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Cite While You Write (Insert References into Microsoft Word)

Moving between EndNote and Word

There are icons in Word and Endnote that allow you to move between EndNote and Word without having to minimise either program. You may find this a convenient feature to move between each program:

  • To move from EndNote into Word, click on the Tools menu > Cite While You Write [CWYW] > Return to Word.
  • To move from Word into EndNote, click on the EndNote tab and click on Go to EndNote:

Insert citation

References can be inserted from within EndNote or from within Word:

Within EndNote

  1. In Word, place your cursor where you want your reference(s) to be inserted
  2. Go to EndNote and highlight the reference(s) you wish to cite
  3. Click the Insert Citation icon on the EndNote toolbar

Within Word

  1. In EndNote, select/highlight the reference(s) you want to use in the central window
  2. Go to Word, and place the cursor where you want reference(s) to be inserted
  3. From EndNote20 tab, select Insert Citation > Insert Selected Citation(s)

Note: in both cases, your reference will be inserted as both an in-text citation and record in your reference list.

Insert citations in footnotes

  1. From the Style drop-down choose a style that supports footnote referencing (e.g. Oxford or Turabian)
  2. Put the cursor where you want to add the citation, click on the References tab, and Insert Footnote


  1. In the footnote, add the citations following the steps described above for inserting citations from EndNote
  2. The citation will be added to the footnote of the page and also in the reference list at the end of the document

Edit citation

You cannot edit or delete EndNote references in Word documents the same way you would with regular text, because the underlying coding will remain in the document. Instead, you must use the Edit and Manage citations toolbar. To edit a reference:

  1. Highlight the citation in Word and select Edit & Manage Citation(s) from the EndNote tab in your Word toolbar
  2. Under Edit Citation tab, next to formatting, you can change from default display of (Author, Year) to display differently (e.g. exclude author, year etc.) To add page numbers to a citation, type them into the suffix or use the pages field (if supported). Enter text into the prefix field for information you want to appear before the reference (e.g. prefix text, Author, Year). Enter text into the suffix field for information you want to appear after the reference (e.g. Author, Year, suffix text).  


Remove citation

  1. Highlight the citation in Word and go to Edit & Manage Citation(s) from the EndNote tab in your Word toolbar
  2. Under Edit Reference select Remove Citation
  3. Click OK


Choose referencing style

  1. In Word, click on the EndNote20 tab, and select a new style from the Style box drop-down menu

  2. If your desired style is not displayed, click on Select Another Style... and choose from the styles listed

Note: All references in your word document will automatically be changed to the new style selected

For more information, see Referencing styles & bibliography.

Edit library reference

The best place to make corrections to your references, such as if you notice a typo, is to make that change to the reference in your EndNote library; that way, when you next use that reference the error will not need correcting again. You can change the reference in your EndNote library by going directly to your library, but if you are in a Word document when you notice the error, you can change the reference in your EndNote library from within your Word document. 

  1. Click on the citation to select the relevant reference in your Word document
  2. Click on Edit Library Reference(s)

  • Edit the selected reference and close it to save the change in your reference in EndNote
  • The edit you made will be reflected in your citation in your Word document upon clicking Update Citations and Bibliography

Merge Word documents

N.B. Ensure all your citations in all your documents to be merged come from a single EndNote library.

  • For each of the Word documents you wish to merge:
  1. Open the document with MS Word. On the EndNote tab, click on the Convert Citations and Bibliography and select Convert to Unformatted Citations.

    The EndNote citations in your Word documents will now appear unformatted e.g.: {Asahi, 2001 #2}

  2. Save the document
  • Open your EndNote library and leave it open.
  • Open a new Word document.
  1. On the Insert tab, click on the small triangle symbol next to the Object drop-down list. Select Text from file…

  2. In the Insert file window, select the first document and click on Insert
  3. Insert a section break if you want each document to be as a separate section in your merged document. To add a section break go to the Page Layout tab, click on Breaks.
    Under Section Breaks select the one you want (for example if you want each section to be started on a new page select Next Page)

