Using Multiple Styles in Zotero

i. What is a Style?

Earlier in Module 1, Citation Styles were discussed. In Zotero, countless numbers of Styles are available. Go visit the Zotero Style Repository ( to see the extensive list. Since Zotero is Open Source, anyone who has the skills to modify the Style code can modify or build a new Style. Thus, many Styles have been submitted for anyone’s free use! In Chemistry, for instance, it is very common to use the American Chemical Society Style. At the time of writing, there are 14 different “ACS…” Styles available ranging from “ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces” to “ACS Synthetic Biology.” However, since this is a community repository, there are no rules for naming Styles, so if you scroll down, you will find there are another eight “American Chemical Society…” Styles available! Hovering your mouse over a particular Style will give you a preview of what that particular Style of bibliography will look like.

Screenshot of the Zotero Style Repository and the pop-up that shows an example of a given style (mouse hover)

Clicking on any style will start a download of a Zotero *.csl file. Once it is downloaded, simply double-click the file and Zotero will ask if you want to add it to your Style Database.

ii. How to set the preferred Style

Remember how all of the drag-and-drop citations all had some Style already chosen for you? You can set this by going to your Zotero Preferences and selecting the “Default Output Format” under “Export” preferences. Now, all of your drag-and-drop will be formatted with your selected Style.

iii. An example with Microsoft Word Drag & Drop

The video below will show making citations and bibliographies in different Styles.

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Vincent Sutittes (not verified) | Tue, 09/01/2015 - 21:24
Forty seconds into the video "Demo Changing Styles in Zotero for Drag and Drop into Word" you show ACS Style as an option in the "default output format", but I do not see that as an option, and after Googling for 15 minutes, still do not see how to add it. How do you add citation styles to the "default output format" of the standalone application? I went to the styles repository, <a href=""></a> , clicked on ACS styles and it said it installed it, but I do not see it. Thank you, Vincent

Justin M. Shorb's picture
Justin M. Shorb | Tue, 09/01/2015 - 22:12
Vincent, thanks for your question. I have to admit that there was one additional step that I didn't think was necessary: Restarting Zotero. On my mac, when I double-click one of the CSL files that I download from the Zotero Style Repository, it automatically opens in Zotero and I am prompted whether or not I want to have it Installed. Depending on the speed of my computer, it can take a minute for Zotero to prompt for Installing (I just tried installing a new style and I clicked on the style I wanted, it downloaded in my browser, and when I clicked on the file to Open it, it took about 30 seconds for Zotero Standalone to acknowledge that it was clicked. Installation was completed after I pressed "Install" in the Zotero window.) I know that the Style was installed because it was listed under the possible Styles in the "Cite" menu in Preferences. However, it did not show up in the "Default Styles" as you said. When I restarted Zotero Standalone, it appeared in the drop-down for Default Styles. There is some more information here: <a href=""></a> but I hope that a restart helps you out like it did for me! If you are using a PC, you may have to choose to open the CSL file "Open with..." Zotero.