Zotero “watches” the pages you view to see if any of them contain citations to books, articles or other sources. When it identifies a source on the page, the Zotero Connector will display a type-specific icon near the address bar in the browser.
Just click the icon and Zotero will automatically save the citation (and the full text of the source, if available) into your Zotero library. Notice that you have to have the Zotero software open on your computer for the import to work!
The Zotero icon in your browser will display in different places in different browsers:
Note: Like any citation manager/generator, in order for Zotero to produce accurate citations and bibliographies, it is extremely important that you ensure that each item is given complete and accurate metadata in the Zotero library, including classifying each as the correct item type. Often this will require manual edits. If Zotero contains incomplete or inaccurate information, your citations will be inaccurate.
After installling Zotero, you'll notice that there is now a "Zotero" button in Microsoft Word on your computer, as well as in Google Docs (only in web browsers to which you have added the Zotero plugin).
These buttons allow you to automatically add your sources to your paper.
After you write a sentence that needs a citation, simply click "add/edit citation" to add in-text citation (depending on what citation style you use, this may mean a parenthetical citation, footnote, endnote, etc).
After you are done with your paper, simply click "add/edit bibliography" to add your bibliography at the end of your paper. When you revise your paper, adding or removing more in-text citations, simply click "refresh" to update your bibliography.