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I have bibliographies in Microsoft Word documents, PDFs, and other text files. Can I import them into my Zotero library?

Citations inserted using a reference manager

For Microsoft Word “.docx” documents with Zotero or Mendeley citation fields that were inserted with the Word plugins from these reference managers, you can use Reference Extractor.

If you still have the references in a reference manager, you can export them from this program to a file format for exchanging bibliographic metadata, such as RIS or BibTeX, and then import this file into Zotero.

Citations inserted using Microsoft Word's built-in citation feature

You can follow these steps to format the bibliography as BibTeX, which Zotero can import:

  1. Save the stylesheet to Word's bibliography styles folder:
    1. Windows:
      C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\<Office version>\Bibliography\Style
    2. Mac: Go to the Applications folder. Right-click on Microsoft Word and choose “Show Package Contents”. Navigate to:
      Content/Resources/Style
  2. In Word, change your bibliography style to “BibTeX export” and copy the bibliography to the clipboard.
  3. Use Zotero's Import from Clipboard function.

Plain-text citations and bibliographies

If the references have ISBNs, DOIs, or PubMed IDs, you can use the Add Item by Identifier function in Zotero to quickly add these items to your Zotero library.

If you have many references, you can use AnyStyle, ​an online bibliography ​parser written by a Zotero developer. Export parsed citations as BibTeX or CSL-JSON and import them into Zotero.

Otherwise, your best option is to find the items online in a repository that Zotero supports, or, as a last resort, manually enter the references.