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Note: zotero-plain has been split into two parts: zotxt-emacs (this repository) for working with org, and zot4rst (zotero reStructuredText tools), which been moved to zot4rst.


zotxt-emacs can be installed via MELPA; please see the zotxt package.


zotxt-emacs requires GNU emacs >= 24.3, or any version of emacs 25, including unreleased versions. It should work with a builtin org-mode or with the latest org-mode installed via the org ELPA repository.

Emacs integration

Emacs integration has 3 parts: a core library (zotxt.el), org-mode integration (org-zotxt.el), and an “easykey” mode (zotxt-easykey.el). Emacs integration depends on the zotxt Zotero extension.

For pandoc markdown files

zoxtxt-easykey, in combination with pandoc-zotxt, can help you edit your pandoc markdown files. Load the zotxt-easykey minor mode using M-x zotxt-easykey-mode and get started by inserting an easykey using C-c " k. This will prompt you for a search string, which will do a quicksearch in your Zotero library. You will then be prompted to make a selection from the results of that search. An easykey for your selection will then be inserted into your document.

zotxt + org-mode

To insert a citation into a org-mode document, first enable the org-zotxt minor mode:

M-x org-zotxt-mode

Then select one or more items in Zotero pane. Finally, in emacs, use: C-c " i to insert these items as citations. This inserts a zotero link with descriptive link text.

To update the link text to reflect changed metadata from Zotero, use C-c " u over the link.

zotxt EasyKey integration

zotxt supports a feature known as “easy keys” for integration with zotero and pandoc or zot4rst. These keys look like @doe:2014title where Doe is the author’s last name, 2014 is the publication year, and title is the first word of the title (excluding “stop words”, such as “the” or “a”). The provided zotxt-easykey-mode supports completion of these easykeys in a buffer using the command completion-at-point. (This function is not bound in org-mode, but I replace the binding to pcomplete using:

;; prefer completion-at-point to pcomplete
(define-key org-mode-map (kbd "C-M-i") 'completion-at-point)

Now, the user can @doe and then C-M-i. If the only matching easy key is @doe:2014title this will be completed. If there are multiple matches, the user will be presented with a buffer containing possible completions.