Zotero for Chrome and Safari

Here’s a quick tip for Zotero users who like to do their browsing in Chrome or Safari: you can install “Zotero Connectors” that will make Zotero recognize references in Chrome and Safari just like in Firefox. The Zotero developers are working on a standalone version, but these connectors can already talk to your Zotero library in Firefox. So if you, say, find yourself going to Chrome for its speed and nice interface, you can simply connect it with Zotero and use Firefox to host your local Zotero library until Zotero Standalone comes along.

Follow these steps:

  1. Make sure you have the latest version of Zotero (3.0 Beta currently)
  2. Install the Chrome or Safari connector for Zotero in the browser of your choice.
  3. Start Firefox and type about:config in the address bar. Within the options, search for “zotero”, locate the extensions.zotero.httpServer.enabled option and double-click to enable it. (See kb article here.)
  4. Restart Firefox as well as your other browser to get them linked up properly.
  5. Enjoy the goods of Zotero translators in Chrome or Safari! (Remember that Firefox has to be open for Chrome to recognise and save the reference.)

Quick Q&A

Huh? When was this cool feature added?
Work on the Standalone version started about a year ago. The connectors have been developed for use with Standalone, but in a streak of insight, the developers also allowed communication with the Firefox version of Zotero. This was never announced, which is why I’m devoting a post to this well kept secret!
Can I now install Zotero in Chrome or Safari?
No, this post describes a way to get Zotero support in Chrome or Safari. You still need to have your main Zotero library in Firefox. If you are adventurous, you can try the Standalone Alpha or Beta version and connect it in the same way.
What are Zotero translators?
Translators enable Zotero to sense when you’re on a site displaying bibliographic information that you can import into your library. Thousands of sites are supported. Translators allow one-click saving of references in your library; if a PDF is available, they even download it for you and automatically attach it to the entry in your library!
What if it doesn’t work?
Be sure that Firefox is open, otherwise Chrome won’t be able to sense and save items. Try the troubleshooting translator issues page. If that doesn’t work, you can ask for help in the Zotero forums, where a lot of helpful people hang out.

3 thoughts on “Zotero for Chrome and Safari”

  1. That’s a nice tip. I wonder if saving to the active Zotero collection would also work. I noticed that when I have the Zotero pane open in two Firefox windows, items get filed under ‘Unfiled items’ instead of in the collection of the current window.

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