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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, and back-up your EndNote Desktop library. Also includes EndNote Online.

IMPORTANT - PLEASE NOTE: Big Sur MacOS users

EndNote x9 and EndNote 20: incompatibility with MacOS Big Sur

Big Sur is the 17th and latest major release for the Mac operating system (MacOS).

EndNote Desktop x9 (version 19) and EndNote Desktop 20 are incompatible with Big Sur. This means, for example, that MS Word cannot be used with these more recent EndNote Desktop versions, e.g. you cannot insert EndNote references into a MS Word document, cannot enable the 'EndNote' tab and the Cite While You Write (CWYW) function in MS Word.

Please see EndNote: Big Sur Compatibility.

Interim temporary solutions:

Students or staff who have recently bought a MacBook will have Big Sur installed on it. In the meantime, until EndNote resolves this incompatibility problem with the Big Sur MacOS, affected EndNote Desktop users can either:

  • Set MS Word to open with Rosetta by following the instructions in EndNote: Apple M1 chip compatibility. Clarivate, the EndNote company, informs this enables users to access the EndNote plugin within MS Word without any issues, i.e. users will be able to insert their EndNote references into a MS Word document, as well as enable the 'EndNote' tab and the Cite While You Write (CWYW) function in MS Word.

OR

  • Utilise their older laptop with the former Catalina MacOS if they still have access to it. EndNote x9.3.3 (version 19.3.3) and EndNote 20 are compatible with the Catalina MacOS.

Last reviewed: August 2021.

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 7th ed., RMIT Harvard, IEEE, Vancouver, AGLC4, Chicago, etc.).

Video: What's New in EndNote 20?

Video produced and kindly shared by EndNote Training.

Referencing

EndNote can display references in your preferred referencing style  (e.g. APA 7th ed., RMIT Harvard, IEEE, Vancouver, AGLC4, 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: