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Zotero at University of Waterloo: Using Zotero with a Mac

This guide will help you use the free online citation and research management tool Zotero to organize citations from Library catalogs and databases.

How does Zotero on a Mac compare to Zotero on a PC?

While Zotero functions very similarly on a Mac, when compared to a PC, the interface looks slightly different. This page of the Zotero guide aims to outline these differences and address any questions that may arise while using this guide to navigate Zotero on a Mac computer.

Thank you to Megan Palmer for the content of this tab!

Thank you to Megan Palmer for creating this page.

Install differences on a Mac

Zotero Mac connector and application screenshot.

When installing the Mac version of Zotero (6.0), the Zotero application includes the Safari connector and does not require you to download the connector separate from the Zotero application install. 

After opening Zotero 6.0 for the first time, you can enable it from the Extensions pane of the Safari preferences. The Zotero Connector for Safari requires Safari 15 on macOS 11 Big Sur or later. If you experience issues with the Safari connector, check out the documentation on the Zotero website (UC Berkley).

Safari and the Zotero Connector

When you are using the Zotero connector on a Mac computer the Zotero folder or PDF button will be located on the left of your search bar and these icons will be muted out or look different than the other icons on this guide (as displayed in the screenshot). On a PC, your Zotero icon will be located to the far right of your browser of choice and your icons will look like the other icons on this guide.

When on a page with multiple records available (for example, when searching a database), you will see a folder icon to the left of your search bar. If you select this folder, a window will open asking you which records on the page you would like to import to your Zotero account. Select which records you would like to import and then select "Ok" to close the window.

Safari window with a PDF symbol to the left of the search bar, outlining that there is an available PDF on the page.

When on a page with only one record available with a PDF, you will see a PDF symbol to the left of your search bar. Select this PDF icon to import the record and PDF to Zotero. 

Differences when linking your UW library to Zotero

Follow these steps while using a Mac computer to link your UW library account to your Zotero library:

  1. Open your Zotero desktop application.
  2. At the top left of your entire desktop screen, select the drop-down menu for "Zotero" (see screenshot below).
  3. Select "Preferences."
  4. In new window that opens, select "Advanced" (see screenshot below).
  5. Navigate to the empty resolver field, and enter this URL:
  6. Select "enter," and then close out of the Advanced window.
    • Note: Your Mac does not have a "Ok" button in this window the same way that a PC would, this is why you must select enter and close out of the window manually.
  7. You have now linked your UW library account to your Mac Zotero application! 

Zotero advanced menu location on a Mac computer.The above screenshot displays the location of the Zotero advanced preferences tab (relevant to step 2 of linking UW library to Zotero).

Advanced preferences for Zotero on a Mac computer, displaying the lack of 'ok' button that would be present on a PC.The above screenshot displays the advanced preferences screen in the Zotero desktop on a Mac (relevant for steps 4-6 of linking UW library to Zotero). Note: There is no 'Ok' button that would be present on a PC, follow step 6 (at the top of this page) to manually override.