Zotero Bib Te X Quick Guide

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This quick guide provides tips on using Zotero to produce your .bib file for your LaTeX
documents. For information on how to add citations to your Zotero Library and other Zotero tips,
refer to our web guide on Zotero at MIT: https://libguides.mit.edu/cite-write/zotero.
This method is best if you want to do a one-time export, and you don’t expect to make too many
additions/revisions to your .bib file.
1. Follow the instructions for one of the options below based on what you would like to export:
• To export your entire Zotero Library, go to File à Export Library…
• To export a collection (all the records in a folder)
o Right click (ctrl click on a mac) on the desired folder
o Select “Export Collection…”
• To export a selection of individual records in your library
o Select each desired record
o Right click (ctrl click on a mac) on the highlighted records
o Select “Export items…”
2. In the Export window:
• Select BibTeX as your format
• Select/Deselect other content to include in the .bib
file (these selections won’t really affect your LaTeX
• Click “Ok”, name your .bib file and save it in the
same location as your LaTeX file.
This method is best if you want to have Zotero autosync with your .bib file as you add or change
records in your Zotero library.
1. Install and enable the “Better BibTeX” add-on in Zotero. Full instructions for downloading
and installing this add-on can be found here: https://zotplus.github.io/zotero-better-bibtex/.
• Note, in some cases, you may need to update your Zotero version before Better BibTeX
can be enabled. To update your Zotero desktop, go to Help à Check for Updates…
2. Once Better BibTeX is enabled, select the
folder/library/items you wish to include in your .bib file
as you did in Step 1 of the simple method above.
3. In the export window, you will now see many more
options for your export format.
• Select the “Better BibTeX” option
• To set up the autosync, make sure you also check
the “Keep updated” box.
• Click “Ok”, name your .bib file and save in the
same location as your LaTeX file.
4. You can adjust or remove a .bib autosync of Zotero
records at any time.
• On a mac, go to Zotero à Preferences… On a PC, go to Tools à Preferences…

Christine Malinowski | MIT Libraries | Last Updated 01.17.2018


Click on the “Better BibTeX” tab and then the “Automatic Export” tab. All of your current
autosyncs should be listed in the box.


To have your .bib file continuously autosync, make sure the “On Change” option is
To force a sync of your exports (outside of any changes in your library), click “Export” at
the bottom of this screen.
If you want to remove autosyncs, click “Remove”


Tip: You can make adjustments to how Better BibTeX generates your .bib file. In particular, you
may want to consider adjusting how it handles potential duplicate BibTeX keys (the unique ID
that you include in your \cite{key} entry in your LaTeX file). You can make these changes in the
“Citation” tab of the “Better BibTeX” preferences window.

Christine Malinowski | MIT Libraries | Last Updated 01.17.2018


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