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EndNote Library Management

Tips on EndNote for Mac OS X

For system and hardware and word processor compatibility visit:

When downloading references from databases on a Mac:

To start the EndNote program in Macintosh and open an EndNote library: Open the EndNote folder (in the Applications folder) and double-click the EndNote program icon.

To configuring Mac for importing to EndNote:

After installing EndNote, Mac users often need to configure their system to open downloaded files with the application. After attempting to export from a database or Google Scholar:

  • Go to the Downloads folder
  • Control-click or right click on the file  
  • Select Get info
  • Go to Open with...
  • If EndNote does not appear in the list, select Other and  search for EndNote.
  • Once EndNote has been selected, click on Change all.

Transferring Files from Mac to PC / PC to Mac

  • Mac to PC: If transferring EndNote files from a Mac to a PC, add .ENL for an EndNote Library (i.e. MYLIB.ENL). Older versions of EndNote use .LIB as the library extension. Newer versions of EndNote will recognize either .ENL or .LIB as the proper extension.
  • PC to Mac: There is a free software program that converts all PC filters, connection files and styles to a Mac format. From the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands:

In some browsers direct export does not work, so citations will be converted to text files for importing. To import a text-formatted file citation into EndNote:

  • Put EndNote in your dock by starting the EndNote program
  • Save the citation to the desktop
  • Drag the citation to the EndNote icon

After this, the EndNote program opens and you are prompted to choose an EndNote Library into which to import the citation.

NOTE: EndNote operating slowly? A backup program may be running in the background and slowing down the process. Try moving the EndNote files to a separate folder on the drive (at its own level).

EndNote and PowerPoint on MacIntosh computers

Currently, EndNote works with PowerPoint on Windows but does not work with PowerPoint on a Mac . EndNote on a Mac will work with Apple Pages and Microsoft Word only.


General Information:

  • Macintosh uses the Return key instead of the Enter key
  • To close a reference in Macintosh: press the COMMAND  + W
  • To delete custom groups: CONTROL + click on the group name to display menu and select Delete Group
  • To select individual references: Hold down the COMMAND key and click
  • To select a range of references: Use SHIFT + CLICK

Restoring EndNote Tools in Word for MacIntosh Computers

NOTE: There was a compatibility issue with EndNote X7 and the MacIntosh OS Sierra which has been corrected in the latest version X8.

A Cite While You Write patch is available for EndNote X7 that addresses the compatibility issue with Office 2016/Office 365 on Macintosh [the Endnote toolbar tab not appearing in the Word menu]. The patch will become automatically available after successful installation of X7.

To restore Macintosh EndNote Tools in Word 2011:

[To fix earlier or later versions:]

First, try rebooting your computer. If that does not work, try the following:

  • Open EndNote, and go to the EndNote menu. Select Customizer from the EndNote menu. Check the box in front of the Cite While You Write option. Click next until the Customizer is finished. Open a library. Then open Word and check the Tools menu for the EndNote submenu.

If the tools do not appear:

  1. Close Word and EndNote.
  2. Open your hard drive and go to the folder: EndNote X-: Applications:EndNote X-:Cite While You Write
  3. Copy the file EndNote CWYW Word 2011.bundle
  4. Go to the folder Applications:Microsoft Office 2011:Office:Startup:Word and paste the copied file
  5. Start Word, go to Word > Preferences and click on File Locations
  6. Make sure the Startup folder is set by highlighting Startup and clicking on Modify. Select the folder Applications:Microsoft Office 2011:Office:Startup:Word and click Choose
  7. Click OK and close Word.
  8. Start EndNote and then start Word.




If the tools still do not appear:

  • Change Word Preferences so it will not automatically open up the document gallery (which can prevent EndNote from connecting)



Reinstall EndNote

As a last resort, try reinstalling EndNote. For technical assistance contact EndNote Technical Support.

Other EndNote/Word Problems

If error messages are received when attempting to insert citations from EndNote into Word, it may be due to incompatability with iCloud automatic backup. Try moving the EndNote library to a non-backed up folder (be sure to include the EndNote library's associated data file with it).

If Word crashes when attempting to insert citations, it may be due to corrupt preferences. For a potential solution see: