Word intergration with wine


I am trying to get MS word 2007 working under wine (crossover office to be exact) on my Ubuntu 10.04 alpha machine. I seem to be able to get word to work as well as get the pluggins installed but get a "Word could not communicate with zotero. Please ensure Firefox is running and try again" error.

I suspect this is due to some functionality that is missing under wine. I have looked into the source code for zotero but can't seem to find where this error is thrown (from VBA macro?).
  • There is some discussion related to this on the forums and as far as I know, no-one has managed to get the combination to work. Previously there was a bug in Wine, but this is probably solved already


    One way to try this is to run also Firefox with Wine and see if it works. If it does, then it is only a problem with interprocess communication between Zotero plugin running on wine and Zotero running natively.
  • Thanks mronkko,

    I am running Firefox under Wine as well. I have tried with both zotero 1.0 and 2.0 and neither seem to be working. Looking at the code, wine 1.0 plugins communicated via SOAP, this should in theory work.

    However I am unable to find the corresponding code in the 2.0 plugin. Are there VB macros hidden away in Zotero.dot that check if Firefox is running? In particular what piece of code throws the "Word could not communicate with zotero. Please ensure Firefox is running and try again" error?
  • You can open the Zotero.dot in the visual basic editor of Word and run it in a debugger. I did this a bit more than a year ago and found out that it used some functionality that was not implemented in Wine at that time.
  • If you are running Firefox in Wine, and if OLE Automation will actually work in Wine, there are command line arguments to Firefox that will mimic clicking the toolbar buttons. Use:

    firefox.exe -silent -ZoteroIntegrationAgent WinWord
    -ZoteroIntegrationCommand <command>

    (all on one line) where <command> is one of


    There is actually code in Zotero.dot to do this, but if the FindWindow call doesn't work (as is apparently the case under Wine) it will never get activated. You might be able to modify it to work, but first, you might want to make sure that you can get it to work from the command line.
  • Thanks Simon,

    I can get the command line to work and it does add the citation :). However I am still unable to buttons from within Word.

    Also I can't run the VB editor as it says that project is un-viewable, however this maybe because my windows hacking skills are minimal.
  • You have to open Zotero.dot (usually in %AppData%\Microsoft\Word\Startup) before Word will let you see the code.
  • Thanks Simon,

    I was able to hack some of the safegaurds so that I am able to insert a citation. However when I try to insert a second one, I get a "Zotero experienced an error updating your document" error. I will have to dig deeper into the zotero source to see whats causing this and will keep you posted.
  • hi parnesh,

    just curious, did you make any progress with this?

    im getting the "Zotero experienced an error updating your document" message when i try to run the firefox commands from the commandline.. which is a shame since i could ignore the word toolbar by setting up shortcuts in the top-panel had it worked for me.

    what version of wine/word are you using?
  • OK, so I've made some progress with this.

    The command-line firefox.exe calls that Simon mentions above actually work consistently with the new Zotero 2.1 beta (i.e. 2.1beta2), which means you can get Zotero working somewhat in wine.

    So if you do the following you can get things working:

    1) Install Wine 1.3+. Zotero won't work with the current stable release, which means I had to install the latest development snapshot from here: http://www.winehq.org/download/

    I don't think Crossover Linux will work because it keeps applications in separate bottles so Firefox/Office won't be able to communicate.

    2) Install the Windows(!) version of Firefox under Wine.

    3) Install MS Office under Wine (I've tested with Office 2000).

    4) Install the Zotero 2.1+ (I'm on beta2) and the Word 2.1+ Firefox add-ons under Wine.

    This will let you run the commands Simon mentions above from the command-line, e.g. doing something like this will work:

    % wine firefox.exe -silent -ZoteroIntegrationAgent WinWord -ZoteroIntegrationCommand addCitation

    I've also written a custom zotero.dot vb script to replace the official one which will get the toolbar in Office partially working:

    4) Download Zotero.dot from http://isitopen.eu.org/jackflap/files/Zotero.dot and drop it in your Word startup folder (%AppData%\Microsoft\Word\Startup) replacing the old Zotero.dot already there. In my case it was located here:

    ~/.wine/drive_c/users/hayt/Application Data/Microsoft/Word/STARTUP


    I haven't tested very extensively yet, but the first issue I can see is that the Word toolbar won't be able to hook into the actual document that the button is pressed from. It will always add the citation to the most recent document created, which will make it problematic for managing citations when you're editing more than one document at a time.

    This is because the -zoteroIntegrationDocument parameter doesn't seem to work.
  • edited February 17, 2011
    It would be so cool if this would actually work. The only citation in wine/office2003 ive got working was endnote, but endnote sucks w.r.t. sorting through your references. I can use openoffice for sure, but even in the newer versions of openoffice, the 'track changes' and the revision notes in the sidelines, they just plain suck. Also my colleagues use microsoft office.

    I'm testing with the wine 1.42, on debian lenny, and with office 2003.
    Both office 2003 and firefox (with zotero extension) install perfectly. However; the zotero plugin indeed gives the 'not communicate' error.

    Testing yields that the following indeed gives yields a citation!
    % wine firefox.exe -silent -ZoteroIntegrationAgent WinWord -ZoteroIntegrationCommand addCitation

    I tried your new Zotero.dot; it works when you have only 1 document open. When you have 2 documents open, it yields an 'error updating your document' error. I do think that it has to do with the inability of the plugin -when it is running under wine that is- to figure out if or what kind of documents are actually open.

    Another issue with Zotero under wine has trouble loading an 'existing data directory'. My plan was to use an existing data directory that existed on dropbox, so everything would remain synchronized.

