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University of Newcastle Library Guides

EndNote 20:  EndNote 20 for Mac

Manage your references and create in-text citations and bibliographies. Note: This guide is for EndNote 20. For EndNote X9 see the link at the bottom left of the page.

EndNote 20 for Mac: An Overview

  • How to use EndNote 20 in Seven Minutes Mac OS


EndNote 20 for Mac: More details

Download and Install EndNote for Mac

  • For your home computers, download from the University's software download site to ensure your EndNote is within the UON subscription.   
  • For UON Macs used by staff members and HRD students, Download EndNote from Self Services
  • All UON computers on campus have been automatically updated to EndNote 20

Please Note:

  • Before upgrading, back up your EndNote libraries and the .DATA folder, and uninstall earlier versions of EndNote​.
  • To avoid compatibility issues, do not upgrade your EndNote or Mac OS without checking system requirements first.
    • Compatibility and system requirements - check the EndNote website
    • EndNote updates - within EndNote via Help > Check for Updates

Compatibility and System Requirements

What you need (see more details at the EndNote website):

  • MacOS 10.14, 10.15, 11, 12.
  • Intel-based or Apple Silicon-based Macintosh
  • Hard disk with 700 MB available
  • Minimum 2GB of available RAM
  • Microsoft Word [CWYW] for macOS: 2016, 2019, Office 365 (locally installed desktop version only)

Troubleshooting for Installation

Depending on the security setting of your Mac, you may encounter error messages when you try to install your downloaded EndNote package. Here are some of the screenshots of the error messages provided by our students and our suggested solutions. 

Also many thanks to those students who sent us the screenshots for helping other students.


Screenshots of Error Message Suggested Solutions

EndNote doesn't open.

When you first open EndNote after downloading, no windows will open. However, you can see the app open in the dock at the bottom and the EndNote menu in the ribbon at the top.

Click File > New to create a library, and you will see the application open in a window.

Error message download EndNote on Mac

Error message:

EndNote 20.x.pkg cannot be opened because it is from an unidentified developer.



This will depend on your MacOS gatekeeper settings.

If you click the question mark in the top right corner of the pop up, it should give you some instructions about how to change the security and privacy settings and allow the installation. 

EndNote download error on Mac re Rosetta

Error message:

To install EndNote20.x, you need to install Rosetta.



This problem is unique to M1 machines with no Rosetta installed.

Click the Install button. Once Rosetta is installed, you should be able to install EndNote properly. 


Create Your Library

See the UON Guide to EndNote 20 for Mac for more details.

  • Once you have installed EndNote, the first thing you need to do is create an EndNote library to store your references and documents.
  • There is no limit to the number of references that can be stored in your EndNote library.  
  • You can create multiple EndNote libraries, but this is not advisable.  
  •  It is recommended that you keep all your references in a single library. Use Groups to organise your references. 

To create an EndNote Library:  

  • Open EndNote then select File > New….  
  • The New Reference Library Window appears.  
    • Name your library
    • Select the folder to save your Library on your local computer (not on cloud server)
    • Click Save.   

Create an EndNote Library on Mac

Your Library’s Data Folder 

  • When you create an EndNote library, a Data Folder associated with your library is also created and saved in the same foler as your EndNote library. For example, if you create an EndNote library called Sam’s Library, a folder called Sam’s Library.Data will also be created.
  • This occurs automatically. Documents and images attached to EndNote records are stored in this Data folder. 
  • The Data folder is a critical part of your library.  Whenever you copy, move or backup a library, include not only the library (.enl file), but also its associated Data folder (.Data file) and all of its contents. 

EndNote for Mac Data Folder

EndNote and Cloud Servers  

  • To avoid corrupting your EndNote Library, it is strongly recommended that you do not store your working Library on any cloud servers (including DropBox, OneDrive, SharePoint, and OwnCloud).  
  • The reason that EndNote corrupts within cloud storage servers relates to the way multiple files are saved.  EndNote files must be saved in a set sequence; when cloud servers transfer data they may change the sequence of file saves, eventually leading to file corruption. 
  • EndNote is not designed to work with cloud servers. You can Sync your desktop library to EndNote online if needed.

