How to add a style in Zotero

by catherine on May 28, 2014

It’s all very well getting the citations perfectly formatted for your thesis, but it’s inevitable that for journal articles or books, you’ll need to use a completely different style. Fortunately, this is very simple in Zotero. I showed in my previous post how you can switch between styles; here I’m going to explain how to add a new one.

By default Zotero includes only a handful of styles, but thousands more are available through their website.

Zotero style directory

As you’ll see, they’re arranged by discipline and cover everything from professional bodies to specialist journals. To see a preview of the style, just place your cursor over the link.

Installing styles

To install a style, just click on the hyperlinked name and a CSL file is downloaded. For example, clicking on ‘Feminist Legal Studies’ downloads a file called ‘feminist-legal-studies.csl’. Click on the file to install it (make sure you have Zotero open), confirm that you want to install it, then it is added to your list of styles. If you’re using Chrome or Firefox, the file will appear in the bottom left-hand corner; Safari users will need to find the file in ‘Downloads’.

Zotero CSL file

Using styles

Now we’re going to change our style in a Word document to the one we’ve just downloaded. Open Word, then on the Zotero toolbar click the icon that resembles a tiny cogwheel (second from the right). This displays your document preferences.

Zotero document preferences

You’ll see a list of citation styles, including the new one.

Zotero citation style list

Selecting a new style applies just to that document, so it’s ideal for journal articles where you need to use something other than your usual style.

In the unlikely event that you can’t find the style you need, you can create or edit your own.

Styles might look a bit tricky at first, but they can save you a lot of time once you’ve mastered the basics.

If you’d like to see a demonstration of how to add a new style in Zotero, please watch my YouTube video below:

Find out about styles and lots more in my ebook How to Manage References with Zotero.

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