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EndNote X7: Creating your Library

Creating a new Library

Starting EndNote

  • When you start EndNote the first time, you will be presented with the following splash screen prompting you to Sync your EndNote Library by setting up an account in EndNote Online
  • Close the splash screen without registering for Endnote Online. You can create an EndNote Online account later if required.
  • Select File > New and create a new 'library' as described below, under 'Managing files'.
  • If you have used EndNote before and wish to open an EndNote library, select File > Open
  • If you have previously used EndNote and created a library on that computer, EndNote will automatically open the last 'library' you used.


The splash screen prompts you to set up an account so you can connect and sync your Endnote library across all your devices


Important - Managing files!

  • When you create an EndNote library, you will be prompted for a file name and the location you wish to save the library.
  • Your EndNote library consists of a .enl file and an associated .data folder, e.g. filename.enl and The .data folder stores information about any groups that you create in order to organise your references and any files, e.g. PDFs, attached to records in your library.
  • It is strongly recommended that you create a new folder in which to store the EndNote file and associated .data folder. This makes it easier to backup your library, or copy it to another location.
  • We recommend storing your working EndNote library on the hard disk of your computer. Saving your working EndNote library in the cloud, e.g. Dropbox, SharePoint, Box Sync, Google Drive and iCloud, or on a network drive may may result in poor performance, or data corruption.

Important - Backing up your library

We recommend creating regular backups of your EndNote Library and saving it in another location, preferably somewhere that is regularly backed up. The File > Compressed library option, enables you to save a single backup file containing your references and any attachments.

  1. Open your EndNote Library.
  2. Click on File > Compressed Library (.enlx) …
  3. You’ll be presented with a window with a number of options to create your compressed Library.
  4. Select “Create”, “With File Attachments” and “All References in Library”.
  5. Click on Next.
  6. You’ll be asked where you want to save your compressed Library.  You can save it directly to the location now or create the file and move it to your desired location afterwards.
  7. When saving the compressed Library, follow a naming convention that makes it easy to identify each backup, 
  8. e.g., EndNote Library 20160418.
  9. Click “Save”.  EndNote will then create the compressed Library.  This can take a few minutes, depending on the size of your Library.

Important - Where should I store my backup

S:\ or P:\ Drive (CSU Network Drives)
Saving the backup of your EndNote Library to one of the network drives at CSU is a good idea, as these drives themselves are regularly backed up.  However, it is not recommended to run your EndNote Library from this location as network latency may impact performance and corrupt your data.  If you do need to revert to a backup of your Library, we recommend saving the compressed Library to your computer before opening it.

Cloud storage – Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, SharePoint, Box Sync, Google Drive and Apple iCloud
EndNote is not designed to work within a cloud based service. Storing your working EndNote library in the cloud may result in poor performance and risks data corruption.

External Hard-drive, USBs & CDs
A backup of your EndNote Library can be stored on external storage, reducing the possibility of the loss of data if something happens to your computer.  However, unless you regularly backup the contents of your external storage, we recommend also using one of the locations listed above.

Further details: