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Using EndNote with MS Word

Also known as Cite While You Write (CWYW)

Why use CWYW?

  • Insert citations to create intext citations.
  • Automatically creates a reference list/bibliography from the inserted citations.
  • Allows you to change the format of your reference list/bibliography. 

What it won't do

  • Teach you how to reference correctly - you need to know your reference style.
  • Fix mistakes in your reference. If you don't make corrections in EndNote, errors will carry over to word when you insert the references.

NOTE: M1 Macbook users: In order to use the 'Cite While You Write' add-in you will need to set Word to 'Open with Rosetta'. Follow the instructions below:

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Insert citations

While you are writing your paper, you can easily find and insert a citation. The Find operation searches all fields in all references in your EndNote library. 

Single citation:

  1. Open your EndNote library
  2. Open the document you want to add a citation to in Word
  3. Place your cursor where you want the in-text citation
  4. In the EndNote toolbar, click the Insert Citation drop down button select Insert Citation
  5. In the EndNote Citation search window, search for the author, title, or year of the work you want to cite
  6. Select the citation you want to add and click Insert

NOTE: Your citation will be added after the selected text and the Bibliography list will appear at the end of your document.

Multiple citations:

  1. Place your cursor after the bracket of first citation and follow steps 4-6 above.

Watch these videos

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Edit citations

In-text citations can be edited using the Edit & Manage Citation(s) tool. You cannot manually type changes into citations as they will be lost the next time EndNote updates the citations and bibliography to conform to the currently selected output style.

Citations inserted from EndNote have code in the background. Manually making changes can corrupt the code and cause issues with your document.



Show and remove citations

Show all citations

When you click on an EndNote citation in MS Word you will see the citation becomes shaded. You can change this option to always shaded. 


  1. Click File/Office icon in the top left corner of Word and select Options
  2. Click Advanced, scroll down to Show document content to find Field shading options


  1. Click the MS Word menu and choose Preferences
  2. Select View to change the Field Shading that is listed under Show or Show in document

Remove citations

In order to properly remove a formatted citation in a document, you need to use the Edit & Manage Citation(s) option.

  1. Highlight the citation that you wish to delete.
  2. Go to: EndNote 21 tab > Edit & Manage Citation(s).
  3. In the pop-up window, Select the drop down next to Edit Reference.
  4. Select Remove Citation.

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  1. In MS Word, place cursor where you wish to insert the footnote
  2. Use the Reference tab, select Insert Footnote, the cursor will jump to the bottom of the page
  3. Go to the EndNote 21 tab, select Insert Citation or Insert Selected Citation (s)

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EndNote allows you to build a structured bibliography in a variety of ways.

Watch this video (1 min 16 sec)

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Merge documents

Before merging documents all references must be located in the same EndNote library.

Method 1: One bibliography

  1. In MS Word, select Convert Citations and Bibliography drop down, select Convert to Unformatted Citations
  2. You will see the bibliography is removed and intext citations appear in curly brackets for example {Audard, 2007 #32}, it is now safe to copy and paste into a new document
  3. Create a page break after each section and repeat steps 1-2 until all documents have been copied into one
  4. Click on Update Citations and Bibliography

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Method 2: Multiple or Chapter bibliographies

  1. Click on the Tools menu > Output Styles > Open Style Manager
  2. Browse to the Style you wish to use
  3. Highlight the Style and click Edit
  4. Click on the Sections option in the left pane of the Style to select the appropriate settings
  5. When you are done editing, select the File menu, select Save As
  6. Pick a name for the new copy of the Style and click Save
  7. Click the File menu and select Close Style
  8. Make sure your new Style is listed and then click File > Close Style Manager
  9. Next, you need to make sure you have the document broken up into sections. You can make each chapter its own section.

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Convert to plain text

EndNote and MS Word are linked together with code. It is possible to create a copy of your document that is no longer linked with EndNote. This can avoid issues when sending a document to someone else.

Always keep a master version which is still linked in case you need to make any changes as you cannot undo once you have converted to plain text.


  • Select Convert citations and Bibliography, choose Convert to Plain Text


  • Select Tools, choose Convert to Plain Text

NOTE: Make sure you save the copy with a different name so you know it is the plain text version.

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