I would like to write and produce my thesis in LaTeX, but my supervisors prefer Word for commenting and reviewing on my thesis. The first time I did the conversion, I used Endnote and it was pretty easy for a one time conversion. However, this is not feasible on a continuous basis.

I am now using Zotero for my citations. Both Word and Overleaf have convenient automatic import functions for the Zotero libraries. After I strip the word document of the characters unsuitable for LaTeX, my only issue is adjusting the in-text citations. My thoughts were if there is some Zotero Word Plug-in output that produces a citation style that can be read in LaTeX, then it will work. In Endnote, this worked with BibTeX export, which I was pretty shocked by. It produced \cite{RN#}.

With the Zotero plug-in, the only BibTeX related plug in I could find was BibTeX generic citation style. This produces a reference like the following

“When pain persists longer than three months cragg_risk_2019..”

But for some reason there is no cite command or brackets around the citation, so I am not really sure how this is useful. I am trying to figure out how to use Better BibTeX add-in, which I have installed, but it doesn’t seem to be helping.

Maybe I am too optimistic, but if I were able to use an output that produced \cite{(below)} then I would be able to transfer the text from the Word document and link it to the online .bib file from Zotero on Overleaf.

Any suggestions?

    title = {Risk {Factors} for {Misuse} of {Prescribed} {Opioids}: {A} {Systematic} {Review} and {Meta}-{Analysis}},
    issn = {0196-0644},
    journal = {Annals of emergency medicine},
    author = {Cragg, Amber and Hau, Jeffrey P. and Woo, Stephanie A. and Kitchen, Sophie A. and Liu, Christine and Doyle-Waters, Mary M. and Hohl, Corinne M.},
    year = {2019}

1 Answer 1


It can be done, but not with Zotero only. If you install the BBT plugin (full disclosure: I am the author of said plugin) and configure it to make the citekeys available in to the Zotero citation processor, you can create and install a custom citation style (sample here) to render the citekeys as latex citations in word.

  • I was trying to reproduce you proposition, and it export [@Citationkey], instead of \cite{Citationkey} so I'm not sure how it is expected to work.
    – Karls
    Commented Jan 18, 2021 at 18:18
  • 1
    Edit: ok, nvm, I didn't get the part about modifying citation style. Now it works, nice idea.
    – Karls
    Commented Jan 18, 2021 at 18:37
  • These comments saved my life
    – story
    Commented Jan 23, 2021 at 17:18
  • Edited to refresh the link to raw.githubusercontent.com/retorquere/zotero-better-bibtex/…
    – Ingmar
    Commented Aug 18, 2022 at 9:03
  • Note, if you click the link and have the zotero plug-in installed, it will prompt you to install the example citation style retorquere. Be sure to download the example and edit it to insert what ever text you'd like to surround the BBT keys.
    – Will C
    Commented Jan 24, 2023 at 20:20

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