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 Some documentation may be outdated in the meantime.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.
This page describes some of the reported issues with the Zotero word processor plugins, together with possible solutions.
Citations and bibliographies generated by the word processor plugins might appear in a different style (font, font-size, etc) than the surrounding text. The appearance of the generated text can be changed by changing the default style. E.g. in OpenOffice, open the styles manager in 'Format' > 'Styles and Formatting' or by hitting F12. Right click on “Default”, select 'Modify', and make the desired changes to this style.
Bibliography formatting is controlled in the style file, and should conform to the requirements of the style in use. In the 3.0 series plugins for Zotero 2.0.x, line and entry spacing will be overwritten on each document update. In the 3.1 series plugins for Zotero 2.1, the formatting of the bibliography can be modified by editing the “Bibliography” (Word) or “Bibliography 1” (OpenOffice.org) style.
The Zotero word processor plugin will only work if you install the correct version. (Note that Zotero 2.0 uses a different plugin from Zotero 1.0.x, and Zotero 2.1 uses a different plugin from Zotero 2.0, so after upgrading Zotero you will also need to upgrade your plugin.) If you try to use an incompatible version of the plugin, you will receive an error message similar to:
“This version of the Zotero Word Plugin (1.0b4) is incompatible with the currently installed version of the Zotero Firefox extension (2.0.3). Please ensure that you are using the latest versions of both components.”
To solve this problem, install the correct version of the plugin.
If the problems persists after using the installer, remove the old version manually. For Windows Word and Word 2004 for Mac, remove the plugin file “Zotero.dot” completely from your Word startup folder, which you can locate by looking at the path in Tools→Templates and Add-ins within Word. For OpenOffice, remove the extension from the OpenOffice Extension Manager (and, if necessary, remove leftover files from the OpenOffice data directory, which may be necessary if OO fails to completely uninstall the extension). In either case, restart the word processor and ensure that the Zotero toolbar and all traces of the plugin are completely gone before attempting to reinstall.
If the Zotero toolbar (or Zotero scripts for Word 2008/2011 for Mac) does not appear, follow these steps:
In Word for Windows and Word 2004 for Mac, make sure that the Zotero toolbar is enabled in View→Toolbars, and ensure that Zotero.dot appears and is enabled in Word's Tools→Templates and Add-ins window.
If you can insert citations into new documents but receive an error in an existing document, follow these steps to find the cause of the error:
“Word could not communicate with Zotero. Please ensure Firefox is running and try again.” Or plugin appears and buttons are clickable, but no insert citation window appears.
After installing the latest Word plugin for Zotero on a system with a non-English version of Office, the toolbar may not appear in Word. Alternatively, after upgrading the plugin, you may receive a message saying that the plugin is incompatible with the installed version of Zotero.
These problems indicate that the new template was not installed into the correct location for your installation. By default, Zotero installs the template into your Word Startup directory. You may need to manually install the Zotero.dot file into the correct directory.
If you install Zotero with Word 2010 and receive an error stating
“Zotero experienced an error updating your document. Could not find a running Word instance.”
you may be experiencing an issue relating to your Word 2010 installation method. Microsoft distributes a set of “Click-to-Run” versions of Office 2010 that are configured to run within their own virtual environment. Unfortunately, this virtual environment prohibits Zotero from communicating with these Word instances, producing an error.
You can fix this problem by switching your copy of Office 2010 from a Click-to-Run installation to a standard (MSI-based) installation. This process does not require an additional license. To do so, follow the steps under the “Workaround” heading on this page.
Under some circumstances, you may see the following message in Firefox when you attempt to insert a citation in Word:
“Firefox could not load the component required to communicate with your word processor.”
You may also repeatedly see the following message upon starting Firefox:
“The Zotero MacWord Integration installation succeeded, but a necessary component does not appear to be loaded properly.”
