Answered By: Gabe Gossett
Last Updated: Jan 14, 2016     Views: 1222

There is a good chance that you will need to reinstall Word on your computer since it may have been installed in such a way that Visual Basic won't run on it, which is necessary to make the connection between Word and Zotero. Before doing that, however, try retarting your computer and reinstalling the Zotero Word plugin and make sure that Word is not open. If that resolves the problem it is easier than reinstalling Word. The good news, if you are a WWU student or faculty member, is that you can download and install an up-to-date copy of Word from your Microsoft 365 account.

Here is some documentation borrowed from Zotero on troubleshooting this issue.

Visual Basic for Applications error

Some Word 2011 users may see the following message upon attempting to insert a citation or bibliography into any Word document using the Script menu:

“Zotero could not perform this action. Please ensure that a document is open. If you have performed a custom installation of Office, you may need to run the installer again, ensuring that “Visual Basic for Applications” is selected.”

Attempting to use the Zotero toolbar may result in no response, accompanied by an error message reading “Word could not fire event” when closing the document.

This error indicates that Visual Basic for Applications is malfunctioning, which may happen for several reasons:

  • Office 2011 may have been installed without Visual Basic for Applications. If you did not select Visual Basic for Applications during installation, or if you're not sure, reinstall Office 2011, making sure to select this option.
  • A character with an accent or diacritic may be present in the path to Microsoft Word (e.g., in the name of your hard disk).
  • The OLE Registration Database may be corrupt. Delete the OLE Registration Database, located in Home/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Office 2011. Word will regenerate this file the next time it is opened. (On Lion and later, the Library directory is hidden by default, but you can open it by holding down the option key and selecting it from the Go menu.)