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University of Washington Health Sciences Library

EndNote Basic

Guide to using Endnote Basic / Online / Web to manage your citations

Downloading the Word Plugin

EndNote Basic can work with Microsoft Word to insert citations into the body of your document.  It can also build the corresponding list of references at the end of the document in the output style of your choice.

In order to do this, you must download the Cite While You Write Plugin to your computer.  This will install EndNote commands within Word.


Using Cite While You Write

After downloading the Cite While You Write plugin, EndNote commands will appear in Word. The Cite While You Write plugin allows communication between EndNote Basic and Microsoft Word. Here's how it works:

  1. Start typing up your document. Place the cursor where you would like to insert a citation.
  2. Click on the Find Citation command in the EndNote toolbar to open up a connection to EndNote Basic. You will be asked to log in to your EndNote Basic account.  Enter a term in the search box that will bring up the desired citation(s) in the search results.  Click on the citations(s) to be inserted, then click Insert. 
  3. EndNote Web will insert the citation in the document and start to build your references at the end of the document. Note that the references may appear in a generic format.
  4. To make the in-text citations and reference list appear in the style of your choice, ex. APA 6th, JAMA, Vancouver, etc., click on the arrow in the Bibliography button to see your options.   
  5. Continue writing your document and inserting citations.

EndNote Basic Toolbar in Word for Mac

Using the EndNote Basic toolbar in Word on a Mac. What if I can't see my toolbar?

EndNote Web toolbar in Word for Mac


Issues with EndNote Basic/Web in Word for Macs

If the toolbar still doesn't appear, you can find the commands as shown below. What if I see the toolbar but it's not quite the same as the picture above?

View EndNote Web Commands in Word for Mac

Note the toolbar below reads EN on the far left. This indicates the toolbar is set to work with EndNote. Click on the Preferences option (right end of the toolbar, next to the question mark) to specify the application to be used with the Cite While You Write plugin. After selecting EndNote Web, the toolbar will display ENW instead of EN.  This is the setting needed to work with EndNote Basic.

EndNote Web Application in Preferences

EndNote Basic Toolbar in Word for Windows

Using the EndNote Basic toolbar in Word for Windows.

EndNote Web Toolbar in Word for Windows

Format Bibliography

Click on Bibliography to format the references.  Choose the desired output style from the drop-down menu on the Format Bibliography pop-up box.

This is similar to how it appears in Word for Macs.

Format Bibliography


Devise a system of backups so you can revert to an older version of your document should something 'bad' happen to your working document.


You may need to remove the EndNote Basic coding in the background of the Word document in order to make final edits or prior to submission of your manuscript for publication.

To do this in Windows, click on Convert Citations and Bibliography -- to Plain Text.
To do this on Macs, click on the Remove Field Codes command.

REMEMBER: create a BACKUP. Once you remove the field codes, EndNote Basic will not be able to work with the document to manipulate the citation information.

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