Word Could Not Communicate with Zotero

Hi folks,

First, here is my report ID: 956928765

Second, I've recently updated to Zotero v5.x from a functional integration of Word with Zotero v4.x. I use Microsoft Word for Mac v15.39, and I keep getting the "Word could not communicate with Zotero. Please ensure that Zotero or Firefox is open and try again." This message occurs despite having Zotero (standalone) open.

Here's what I've done so far/steps to reproduce:
- Manually installed Zotero.dotm file in both of the following locations:
/Applications/Zotero.app/Contents/Resources/extensions/zoteroMacWordIntegration@zotero.org/install
/Applications/Zotero.app/Contents/Resources/extensions/zoteroMacWordIntegration@zotero.org/install
- Restarted Microsoft Word to verify the plug-in is present (it was)
- Restarted Zotero
- Restarted my Mac
- Reinstalled Zotero v5.x
- Checked that I've got a copy of Zotero.dotm in my Word (both) startup folders
- Read through several relevant forum posts, including one from July 2017 suggesting that I should Re-install Microsoft Add-in from the button from the Zotero/Preferences/Cite/Word Processors, but the only button there is the Install LibreOffice Add-in (which I tried to do, just in case, but stopped when it asked me to load the Java Development Kit). But there is no longer a Microsoft Add-in button at that location.

I've also noticed that Zotero.dot is located in both Word statup folders, could that be causing some kind of interference? I still have the old add-in in Word that was under the add-in tab I was using with Zotero v4.x. (Apologies if that is a silly question.)

I wish I hadn't updated to v5, as my v4.x was working just fine. Now I cannot load citations and bibliographies into Word like I was able just yesterday with v4.x.

Hopefully, I've provided you enough information. I really appreciate this tool and I am looking forward to hearing from you with your suggestions.

Best, Rich
  • Read through several relevant forum posts, including one from July 2017 suggesting that I should Re-install Microsoft Add-in from the button from the Zotero/Preferences/Cite/Word Processors, but the only button there is the Install LibreOffice Add-in (which I tried to do, just in case, but stopped when it asked me to load the Java Development Kit). But there is no longer a Microsoft Add-in button at that location.
    So that's the problem here. Anything unusual about your Word installation? Non-English? On a separate drive? And just to be sure, could you confirm your Zotero version?
  • Hi Adam,

    My Zotero version is 5.0.23. I first updated my Zotero, and then after my initial problem and double-checking everything, I went ahead and downloaded and re-installed Zotero 5.0.23 for Mac again.

    It's been a while since I've installed my Microsoft Word, but I bought from their website through one of their home-use programs. Until a couple hours ago my Microsoft Word was working just fine with the previous Zotero v4.x I was using before updating to 5.0.23.

    Another, perhaps, useful clarification: I dual-boot my Mac, but I only use Zotero on my Mac side, because I was afraid that it would replicate my database on my Windows partition.

    What are your thoughts?

    Thanks again,
    Rich
  • Is the Word add-on listed under Tools --> Add-ons in Zotero? It might be disabled there -- if so, please enable it.

    If that's not it, then @adomasven would need to take it from here.
  • Ah, that was it, Adam!

    So the Zotero Word for Mac Integration I had for Zotero was marked "(disabled)," and says: "Zotero Word for Mac Integration is incompatible with Zotero 5.0.23."

    I had the old integrator that I no longer needed in Zotero 5.x.

    What I did wrong was not follow the directions (of course)! This note on your Installing the Zotero Word Processor Plugins page became clear to me when you said to go check the Add-ons in Zotero: "If you previously installed the Firefox versions of the word processor plugins into Zotero 5.0 or Zotero Standalone 4.0, you should uninstall them from Tools → Add-ons."

    So that's what I did: I uninstalled that previous integrator for Zotero Standalone 4.0.

    Appreciate your patience, and walking me through this. Sorry for the hassle--but I am much relieved as I use Zotero all the time.

    Thanks again!
    Rich

    PS. Any chance the Zotero commands are going to be made compatible with the Microsoft Word for Mac Quick Access Toolbar? I can't imagine Microsoft being much help with that--but I sure do miss the always quick access of the old Zotero taskbar. Too bad Microsoft went to the tabs, I'm not too much of a fan of their change in that regard and that's primarily because they buried my Zotero stuff in a tab!


  • You can add keyboard shortcuts to the Zotero commands. The Quick Access Toolbar is buggy in Word for Mac 2016–when you add Add-in commands to it, they don’t save. You can add the Zotero macros directly from the Macros section of the QAT customize screen, but they won’t have useful icons.
  • Hi, there,

    I have the same problem here that saying "Word could not communicate with Zotero. Please ensure that Zotero is open and try again."

    I am using Microsoft Word 2017 and Zotero V5.044. I have abled my Add-in for Zotero plug.

    Could someone help me here?

    Thanks!
  • Hi,

    I have the same problem :" Word could not communicate with Zotero".
    I am using Microsoft Word 2017 and Zotero V5.044. I have abled my Add-in for Zotero plug.

    Anybody there to help?

    Thanks!
  • You should update to the latest version of Zotero and submit a Report ID.
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