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This is the "Mac Users" page of the "EndNote X7/X8 (and earlier editions)" guide.
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EndNote X7/X8 (and earlier editions)   Tags: bibliographic manager, citations, how_to  

These instructions were written as a short introduction to using EndNote X3, but have been updated continuously to reflect changes to X8.
Last Updated: Nov 28, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Set up your MyEndNoteLibrary

Once you have downloaded EndNote software onto your Mac it is easy to install.  Just drag the icon into your Applications folder.  After EndNote is fully installed, double click the EndNote icon to open the program.  The default location for the EndNote folder is in the Application folder on your hard drive.

The first screen asks if you want to integrate it with your MyEndNoteWeb.  Choose the third option "Not at this time."

The next screen opens a dialog box that offers three options: 

Learn about EndNote
Create a new library
Open an existing library

If you are a first-time EndNote user, choose "Create a new library."  If you are already an EndNote user, go ahead and select "Open an existing Library."  The default title is  "MyEndNoteLibrary."  You must select the location where this file lives, e.g., your desktop, documents folder etc.  It doesn't matter where you put it, but you'll need to be able to find the library when you start exporting files to it.  It is best to have only one MyEndNote Library for all your citations.

You will also need to set up your Preferences so that the CSUS proxy server and link resolver will recognize you as one of our students or faculty and the databases will correctly export into EndNote.  See the instructions in the box on the right.


Mac OS Compatibility

EndNote compatibility with various Mac operating systems is often the root of problems you may come across while using the program

Supporting information can be found at the EndNote Support pages.   Go to support page and search for:

"EndNote Macintosh operating system comptibility" as a boolean search.  The results may help you pin point the issues that may be affecting your Mac.


EndNote Tutorials

EndNote has it's own training channel on


Getting Started Guide

A large pdf file (90 pages) can be downloaded from the site called Getting Started. 

It contains step by step instructions for PC and alternative instructions for Mac users when they differ from the PC steps.


Manuscript Template

Unfortunately for those used to using the wizard which created a manuscript template in APA format, neither the 2008 or 2011 versions of Word for the Macintosh have this feature.

According to the web site:

EndNote Mac: Manuscript Templates Unavailable in Word 2008/2011

Due to changes made in Microsoft Office versions 2008 and 2011, the manuscript template wizard cannot be loaded to customize EndNote manuscript templates. The EndNote installer will not include any manuscript templates with your EndNote installation if the installer detects Word 2008 or Word 2011 as your only version of Microsoft Word.


Downloading Instructions

Go to the campus software download page for personal software,

Read the file, MacInstructions.docx which is included in the install download because it contains the Product Key which you will need to enter. Do not install the trial version.


Browser Compatability for Mac's and EndNote

  • X8 should only be used with the Sierra operating System (3/6/2017)
  • X7 is not compatible with Sierra (Mac operating system) (9/27/16)
  • Use Firefox as your browser! EndNote recommends it. 


Setting up your Browsers for Direct Import

Apple products come with Safari Browser as a default, but Safari requires extensive set-up for it to work seamlessly with EndNote.  Chrome also require some adaptations.  If you don't do this set up, the exported files go directly into your download folder instead of into EndNote and all you will see is a text file.

If you use Firefox instead of Safari, it is much simplier to export your database citations into EndNote.  EndNote recommends Firefox for Mac users because it provides a dialog box that lets you tell the databases the path to EndNote. The first time you Export citations from a particular database you must choose a path for the data to reach EndNote. 

When the dialog box opens and asks you to choose a program to open the item you've exported, go to your Applications folder, then your EndNote folder, then click on the black and red EndNote icon.  Be sure to check the box to that says to use that application for the same RIS (citation) file type.

More detailed instructions can be found on the EndNote Support & Services pages by searching for the phrase:  "EndNote Mac: Configuring Firefox Direct Export."


Setting up your Preference

For Macintosh users:  Setting up EndNote Preferences is done slightly differently than on a PC

1.  Open EndNote and click EndNote in the top menu bar.
2.  Select the Preferences option under EndNote X8

3.  When the window shown below opens, click on Find Full Text and fill in the boxes.
You can cut and paste from the items 1. and 2.  below so that your screen matches the image below or just type in the following URLs:

1.  Open URL Path: 

2.   URL:

3.  Click Save

 Note: Image below displays old Open URL Path

Mac preferences


Configuring Safari for EndNote

If Safari is your only browswer, you can do some customizing to force it to associate .RIS files with EndNote. RIS is the file extension for citations that is recognized by PCs but not Macs.  Once you have exported your citations to your Download folder, click on the magnifying glass to the right of the citations.ris file.

download box 

You will see a window that lists all your downloads.  Locate your file and Ctrl+ Click on the one you have exported. 

From the pop up window, select Open With -> Other

download box with details

You will then choose the EndNote X4 folder from a list of your applications and then click on the black and red EndNote X4 icon
If you want Safari to remember this application for all RIS files, be sure to check the box next to:  Always Open With.

select EndNote icon

EndNote will prompt you for a location and should send the citations to your MyEndNoteLibrary folder.


EndNote Guides for Mac Users

Here is a link to a really good EndNote Guide, specifically for all of you Mac users. Be aware that it was written for the University Library at the University of Melbourne, so don't get confused when things don't look exactly like they do for Sac State users. 


Tutorial from EndNote

Subject Librarian

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Deborah Metzger
Contact Info
University Library
Room 3027
Phone: 916-278-7509

Research appointments available! Call or email to set up a time.
Send Email

EndNote App for iPAD

Thomson Reuters, the producers of EndNote have also created an iPAD app.  As of March 2013 the price is $9.99.  You may want to look at the youtube tutorial to preview how it works before you purchase the app.  Go to

California State University, Sacramento | University Library | 2000 State University Drive East | Sacramento, CA 95819 | Phone: 916-278-5679


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