Adding Records to your EndNote Library

You can add references to your EndNote library using the following methods:

Manually Entering Records

  • Click the New Reference icon EndNote manual entry icon 

(or Select References | New Reference from the EndNote toolbar.)

This will open a New Reference edit window. 

  • By default, the New Reference window is set for the entry of journal articles. Select other reference types by clicking on the drop-down arrow to the right of Journal Article.
Manual entry on Mac


Direct Export from Databases to EndNote

Most journal databases include a download option that allows the export of records from the database to an EndNote Library. This is called ‘direct export’.

Direct export generally involves the following 3 steps:

  1. Searching the database
  2. Identifying and marking records to save
  3. Selecting the database’s direct export option

If an EndNote Library is open, records will be imported there. Otherwise, navigate to and open the EndNote library.

Direct export differs slightly depending on the database and web browser used to search the database. Check the exact instructions on using direct export for specific databases on this guide.


Online Search within EndNote  

The Online Search Mode allows you to connect to library catalogues (including the University of Newcastle catalogue), PubMed, and Web of Science (need to be on campus for WoS) to search and download records, all from within your EndNote library.  

Note: Whilst the Online Search Mode includes links for many journal databases, PubMed and Web of Science are the only databases searchable from within EndNote. Use the Direct Export option for the other University subscribed databases

To use the Online Search Mode:  

1. Open the Online Search dropdown menu from the bottom left of the EndNote Library Window  

2. Select the connection to search, or click more … to view the complete list of catalogues and databases.  

3. Enter your search terms, then click Search. The results will display in the Retrieve Results box below.  

4. Select all or individual records (hold the <command⌘> key while selecting), then click the plus sign (Add to Library) to add the selected references to your library

5. When you have finished searching, click All References to return to your EndNote library.  

EndNote online search for Mac


Creating records from PDF files

EndNote can create new records from PDF files that include a DOI in the metadata or the first two pages of the PDF. EndNote sends the DOI to two online databases (PubMed and CrossRef) capable of looking up reference data by DOI. If located, the bibliographic data is then sent back to EndNote, where a record is created and the PDF attached.  

It is possible to import a single file, or a folder (and sub-folders) of PDF files. 

If the PDF does not have a DOI, or the bibliographic details are not retrieved, EndNote will create a record, attach the PDF and include just the file name in the Title field.


To import a single PDF file:

  • Within EndNote, click File > Import File 
  • The Import Window will appear: 

    • Locate and select the pdf file you want to import

    • Click Options to show more options

    • Select PDF File or Folder as the Import Option

    • Select Discard Duplicates or Import All from the Duplicates drop down list as you wish

    • Click Import

Add via pdf import for Mac


To import a folder of PDF files:

  • Within EndNote, click File > Import File 
  • The Import Window will appear: 

  • Select the folder of pdf files you want to import

  • Click Options to show more options

  • Select PDF File or Folder or PDF Folder as a Group Set as the Import Option as you wish

  • Select Discard Duplicates or Import All from the Duplicates drop down list as you wish

  • Click Import

add via pdf folder on Mac

After the import process has finished, you will see the references imported in your EndNote library. 

  • When a PDF folder imported as a group set, a group set and individual groups are created, group names correspond to those used in the original folders where the PDFs were imported from.
  • If the PDF does not include a DOI, or the bibliographic details are not retrieved, EndNote will create a record, attach the file and include just the PDF file name in the Title field.

Add references via pdf folders on Mac


Automatic Import of a Folder of PDF Files

You can set PDF Handling Preference to automatically import PDF files saved in a specific folder. 

  1. Click on EndNote 20 > Preferences > PDF Handling.
  2. Tick the Enable Automatic Importing option.
  3. Click Select Folder and browse to choose a folder that will hold your downloaded PDF files.
  4. Click Save.

Adding Files to Your EndNote Library

EndNote allows you to attach files to records in your library.

  • Added files are stored in the library’s Data folder. 
  • Any of the common file formats may be attached, including audio & multimedia files (wav, mp3, mov, Quicktime), PDF, Microsoft Access/Excel/PowerPoint/Project/Visio/Word files, and text files (txt, rtf, html).
  • Up to 45 files may be attached to each record. 

