Answered By: Caltech Research Librarians
Last Updated: Feb 13, 2024     Views: 1019

Tags help you describe citations in more detail. You can create your own tags or Zotero automatically tags citations with keywords and subject headings that come from a publisher, author, database, or index. 

Tags come in two colors:

  1. Your own tags will have a blue icon:

Screenshot of personal tags in Zotero with blue tag icons.

  1. Imported tags will have an orange icon:

Screenshot of imported tags in Zotero with orange tag icons.


Tags show up in Zotero Standalone in two places:

  1. At the bottom of the left panel there is a list of all tags: 

Screenshot of Zotero with arrow pointing down to the left corner where you can find all tags.

  1. When you click into a single citation:

Screenshot of Zotero with arrow pointing from the center citation panel to the left details panel showing tags tab.

To create a tag:

  1. Click on a citation in the center panel to reveal details in the right panel.
  2. Choose the tags tab.

Close up screenshot of the Zotero tags tab.

  1. Click on ‘Add.’
  2. Look for a blank field with a blue icon at the bottom of the list.
  3. Name your tag by typing in the field.

Close up screenshot of the Zotero tags tab with the field open to add a tag.

  1. Push the enter or return key on your keyboard when you are finished naming your tag.
  2. Your tag will appear in the tag list alphabetically.

To add multiple citations to a single tag:

  1. Search for your tag in the tag search field in Zotero Standalone.

Screenshot of tags section of Zotero highlighting the search field and a specific tag.

  1. Select, drag and drop the citations onto the tag.

Screenshot showing how to drag and drop multiple citations onto a single tag in Zotero.

To add tags with a single key on your keyboard:

  1. Right-click or CTRL click on a tag..
  2. Choose ‘assign color.’

Screenshot of the drop down menu that appears after right-clicking on a tag in Zotero

  1. Pick a color and Zotero will automatically assign a number to that color.

Screenshot of tag color and position popup window in Zotero.

  1. Click on ‘set color’ and the tag changes to that color and a dot with that color will appear next to your citations.

Screenshot of Zotero tag with blue font and a small blue box next to each citation.

  1. Select a citation and push the key on your keyboard associated with the tag color and Zotero will automatically tag your citation with a single keystroke

See Zotero's documentation about collections and tags for more information about tags (e.g. adding colors and keyboard shortcuts with numbers).

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