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Zotsite: A Zotero Export Utility

PyPI Python 3.10 Python 3.11 Build Status

This project exports your local Zotero library to a usable HTML website. This generated website has the following features:

  • Easily access your papers, site snapshots, notes from a navigation tree.
  • Provides metadata from collections and attachments (i.e. referenes etc).
  • Display PDF papers and website snapshot (the latter as framed).
  • Search function dynamically narrows down the papers you're looking for.
  • Embed links to a specific collection, article, item, note etc.
  • Export only a portion of your collection with regular expressions using the collection name.
  • BetterBibtex integration.
  • Snazzy look and feel from the latest Bootstrap CSS/Javascript library.


See the full documentation.


The easist way to install the command line program is via the pip installer:

pip3 install zensols.zotsite

Binaries are also available on pypi.


The tool does the following:

  1. Exports the meta data (directory structure, references, notes, etc) from your Zotero library. On MacOS, this is done by querying the file system SQLite DB files.
  2. Copies a static site that enables traversal of the exported data.
  3. Copies your Zotero stored papers, snapshot (sites) etc.
  4. Generates a navigation tree to easily find your papers/content.

Sample Site Demonstration

See the live demo, which provides a variety of resources found in my own library. Note: To my knowledge, all of these resources are free to distribute and violate no laws. If I've missed one, please create an issue.


BetterBibtex plugin for Zotero.


The command line program has two modes: show configuration (a good first step) and to create the web site. You can see what the program is parsing from your Zotero library:

zotsite print

To create the stand-alone site, run the program (without the angle brackets):

zotsite export

If your library is not in the default $HOME/zotero directory you will need to change that path by making a zotsite.conf config file:

zotsite export --collection zotsite.conf

This will create the html files in the directory ./zotsite

See usage for more information.

Configuration File

Either an environment variable ZOTSITERC must be set or a -c configuration option must be given and point to a file to customize how the program works. See the test configuration file for an example and inline comments for more detail on how and what can be configured.

Ubuntu and Linux Systems with Python 3.5 or Previous Version

Please read this issue if you are installing a Ubuntu or any Linux system with Python 3.5 or previous version.

Command Line Help

Command line usage as provided with the --help option:

Usage: zotsite [list|export|print] [options]:

This project exports your local Zotero library to a usable HTML website.

  -h, --help [actions]                         show this help message and exit
  --version                                    show the program version and exit
  --level X                                    the application logger level, X is one of: debug, err, info, warn
  -c, --config FILE                            the configuration file

list                                           list all actions and help
  --lstfmt <json|name|text>              text  the output format for the action listing

export (default)                               generate and export the zotero website
  --collection REGEX                           a regular expression used to filter "collection" nodes
  -o, --outputdir DIR                          the directory to dump the site; default to configuration file
  -s, --show                                   whether to browse to the created site (needs "pip install zensols.showfile")

print                                          print (sub)collections and papers in those collections as a tree
  --collection REGEX                           a regular expression used to filter "collection" nodes


This software uses:


Also see the live demo.



  • Make the site portion a proper Javascript site. Right now, all the mins are added in the distribution to same directory as the main navigation/content file.
  • Add functionality to the disabled View button that drills down in a paper and finds a PDF or site to view withouth the user having to do this.
  • Use something like zotxt to make this work with a plugin rather than directly against the SQLite DB.

Zotero Plugin Listing

This is listed as a plugin on the Zotero site.


An extensive changelog is available here.


Please star this repository and let me know how and where you use this API. Contributions as pull requests, feedback and any input is welcome.


MIT License

Copyright (c) 2019 - 2023 Paul Landes