Reference management software: Zotero

Searching in Zotero

Go to Edit > Advanced search or tick the Magnifying glass-icon. The % sign functions as wildcard: “W% Shakespeare” will match “W Shakespeare”, “W. Shakespeare” and so on. Feel free to explore, advanced search can be used in numerus ways, below is a couple of suggestions.

Advanced searches

You can use the advanced search function to find exactly what you are looking for in your Zotero library. There are many ways to use the search function. For instance, you can use it to create a new file with your most recent imported items.

  • Under Match, choose Date added > is in the last > choose from days/months/years > add your preferred time-number in the search box (for example, type “30” to get the latest month if time is set to days) > Save search and enter a name.
  • You will find the results of your search in a file with the name you chose, e.g., "Last 30 days added references".

Using tags to search

We have already seen how you create tags. Searching tags enables finding related items in your library, e.g., pertaining to a specific topic.

  • In the Tag selector below to the left in Zotero, you will find all tags in use. Double click on the tag to see all items presently tagged (mark My library and then right click if nothing appears).
  • You can look for a specific tag by simply writing its name in the Tag search box below the Tag selector.
  • You can also search for tags in Advanced search > chose Tag as search criteria > type the name of the tags you are looking for in the search box > Search.

Free text search in PDF files

  • To enable free text search in the PDF files in Zotero, you first need to index the PDF files in your library. Go to: Edit > Preferences > Search > Rebuild index to index your PDF files > OK to close the window. Note! Some PDF files cannot be indexed. Under Index statistics you can see how many PDF files are indexed.
  • By clicking the small arrow icon to the left of the Search box in your Zotero library and choosing Everything as a search alternative, you enable Zotero to search text in the PDF files stored in your library. Then search as usual by entering a search term in the box.