zotxt: a Zotero extension for text
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zotxt: a Zotero extension for text

zotxt is a Zotero extension for supporting utilities that deal with plain text files (e.g., markdown, reStructuredText, latex, etc.)

zotxt is compatible with Zotero 5. Older versions were compatible with Zotero 4, but these are no longer supported.


  1. Visit https://github.com/egh/zotxt/releases
  2. Download the latest .xpi file.
  3. Start Zotero standalone.
  4. In Zotero, select Tools -> Add-ons -> Gear (upper right) -> Install Add-On from file, and install the downloaded xpi file.

It is recommended that you also install Better BibTeX for Zotero, which provides excellent citation key management.

Writing with pandoc (1.12 or later)

If you use pandoc, zotxt can help you deal with citations stored in Zotero. After installing the extension, modify your Zotero preferences to make the “Easy Citekey” exporter your default for “Quick Copy”.

Now, when editing a markdown document in your text editor, use either the drag and drop or quick copy shortcut key (Ctrl-Alt-C) to copy a pandoc-compatible “Easy Citekey” citation into your document. You can also generate your own citekey using the author’s last name, a word from the title, and the date, e.g., @doe:2000title

You will need to install the pandoc-zotxt script. This can be done with pip:

sudo pip install pandoc-zotxt

or you can install from source using the setup.py file.

Pandoc can now be invoked using its filter feature:

pandoc -F pandoc-zotxt -F pandoc-citeproc document.md

This will generate a JSON file in temporary storage and load your citations into it. The citations will be passed on to pandoc.

Custom keys

Sometimes you may wish to set a custom key for an item; for instance, in the case where two items would have the same key otherwise. This can be done by adding a tag of the form: @doe:2014title to an item in Zotero, or by adding a note with the same content. Zotxt will first look for keys in a note or tag before resolving the item otherwise.

Zotxt API

The Zotxt API is exposed via To retrieve an item, use the items endpoint with different parameters. you can query using the params easykey, key, selected=t, all=t, or collection. For example:

For collection or key, provide the Zotero key (e.g. 0_VWYXZ1A1)

You can return the data in different formats by using the format parameter, including easykey (an array of easykeys), betterbibtexkey (an array of better bibtex keys), key (an array of Zotero keys), bibtex, bibliography (see also the style parameter), or json (which output CSL-JSON format, using Zotero BetterBibTeX’s export if available). For example:

To search, use the search endpoint with the q parameter. This uses the title/creator/year quick search. You can use the format param as in the items endpoint. For example:

You can supply an argument to the method parameter to change the quicksearch version, either titleCreatorYear (the default), everything or fields.