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EndNote X8/X9

Explains how to set up Preferences

Top 5 Mistakes

Before you teach yourself how to use EndNote, make sure you read this to avoid the most common mistakes people make.

1. Thinking that EndNote will do the referencing for you

EndNote is a piece of software which can simplify and speed up the process of managing your references and creating bibliographies if used correctly. It cannot, however, make a bad reference good. To use EndNote effectively you first need to understand how to reference properly.

Use one of our Citation Format Guides (APA, MLA, etc.) or the video for guidance.

2. Inputting author names incorrectly

EndNote displays author names in Word documents according to the referencing style chosen. To ensure that your author names display correctly, take care when typing them in/exporting from databases. You can use the ‘First Name Surname’ or ‘Surname, First Initial’ formats (e.g. Moira Bent or Bent, M.) but certain rules apply.

Multiple authors need to be entered on separate lines within the Author field in your EndNote library. For example:

Robinson, J.
Blanchett, H.

Multiple authors on the same line will be treated as one author name and display incorrectly in Word. Separate them using the Enter/Return key.

Corporate authors, organisations and official bodies need to have a comma after them in the Author field. For example:

Newcastle United Football Club,

Without a comma, EndNote will try and display the name in the Surname, First Initial format (Club, N. U. F.).

3. Deleting citations or references directly in Word

If you make a mistake in your Word document and wish to delete an in-text citation or reference do not use the delete key in Word as normal. When you insert citations from EndNote you create a link between EndNote and Word which contains lots of computer coding. If you use the delete key some of this coding can be left behind and corrupt your document. To delete an in-text citation and/or reference in Word properly:

Highlight > Edit & Manage Citation(s) > Down arrow and Remove Citation > OK

4. Editing in-text citations or references directly

If you wish to edit your in-text citations or references (for example, to correct a mistake, add a page number or refer to the author or date in your sentence) then do not do this directly in Word. Any changes you make will not be saved and will be overwritten by EndNote next time you open your Word document.

To edit a reference:

Highlight the in-text citation > Edit Library Reference(s). Make your changes within EndNote, close the reference (saving the changes if prompted), return to Word and click Update Citations and Bibliography.

To edit an in-text citation:

Highlight the in-text citation > Edit & Manage Citation(s). Change the formatting as required using the drop-down arrow and click on OK.

To add a page number:

Highlight the in-text citation > Edit & Manage Citation(s). Insert the page number (plus space beforehand if required, e.g. p.22) in the Suffix field and click on OK. (Please note the Pages field does not work with all styles; we recommend the Suffix field instead.)

5. Leaving it too late to learn how to use EndNote or ask for help

EndNote is a tool designed to save you time. It will only do this if you learn how to use it effectively before starting your assignment. You do not have to use EndNote to produce comprehensive, accurate and consistent bibliographies. If you have already written your assignment, don’t try and use EndNote at the last minute, simply type your bibliography manually.

If you choose to use EndNote for future assignments ensure you do the following:

  • Understand how to reference properly
  • Use this EndNote Guide
  • Ask for help if you need it

Thanks to NewCastle University Library for allowing use of this box.

Opening an EndNote Library

All instructions refer to the desktop version of EndNote (the one downloaded from the campus download site).


  1. Open EndNote
  2. Select the radio button next to Create a new EndNote library
  3. Click OK
    --or go to an existing EndNote Library
  • Your EndNote Library has 2 parts: filename.enl and [a folder]. Both are required for a complete EndNote library.
  • It sounds easy, and it is, but don't forget to Set Up Your Preferences [see instructions below] before you begin using your EndNote Library!

An EndNote Library consists of 3 main sections:

  1. Library/Reference window displays references with user defined fields displayed
  2. Preview window shows a complete reference in the selected bibliographic style
  3. Groups window show the different files created to organize your references

    Setting Up Preferences

    Follow the instructions here to set up preferences correctly.  You will be able to set them later, but it is easier to do it before you start using EndNote.

      1. Open EndNote
      2. Go to the Edit drop-down menu on the main toolbar and select Preferences

    Click on Find Full Text [note: graphic below is X8]

    1. Enter the following in OpenURL Path:

    2. Enter the following in the Authenticate with URL:
    3. Click on OK

    For Macintosh users: 

    Setting up Preferences is done slightly differently than on a PC. 

    Click EndNote [version#] in the menu bar. 

    Under the About EndNote you'll see the Preferences... option. 
    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.  as shown in the image below or
    just type in the URLs as listed:

    1. Open URL Path

    2. URL:

    3.Click Save.


    Mac preferences




      Last Updated: Nov 25, 2019 12:35 PM