Getting Started Guide (Windows)

1. Introduction

EndNote. It’s for more than bibliographies.

  • Find it:
    Search hundreds of online databases and import your existing PDF collection.
  • Store it:
    Organize and store your research and related notes and files in any way that works for you.
  • Create it:
    Use Cite While You Write (CWYW), our patented bibliography creation technology, to create and format your reports, manuscripts and proceedings.
  • Share it:
    Share your research with colleagues and collaborate online.
  • Match it: Sign in to EndNote online to find the best potential journal to publish your research.

What’s New in EndNote X7

  • Update and maintain references across EndNote with improved sync capabilities. With the click of a button, sync your desktop, online and iPad accounts – and even across multiple computers.
  • Set your preferences to create clear, organized, and easily searchable names for your PDF documents as you import them.
  • Add subheadings to your bibliographies using your own or predefined categories to distinguish primary and secondary sources.
  • Better organize your research materials using new reference types such as Interview, Podcast, Conference Paper, and Press Release.

2. Getting Started


Search from within EndNote, import existing full-text PDFs from your computer, or download from a database. Just go to the File menu, choose New Library and start saving references!


The buttons on the EndNote toolbar provide you with quick control of your library. From adding references, to creating groups, finding full text and much more.

  • Local Library iconLocal Library Mode
    This is the default mode. View and access all your saved references and groups or use tools like quick search to search only your existing EndNote library.
  • online search mode iconOnline Search Mode
    This lets you search online databases, right from within EndNote. References are downloaded into a temporary library so you can pick and choose which ones you want to save to your EndNote library.
  • Integrated library mode iconIntegrated Library & Online Search Mode
    This gives you access to all the groups and commands available in both Local Library mode and Online Search mode. When downloading references from an online database, EndNote will save them to the Online Search group set as well as your local library.
  • Bibliography output style menuBibliographic Output Styles menu
    Easily access the styles you use most through a dropdown right on your toolbar.
  • Copy to Local Library iconCopy to Local Library
    After searching online, select which references you want to move to your EndNote library and copy them to your local library, leaving behind the ones you don’t need.
  • New Reference iconNew Reference
    Quickly enter a new reference.
  • Online Search iconOnline Search
    Select the database you want to search. Hint: This will automatically switch you to Online Search Mode.
  • Import iconImport
    Import references you have saved to your computer.
  • Export iconExport
    Export your library.
  • Find Full Text iconFind Full Text
    Select a reference or group of references, and use this feature to search your subscriptions and full-text freely available online for the article(s). Any available PDFs will be automatically attached to the reference.
  • Open link iconOpen Link
    Without opening the reference, you can quickly open the links attached to it.
  • Open file iconOpen File
    Without opening the reference, you can quickly open the attachments.
  • Inser Citation iconFormat Bibliography iconReturn to Wod Processor iconInsert Citation, Format Bibliography, and Return to Word Processor
    When Microsoft Word or Writer is open these commands let you toggle back and forth easily between your word processor and EndNote.
  • Sync iconSync
    You can set your library to automatically sync, or use this button to sync when you choose. Then access your library across multiple desktops where EndNote is installed, online and even on your iPad.
  • Quick Search barQuick Search Text Box
    There are lots of ways to search your library. Quick search is good for simple searches of your references, groups, PDF notes and annotations. For more complex searches, use our Advanced Search.

Here’s a quick overview to help you get familiar with the layout of your EndNote library.

3. Find It.


Searching online databases and directly exporting references into your library is easy.

Many information providers have a direct export option that allows you to send copies of references directly to your EndNote library. All you need to do is select the EndNote library into which the data should be imported. You can also search hundreds of online resources from right within EndNote using the Online Search tool. Then easily add any references you find to your library with the click of a button.


Import the PDFs that you already have on your computer to EndNote, to save time and effort.

If you already have a collection of PDFs saved to your computer, you can easily import them into your EndNote library. Import one PDF at a time, or folders of PDFs - keeping your existing folder structure. EndNote will extract the DOI, use CrossRef data and technology to find the reference’s data, create a new reference in your library and attach your PDF to the reference. Allowing you to move your PDF files into EndNote and add references with minimal typing and copying.


Search for the full text of any reference you add to your library with just one-click.

You can Find Full Text for up to 250 references at a time. Just highlight your references and select Find Full Text from the toolbar or References menu. Configuring your Preferences to recognize your subscriptions is an important step to getting the most out of this feature. Make sure to watch the video above to find out how to set up your Find Full Text preferences.


Find what you need within your library quickly and easy, so you can review or share references.

Windows Search Panel

EndNote provides a powerful and flexible Search Library command that lets you locate specific references or groups of references. For example, you can select a very general search, one that scans the entire library, or you can limit your searches to specific fields (such as Author or Keywords). You can also create more complex searches using a variety of operators such as And, Or, Not, Greater than, Less than, and others.

4. Store It.


Groups allow you to stay organized and even cross reference information.

