I'm curious to find a quick and convenient way to cite references in Latex from Zotero 5.

In Zotero 4, I believe one could use the "quick copy" shortcut (e.g. Ctrl+Shift+A on a reference in Zotero) to paste in Latex the appropriate reference code e.g. \cite{author1_title_year}.

Now, in Zotero 5, if I select BibTeX in Edit/Preferences/Export/Default Format, the shortcut Ctrl+Shift+A doesn't seem to copy anything to the clipboard. If I use Ctrl+Shift+C, it copies the entire reference with title, volume, number, etc., which isn't what is needed to cite in text.

I'm not sure if the fact that the "quick copy" feature doesn't work is due to the new Zotero version, or if I'm doing something wrong. Any info or tips on alternative solutions are welcome.

For now, the best solution I have is to open the exported BibTex .bib file, look up the reference key, and copy paste it to my document. Which seems a bit unnecessarily tedious compared to the former quick copy from Zotero, or to the embedded Zotero plugin in Microsoft Word.

2 Answers 2


This has never worked in Zotero out of the box -- the functionality to generate citekeys using ctrl+shift+a has always relied on the Better Bibtex add-on which now is available for Zotero 5.

  • Thanks for confirming this, it wasn't clear that the Better Bibtext add-on was already available for Zotero 5. Great news! By setting Preferences/Export/Default Format to Better BibTex Citation Key Quick Copy, I can now Ctrl+Shift+C a reference to get the \cite{author2017} reference key. Also, the automatic export feature also works, so that the .bib file only must be exported once.
    – sc28
    Nov 23, 2017 at 10:23

Stumbled on a simple, satisfying solution in TexStudio: actually the editor automatically prompts the list of reference keys when typing \cite{...}, so just knowing the first letters of the author is generally enough to identify the reference.

  • So it means that the problem has been solved?
    – Cragfelt
    Nov 23, 2017 at 1:11
  • Yes, I was happy with this solution, but @adam.smith 's solution confirmed that the Better Bibtex add-on was available for Zotero 5 and precisely addressing my initial question, so I marked that as accepted solution.
    – sc28
    Nov 23, 2017 at 10:24

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .