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Frequently asked questions

Here is an overview of frequently asked questions. Do you have other questions? Ask a librarian.

Questions about using EndNote with Word

These questions come up when working in Word, but are often solved in the EndNote program.

Where is the EndNote tab in Word?


For OUS:

Use the version Word with the EndNote plugin. Go to Start > Mine administrative programmer > Word med EndNote OUS (Or you can search for the application.)

You must close the Word application you have opened before you can open this one.

For Windows:

Click on the File menu and select Options > Click on Add-ins > Change the Manage options to Disabled Items > Click Go > Choose Endnote-CWYW (Cite While You Write) > Click OK.

For Mac:

Endnote > Customizer > Make sure that CWYW (Cite While You Write) is selected.

You can find more help here: EndNote X8/X9 Mac and EndNote online Mac: CWYW tools in Microsoft Word 2016 Troubleshooting guide

Why do my references have curly brackets?

Answer: This is because Instant Formatting is off. Turn Instant Formatting on. If nothing happens, use the Update Citations and Bibliography button.

Why does my reference look strange?

Answer: There can be many reasons for this, you can try to fix it by using the Find Reference Updates feature.

How do I add page numbers to a citation?

Answer: Go to Edit and Manage Citations and write the page number in the Pages field. Do not write p.

Why is there an a, b or c after the year in the citation?

Answer: To differentiate between similar references. (Eg. same author and same year)

Why does the name of an organization in the author field look strange? (Eg. Oslo Ui)

Answer: Because EndNote treats all information in the author field as a human name, and inverts it automatically. You can avoid this by adding a comma at the end of the organisation's name. If the organisation has a comma in its name, you can add an extra comma (,,).

Why does the author's full name appear in the citation?

Answer 1: It could be the the Output Style in your document uses the full name the first time you cite someone.

Answer 2: You might have cited two authors with the same last name. Then the first name is shown to tell them apart.

How do I remove author, year or both from a citation?

Answer: Go to Edit and Manage Citations and Formatting and choose format (eg. Exclude Author).

How do I change the layout of the bibliography?

Answer: Configure Bibliography (the button is the small arrow) and Layout.

How do I get live DOI links in the bibliography?

Answer: Go to EndNote and Edit Output Styles. Add this at the end of the template for Journal Article:

Why does the same reference appear several times in the bibliography?

Answer 1: Make sure you do not have the same reference twice (or more) in your EndNote Library. If you delete a reference from your library you must insert it again in Word. More about duplicates.

Answer 2: If you have more than one EndNote Library, make sure you have used the same library. If you are using several libraries with the same Word document you might have inserted the same references from different libraries, and EndNote will treat them as different. Open the EndNote Library you want to use and close all other libraries. In Word: turn off and on formatting: Convert to unformatted citations > Update citations and bibliography. References from other libraries must be inserted again.

Why do I get several bibliographies in the document when I use the Update Citations and Bibliography button?

Answer: Click on your bibliographies. The one which turns dark grey is the one connected to EndNote. You can delete the other ones.

What is Travelling Library?

Answer: Traveling library is the name of the references used in a document. Traveling library appears in the Edit and Manage Citations menu if Word does not know which EndNote Library the reference is from. You can add references from a Traveling Library to your EndNote Library.

How do I break the connection from Word to EndNote?

Answer: This cannot be undone, make sure you have saved a copy of your document first. To break the connection: Convert Citations and Bibliography and Convert to plain text.

What do I do when Word crashes and nothing works?

Answer: Convert to Unformatted citations > Copy all text and paste it into a new plain document > Update citations and bibliography in the new document. Remember to save!

What does this error mean: "The value should be between -8.000 and 8.000 in"?

Answer: This is a known error in EndNote on Mac. The solution is to substitute the dot (.) with a comma (,) in the First line indent and Hanging indent fields.

What does this error mean: "Attempted to access an unnamed file past its end" / "An attempt was made to access an unnamed file past its end"?

Answer: Link to solution at

Questions about EndNote Libraries

These questions come up when working in EndNote.

Why is there no full text?

Answer: Check if full text is available.

How do I get abbreviated journal titles instead of full titles?

Answer: First, delete all terms here: Tools > Define Term Lists > Journals > Terms. Select all and Delete terms. You can now import the Journal Term List

How can I access my EndNote Library online?

Answer: By using EndNote Online.

How do I export references to EndNote from databases where there is no send to EndNote button?

Answer 1: Check if you can export references using RIS format. If so, the file can be imported to EndNote. Choose the RIS import filter when importing the file

Answer 2: Try the Capture Reference feature.

Answer 3: Add references manually.

Why do I have to "choose filter" when I try to import a reference using  Firefox?

Answer 3: Firefox changes the format on the file you downloaded from "file-name.enl" to "file-name.enl.txt" and EndNote does not recognize this format. You can rename the file and remove .txt.

How do I add notes to a reference?

Answer: Use the files Research Notes in the reference. If you have notes in other file formats (doc, rtf, etc), you can attach them to the reference.

How do I cite royals?

Answer: Write the name like this: Frederik,, Crown Prince of Denmark

How do I merge two EndNote Libraries?

Answer: Open the library you want to keep, and import the other library in this one: File > Import > File > browse for the other library and use EndNote Library as Import Option.

How do I make backup copies of my library?


This is how you make a compressed library (enlx file) of your library:

  1. File > Compressed Library .enlx
  2. Choose between with og without file attachments, and all references or just a selection.
  3. Click Next/OK (Windows/Mac), and save it in a suitable location.

This is also the easiest way to move your library.

This is how you open a compressed library:

  1. Double click the enlx file
  2. A new enl file and a corresponding data folder is extracted and saved in the same location as the enlx file. The library opens in EndNote.

Where is my library?

Answer 1: Search for .enl files on your computer.

Answer 2: Open a Word document you have used with EndNote. Go to Edit and Manage Citations to find the name of your library, and search for the name on your computer.

How do I move my library?

Answer 1: First, make a compressed file of your library. Then move the enlx file to a new location.

Answer 2: In EndNote: File > Save a copy and save it to a new location.

Why can't I open my library?

Answer 1: Check if you have moved or renamed the enl file without moving or renaming the corresponding data folder. If possible, rename or move the data folder so that they have the exact same name and are in the same location.

Answer 2: Check if your library is saved in Dropbox (or other clouds). This will damage your library. Move your library to a different location and try to open it again.

Answer 3: It is possible to recover a damaged library. Follow these instructions from Alfasoft.

Do you have other questions?

Ask us about EndNote

Published July 3, 2020 11:01 AM - Last modified Sep. 15, 2022 2:53 PM