Zotero integration please!!!

I want to state for the record that I REALLY like Scrivener - it’s totally changed the way I write, definitely for the better. But I just have to go on record - the fact that there’s not pluggin for Zotero is TOTALLY INSANE! You could completely replace Word for me if you wold just integrate this ONE feature. I know that software development is a difficult and time-consuming process, but I would happily pay $15 dollars more for this feature.

I know that a number of other people have developed workarounds for this, but I really don’t have the time to learn and implement these, and it just seems like Scrivener is closing itself off to a much greater market if it would implement this ONE crucial feature.

Please, for the love of god, integrate a zotero pluggin!!! :smiley:


yes, please add the zotero!!
I am a grad student, and I am using scr to write thesis. It a great tool to collect sources and write thesis. If scr can support zotero, it will be perfect!


You can already use Zotero with Scrivener. Scrivener projects aren’t a final format, so you scan and process your citations once you have compiled to RTF or ODT, using the Zotero tools. I don’t believe there are any Cocoa or Objective-C APIs available for Zotero that would make closer integration possible.

All the best,

I’ve found a workaround that fits the bill for me. It does require some post-processing, so it isn’t as nice as something like Bookends integration, but it does the job. (This is a Mac workflow.)

I use the Zotpick applescript to insert Better BibTex citations into Scrivener, then I use PanDoc to process it into a final manuscript. Basically I followed Dave’s instructions here: http://davepwsmith.github.io/academic-scrivener-howto/

What I end up with is a keyboard-command–accessible citation picker that can insert into Zotero however I please. I end up composing in Markdown and exporting to Word (not my fave, but that’s the format my committee would rather read, so whatever), and because I keep everything in Scrivener, it can easily be rearranged according to my structural/hierarchical needs.

For me, this is a superior option to the RTF/ODF Scan http://zotero-odf-scan.github.io/zotero-odf-scan/, because of the ability to have an easy keyboard command citation search. It’s also nice that Zotpick and Better BibTex integrates with Pandoc, because I can use Markdown and integrate with pretty much any output format. (Although if I were lazier and actually liked Word, RTF/ODF Scan might be a better option-- you can save from LibreOffice/OpenOffice to Word and preserve Word-style reference marks.)

Hope this helps!

And yes, it would still be totally excellent for Scrivener to support this natively. I surmise that Markdown made it into Scrivener because of direct support from a developer; maybe that’s what would be needed for some kind of native Zotero integration to happen with L&L.

I use Zotero with Scrivener for all of my projects. It’s actually incredibly simple. When writing, simply copy citation from Zotero, insert in text. Then when you export as RTF (if you do) you can format in Word. I realize everyone doesn’t use Word (I’m an older professor, writing articles and books in Scriv) but I can’t imagine that it’s that much more difficult with some other final processor. Am I missing something?

I don’t love Zotero, btw, but I’ve found it to be the most efficient and seamless way to gather and download cites and PDFs from multiple sources. For working academic, this seems pretty essential.

Unfortunately this tool doesn’t work in Zotero v 5

Could you give a more detailed explanation of what you are doing? What is your work flow?

Are there and detailed instructions of videos on how this workflow?

It’s actually incredibly simple. The trick is you have to have Zotero default output set to “RTF Scan.” Then just go to Zotero, command-shift-C the cite you want and paste it. Then you output your Scriv file to RTF, and scan it with Zotero.

It’s well explained here (although this is a Windows oriented video but basic steps are the same).
thedigitalresearcher.com/how-to- … scrivener/

What I have been doing as a work-around so far is to use Zotero with MS word, when I need a citation I make it in Word then copypaste it into Scrivener. I have yet to export it to see what happens but I don’t anticipate any problems.

However I will try this method that you recommend. I had seen it before. No harm in trying it on a small project or just doing an experiment document to see what kind of output it gives. Kind of reminds me of what I did when I used Biblioscape.

Well, it’s actually just as easy as using Word, I think (I use both). You are just copying a citation from Zotero and pasting it into Scrivener. Whatever reordering or rewriting you do, it’s all in place when you do your RTF export. It’s really only an extra step at the very end.
If I’m missing something let me know and I’ll try to respond.

I think that your method may be better because after exporting it to RTF and doing a scan that everything in the exported Word Document will be connected to Zotero so that if you want to change your styles etc it will work. I will not want to change styles, but it would certainly be useful for creating a bibliography at the end. So will just have to follow the steps in that video and give it a try.

Well I just tried an experiment. I made a document just a page with 5 paragraphs of Lorem ipsum text and then using the method described in the page you linked to I made several citations and then made a bibliography at the end. I then exported it as a rtf and then used Zotero’s RTF scan tool and even though it is only 1 page with 5-6 citations on it and bibliograpgy after more than 15 minutes it has not finished the scan. So that suggests to me that something is very wrong. Or, that I did something very stupid. I could send you the page and you can check to see what I did wrong. It is only 44kb in size.

So unless you can tell me what I did wrong and get it to work I will stick with my slightly more cumbersome method which works. I am glad I tested it otherwise I would have a document full of unusable citations.

Could a Zotero user please explain exactly what it is that you would want from integration with Scrivener? I mean in a practical manner - you can already to use Zotero to insert citations and then scan the exported RTF or ODT file, so what would integration provide over this and what would you it do?