Importing from a database does not automatically transfer the full text of the article. Instead, you will need to attach files using one the following methods.

Attaching Files Manually

  1. Within EndNote, select on a record in the Library Window
  2. Click on References | File Attachments | Attach File (or click the Attach File link in the Summary Window) 
  3. Select a file, then click Open.
  4. The file will be copied to the DATA\PDF folder, and an icon will appear in the Paperclip field within the Reference Window.

You can also attach files by dragging and dropping a file onto a record in either the Library Window or the Reference/Edit Window.

Using the Find Full Text Command 

EndNote can automate the process of locating and attaching PDF files to EndNote records using the Find Full Text command. Find Full Text works most efficiently when the EndNote record includes a DOI within the DOI field.

Setting up Preference for Find Full Text

Before using Find Full Text the first time, you must configure EndNote:

  1. Within EndNote, click EndNote 20 | Preferences
  2. The EndNote Preferences Window will appear (see below). Select Find Full Text from the left hand panel.

  Ensure that

  • each of the check boxes are ticked in this window
  • enter the following addresses in the corresponding fields:

OpenURL Path:

Authenticate with URL:

(include the “=” in the last URL)

  • Click Save, then
  • Close the EndNote Preferences Window.
Find full text preference on Mac

Using Find Full Text

  • Highlight the record(s) to be checked

(you can select up to 250 at a time), then

  • click the Find Full Text icon Find Full Text icon.


  • Enter your University login details on the Find Full Text Login screen (see right)
  • click Login, then Continue on the next screen.


  • EndNote will now search for the PDF files and attach to the appropriate record.
UON authentication page


The Find Full Text Group Set will appear in the Groups Panel 

This group set provides details of the number of

  • PDFs found and attached,
  • PDFs not found, or
  • URLs for PDFs that were found but could not be sourced.
Find full text on Mac
Reasons why Find Full Text may not locate a PDF:
  •   The University of Newcastle Library does not have a current subscription to access the article
  •   The article is too old to have a PDF available online
  •   The article is ‘buried’ in an aggregated database and does not allow individual articles to be located
  •   The journal has embargoed access to current articles
  •   The publisher website does not support or allow this capability
  •   Proxy or firewall issues are preventing access

Auto-renaming and Auto-importing PDF Files

You can set PDF Handling options to automatically rename your PDF files imported or attached.

  1. From the top menu EndNote 20 > Preferences > PDF Handling, then 
  2. Select one of the PDF Auto Renaming Options 

You can also set up an auto-import folder to automatically import PDF files saved in that folder if you wish. 

  1. Tick the Enable Automatic Importing option.
  2. Click Select Folder and browse to choose a folder that will hold your downloaded PDF files.
  3. Click Save.

Auto rename pdf files on Mac



Managing Your EndNote Library

Quality control of your EndNote library is very important as mistakes in the records in your library will translate into mistakes in your in-text citations and reference list entries.


Identifying Duplicate Records

EndNote identifies a record as a duplicate if two or more records included in the Library are assigned the same reference type (such as Journal Article), and have the same information in the Author, Year and Title fields. 

To identify and delete duplicated records:

  • Select Library | Find Duplicates.  
  • EndNote will display a Find Duplicates Window
  • Differences between the two records will be highlighted in blue.
  • For each set of duplicates, the original (first entered) record will always appear in the left column.
  • Click Keep This Record  for the version required.

Note: It is important to follow up this automatic checking process with a manual check for duplicates. Re-sort your Library Window alphabetically by title (click the Title column heading), visually scan, identify and delete duplicate records.

Sorting Your EndNote Library

As your library grows in size, you may need to sort your library to locate records or check on data in the records.  

By default your EndNote Library is sorted alphabetically by the surname of the first author, but you can re-sort the records by any field as needed. 

  1. Quick sorting by column heading

The EndNote Library Window can display up to 10 columns. Each column is based on details included in a specific field included in each record in your library. The position of columns can also be changed by dragging a column heading and dropping to a new column position.

To sort records, click on any of the column headings. For example, clicking on the Title column heading will resort title in alphabetical order A-Z. Click once again to resort in Z-A order.