These errors are caused by an issue with PythonExt, which does not load a necessary Firefox component on some systems. Make sure Zotero MacWord Integration is up-to-date by clicking “Find Updates” in Tools→Add-ons→Extensions. We have updated the plugin to automatically resolve many PythonExt issues. Additionally, if you have not already done so, you should install the latest version of PythonExt from zotero.org on the installation page. To upgrade from the official build of PythonExt, follow these instructions:
If you getting no response when you attempt to use the Word plugin, try the following steps:
After installing the latest Word plugin for Zotero on a system with a non-English version of Office 2004 for Mac installed or with a non-administrator OS X user account, the toolbar may not appear in Word. Alternatively, after upgrading the plugin, you may receive a message saying that the plugin is incompatible with the installed version of Zotero.
These problems indicate that the new template was not installed into the correct location for your installation. By default, Zotero installs the template into /Applications/Microsoft Office 2004/Office/Startup/Word.
If you have a non-English version of Office, you may need to move the Zotero.dot file into the “Word” directory within the equivalent of “Startup” in your language and restart Word. The correct path should be listed in Tools→Templates and Add-ins in Word.
If you're using a non-admin OS X user account, you will need to install the Word plugin from an administrative account or grant write access for the startup directory to the non-admin account to allow it to install Zotero.dot.
To grant write access, navigate to /Applications/Microsoft Office 2004/Office/Startup in Finder, select the Word folder, and select File→Get Info. Click the small lock icon in the bottom-right corner of the Info window and authenticate as an administrator. Then press the ”+“ button, add the non-admin user to the list, and make sure Privilege is set to Read & Write. In Firefox, go to Tools→Add-ons→Extensions, click the “Preferences” button next to “Zotero MacWord Integration”, and click “Reinstall Word Components”. You can then optionally remove the non-admin account from the privilege list of the Word folder, though plugin upgrades may require you to repeat the same process.
After installing the latest Word plugin for Zotero on a system with a non-English version of Office 2008/2011 for Mac installed, the plugin scripts may not appear in Word. Alternatively, after upgrading the plugin, you may receive a message saying that the plugin is incompatible with the installed version of Zotero.
These problems indicate that the new scripts were not installed into the correct location. By default, Zotero installs the scripts into ~/Documents/Microsoft User Data if the folder exists or asks where to install them if it does not. Since non-English versions of Office do not use the Microsoft User Data folder, but rather a folder with an equivalent name in the Office language, this can be problematic for non-English Office users. There are two potential solutions:
Some Word 2011 users may see the following message upon attempting to insert a citation or bibliography into a new or existing Word document:
“Zotero experienced an error updating your document
COMMAND: app(u'/Applications/Microsoft Office 2011/Microsoft Word.app').make(new=k.custom_document_property…”
This error may appear if a custom installation of Office 2011 is performed, and “Visual Basic for Applications” is not selected for installation. If you experience this error, please reinstall Office 2011, making sure to select this option.
There may also be a bug in Word itself that may cause this message to appear for some users even if Visual Basic for Applications is installed. See this thread on the Microsoft forums. Unfortunately, there is no known workaround.
Note that “Zotero experienced an error updating your document” is a generic message that appears with any issue with Zotero word processor integration. The message below indicates the actual error that occurred. If a different error accompanies the issue you are experiencing, the above instructions are unlikely to help.
“Word could not communicate with Zotero. Please ensure Firefox is running and try again.”
You might experience this error if you have recently upgraded Zotero MacWord Integration and are running Microsoft Word 2008/2011 for Mac on a non-English language system. Close Word and then, in Firefox, go to Tools→Add-ons→Extensions. Click the “Preferences” button next to “Zotero MacWord Integration” and then click “Reinstall Word Components.”
The Zotero Word for Windows plugin does not work out of the box under WINE, CrossOver Office, or other compatibility environments for Linux. We do not support running the Word for Windows plugin under Linux, and advise users to use LibreOffice/OpenOffice.org instead. If you absolutely must run Zotero in WINE, this forum thread has some helpful tips.
At the last step of OpenOffice.org Integration installation, you may see the message
“An error occurred installing Zotero OpenOffice.org/NeoOffice/LibreOffice Integration.”
