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EndNote Basics: Home

Last Updated: Oct 11, 2018 7:04 PM

This page is a brief checklist on how to install and use EndNote software. An illustrated EndNote Basic guide is also available.

See also Special Instructions below for more useful documents.

Note: The University Libraries currently offers EndNote version X8 for Windows and Macintosh

EndNote is compatible with various versions of Microsoft Word and other software.

Start Here

UB EndNote page.

You will find

  • Information and support for EndNote
  • Download links for the software and installation instructions.

Using EndNote

Using EndNote

When you open EndNote, you will be given a choice of starting a new library, opening an existing library, and a what's new option.

  • Library is the EN term for your database. If you are starting, choose "new library." If you are returning to one you already started, choose "open an existing...."
  • Reference is the EN term for a record in your database.

Getting records into your database

There are several ways to do this. The three most useful methods are described below.

1. Input data from your notes directly into a new record (reference)

  • Open or create a "library" (EndNote's term for a database).
  • Choose menu >> References >> New Reference [Control-N]
  • The new reference (record) is displayed ready for input. 
  • Enter text into the fields (either type or copy/paste data). Move from field to field by Tab key or move cursor with mouse.

Some fields show up in red after you enter data. This is an automatic entry feature (if you begin typing the same data in another reference, it will automatically offer to fill it in for you).

  • Once you have finished data input into your reference, close the reference pane (you may be asked if you want to save the reference--click OK).
  • Repeat to add more references.

Change the type of reference (e.g., Book, Journal) by changing the Reference Type in the pull-down.

2. Export data from database searches

EndNote allows you to search UB-subscribed, and other databases and to download citation data from your results. This speeds the input process. Begin to search databases using the UB Libraries Databases by Title page. (Note: not all databases will create output in the same format; some databases do not provide export features.

As an example, open the MLA International Bibliography and enter search term(s) (e.g., "charcoal").

View results and check the records that you wish to download, OR open a citation and click "Download citation."

You can "mark" (select) record by record, or you can mark an entire page of records. (Select by clicking on the tiny folder icon at the right of the title).

Once you have selected one or more records, a FOLDER is started (top right). When you are ready to download the citations:

  • Go to Folder View,
  • Click on "Export"
  • Select “Direct Export to EndNote…”
  • Then click “Save”
  • The software will look for EndNote and ask you to identify the library to which you want to add data. If you already have your library open, the citations will automatically be exported.

You can now open any of these references and edit, annotate, and use just as any other reference.

Note that if you already have records in the library, these are not displayed at this time. You can display all records by the MENU selections: REFERENCES >> SHOW ALL REFERENCES (Control-M).

3. Import data from database through Online Searches in EndNote

  • With your library open, make the menu selection: TOOLS >> ONLINE SEARCH...
  • Choose a database to connect to from the list

When choosing ONLINE SEARCH, you will be given a list of all possibilities in EndNote's programmed list of databases. Not all are available to the UB community and a few require passwords to enter. Most will go through the UB server and you will not need to enter any password (just click OK).

Make a selection from the table.

Click on CHOOSE to start (if direct access is allowed, the search pane will open).

  • Enter search term(s) making changes to ANY FIELD (for selecting individual fields (title)),
  • type your search term, ADD optional terms, with AND, OR, NOT and field to search,
  • Then click on the SEARCH BUTTON.

You will be given a dialog box telling you how many references were found.

Then either hit OK (to import all records), or enter a starting and ending number to select a smaller range of references (e.g., 1-20).

  • The results will appear on the screen
  • If you want to remove any of these, click on the references you do not want and then use the menu:

You can view these and delete any that you wish to  by highlighting each (click-control), then from the REFERENCES menu, choose MOVE REFERENCES TO TRASH.

Using Word and EndNote

How to Use EndNote With MS-Word

EndNote's Cite While You Write™ is compatible with various versions of Microsoft Word and other software.

Citations may be selected and input from either Word's EndNote meun tab, or from EndNote's Tools tab.

Open your Word document and your EndNote library. In EndNote, select the citation that you wish to insert into Word.

Switch to your Word document put the cursor on the place you wish to insert the citation, then choose:

(you can insert more than one)

This inserts the citation and endnote in the appropriate places in the document.

You can perform this action starting either in Word or EndNote.

FORMAT BIBLIOGRAPHY lets you reformat your endnotes to another citation style (i.e., APA, Chicago). To do this:

  • Select an OUTPUT STYLE using the pull down menu at the top of the screen.
  • References are reformatted to the new chosen style.
  • Every time you change the style this way, your document will be updated for you.

UNFORMAT CITATION(S) is used when you have completed your paper and citations.
It breaks the link between EndNote and Word so that the document will not change
if the EndNote library is edited in the future. This step is optional.


  • Always edit citations in EndNote and then reformat your Word document (choose TOOLS >> ENDNOTE X- >> FORMAT BIBLIOGRAPHY). This updates your Word document and you will be sure that the citation will not revert to any edits you made to it in Word.
  • EndNote has a SPELL CHECKER. It will not solve everything, but can assist in fixing typos.
  • (Optional): When you are finally done with your paper, and plan on making no more citation inserts, SAVE the document, then: choose TOOLS >> ENDNOTE X1 >> REMOVE FIELD CODES.
    This breaks the link between EndNote and Word file and your document is ready to print

Help and Support

Additional Help and Resources

  • Begin by using the Help guide in EndNote. This will answer many questions and offers instructions.
  • The UB Libraries EndNote page provides an FAQ page. Start here if you need assistance.
  • The EndNote product pages also offer answers, downloads, and support.
  • Check UB EndNote Workshops page for additional sessions on specific or advanced topics.
  • Ask a Librarian for EndNote help.

Special Instructions

For instruction on specific actions that are helpful in compiling your References, or for notes on special formatting, the following documents will be helpful:

Map Librarian

David J. Bertuca's picture
David J. Bertuca
116 Lockwood Memorial Library