  1. Custom sorting by record fields

You can sort the library by up to 5 fields of the records. Click LibrarySort Library to re-sort using up to 5 fields as criteria


Searching Your EndNote Library

As your library grows in size, using the search feature will make it easier to locate the records you want to use.

To search a library, either use the Simple Search or the Advanced Search mode for a more thorough search.

Search the Library on Mac

Grouping Records

Organise your Library by storing records into Groups. Multiple groups can appear within a Group Set. An individual record can be linked to more than one group.

To create a new group:

  • Right click on My Groups in the Groups Panel, then select Create Group. Name the group, then <Enter>.
  • Add records to a group by highlighting the record/s in the Library Window then drag to the group. Groups are listed alphabetically.

To create a group set:

  • Right click on My Groups, then select Create Group Set. Name the group set, then <Enter>.
  • You can add individual groups to the group set by creating a new group (following the directions above) or moving an existing group to the new group set (click on the group name then drag and drop to the group set).

Smart groups 
Smart groups use search criteria to dynamically update groups as existing records are edited or new records are added to the library. Once a smart group is created it works in the background, automatically adding new records that match the smart group's criteria.

To create a smart group

  • Right click on My Groups in the Groups Panel, then Create Smart Group. The Smart Group Window will appear.
  • Name the group in the Smart Group Name box.
  • Enter the terms you want to identify for inclusion in your smart group, and select the field within which EndNote will search for each term.
  • Choose the appropriate Boolean Operator (AND, OR, NOT), then click Create.

smart group on Mac

Global Editing of Records

EndNote provides a feature that allows you to simultaneously add text to a number of records.  This feature is particularly useful when you are transferring records from databases into EndNote and need to add text to records, such as keywords or details about the name of the database.

To add text to multiple records:

Select Library | Change/Move/Copy Fields. The Change/Move/Copy Fields Window will appear (see below).


  1. Ensure the Change Fields tab is selected

  2. From the Select a Field drop down list, select the field to which the text will be added, eg.
    Name of Database field

  3. Type the text to be added into the text box, eg.
    Medline search – 22 April 2022

  4. Select where you would like the text to be added within the field using the Change radio button, eg.
    Insert before field's text:

  5. Click OK.
change move fields on Mac

Backing Up Your Library and Documents

It is essential to make a back-up of your EndNote library (and associated Data folder) in case disaster strikes.  Create a backup copy whenever you make significant changes to your library – ensure you re-name the backup library (for example, add the date of backup to the file name).

Several methods can be used:

  • Use Finder to navigate to where your files are stored. Copy your EndNote library (.enl file), AND its associated Data (.Data) folder, then Paste to a different folder on your computer, or a portable storage device, eg. a USB. 
  • Open your EndNote library, select File | Compress Library (.enlx), and choose the option to Create | With File Attachments. This creates a single compressed file. Save this to a different folder or a portable storage device.
  • Use the File | Compress Library (.enlx) | Create & Email command to send a copy of your EndNote library via email to yourself or a colleague. Be aware of the size limit of the email attachments.
  • Use the File | Save a Copy… command to save an exact copy of the library to a different folder on your computer, or a portable storage device.  This will save a copy of your library, plus its associated Data folder.
  • Sync your desktop EndNote Library to EndNote Online. 

Note: It is also advisable to save backup copies of any Word documents which include links to your library.

Using EndNote with Word 

This is when the effort you put into creating your library starts to pay off.  You can use EndNote and Microsoft Word together to format your in-text citations and create bibliographies automatically. 

  1. EndNote toolbar in Word
  2. Selecting a referencing style
  3. Creating in-text citations and reference list
  4. Reformatting the Reference List
  5. Using Footnote Styles with EndNote
  6. Editing in-text citations:
    • excluding the author's name
    • excluding the year of publication
    • include notes or page numbers
    • formatting as Author (Year)
    • Creating an independent bibliography

1. EndNote Toolbar in Word

Open both Microsoft Word and your EndNote library.  In Word, the EndNote toolbar looks like this: 

Endnote with Word for Mac

  • All EndNote functions are available from the EndNote tab in Word
  • The Go to EndNote tool takes you from Word to EndNote
  • The Style drop-down menu allows you to choose different referencing style to format the references

In EndNote, you can use the quick toolbar Insert Citation icon or the Insert button to insert citations into Word:

Insert citations from EndNote to Word

2. Selecting Output Styles

An output style determines how the information in your EndNote records will appear in in-text citations, footnotes, and bibliographies.