    What i'd like to do is to figure out how to actually get it working. This'll probably involve tinkering in the source code of the plugin and/or recompiling the .dll file.
  • I just wanted to add a comment to highlight that the solution in this thread seems to work with Zotero Standalone, too.

    System used: Xubuntu, normal browsing using Firefox and Zotero addin. MS Word 2003 under Wine.

    I have downloaded Zotero Standalone, which works fine under Wine (I don't edit documents much on this machine, which I chose the Standalone rather than installing another Firefox). I set the Zotero database to the one I use in Firefox (Preferences > Advanced). Of course, this means I shouldn't run Firefox and the Standalone (in Wine) at the same time, but Zotero even warns me if I do that!

    I then downloaded the modified Zotero.dot provided by jackflap, and opened the macros to change references to Firefox into Zotero. I can now use Zotero from within MS Word in Wine.
  • edited September 27, 2011
    I second this; I tried it with Zotero Standalone 3 beta

    System: Ubuntu 11.04, Firefox and zotero plugin, wine 1.32 and MS Word 2007 and modified jackflap Zotero.dot (see above how to do this, Visual Basic is hidden away in the list of “all commands” in word 2007).

    I don't want to run firefox under wine for editing. Yet, I wish to have both features available, so I opted for standalone solution and Firefox with zotero plug-in running natively for adding references at the same time (unfortunately with sync lag). Both zotero instances sync with my zotero account and for now it seems to be working perfectly (the doubling of disk space does not bother me, and it is probably only for a limited time until a better solution is found). (I also exchanged the Zotero.dot in the zotero installation folder as this seemed to have been copied over when I mucked about with the zotero settings)
  • HI q and rfigu,
    Can you please explain what you did in more detail. I have ubuntu 11.1 & wine 1.3 with ms office 2010 installed.I have installed zotero 3 standalone with wine. I have firefox 11 with zotero extension installed on ubuntu. What do i do next. Should i copy the modified zotero.dot file in the startup folder of ms office 2010? Please help
  • Thank you so much, jackflap! This made my life so much easier, you have no idea. Working well on Ubuntu 10.10 Word 2003/Zotero.3.0.3.
  • First of all Thanks jackflap for the modification. With cxoffice it works with Word 2007 and firefox+zotero. However I want to use it with the standalone. I didn't understand how to modify the .dot to put the macro pointing to zotero standalone and not firefox. Can anyone help me on this one plz?
  • Cheers I made it work. I opened the Zotero.dot in word and then went to macros and from there I could edit and save and link everything to Zotero Standalone\zotero.exe :) Thanks all.
    Now I'll have less compatibility problems with the other folks at work.
    (If only they stopped using EndNote lol)
  • edited July 30, 2012
    I was really happy with something I tried today as well.
    Native Google chrome connector with Zotero Standalone running on wine worked!! Does it work by TCP/IP sockets? This is quite perfect, to run zotero with M$ word.

    More, with Zotero started from WINE I can make a citation from native openoffice on linux!!!
    The oposite I can't do. I mean Zotero for linux to work on Microsoft Office. Could we point it in the Zotero.dot to not to look for the WINE zotero but for the native one?
    If we could make MS Office work with native zotero it would be great.
  • It works for me! Thanks. I installed Word 2007 pro under Wine 1.4 in Xubuntu 12.04.
    I also installed Zotero Standalone 4 under Wine and downloaded the zotero.dot file from the jackflap link. Then, I opened the file and edited the macros, as forevertheuni says, and then changed the paths from firefox.exe to zotero.exe. It works!
    The zotero.dot file for Zotero Standalone is here:
  • Relating to forevertheuni's question, is there any progress with the combination of Linux Zotero Standalone and Office 2007/2010 running in WINE?

    I wanted to install the word processor from Zotero Standalone preferences but it does not list MS Office but just LibreOffice:

  • I'd be very skeptical about the chances of getting that combination to work, but you can just download the Word for Windows plugin from
    and install it in Standalone under Tools --> Add-ons (but as I said, I strongly doubt you'll get anywhere since the two programs won't be able to talk to each other properly).
  • Hi Adam,

    I downloaded Word for Windows Plugin 3.1.13 but cannot install it on my Linux Zotero Standalone 4.0.8: http://i.imgur.com/Jw6iKOo.png
  • This would be non-trivial. If you are proficient in C++ and want to spend some time digging around the WINE source, I can provide some pointers, but this would require a significant time investment and it's unlikely we will ever officially support this configuration.
  • edited June 29, 2013
    Well, I guess this is too complicated. I think the best is to use Virtual Box with installed Office and Zotero whilst Virtual Box Zotero is linking to my Linux Zotero's profile folder.
  • Hello goghard

    I've managed to install Office 2010 and Zotero StandartAlone 2010 under Wine 1.6 side by side... Zotero does recognize my Office installation but when I click to the icons nothing happens.

    Since your link has expired could you please upload it somewhere else ... I will try, when I have it to upload it to my personal university homespace...

    Thanks a lot

    Christos Tsatsis
  • @ctsatsis

    What do you mean by `Zotero does recognise your Office installation`? How does it recognise it?

    And which icons do you mean?
  • Can someone provide me with the zotero.dot file. Both links are broken and I would like to set up zotero and m$ word 2010 on ubuntu 12.04 using wine and play on linux.
  • (I figured he wanted to custom version optimized for Linux with Wine that I believe people link to above)
  • edited January 21, 2014
    Thanks Dan. Yet Adam is correct I should have been more specific I am looking for the custom version for Linux optimized zotero.dot file. I know it's not officially supported but it would be great to get it to work so I can completely move over to Linux.
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