connector changes

These changes require version 5.0.11 of the Zotero Connector.

  • Follow the snapshot preference when saving webpage items to Zotero
  • Show a PDF icon for the save button when viewing a PDF

Bugs fixed

  • Fixed various issues related to data directory migration
  • Don't auto-sync groups that are deselected in “Libraries to Sync…”
  • [macOS] Fixed freezing in LibreOffice when attempting to display a dialog box
  • Fixed date handling for auto-detected locales
  • Fixed display of parent directory when locating missing file
  • Fixed rare issue with WebDAV syncing

Changes in 5.0.6 (July 20, 2017)

  • Fixed tag selector search (broken in 5.0.5)

Changes in 5.0.5 (July 20, 2017)

Functionality changed or added

  • Site-specific Quick Copy settings
    • Previously available only in Zotero for Firefox, now available in Zotero 5.0 for all browsers
    • Configurable in the Export pane of the Zotero preferences
    • Uses the URL of the last active tab in any browser running a Zotero Connector
  • Item tags box improvements
    • Improved performance when adding/removing tags
    • Added “Remove All Tags…” option to pane context menu to remove all tags from an item
  • Increased default window size to ~1000x600px
  • [Windows] Moved Tools → Options to Edit → Preferences
  • Restored Alignment menu with justification option in note editor context menu

Zotero Connector changes

These changes require version 5.0.10 or later of the Zotero Connector.

  • Restore proxy entries previously created in Zotero for Firefox
  • Show error message on save if collection selected in Zotero isn't editable

Bugs fixed

  • [Windows] Fixed tag selector font
  • Fixed ISBN lookup and PDF metadata retrieval for some ISBNs
  • Fixed excessive load during WebDAV syncing
  • Sort export translators in Quick Copy settings

Changes in 5.0.4 (July 14, 2017)

  • Fixed potential startup error
  • Fixed some collections-pane context-menu options (e.g., Sync)
  • [Mac] Closing Zotero in full-screen mode would leave window without title bar or toolbar
  • Prevent freeze when clicking on search with invalid Collection condition

Changes in 5.0.3 (July 13, 2017)

  • Fixed potential startup error
  • Fixed Windows menu key in items pane
  • Fixed selection issues in collections-pane context menu
  • Fixed blank window when opening ZotFile zotero://open-pdf links

Changes in 5.0.2 (July 12, 2017)

  • Fixed several sync errors
  • Fixed error removing files after unlinking account

Changes in 5.0.1 (July 11, 2017)

  • Fixed several sync errors
  • Fixed saving of reports

Changes in 5.0 (July 10, 2017)

Functionality changed or added

  • A Unified Zotero Experience
    • The two full versions of Zotero, Zotero for Firefox and Zotero Standalone, have been replaced by a single standalone application for users of all browsers. A new Zotero Connector for Firefox, similar to the extensions available for Chrome and Safari, allows you to save to the Zotero desktop application or in a single click.
    • If you're a current Zotero for Firefox user, you'll be automatically upgraded to the Zotero Connector for Firefox, and you should install the Zotero application if you don't have it already.
    • See the announcement for more details on this change.
  • My Publications
    • Easily build a list of works — articles, papers, books, etc. — that you've created and share them on your profile page on
    • Files can optionally be made publicly available to download under a license you specify
  • Feeds
    • Subscribe to RSS or Atom feeds — such as those made available by academic journals — from within Zotero
    • Browse new entries and add them to your Zotero libraries with a single click, with metadata and files automatically collected from the associated webpages
  • New syncing architecture
    • Selective library sync
      • Choose libraries to sync from the Sync pane of the preferences
      • Individual libraries can be synced on-demand via context menu
    • Independent syncing of libraries
      • Conflicts or other problems in one library no longer prevent other libraries from syncing
    • Improved handling of very large libraries
      • Data changes are now synced incrementally rather than in a single batch
    • Improved handling of sync conflicts
      • Many situations that previously resulted in conflicts are now automatically resolved without manual resolution
    • Immediate sync triggering on remote changes
    • Ability to interrupt syncing (previously only file syncing could be stopped)
    • Ability to unlink account and automatically remove local data
  • Improved UI responsiveness
    • Long operations (e.g. large syncs and imports) are now performed in the background, allowing Zotero to continue to be used
  • New stacked layout option for narrower screens
    • Moves item pane below items list
    • Configurable in the General pane of the preferences
  • Note editor improvements
    • Upgraded to TinyMCE 4 (4.5.2)
    • New flat theme
    • Search/replace within notes
    • URL autolinking
    • Increased default font size
    • New blockquote style
    • Support for non-English locales
  • Direct style installation
    • Styles can be installed from the Zotero Style Repository in a single click without leaving Zotero
  • Faster translator/style updating
    • If automatic update checking for translators and styles is enabled, Zotero will now receive updates — including site compatibility fixes — within a few minutes instead of 24 hours
  • New default data directory location
    • Files are now stored in a 'Zotero' directory in the user's home directory
    • A data directory in the previous default location within the Zotero or Firefox profile directory will be automatically moved to the new location
    • The new location allows PDFs and other files to be searched via Spotlight on macOS and restores the ability for PDFs to be annotated in-place via Preview on macOS Sierra
    • Future versions of Zotero will simplify the structure of the data directory for easier browsing from the filesystem
  • Added “Delete Automatic Tags in This Library…” option to tag selector menu
  • Allow file dragging to web targets (e.g., Gmail) and Linux filesystem
  • Advanced Search improvements
    • Simplified search condition drop-down in Advanced Search window
    • Saved searches now appear under “Collection” condition
  • Export character set selection changes
    • Show character set drop-down in export window by default
    • Show only “Unicode (UTF-8)”, “Unicode (UTF-8 without BOM)”, and “Western”
  • Added “Manage Styles…” links to Create Bibliography and Document Preferences windows
  • Automatically attempt to fetch citation style used in document if missing
    • If style is not from an official source, Zotero will prompt before fetching
  • The Actions (gear icon) menu has been removed from the toolbar, as all options are now available in menus
  • Resizing panes is now easier on macOS, with wider draggable areas for pane splitters
  • Miscellaneous bibliographic output and word processor integration fixes
    • Updated citeproc-js to version 1.1.171
  • Many smaller improvements and fixes

Zotero Connector changes

A number of new Zotero Connector features require Zotero 5.0:

  • Proxy support (including support for hyphen-based EZproxy servers)
  • CSL style installation
  • RIS/BibTeX interception
  • Improved attachment saving

Bugs fixed

  • Preserve rich-text formatting when editing citations
  • Fixed report printing
  • Fixed hanging indent for references dragged to Google Docs
  • Prevent DNS rebinding attack against connector server
  • Fixed parsing of non-English months when using a non-English locale
  • Edit menu options are properly localized
  • Many more!

Older Changes