About 500 styles are pre-loaded in EndNote with an additional 6,000+ styles freely available for download at     

By default, EndNote shows Author-Date, Annotated, Numbered and Show All Fields on the Output Styles menu.

2.1 Add Your Preferred Styles in Word

  • Click the EndNote 20 Tab in Word

Change Referencing style in Word

  • Click the drop down arrow to the right of the currently selected style, eg APA 7th
  • Click Select Another Style ... The EndNote Styles Window lists all available reference styles. Styles may be re-sorted by clicking on the Name or Category column headings.
  • Select a style by clicking on the style name, then click Choose.

2.2 Add Your Preferred Styles in EndNote

  1. Click on the Summary Tab on the Tabs Panel on the right of the EndNote window

  2. Click on Select Another Style… from the Style drop down menu.

  3. Highlight the required style eg Vancouver in the Choose a Style Window, and click Choose.

  4. Your style should now be showing in the Output Style Menu.
  5. Click on a reference to see how the reference will look formatted with this style.
Add a preferred reference style in EndNote

add a preferred referencing style in EndNote Mac

2.3 Finding and Downloading Additional Output Styles

  • Additional EndNote styles can be downloaded from the EndNote website - to connect within EndNote, click Help | EndNote Output Styles.
  • Downloaded output styles should be saved to: /Applications/EndNote 20/Styles  
  • If you can't save to this folder due to admin rights, double click on the downloaded style to open it in EndNote, then Click File | Save.  

3. Creating In-text Citations and reference list

A number of methods are available for inserting references from an EndNote library into a Word document. 

3.1 Using the ‘Go to EndNote’ command

  1. In Word, position your cursor where you wish to insert an in-text citation, click on the EndNote 20 tab
  2. Ensure the reference style is the one you need, eg APA 7th,  then click Go to EndNote
  3. Within EndNote, select the reference/s you wish to insert, then click the insert citation icon from the EndNote toolbar.

You will be returned to Word, where the in-text citation/s for the selected reference is inserted, and a reference list entry created at the end of the document.
Add an in-text citation in Word on Mac


3.2 Using the ‘Find Citation’ command


  1. In a Word document position your cursor where you wish to insert a citation.

  2. Still in Word, click on the EndNote 20 tab, then click the Inert Citation icon   
insert citation in Word

The EndNote 20 Find & Insert My References will appear.


  1. Enter search terms in the Find Citation box, then press Enter.  

  2. Records containing the search terms will be displayed.

  3. Select the required record

    (multiple records can be selected by holding down the <Command> key while selecting)

  4. click Insert

You will be returned to Word, where the in-text citation/s for the selected reference is inserted, and a reference list entry created at the end of the document.

insert citation by the find citation command

4. Reformatting the Reference Lists

For changes to the font size, indentation, or line spacing within and between entries in your reference list use the following instructions.

  1. In Word, select the EndNote 20 tab, then click Configure Bibliography

configure bibliography


  1. The EndNote 20 Configure Bibliography window will open, you can then configure the layout as needed.

configure bibliography Mac

5. Using Footnote Styles with EndNote

If the style you are required to use is a footnote style, such as Chicago A or AGLC4, you must first create a footnote in your document, before inserting a reference using one of the methods described above. EndNote will then format the in-text citation in the footnote and add the reference details to the bibliography.

  1. In Word, place the cursor against the statement you are referencing. To create a footnote, select References | Insert Footnote.

insert footnote in word

  1. A footnote number will be placed where your cursor was positioned. Your cursor will now appear in a footnote at the bottom of the page.
  2.  Insert the required reference(s) from your EndNote library using either of the Go to EndNote or Find Citation command.

6. Editing Citations in a Document

Editing of citations must be done using the Edit & Manage Citation(s) command on the EndNote 20 tab in Word. 

