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EndNote - Basic (Online) & Desktop

This guide contains information on the citation management tool EndNote. Content references both the Basic (Online/Free) version and the Desktop (Paid) version.

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.

Before you download the CWYW widget, you must make sure all Microsoft Office apps are closed - Outlook, Word, Excel, etc. 

Follow the instructions for inserting the widget (Mac users have a 2-step process).

Check your Word ribbon and if you are using the online version, you should see EndNote.


Troubleshooting:  If you are using the free web version, but the Endnote icon in your Word ribbon says EndNote 20, please follow these directions.

1. Go to the EndNote 20 tab in the ribbon at the top of Word. 2. Click on "Preferences" > "Applications" tab. 3. Choose "EndNote online" from the Application drop-down menu. 4. Click OK.

EndNote 20 is the desktop version, and sometimes this will come up instead of the correct one when the CWYW widget is installed.

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 Insert 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 Basic 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 7th, JAMA, Vancouver, etc., click on the arrow in the Bibliography button to see your options.   
  5. Continue writing your document and inserting citations.

If you do not see the style you need in the list of options, you can add another one:

  1. Go to your online EndNote account.
  2. From the menu at the top, select "Format" then "Bibliography."
    Select Format from EndNote Online menu then Bibliography
  3. Click on the "Select Favorites" link to open the menu of styles.
    Click the Select Favorites link to open the menu of style options
  4. Select the format you want to add. If you start typing, it will jump to the approximate spot in the list. Click “Copy to Favorites.”
  5. If the format does not immediately appear in your style options in Word, choose Select Another Style in the Word dropdown menu. The new style can be selected from there.




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


Removing Coding...

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.