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A basic guide to help users get started with EndNote

Creating your EndNote Library

Managing your Library

Creating your library

Your EndNote library is a file (with the extension .enl) that is created and managed within the EndNote program. It is necessary for you to store your references.

You can create a new library by opening the EndNote program. To do this, go to the “File” menu and choose “New…”. However, keep in mind the following principles:

  • It is best to only create and use one EndNote library (you can use groups to divide your references into further areas of research within your library).
  • Give your EndNote library a unique name e.g. John_Doe_research.enl. and click save.

This will create two files with the same name:

  • A library file (.enl)
  • A folder of data files (.data).

Both files need to be in the same location for EndNote to work correctly. Store the .enl EndNote library file on your computer’s hard drive (storing it on a cloud or network drive can cause corruption).

Previewing your output (reference) and selecting your referencing style

In the Preview section of the Summary tab on the Reference panel, you can see how the reference would look in a document, using the referencing style of your choice.

To select your required referencing style:

  • Select the appropriate style in the toolbar under Tools > Output Styles
  • If the style you need is not available, click ‘Open Style Manager…’
    • Select the style you want to add
    • Click Choose.

To see a preview of the reference in that style:

  • Click on the Reference, and select ‘Summary’ in the panel on the right. The Reference preview will display on the bottom right.

Backup up and restoring your library

Whether you are installing a newer version of EndNote or reinstalling on a new computer, it is important that you make a backup copy of your library. There are two methods you can use to backup your library:

To create a Compressed Library:

  1. Open the library that you wish to transfer.
  2. Select File and click Compressed Library (.enlx).
  3. Select the Create option to create a compressed library you can save on your computer and then attach to an email.
  4. Click Next. This will allow you to choose where the compressed library will be saved and you can choose to rename it, if desired.
  5. Click Save. Please note that a large library with many attachments may take a long time to compress. The compressed library will have a .enlx extension.
  6. The compressed library can now be attached to an email or put on a USB for your use.

To restore an EndNote library you just need to go to the File menu, select Open and choose your backed up .enlx file.

Alternatively, the second method of backing up your EndNote library is to Save a Copy of your library.

  • Select File > Save a Copy
  • In the Save dialog box, the file name should have the word Copy at the end
    (e.g. My EndNote Library Copy.enl)
  • NOTE: This will save as a larger file size than creating a compressed library.

For further information about backing up your library, visit EndNote's support page: EndNote: Moving, backing up, or transferring libraries to another computer.

Customising the EndNote library display

There are a few ways that you can customise EndNote to best suit your needs. For instance, you can:

  • Add or remove the fields you want to display by going to the Edit menu, then Preferences; and then selecting Display Fields.
  • Sort the order of your references by clicking on the relevant the column (field) header.
  • Change the layout of the panels within your window by going to the Layout button in the very far right corner of the EndNote window.
  • Search for a reference using the Quick Search box on the bar just under the menu options.
  • Compare and discard duplicates by going to the Library menu and selecting Find Duplicates. NOTE: Just make sure you don't discard or delete any references you're citing in Microsoft Word.

For further customisation information, view the Setting Preferences page.