Edit citation with Word on Mac

There are various reasons that you may need to edit your in-text citations, for example:

  • Excluding the author’s name as you have already used it in a sentence, e.g. As Evans (1986) stated...
  • Excluding the year as you have already referred to it in a sentence, e.g. As reported in 1997, Jane Austen was not ... (Teachman).
  • Where page numbers are required as you have used a direct quote, e.g. “Jane Austen’s own description of her subject matter” (Evans, 1986, p. 313) …  

6.1 Excluding the Author or the Year from a Citation

  1. Click on the in-text citation within your document (it will appear in grey shading once clicked), click on the EndNote 20 tab, then select the Edit & Manage Citation(s) command. The EndNote 20 Edit & Manage Citations dialogue box will open.
  2. From the Format drop-down menu select Exclude Author, Exclude Year, or Exclude Author & Year, then OK. The author or the year, or both will have been removed from the citation.

Exclude author or date


6.2 Adding Page Numbers after a Citation


  1. Click on the in-text citation in your document (it will appear in grey once clicked), click on the EndNote 20 tab, then select the Edit & Manage Citation(s) command. The EndNote 20 Edit & Manage Citations dialogue box will open. 
  2. Type the page number or range of pages in the Pages box, click OK. The page numbers will appear in the in-text citation in the format specified by the output style, e.g. (Celind et al., 2020, p. 45).

Add page number after a citation on Mac


A Note about Page Numbers:

In EndNote 20, adding page numbers using the Edit & Manage Citation(s) command will work if you are using the APA 7th or MLA output styles. If you are using a different style, and the page numbers you type in here do not appear in your in-text citation, it means that the output style you are using is not configured to recognise them. In this case, you could put them in the Suffix field. However, if you use the Suffix field for page numbers, you must also enter the punctuation and spaces exactly as you want it to appear in the text, e.g. p. 313.


6.3 Deleting an In-text Citation from a Document

If you insert a citation in error, or in the wrong place, DO NOT USE the <Delete> or <Backspace> keys on the keyboard to remove it.  Click within the in-text citation in your document (the in-text citation will turn grey), then click on the Edit & Manage Citation(s) command on the EndNote 20 toolbar.  The EndNote 20 Edit & Manage Citations window will open, and the citation you selected will be highlighted. Click on the Edit Reference drop-down menu. Select Remove Citation, then OK
delete a citation on Mac


6.4 Moving a Citation Within (and Between) Documents

You can highlight any text that includes citations, then use Cut or Copy, and then Paste it elsewhere in the document. 

BUT, if you move or copy ONLY the citation itself, make sure you highlight the ENTIRE citation (including surrounding delimiters). Then Cut or Copy and Paste it elsewhere in the document.


6.5 Instant Formatting 

If references you insert from EndNote 20 into your Word document look like this: {Jones, 2015 #14} - where Jones = author; 2015 = year; and #14 = the EndNote record number – it means that EndNote’s Instant Formatting feature has been disabled.

To turn Instant Formatting back on in your Word document, select the EndNote 20 tab, click the dropdown arrow next to Instant Formatting is Off, and select Turn Instant Formatting On.
Instant formatting on Mac


6.6 Creating a Bibliography on Its Own

There may be times when you simply want to produce a stand-alone list of references from your EndNote library (i.e. without the in-text citations). 

Method 1: Using Copy Formatted

If you need to copy just a few references, the easiest process is: 

  1. Select the reference/s required in the EndNote Library
  2. Select the output style, eg APA 7th
  3. Click References > Copy Formatted Reference
  4. Open Word and right click to Paste with keeping source formatting where required. 

Method 2: Using File Export

  1. Open your EndNote library, and select the references you want included in your list. 
  2. Select File | Export.  The Export file name dialogue box will open.
  3. Select the folder in which you want the file to be saved, and enter a name for the file.
  4. From the Save as type drop-down list, select Rich Text Format (*.rtf).
  5. Select the required Output Style, e.g. APA 7th.
  6. Click Save.

The FAQs here are related to Mac computers only. Otherwise see our EndNote FAQs page.