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Research Guides

ProQuest RefWorks: Using Write-N-Cite & RefWorks Citation Manager

RefWorks is a web-based citation management program paid for by the UW Libraries. Use RefWorks to organize your research, create bibliographies, insert citations as you write, and import and search PDFs.

Citing in Microsoft Word and Google Docs

RefWorks has two citation add-ons that allow you to insert in-text citations and bibliographies into your documents: Write-N-Cite and RefWorks Citation Manager.

Use RefWorks Citation Manager if: 

  • You have Word 2016 and use MacOS 
  • You're using Google Docs

Use Write-N-Cite if:

  • You have a version of Word older than the 2016 version

If you have Word 2016 and use Windows, you can choose to use Write-N-Cite or RefWorks Citation Manager. 

Note From RefWorks:

"Any citations and/or bibliography that have been inserted by Write-N-Cite are not compatible with the RefWorks Citation Manager add-on. Adversely so, any citations and/or bibliography that have been inserted by the RefWorks Citation Manager are not compatible with Write N Cite. Citations will need to be re-inserted and the document updated with Write N Cite or the RefWorks Citation Manager." 

RefWorks Citation Manager

The videos below show how to install RefWorks Citation Manager for Microsoft Word and Google Docs:




This video shows how to use RefWorks Citation Manager with Word 2016:


Write-N-Cite : The Basics

This video shows how to install Write-N-Cite for Word 2016 on Windows or older versions of Word:

Get Started with Write-N-Cite in 4 Easy Steps

Getting Started With Write-N-Cite in 4 Easy Steps

You can get started with Write-N-Cite easily and view the formatting of your in-text citations, footnotes and bibliography – all while you are writing your paper. (Note: screenshots are from Word for Windows, but Write-N-Cite for Windows on a Mac looks mostly the same.) 

To get started:

  •  Click “RefWorks” in your MS Word ribbon to launch Write-N-Cite
  • Select an output style
  • Insert in-text citations or footnotes and your bibliography
  • Save your paper


Step 1. Launch Write-N-Cite

Note:  The first time you launch Write-N-Cite for Windows, you will must be connected to the internet in order to log in to RefWorks and sync your RefWorks database with Write-N-Cite.

Tip:  In most cases, there is no need to log out of Write-N-Cite when you are not using it.   If you are using Write-N-Cite for Windows on a public computer without a personal login, you should log out of Write-N-Cite when you complete your work.  If someone does gain access to a system with your RefWorks account logged in to Write-N-Cite, they will not be able to change anything in your account since Write-N-Cite doesn’t have any features to edit your database.


Logging In To Write-N-Cite for Windows:

1. Click RefWorks from the Microsoft Word ribbon.  


2. In the Settings area, click Log In.





3. Enter your RefWorks username (your UW email) and password.

















Note:  Unless you logout, you will remain logged into RefWorks for 30 days.

The first time you log in to Write-N-Cite, it will automatically “sync” with your RefWorks account.  This may take a few seconds. It is downloading your references, folders and preferred output styles.  Any time you make changes to your RefWorks references you can click Sync my Database in the Extras area and your new and edited references will be included in your account.   

During this period, you can still access all of Word’s functionality, but the Write-N-Cite functions will not become active until syncing has finished.


Step 2.  Selecting Your Output Style

The first thing you will want to do is select an output style for your document.  Any in-text citations or footnotes and your bibliography will be displayed in your document while you write your paper – in the output style you have selected.  You can always change the style later if you need to.

1. Click the Style drop down.  You will see a list of RefWorks’ popular styles.

2. Click on the style name or click Select Other Style at the bottom of the list to see your personal “favorites” or any output styles recommended by your organization (group favorites).

3. You can change your output style and the formatting of your paper at any time by clicking on Style and selecting a new output style.




Note:  if the output style you need for your paper is NOT in listed in the popular styles, favorites or group favorites, you will need to log in to your RefWorks account and add it using the Output Style Manager.  Once you add the style, you may need to sync Write-N-Cite to download the new style.  Click Sync My Database in the Extras area of Write-N-Cite to download the newly added style.


Step 3.  Write Your Paper and Inserting Citations or Footnotes and Your Bibliography

Note:  You may want to sync your RefWorks database with Write-N-Cite if you have recently added references you want to use in your paper.  Click the Sync my database icon to download new or updated references and output styles.

When you are ready to insert an in-text citation or footnote into your paper:

1.  Click the Insert Citation and Insert New option to launch the insert/edit citation box.  If you have previously used Write-N-Cite, you may see some recently selected citations listed above the Insert New option.   You can select citations displayed from this list or access all your references from the Insert New option.





2. Once the Insert/Edit Citation box displays, you can access references by folder search for a specific reference.  The search box will search every field of every reference.  You can use “AND” and “OR” when using the search box.     


Tip: Use the horizontal scroll bar to see the full title of a reference.  Right-clicking on the reference and choosing the item from the context menu will display the complete record (file attachments are not displayed).

Full Reference View:




3.  Click on the reference you wish to insert into your paper.  You will see a preview of the formatted citation in your current Output Style.



















4. Click OK to insert your formatted citation into your paper.

Tip:  To add a second references in a single citation, click the + button in the Compose Citation area and then select the reference from your list.  

5. To insert a footnote instead of an in-text citation, click the Make Footnote checkbox in the Edit Reference area.  Once you make a footnote and finish editing the citation, you will not be able to undo this action.  However, you can always add a new in-text citation.



6. You can insert your bibliography anywhere in your paper while you are writing.  Click Bibliography Options, Insert Bibliography.  Note:  the bibliography will be inserted wherever the cursor is in your paper.  You can click Remove Bibliography and re-insert if it you need to change the location.




Step 4. Save your formatted paper (you should really save it periodically while you are writing!).  

Get Help

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Write-N-Cite Quick Start Guide

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Write-N-Cite FAQs