If you experience this error during plugin installation, restart the installation process, by restarting Firefox. In Firefox select Add-ons the under the Tools menu. The page should display the Zotero OpenOffice.org Integration extension. Click the preferences button for this extension which will display the Zotero Preferences dialog. The displayed comment may be:
“The Zotero OpenOffice.org/LibreOffice/NeoOffice extension is not currently installed.”
and will also have a button to Install Extension.
Click the button which displays an Integration Installation dialog. When you are asked to locate your OpenOffice.org/NeoOffice/LibreOffice installations, ensure that the file listed exists and is in the appropriate OpenOffice.org directory. (You can add new OpenOffice.org installations by clicking the “Add Directory…” button below.) If this information is correct and installation still fails, click the “Manual Installation” button. This will open a folder containing the integration component to be installed within OpenOffice.org itself. Double-click this component to install it, or select Tools→Extension Manager within OpenOffice.org, click the Add button, and navigate to the component.
In Zotero OpenOffice.org Integration 3.5a2, when attempting to add or edit a citation or bibliography, you may see the message
java.Lang.NullPointerException at org.zotero.integration.ooo.comp.Comm.getMessageResponse
or the message
This error indicates that the version of the extension installed within Firefox does not match the version of the extension installed within OpenOffice.org, typically because installation failed. Try reinstalling the plugin. If the installation fails, or you continue to experience this error after reinstalling, see the above section on how to resolve an installation error.
Users with other word processor integration plugins (Word for Mac or Word for Windows) installed should also make sure that those plugins are the latest available versions.
The latest series of Zotero OpenOffice.org Integration releases is the 3.5 alpha releases, compatible with Zotero 2.1. For users who cannot upgrade to Zotero 2.1, troubleshooting instructions for versions 3.0 and 3.1 is still available.
Upon manual installation of the OpenOffice.org/LibreOffice component, you may see the message
“Could not create java implementation loader”
This error reflects a faulty Java installation within OpenOffice.org or LibreOffice. This issue affects not only Zotero, but any OpenOffice.org/LibreOffice extension that uses Java. For most users, installing LibreOffice 3.4+ appears to solve this issue. If you cannot install LibreOffice, or if installing LibreOffice does not resolve the problem, follow the instructions below.
First, check that Java is installed and enabled in OpenOffice.org or LibreOffice by choosing Tools→Options→OpenOffice.org→Java. Ensure that “Use a Java runtime environment” is checked, and that a JRE appears in the list below. (It may take a few seconds below.)
If Java is installed and enabled but the error persists, one possible solution involves removing the Zotero OpenOffice.org Integration component from Tools→Extension Manager within OpenOffice.org or LibreOffice, uninstalling OpenOffice.org or LibreOffice, restarting, reinstalling OpenOffice.org or LibreOffice, and then reinstalling the Zotero OpenOffice.org Integration component as detailed above.
Alternatively, you may try installing the older OpenOffice Plugin for Zotero 2.1 (Version 3.1b1). This older plug-in is compatible with Zotero 2.1.x and Firefox 4 on Windows. It will not be receiving future updates.
Upon manual installation of the OpenOffice.org/NeoOffice/LibreOffice component, you may see the message
“Could not create java implementation loader”
This is usually caused by an outdated version of OpenOffice, LibreOffice, or NeoOffice that does not properly locate the system Java installation. It can be resolved by installing OpenOffice.org 3.3 or later, LibreOffice 3.3 or later, or NeoOffice 3.1.2 or later.
On some Linux installations the Zotero toolbar refuses to install properly in LibreOffice, or is visible in LibreOffice, but clicking the buttons has no effect.
Installing the libreoffice-java-common package, available in the repositories of most common linux distributions, usually solves this issue. The libreoffice-java-common package in Ubuntu 11.04 does not have the appropriate dependencies specified, so you may also need to install a JRE (e.g., the default-jre package).
You may still need to activate the extension: In LibreOffice go to Tools → Extension Manager Select “Zotero OpenOffice Integration” and click the “Activate” button.
This is due to a bug in Libre Office in KDE - uninstalling libreoffice-kde fixes this. See this thread for details and developments.