Skip to Main Content

EndNote Desktop: EndNote Desktop Guides

Help with using EndNote Desktop

Download the workbook


Open and save the EndNote exercises file  - used in the EndNote desktop course - and work your way through these practice exercises. 

Harvard Strathclyde style

There are many variations of Harvard available and there is no right or wrong version. You may wish download the Harvard Strathclyde style to use with EndNote. If you are using EndNote Online (web) then you can select this style in Word.

  • After downloading the style, double click on it and it should open in EndNote
  • In EndNote, choose File > Save As
  • Remove the word 'copy' so the style name is Harvard Strathclyde
  • Click on File and choose Close Style.


University of Strathclyde connection file

Connection files are used to search online catalogues and databases from within EndNote. You can download the connection file to search the University of Strathclyde catalogue.

Alternatively you can search SUPrimo and export records to EndNote

  • After downloading the connection file, double click on it and it should open in EndNote
  • In EndNote, choose File > Save As
  • Remove the word 'copy' so the connection file name is U Strathclyde
  • Click on File and choose Close connection.


Create your library

 Opening EndNote from a lab PC:

Start > All Programs >  EndNote 

If any messages appear asking you to install or download software, ignore or cancel them.

You should be left with a blank window and are now ready to create your library.

Select File > New to create a new library. .

When prompted to save your new library, navigate to your personal file space (H drive) and save the library with a meaningful or easily identifiable name. It is important that you create a back up library.

Adding references

Start building your library!

To add references manually, choose References -> New Reference or click on the New Reference icon Add a new referenceor use Control + N. 

Chose your reference type, e.g. journal article; book; standard; thesis, from the drop down menu. This dictates the bibliographic information required.

Then simply Tab through the fields adding the information. EndNote allows you to add basic information and/or to store handy information such as keywords and notes about the material. 

Congratulations, you have your first reference!

Creating a backup

If copying or moving your Endnote library, remember there are two files that make up your library - the main .enl file and supporting .DATA file - you require both!

Creating back ups of your libraries is a good habit to get into - if the worst should happen and your data becomes lost or corrupted, you have a copy of the references compliled during the course of your research.

  1. Open the File menu.
  2. Choose Save a Copy.
  3. Navigate to where you want to save the copy and give it an appropriate name.
  4. Select the save button.

You can also sync your desktop Library with your online Library and the online Library will act as a back up.

Top 5 mistakes people make when using EndNote

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 our Referencing Guide and the book Cite Them Right 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. Elaine Blair or Blair, E.) but certain rules apply.

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

Anderson, J.
Emery, L.

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:

University of Strathclyde,

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

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) > Edit Reference 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:

EndNote on YouTube

You will find lots of useful videos on using EndNote via the EndNote Training YouTube channel.

EndNote YouTube site

EndNote training materials

Clarivate Analytics  EndNote training materials include quick reference guides and EndNote Libguide.