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EndNote Library Management

Working with Output Styles in EndNote

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In this guide:

An output style (or bibliographic style) is a template that tells EndNote how to format the citations in a manuscript or bibliography. EndNote includes over 2,800 automatically-created output styles (APA, AMA, NLM, Vancouver, Chicago, etc.).

This guide discusses using output styles to format bibliographies, editing existing styles and creating new ones. Styles can also be downloaded from See the EndNote User Guide or the Help tab in the EndNote toolbar for additional information.

Editing existing styles

To edit an existing style, first make a copy of the style to be modified:

  1. Access the style manager window by selecting Output styles from the Tools tab menu and choose Open Style Manager
  2. From the style manager window, select the format to be edited and click on the Edit button. This will call up the style window (below example: APA format)
  3. Select the Save As option from the File menu. Give the style a new name.

EndNote edit output style


Options relevant to only one of these types are listed under the appropriate type of reference. Citation options apply to citations in the body of the text; Bibliography refers to the bibliographies that are created by EndNote; Footnotes refer to the citations entered into the footnotes of a Word document; under Figures and Tables, Tables refer to images inserted from the Image field in the Chart or Table reference type and Figures refers to images inserted from the Image field of any other EndNote reference type.
The list on the left side of the window includes all options that can be modified. The first four options are relevant for citations, bibliographies, and footnotes:

About this style:  In this option, add a description and category for this style.

Anonymous works:  In this option, indicate how EndNote should handle references where the author field is blank (not "anonymous").

Page numbers:  Indicate how page numbers should be handled (full or abbreviated, or first page only, etc.)

Journal names:  Indicate how journal names should be handled (full or abbreviated, which abbreviation, etc. See above for information about the journal term list, which is integral to this preference).


Working with style templates

For each reference type in a style, there is a style template (see below), which is a string of fields and codes that tells EndNote how to display the data in a reference.

To open up a template:

  1. Click on Edit
  2. Click on Output Styles
  3. Click on Open Style Manager
  4. Select the style to be edited
  5. Select Edit from the left-hand menu

The template for a journal article in APA format is shown below and enlarged. Note the field names (Author, Title, Journal, etc.), the traditional punctuation (periods and commas), and the unusual punctuation (characters for special formatting). Templates can be modified by adding or deleting fields, punctuation, spaces, etc. New reference type templates can also be created.

 EndNote Library screenshot


EndNote Library screenshot


Some rules for working with templates:

Basic dependence: any text or punctuation not separated by an ordinary space is dependent on the adjacent field. This means that the text/punctuation will only display when there is data in the field. In the example above, the parentheses around the (year) will only be displayed when there is a year to display.  If two fields are adjacent to text or punctuation, the preceding field takes precedence.

Spaces: The first space following a field is dependent on that field. Additional spaces are independent.

Independent text: Independent text (text not from a field) always appears in the bibliography.
Font formatting: To format a field, such as journal or book titles, simply highlight the field and select Style from the Text menu. Options are underline, italics, boldface.
Special characters: All of these special characters can be added by using the Insert Field button.

Non-breaking space (gray diamond) – The EndNote manual refers to the non-breaking space as “bibliographic formatting glue,” meaning that it joins two or more items together so they act as a single unit. Any text or punctuation “glued” to a field will not be displayed if the field is empty. In a formatted bibliography, it will display as an ordinary space.

Forced separation (vertical bar, pipe, |) – This is used to break dependence. In the example above, the forced separation after Pages will cause the period to be displayed whether or not there are pages in the reference.

Field names as independent text (accent grave, `) – This is used around independent text that could be misinterpreted as a field label, such as `Editor`.

Singular/plural separator (caret, ^) – This can be used to specify singular and plural forms of independent text, such as Ed.^Eds.


Creating an annotated bibliography

With the exception of the Annotated style, EndNote's output styles create bibliographies without including abstracts or annotations. To create an annotated bibliography for any output style:
First, create a copy of the style to annotate and open it (see editing existing styles above)

Select Bibliography > Layout from the menu; notice there is information for Start each reference with and End each reference with. Information telling EndNote to add an annotation will be added in the field labeled End each reference with. In the screen shots below, information for adding the abstracts has been entered. The general format is as follows:

  1. Begin with clicking on the Insert Field button and selecting End of paragraph; this starts the annotation on the following line
  2. Click on the Insert Field button and select Link adjacent text [Note: this is a non-breaking space that links adjacent text to a field so text    won't appear if the field is empty.]
  3. Click on the Insert Field button and select Tab (if the first line of the annotation need to be indented)
  4. Click on the Insert Field button and select the desired field (abstract, notes, etc.)
  5. Click on the Insert Field button and again select Link adjacent text

In the illustration below, the Abstract field was chosen, but the Notes field could also have been added; select whichever field in which the annotations are stored. Select a hanging indent option as desired.

Creating new styles

To create a new style, select Output styles from the Edit menu, the select New style…. Use the information above to set up the features of the new style.


Modifying In-Text Citations

Not all in-text citations follow the exact format of an output style. For example, in APA format, the typical in-text citation looks like this: (Smith, 2003). Sometimes text needs to be added or deleted from this standard format. Do not make the edits to the citation directly because these changes will be lost if the document is reformatted.


In Word, under the EndNote Tab, select Edit & Manage Citation(s)… In the dialog box (illustrated above), select the citation that you want to modify, and make the changes in the dialog box.

  • Exclude author: Omits the author(s) name from the formatted citation
  • Exclude year: Omits the date from the formatted citation
  • Prefix: Enter words that should be included before the citation, such as see also. Include relevant space, such as the one after the prefix.
  • Suffix: Enter words that should be added after the citation.
  • Pages: Usually used with direct quotations. Enter the page numbers that you are citing. To see these, the output style may need to be modified to include cited pages in the citation template (see to the right).

You can also add or remove references from a multi-reference citation, such as (Jones, 1999; Smith, 2003), using the Insert… and Remove… buttons. The up and down arrows can be used to change the order of display.

 Quick Edit screen

EndNote allows for easy editing and managing of selected fields within a citation without opening the record.  When a citation is selected and the Reference tab is clicked on the View Pane (see below) will display fields which can be edited: add page numbers, exclude author/s, format bibliography (change style, line spacing) etc.  Click outside the edit window to save changes.

 EndNote Library screenshot