Set up groups so you can drag and drop in your references or create rules to automatically file references as you add them to your library.

Use the multiple selections under the Groups menu to organize your research topics.

Windows Groups menu copy
  • Group IconGroups
    Create a group for any topic you want, then easily drag and drop references from your library into the group. The same reference can appear in multiple groups and is not duplicated when you do this.
  • Group Set: Create a group set to organize multiple related groups. For example, you may make a group set for Bats and create sub-groups for Chiroptera and Echolocation underneath the main group set.
  • Smart Group IconSmart Groups
    Define a search parameter and give this group a name. Your existing references that match the parameters will automatically show up in the group. We call this a Smart Group. Your Smart Groups will instantly update as you add more references to your library that fit your Smart Group’s parameters.
  • Combined Group IconCombined Groups
    From the Groups drop down menu, select Create From Groups. Pick at least two groups and select your Boolean operator of choice. Give this group a name and you’ve created a Combined Group. This group is also a smart group and will update as your component groups change.

Store your references and related files all in one place.

File Attachments

You can attach almost any type of file and up to 45 different files to a single reference including images, figures, and PDFs.


Highlight and annotate your saved PDFs to keep track of the most pertinent pieces of information.

Open the PDF Viewer panel and easily make annotations and add sticky notes to your PDF documents. Sticky note comments are searchable using the Any Field and PDF and PDF Notes options from the Field list. Once you’re done, make sure to sync your library so you can access and edit your notes online, from your iPad or on other desktops.

5. Create It.


Cite references within your documents, edit citations, and change styles instantly.

An EndNote toolbar will automatically be installed into Microsoft Word. Seamlessly toggle back and forth between Word and EndNote and cite as you write without having to leave your document.

Select Insert Citations from the EndNote toolbar in Word and choose citations as you write.

CWYW Insert Citations Dialog Box

Choose from over 6,000 bibliographic styles. And easily switch styles at any point without hassle.

CWYW bibliography styles menu

For a full overview of all the functionality Cite While You Write has to offer, view our EndNote class recording.

6. Share It.


Give colleagues access to your entire EndNote library.

EndNote X7 now lets you share your entire library – references, PDFs, attachments, and all – with up to 14 other EndNote X7 users. No matter where they are located. Just select File > Share to begin.

Share Groups

How it works:

  • You can include anyone who’s using EndNote X7 (up to 14 people, plus yourself)
  • Share your entire EndNote library, including references, PDFs, and annotations
  • Everyone can add to, annotate and use the library – at the same time
  • There’s no charge for sharing, no library size limit and no charge for unlimited cloud storage

Learn more about sharing your library.


Send references from the desktop or online.

If you need to share just a few references, you can email references and file attachments right from within EndNote. Just select the reference you want to share then select E-mail Reference from the contextual menu or References dropdown menu.

E-Mail Reference

To share groups of references, you can use EndNote online. Just sign in to your EndNote online account and select Manage My Groups under the Organize tab. Select which groups you want to share, enter email addresses for those you want to share with and identify whether you want to give read-only or read-write access.

Haven’t set up your online account yet? Visit to get started.

7. Match it.


Find the best potential journal to publish your research in EndNote online.

With our manuscript matcher in EndNote online, you can easily evaluate Web of ScienceTM and journal impact data points to make informed submission decisions specific to your manuscript. Sign in to your online account and click on the Match tab to begin.

Manuscript matching

How it works:

  • Start with a few key pieces of information: manuscript title, abstract, and references
  • Select an EndNote reference group from the drop-down
  • Within seconds, you have JRC data, key journal information, and publisher details at your fingertips
  • Compare your options and start the submission process

Learn more about manuscript matching.

8. Access your research anywhere.


Anywhere, anytime access to all your references.

Register for an EndNote online account so you can sync your EndNote library across devices—desktop, online and your iPad. Then, access your EndNote library anywhere, anytime. Select Sync from the Tools dropdown menu or the library toolbar to connect your desktop and online libraries.

9. Next Steps


Once you’re EndNote desktop library is set up, register for your online access at using the same login as your desktop registration. An online account is necessary to be able to sync your library and access it from anywhere.


Our training resources let you learn at your own pace. Pick and choose from pre-recorded trainings and YouTube videos to brush up on how to use specific functions in EndNote or to learn something new.


Join our live training sessions to find out how to get the most from EndNote. Register for upcoming EndNote webinars hosted by EndNote experts. Classes are free of charge and live: you can ask questions just as you would in-person.


Installing EndNote on your iPad means you’ll have access to your research while you’re on the go. Visit the Apple Store to purchase EndNote for your iPad. Sync your library to your iPad and you can access all your saved references and notes from anywhere.


Backing up your files is essential to securely saving all your hard work. Each EndNote library is made up of a file with the extension .ENL plus a corresponding .DATA folder. Always back up both folders. Use the Save a Copy command or one of the Compressed Library commands to save a copy of your library to a removable disk (or elsewhere) for safekeeping.