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EndNote: FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions


Many students have heard of EndNote. Perhaps their lecturer or another student has told them to use it or said it’s very helpful. However, most students don’t really understand what it does, how it works, or how long it takes to learn to use the program. We recommend that students become familiar with referencing in general, and APA referencing in particular, before they attempt to use EndNote. If you are unfamiliar with referencing please visit the University's pages on referencing to learn more. If you are ok with referencing please read on.

To begin with, you will need to download the program. Please make sure that you download the correct version for your operating system, Windows or Mac.

Before you start using EndNote, we recommend that you attend one of the Online Library Workshops on how to use the program. If you would prefer to read through the documentation on EndNote then you should work your way through this guide, beginning with the Getting Started pages. There are also many YouTube videos on how use EndNote that are published by the company that makes the program.



If you are trying to import a file into EndNote from Primo Search or a database and it asks you to select an import filter choose the RefMan RIS filter from the list.

RefMan RIS Filter



By default, EndNote will select the last word in the author field as a surname. Therefore, an organisation such as Charles Sturt University will appear as University, C. S. in the reference if it is not entered correctly. To enter an organisation as an author put a comma at the end of the organisation's name (eg. Charles Sturt University,) in the author field.

If the organistaion already has a comma in it, such as Charles Sturt University, School of Biomedical Sciences, you will need to put a double comma where the comma needs to appear (eg. Charles Sturt University,, School of Biomedical Sciences).

Check the reference preview to make sure that the name is displaying correctly in the reference.



As websites will not have an option to export the information into EndNote, you will need to add the reference information manually using the following steps:

  • Click on the new reference button or select References > new reference. This will open a new reference window.
  • Select the appropriate option from the Reference Type drop down. Select Web Page for a normal webpage.
  • Fill in the required fields. For a webpage you will need to fill out the author, year, title, URL and sometimes the access date, fields. Just ignore the rest of the fields.
  • Close the new reference window to save it.
  • Check the reference preview to make sure that it looks correct.



When you first launch EndNote you may be prompted to setup EndNote Online or to sync your account.

You only need to setup an online account if you are going to be using EndNote across multiple devices.

Our library guide has information on how to set up an online account if you need to.



When you are entering a new reference the first thing you need to do is tell EndNote what reference type you are working with (eg. book, journal article, report, etc.).

Sometimes the item you are working with does not have an exact reference type that fits it. In this case, we recommend that you try each reference type to see which displays the reference best. It is helpful to use the reference preview to see what it is going to look like.

If you need further assistance please contact the library team for your faculty.



If your reference list is not formatted correctly you may need to change the referencing style that you are using (see FAQ below). If you have the correct style and the list still looks wrong you may need to contact the library team for your faculty.



There are thousands of referencing styles available for EndNote. EndNote comes preloaded with over 500 referencing styles.

To check which style is closest to the one you need:

  • select Tools > Output styles > Open Style Manager
  • In the Style Manager, click on the Style Info/Preview button to see a preview of the style in the window below

EndNote Style Manager

If none of the styles in the Style Manager are suitable you can search for a style using the EndNote help menu:

  • Click on the Help menu at the top of the page
  • Select EndNote Output Styles from the list (this will take you to a webpage where you can search for additional styles)
  • Run a search for the style that you want (for example, Sage Harvard)
  • Click on the download link next to the one you want
  • Open the downloaded file by double-clicking on it where you saved it (this will open it in EndNote)
  • With the style open in EndNote click on File>Save As, remove the word 'Copy' from the file name, and save the style
  • Open the Style Manager by selecting Tools > Output styles > Open Style Manager.
  • Select the new style from the list



When you insert an EndNote citation into a Word document all of the reference data is inserted into the document in the form of coding. Therefore, when you make changes in EndNote you will need to 'refresh' this coding to reflect any changes in your EndNote library.

To do this just click on Update Citations and Bibliography button in the EndNote toolbar in Word:




To attach a PDF to a record in your EndNote library:

  • Select the correct reference in your EndNote library
  • Select References
  • Select File Attachments
  • Select Attach File…
  • Locate the required file on your computer
  • Click Open



This means that your browser is trying to open the file and cannot read it properly.

This usually happens in FireFox. If this is the case try using a different browser, such as Google Chrome.



If you want to back up your EndNote library please follow the information on this page: Creating a backup.



If you are being asked for account credentials when launching EndNote this means that either the program is not installed correctly or it is trying to access EndNote Online.

If you installed EndNote from a website other than Charles Sturt University your copy of EndNote will not be licensed. You will need to uninstall EndNote and download the program from the Library.

If this is not the problem, then try this:

  • Go to the EndNote menu in Word and select Preferences
  • Select the Application tab
  • If it is on EndNote Online switch it to EndNote

If neither of these solutions work please contact the library team for your faculty.



When EndNote is installed correctly on a computer with Microsoft Word already installed, an EndNote toolbar should be added to the Word ribbon. If the toolbar does not appear, or is missing after having worked previously, on a Windows PC try the following:

  1. Open a file explorer window
  2. Navigate to the C drive
  3. Double-click on Program Files (x86)
  4. Double-click on EndNote 20
  5. Double-click on Configure EndNote.exe
  6. Select Remove all EndNote components and click Next
  7. Repeat steps 1-5.
  8. Select Configure EndNote components and click Next

If the above did not work:

  1. Open Microsoft Word
  2. Open a blank document
  3. Select File > Options
  4. Select Add-Ins
  5. Click on the drop-down menu next to Manage, select Disabled Items and click Go
  6. If the EndNote cwyw file is disabled, enable it
  7. If it is not, click on the drop-down menu again and select Word Add-Ins and click Go
  8. Make sure the EndNote Cwyw.dotm file is ticked, it if is not, tick it and click Ok

If neither of these options work, or if you are on a Mac PC, please contact the library team for your faculty.



If you are studyng law and are using the AGLC referencing system EndNote may not be useful to you.

Although EndNote can be customised to be used with AGLC, this will essentially break EndNote for any other referencing style.

As a law student we recommend that you use EndNote as a storage tool for all of your references, but not as a referencing tool as it is more effort than it is worth.

If you would like more information on referencing in law please see our law library guide.

If you have further questions about AGLC referencing or using AGLC with EndNote please contact the law librarian in the Faculty of Business, Justice & Behavioural Science Library Team.



There are terms and conditions (T&Cs) that you have agreed to when downloading and using EndNote through Charles Sturt Library.

These T&Cs outline that the software is licensed to you only while you are studying at Charles Sturt. This means that upon graduation you are required to remove the EndNote version supplied by the Library from your computer. However, the library file itself will always remain in your possession. Therefore, if you go on to study at another university and they provide you with EndNote, or you decide to purchase a personal copy of the program, you will still have access to the library file. You should also be able to import the library into one of the free referencing tools available such as Zotero or Mendeley.



There is information on how to combine chapters or multiple documents on the EndNote library guide. If you are having trouble with this please contact the library team for your faculty.



If your library has become corrupted and will no longer open follow the instructions below:

  1. Open EndNote from the program menu
  2. Select Tools at the top of the screen
  3. Select Recover Library
  4. Locate the corrupted library and select it
  5. EndNote will attempt to recover the library and add the word recovered to the file name
  6. Save the new library

If the above did not work please contact the library team for your faculty.



If your question is not in the FAQs above you can search for a solution on the Clarivate Knowledge Base for EndNote.

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