Error when adding citations (Report ID 1474897952)

Hey all,

I've been struggling with Zotero now for a couple of weeks unfortunately...
There is often this issue, that if I add a citation, an error appears, leading me to the bug-fixing website, where I already tried all steps before entering a new post.
So whenever I add a citation, the error occurs and most of the time, my entire list of references disappears in the document. I tried switching off the mode where it saves my document on OneDrive, copied it into a new document, switched citation styles, etc. I even updates ALL citations manually and even updated the list of references.
Still I receive errors whenever I cite something.
Please help me!
I am
  • edited 4 days ago
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    If it's working in a new document but you're getting an error in an existing documents, the troubleshooting steps really are what you need to follow. Note that they end with a step that, by definition, will both let you fix the problem in your current document and enable you to share a problematic citation with us to help us try to fix any underlying issue. There's nothing more we can tell you beyond that, but if you can provide a document excerpt as requested there we can take a look.

    We'd also want to know your full, exact version of Word.
  • Hey, thank you for your comment.
    I've been trying all troubleshooting steps so far. I even started a completely new document and copied and pasted the text without the citation and added it manually but the error still occurred.
    My Word Version is: 16.46 (21021202)

    I have provided an excerpt of my document via Email.

    Thank you for your support.
  • I'm able to insert a citation into the document you sent without problem.

    If you're not, we'd want the exact steps you're taking to reproduce the problem in that document excerpt.

    Make sure you're working off a local document, not a document stored in OneDrive. (I'm not sure what you mean by "the mode where it saves my document on OneDrive", but the point is just that you want to be working on a purely local file — e.g., on your desktop.)
  • Sometimes it works without problems and sometimes, I have to add the citation three times in order for it to work.
    I had the document saved offline and online (that is when the problem first occurred), however, once I started a new document and pasted my text and added citations separately, it still did not work properly.
    When I add citations, I go over the Zotero-option in word to add a citation. Sometimes I choose the classic view, where all sources are listed, sometimes I go over the bar, where I have to type in the source manually. I then add the page number(s) and press "enter" for it to add. That's where the error sometimes occurs, and sometimes, it doesn't. It just pops up a window, which asks me to display the debugging website yes/no and I sometimes opened the website and sometimes not.
    As I said, I followed all steps on the website to identify the problem. I'm not sure, but since I had this issue with a completely new document, it may be a problem with the program itself...?
    If you need any more info, let me know.
    Thank you in advance.
    I hope I could clarify the issue a bit more.
  • Oh, and after the error, I have the {Citation} command in the spot, where the citation was supposed to be and my list of reference also disappeared. I can send you an excerpt of this situation, once I have it again.
  • I had the document saved offline and online (that is when the problem first occurred)
    @biankavonlonski: To be clear, we're specifically asking about a file that's just saved, e.g., on your desktop vs. one saved in OneDrive. I'm still not sure what you mean re: "mode" or "saved offline and online". Create a new, empty Word document, save it to your desktop, and try to reproduce the problem with that file.
    however, once I started a new document and pasted my text and added citations separately, it still did not work properly.
    Can you provide the exact steps you're taking, starting with creating a new, empty file on your desktop through reproducing the error, as well as a Debug ID for that process?
  • By "mode" I'm referring to the option, word offers me for saving/synchronizing files online. (Switch in the top left corner)

    Steps taken:

    -Without enabling Debug logging-
    Open new document (offline only) -> Copy Paste Text only (without citations) -> Chose citation style -> added citations separately -> Added Bibliography -> Copy Paste Text only (without citations) -> Chose citation style -> added citations separately -> Error occurred

    -With enabled Debug logging-
    Open new document (offline only) -> Copy Paste Text only (without citations) -> Chose citation style -> Error occurred

    As requested, here ist the Debug ID D1195157824
    During the debug logging, I wasn't even able to add a citation as the problem already occurred while choosing the citation style.
  • Right, I'm saying not to use that switch for testing this. I'm saying to try working on a file that you've simply saved on your desktop, like any other local file, with no special Word cloud functionality involved.
  • Yes, I did as you asked. :)
    The test document was saved offline on my desktop.
  • OK, @adomasven will need to look into this.
  • @biankavonlonski How big is the document? What kind and how old of a Mac are you working on?
  • The original document, I need to work on is 2.7 MB. The test document, where I made the debug logging is only 15 KB.
    My Mac is the MacBook Air 13-inch, 2017 with the macOS Catalina, Version: 10.15.7


  • How many pages and how many Zotero citations? Is the problem always intermittent or can you reproduce it consistently with some documents? Can you reproduce the problem without copying the text of your existing document into a new doc?
  • My original document consists of:
    - currently 42 pages
    - 144 citations in the text and
    - 35 references in my list of references

    "Is the problem always intermittent or can you reproduce it consistently with some documents?"
    --> The problem can be reproduced with several test documents, but not with every citation I tried to add.

    "Can you reproduce the problem without copying the text of your existing document into a new doc?"
    --> I reproduced the problem with another test document (saved offline on my desktop) and this time I typed the text and added citations.
    I had this one logged with another Debug ID: D2086837151
  • For this test document, do you reproduce the problem consistently? If so, do you reproduce it regardless of the item that you cite? Could you send this document to support@zotero.org and mark the position where the attempt to insert fails?
  • The problem occurs consistently but not regularly on every citation.

    I will send you the document separately.
  • If the problem doesn't occur on every attempt to cite things that might help are:
    1. Restarting your Mac
    2. Closing any unnecessary apps
    3. Updating to the latest version of macOS
    4. Updating to the latest version of Word
  • @biankavonlonski I've tested the documents you've sent us and unfortunately cannot reproduce the problem. We have had a couple of other reports of similar problems with Mac Word recently, but we don't have a way to troubleshoot them without reproducing ourselves. Overall the issues seem to have been linked to the size of the documents and general machine load hence the suggestions above.
  • Thank you for this information.
    I will try the suggested steps, maybe they will help.

    I thank you very much for the support, I appreciate the effort. :)
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