  4. Repeat steps 1 to 3 for all documents that need to be combined
  5. On the EndNote tab click on Update Citations and Bibliography to reapply the citation style of your choice

  6. Save the new document.

Configure bibliography

To format your bibliography (e.g. change the font type/size, line spacing etc.) you must access the configure bibliography window:

  1. Click on the small arrow in the bottom right-hand corner of the Bibliography box in EndNote20 tab in Word

  • The Configure Bibliography dialog box will appear allowing you to
    • Format your bibliography
    • Choose a specific Layout

Instant formatting

Instant formatting automatically updates your reference list as new citations are added to a document. This feature may cause Word to perform slowly when working with large documents and/or large EndNote Libraries. By default, instant formatting will be on.

  • To turn on or off the Instant Formatting feature click on the Instant Formatting option in EndNote20 tab in Word
  • When Instant Formatting is turned off, you may need to press Update Citations and Bibliography to see changes reflected in your Word document

  • You are able to Configure Instant Formatting

Note: It is recommended to turn instant formatting off when working in large word documents

Create a plain text copy

To send copies of your Word document to others (e.g. supervisor, colleagues etc.) without the underlying EndNote code, you will need to convert your document to plain text. 

  1. Select Convert Citations and Bibliography in the EndNote20 tab in Word (this may be within the Tools drop down)
  2. Select Convert to Plain Text
  3. Click OK

  • This will create a new word document which contains no EndNote code. Your original document will remain open and unaltered.

Note: Once you do this you cannot turn the field codes back on again and add more references from your EndNote library in the Plain Text copy of your document. So wait until after all referencing is complete before attempting this process.

Categorise references

you can divide the bibliography of your Word document into categories, with groups of references listed beneath each category heading. To group your references in MS Word:

  1. From EndNote20 tab select Categorize References
  2. Select Group References by Custom Categories

You can modify how MS Word categorises references:

  1. From EndNote20 tab select Categorize References
  2. Select Configure Categories

What you can do in Configure Categories:

  • Add new Category Headings
  • Sort the references in categories
  • Move one reference from one category to another by dragging and dropping it

Multiple reference list in a document

If your document is divided into chapters and you wish to have bibliographies at the end of each chapter as well as at the end of the document, you will need to edit the style you are using.

Step 1: In EndNote program

  1. Go to Tools menu, Output Styles, select Open Style Manager….
  2. In the style manager window select your style then click on Edit button.
  3. In the left pane select Sections
    The default option for most of the styles is Create a complete bibliography at the end of the document
    You can choose whether to Create a bibliography for each section or to Create a bibliography for each section and a complete bibliography at the end of the document.

  4. From File menu select Save as to save the modified style with a different name to ensure you do not overwrite the original file

Step 2: Create multiple reference lists in a single Word document

  1. Open your Word document
  2. Insert a section break after each chapter:
    place the cursor at the end of the chapter. On the Page Layout tab, click on Breaks
    Under Section Breaks select the one that meets your needs (for example, if you want each section to be started on a new page select Next Page)

  3. On the EndNote tab, select your modified output style

Endnote20 in action

MS Word and EndNote FAQs

EndNote tab has disappeared after installing Office 365 (Windows)

  1. Go to Start menu > Control Panel

  2. Click on Programs and then on Programs and Features

  3. Select EndNote 20 from the list, click Change, and then selected Repair from the list of options

NB. You need to close all Office programs for the repair to complete.

EndNote tab does not appear in MS Word (Windows)

Follow this instruction if EndNote tab does not appear in MS Word:

  1. In MS Word program on File tab select Options
  2. In the left pane of the Word Option window select Add-Ins
  3. From Manage drop-down menu select COM Add-ins then click on Go
  4. In COM Add-ins window check the box next to EndNote Cite While You Write then click on OK

EndNote tab does not appear in MS Word (Mac)

  • Open EndNote program
  • Select EndNote 20 menu > Customizer
  • Check the box in front of the "Cite While You Write" option
  • Click next until the Customizer is finished

  1. Open MS Word, EndNote tab should be available now. ( For MS Word 2013 Click View menu> Toolbars, select EndNote option)