Advanced Zotero

Working with PDFs and Taking Notes & Annotating in Zotero

Make Zotero Talk to Your PDFs

This module will show you how to configure Zotero to work with PDFs you have already saved to your computer.  This will help you easily bring PDF files into Zotero and will make it possible to easily cite these papers in your writing.  Either watch the screencast or view the step-by-step screenshots below.  For a text-based version of the directions, view the video transcript: PDF_Indexing_Extensions_transcript.pdf

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1. To configure your zotero library to import and identify PDFs, go to the Actions button on your Zotero toolbar.

Zotero Actions

2. Choose "Preferences" from the menu:


3. Next, choose the "search" tab, then check if the pdftotext and the pdfinfo utilities have been installed.  If they are not installed, click the "check for installer" button.

PDF utilities

4. Install the two PDF indexing utilities.  Now you are ready to import existing PDFs on your computer into your Zotero library.  Go to the Retrieve PDF Metadata module to learn how to do this.

PDF utilities installed