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EndNote Desktop: Top tips for EndNote

Help with using EndNote Desktop

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Editing/deleting citations

Always use Edit & Manage Citations rather than the editing and/or deleting citations/references directly. This will ensure that the changes you make are saved.

Merging libraries

If you're looking to merge all or parts of two different libraries, EndNote allows you to do this easily as each library appears in a separate window.

You can then either drop and drag references or copy/cut and paste.

Inserting multiple references

Occasionally you may need to reference several sources within the one citation. You can achieve this by placing the cursor just prior to the closing bracket of the first citation and adding the next reference. Word will merge this into the same reference.

You can change the order using the up and down arrows next to the citations when you click on Edit & Manage Citations.

Author names

Multiple authors

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

Emery, L.
Anderson, J.

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.

Organisations or official bodies as authors

To make sure EndNote displays these properly, make sure you enter a comma after the organisation/official body in the Author field:

University of Strathclyde,

Without a comma, EndNote will try and display this in the author, initial format:

Strathclyde, U. o.

EndNote references replaced by blocks of code

If you open a Word document and your references have been replaced by blocks of code (as image below) don't panic!

Word has defaulted to showing you the field codes (computer coding behind each EndNote reference) instead of your formatted references.

To switch back click:

  • File > Options > Advanced
  • Under the Show Document Content heading untick the box Show field codes instead of their values
  • Click on OK

Your document should return to normal.

Visible codes

Encountering errors in Word when using EndNote

If you are working on a Word document and encountering persistent errors such as Word crashing, bibliographies appearing multiple times and/or deleted items reappearing then you may have residual EndNote field codes in your document. Residual field codes can affect your document if you do not delete EndNote citations/references properly (using Edit and Manage Citations > Remove Citation instead of the delete key) when working with Word.

To remove residual EndNote field codes and 'clean up' your Word document, firstly, make a back-up copy of your document for safe-keeping, then:

  • In Word, in the EndNote tab, click on Convert Citations and Bibliography > Convert to Unformatted Citations
  • Press [Ctrl]+A on the keyboard to highlight everything
  • Press [Ctrl]+6 (above the "T" and "Y" key) to remove any additional hidden field codes
  • Press [Ctrl]+C to copy the highlighted text
  • Open a new document and press [Ctrl]+V to paste
  • Now, ensuring that your EndNote library is open, in your new Word document, in the EndNote tab, click on Update Citations and Bibliography

This will reformat your document in your chosen style.

To ensure residual field codes do not cause problems again in future remember to delete EndNote citations/references properly if you need to (Highlight > Edit and Manage Citations > Remove Citation) instead of using the delete key.

Problems with track changes in Word

Using Track Changes in Word can causes problems with EndNote. If your document crashes or you see error messages such as "Unknown error" , then you should turn off Track Changes. The following support article from Clarivate Analytics should help: https://support.clarivate.com/Endnote/s/article/EndNote-Issues-with-Track-Changes?language=en_US

EndNote trying to format content in brackets

If you are using brackets regularly in your Word documents (e.g. for mathematical of scientific formulas) you may find that EndNote tries to format the content within them as references, as it understands brackets to signify in-text citations. You may be prompted by persistent messages asking you to choose a reference to add in these brackets.

If this happens, we recommend that you change the symbols (known in the program as temporary citation delimiters) which EndNote understands to signify in-text citations. To do this open EndNote and go to Edit > Preferences > Temporary Citations (a box will open as below).

Preferences 

Change the temporary citation delimiters from curly brackets (or other brackets) to two different symbols which you are unlikely to use in your document (e.g. £ and $). Click on Apply > OK. You should find that this stops EndNote from trying to format content in brackets incorrectly. Your in-text citations will continue to display in the brackets as dictated by your chosen referencing style as normal.

Word is slow when using EndNote

If you are working on a particularly large Word document (such as a dissertation or thesis) then Word can become slow when inserting/editing EndNote citations. To speed up the process of working with the two programs together try:

  • Unformatting citations (in Word > EndNote tab > Convert Citations and Bibliography > Convert to Unformatted Citations)
  • Turning Instant Formatting off (in Word > EndNote tab > Instant Formatting is off)

EndNote citations will be unformatted (in temporary delimiters such as {author#number}) and no reference list will appear. New EndNote citations will be inserted in this unformatted state but will insert much more quickly. When you have finished work on a document or section reformat your document:

  • Ensure you have your EndNote library open and the correct style chosen in Word
  • Click on Update Citations and Bibliography

Your in-text citations will be reformatted and your reference list will appear at the end of your document.

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