Skip to Main Content


This guide provides in-depth instructions on how to use Zotero, organize sources, and create in-text citations and bibliographies.

Adding PDF Files as a Source

If you have PDF files that are readable (OCR), Zotero can extract the necessary metadata from the document to create a source record.

  1. Open the Zotero Desktop app
  2. Open the computer folder with the pdf file(s)
  3. Drag and drop the pdf file(s) from the computer folder to the Zotero Library or collection
  4. Wait a few seconds for Zotero to process the document and create the source record
  5. Repeat as many times as needed

Note: if the pdf format is a static image then this process won't work as well. You have some options:

If you are syncing with your online account, attached files take up significant space. To avoid running out of space, uncheck the sync full-text content to prevent files from being uploaded to your online account.

How May I Help?

Profile Photo
Jennifer Sharkey
Subjects: Honors