Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Zotero Support: Working with PDFs

Setting your preferences to work with PDF files

Zotero can automatically attach and store associated pdfs and other files when saving references.  To confirm that it is set up to do this, go to Edit, then Preferences.

screenshot of Zotero library with Edit menu open and Preferences highlighted

 

Checkmark the areas below (if not already marked by default).

screenshot of General tab in Zotero preferences menu with checkboxes next to Automatically take snapshots, Automatically attach PDFs, Automatically retrieve metadata for PDFs, and Automatically rename attachment files checked

Bringing PDFs into your Zotero library from NUsearch or databases

Starting from an example of a full text article in a library database.

screenshot of article that we have full-text access to in an online database

Any associated file should appear within your Zotero library or collection.

screenshot of the same article in a Zotero library with the full text PDF from the database shown

Bringing PDFs stored on your computer into your Zotero library

You can drag and drop pdfs into your collections or library.

screenshot of PDF being dragged into an open Zotero library

If the pdf has been OCR'ed (Optical Character Recognition) then the item's text, such as metadata (title, author, date, etc.) will be accessed automatically to create the citation information.  If the pdf is not OCR'ed, you may enter the citation information manually.

screenshot of this PDF in the Zotero library with associated metadata shown