I’m interested in exploring options but I’m not a Zotero user and so it would be very helpful if someone could break down exactly what integration would entail. What would happen in Scrivener? How would it look? What commands would it entail?

As far as I understand it, the problem is that you would still need to scan your final file, wouldn’t you? I can’t see that there’s any auto-magic that would avoid this during Compile. So what exactly is meant by “integration”?


I use both and have the same question. Other than scanning (which as a Scriv user you have to do anyway) what else is there? Word has a little tool bar that allows you to click and insert a citation, but you still have to select it in Zotero. The difference between just selecting the citation, copying and pasting it in RTF format, and clicking on the toolbar is minimal to nil. Then your citations are there in Scrivener, and you export, but, again, if you are a Word user, you need to export anyway. So I really don’t understand what integration would mean here, other than a little toolbar.

Hello Keith,

Thank you for your interest in enabling better integration between Zotero and Scrivener. I think this will be an excellent feature for academic writers. I will try to make my contribution on how this can be made.

Since two years ago, through BetterBibTex feature Cite As You Write (CAYW), it is possible to use CMD+Y to call Zotero picker and add the citation key in Scrivener. There are different citation key types depending do you write in rtf or markdown.
The current issue for me is that I need to use workarounds (create .md file, use pandoc filters to identify the citations and convert it to .docx) to actually make a .docx that will have the citations (This is the zotero-odf-scan.github.io/zotero-odf-scan/).

According to me the real integration will be enabled when you can click compile and the compiled documents (.md, .docx, .pdf) will include the bibliography, based on the citations you added in the documents, and the appropriate citation style.

Now I will explain what is done when you write in Markdown. To a certain extend this is achieved through mmd-xslt (see here github.com/retorquere/zotero-be … -136747401).

Another option for integration is to provide an option for custom processor (something like in Marked2) where a user can add arguments that can be called when s/he compiles the document. Now there is an option to compile Multimarkdown->RichText (rtf). Thus the integration can be Multimarkdown->Microsoft word (docx) with custom processor.

I hope I was helpful, I am willing to more actively contribute to the development of the integration.

Keep the good work with the excellent Scrivener

All the best,

Well the first thing is that you have to get Zotero both the stand alone part and the browser extension, I use FF, they also have for Chrome. zotero.org

It is pretty easy to set up. Then you add 1-3 titles to Zotero to use as dummy citations.

That is easy, just go to Amazon, select any book. Then click on the Zotero icon on your browser. That will save the citations into Zotero.

Then under “Tools>add-ons” make sure the integragation with your word processor is turned on. I use Word but you can also integrate with LibreOffice. Then restart Word and right click on Tool Bar to custumize it and add the Zotero Tool bar.

Then just open a new Word document click the cursor on the page. And on the Zotero tool bar choose to add a new citation. Zotero will then ask you which citation style you want, make your choice, and follow the steps to get to the citations you created and click on any of them and voilà Zotero has added a footnote to the page and at the bottom of the page is the citation.

At this point I would copy and paste the citation into the Scrivener.

It would be nice if I could skip Word and do this all just using Zotero and Scrivener.

I hope that is clear. You actually have to do it yourself a few times to understand the workflow involved.

@mijalce: what you are suggesting is sort of already possible if you use some automation (Folder actions etc). I compile from Scrivener to an .MD file and Pandoc handles my bibliography and spits out a fully outlined, beautifully styled, and bibliographically complete LaTeX/ODT/DOCX file. There have been mentions of an improved Pandoc workflow in the compile system for Scrivener 3 and I wouldn’t be surprised if all this became even easier.

Regarding the “auto-paster” discussion you linked to, I don’t get it really — Scrivener already allows you to link to a bibliography app. You hit ⌘Y, select a ref in Bookends, hit ⌘Y and the citation is sat in Scrivener. L&L have worked to implement this functionality, surely it is up to ZotPicker to support this mechanism as other reference managers can? Perhaps a technical description from Keith about how this works would help them to implement this?

@Orpheus: I’m sure several people have mentioned you can get temporary citations directly into Scrivener from Zotero without needing to first do this in Word (see LewF’s posts), so there seems to be something not working on your machine rather than this not being possible?

All of this makes me glad I use Bookends! :stuck_out_tongue:

This is discussion about Zotero not Bookends.

If you check my previous posts I tried that and it didn’t work. I made a test page put in temp citataions then exported it to RTF and then used Zotero to scan it and Zotero just hung with the candy cane bar twirling for ever and nothing happening. So something didn’t go right from someone’s side Zotero or mine or both.

That is why it would be better if Zotero and Scrivener were BFF (-: Zotero can do a lot of things aside from citations that is why I want to use it. Things like this nifty trick youtu.be/4aDvAPLZwCY?t=7m15s

Continuing on Nontroppo’s line of thought, isn’t this an issue for Zotero, not for Scrivener?

The Papers app has a similar short-cut (ctrl -> ctrl) which opens a dialogue where you can choose a reference, which is then inserted as a “citekey” in the text which can later (after compilation to e.g. Word) be translated to a correctly formatted reference and also create a correctly formatted bibliography. But this is all controlled by the Papers app, not by Scrivener or Word.

So maybe it is Zotero that should provide the functionality?