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EndNote: a beginner's guide

An introduction to EndNote Desktop for new users. Learn how to create a Library, add and modify references, use EndNote with Microsoft Word, add groups, add full -text PDFs, back-up your EndNote Library, and use EndNote Online (EndNote basic).

IMPORTANT: Please read

Please read the following important information.

The EndNote Desktop X9 version currently installed on RMIT Library student Windows computers is: X9.0. The EndNote company has released a newer version: X9.2. (All Library student Macs already have X9.2.)

You are prompted to download and install this newer version when you open EndNote Desktop X9. Alternatively, using EndNote's toolbar, you can go to Help > Check for Updates in Windows, or EndNote X9 > Check for Updates on Macs:

  • RMIT academic staff: you can download the new version to your own personal device or RMIT work computer if you have local admin rights. If you do not have these rights, you can submit a request with RMIT's IT department and ask to be given admin rights.
  • RMIT students: you can only download the new version to your own personal device. If you are a Masters by Research or PhD student, you can download the new version to your RMIT-owned laptop or computer if you have admin rights. If you do not have these rights, please contact RMIT's IT department and ask them to download and install it for you.

The newer updated version (X9.2) makes important fixes to bugs or faults within versions X9.0 and X9.1. If you still have X9.0, certain EndNote functions do not work as they should, and it also impacts on the way that EndNote-inserted citations behave in a Microsoft Word document. Although X9.1 is an improvement to X9.0, the former still has other bugs.

The Library has already submitted a request with RMIT's IT department to ask them to update all RMIT Library student Windows computers to X9.2 as soon as possible. Although it is out of the Library's control when this will occur, the Library has emphasised the importance of this update.

Last reviewed: 4 September 2019

What is EndNote Desktop?

EndNote Desktop is a software program that:

  • Creates, stores and manages your references/citations.
  • Saves your selected references/citations from online resources (e.g. LibrarySearch, library databases and Google Scholar) to export them into your EndNote Desktop library.
  • Inserts references/citations from your EndNote Desktop library into your Microsoft Word document, and automatically creates a bibliography, so you do not have to manually do so yourself. Bibliographies are created in your chosen referencing style (e.g. APA 6th, RMIT Harvard, RMIT IEEE, Vancouver, Chicago, etc.).

Video: What's New in EndNote X9?

Video produced and kindly shared by EndNote Training.


EndNote can display references in your preferred referencing style  (e.g. APA 6th, RMIT Harvard, RMIT IEEE, Vancouver, Chicago, etc.).

Before you use EndNote:

You need to know which referencing style your School, supervisor or lecturer wants you to use, and then become familiar with that style by using the resources below.

Learn how to reference: