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Reference Management Tools

A Comprehensive Guide for EndNote, Mendeley and Zotero

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EndNote FAQ - Technical Issues

 MS Word related issues:

 Other technical issues in EndNote:

How can I upgrade to EndNote 20?
Can I still access my references created by EndNote X9/X8/X7?
Will the upgrade affect the citations I added in my Word document?

Simply download EndNote 20 from the Library webpage. You can install it without uninstalling the previous version EndNote. But you can also uninstall the previous version first before installing EndNote 20 if you wish with following steps:

For Microsoft Windows 10 user:

  1. Search “Control Panel” via   on the bottom left) and open it.
  2. Under “Programs”, select “Uninstall a program”.
  3. Find and select EndNote in the list of programs.
  4. Click on the 'Uninstall' option at the top of the page.

For Mac user:

  1. Open EndNote. 
  2. Click on “EndNote (version)” from the toolbar on the top (next to the apple icon).
  3. Click on “Customizer”, and then select “Uninstall”.
  4. After uninstallation, go to Finder, click on Applications
  5. Drag the EndNote application folder to Trash.

You will be able to access all the references in your existing EndNote libraries after upgrading. Upgrade to EndNote 20 will not affect the in-text citations you added in your Word document too. However, we recommend you to backup your EndNote libraries and Word documents before upgrading for prudent.

There is no EndNote tab in my MS Word. What can I do?

For Windows user:

  1. Click on File.
  2. Select Options.
  3. Click on Add-ins.
  4. Select Disabled Items and click Go... to see if EndNote Cite While You Write is on the list. Enable it if it is on the list.
  5. Select COM Add-ins and click Go... 
  6. Check the box for EndNote Cite While You Write.
  7. Click OK.

Click to see steps in screenshots

For Macintosh user: 

  1. Close all the Microsoft Office applications (Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, etc.).
  2. Launch EndNote, then click EndNote X9.
  3. Select Customizer...
  4. Check the box for Cite While You Write.
  5. Click Next and complete the process.

Click to see steps in screenshots

For Macintosh user using M1 chips: 

Please set Word to open with Rosetta with the steps here as a workaround solution.

If you still cannot find the EndNote tab, click Help > Check for Updates in MS Word, and upgrade your MS Word to the latest version.

If you are using MS Word 2011/2008 for Mac, please try to click View > Toolbars > EndNote X9 in order to display the EndNote toolbar in the MS Word.

My EndNote does not talk to MS Word after upgrading the Mac OS. What can I do?

Please follow the steps below:

  1. Click on the Apple icon.
  2. Select System Preferences.
  3. Navigate to Security & Privacy.
  4. Switch to Privacy tab.
  5. Select Automation on the left.
  6. Check both boxes to make sure EndNote can talk to Microsoft Word, and vice versa.

Click to see steps in screenshots

A message of "Cannot edit Range" pops up when I am trying to insert an in-text citation into my Word document. What can I do? 

This is caused by a crash of add-ins installed in the MS Word program. You can follow the steps below to deactivate other add-ins that may crash with the EndNote add-in (Cite While You Write):

For Windows user:

  1. In the MS Word, click on File.
  2. Select Options.
  3. Click on Add-ins.
  4. Select Word Add-ins on the list.
  5. Click on Go...
  6. Uncheck the box(es) of the add-ins that may potentially crash with the EndNote add-ins, e.g. Mendeley add-in.
  7. Click on OK to confirm.

Click to see steps in screenshots for Windows

For Macintosh user: 

  1. In the MS Word, click on Tools.
  2. Click on Templates and Add-ins...
  3. Uncheck the box(es) of the add-ins that may potentially crash with the EndNote add-ins, e.g. Mendeley add-in.
  4. Click on OK to confirm.

Click to see steps in screenshots for MacOS

When I click the EndNote tab in MS Word, it keeps asking me to login to my EndNote account. Is it normal?

It may be because the default application to open EndNote in your MS Word is EndNote online instead of EndNote desktop. Please follow the steps below:

  1. Switch to EndNote tab.
  2. Click on Preferences.
  3. Switch to Application tab.
  4. Change the application from EndNote online to EndNote.
  5. Click on OK.

Click to see steps in screenshots

All of my newly inserted citations are displayed in the format of {Author, Year #No.} in Word document. What can I do?

This may be due to broken linkage between your EndNote library and the Word document. Try steps below: 

  1. Launch both of your EndNote library and the Word document, and switch to EndNote X9 tab in MS Word.
  2. Click on Update Citations and Bibliography.

Click to see steps in screenshots

If the steps provided above do not work, please make sure your Word document does not contain any track changes, and then double check the following setting:

  1. In EndNote, click on Edit.
    (For Mac user, click on EndNote next to the apple icon).
  2. Select Preferences... to open EndNote Preferences window.
  3. Click on Temporary Citations on the sidebar.
  4. Make sure the Temp Citation Delimiters are set as { and }.
  5. In MS Word, click on Update Citations and Bibliography in EndNote X9 tab.

Click to see steps in screenshots

After I have updated my EndNote to the latest version, my collaborators are unable to open the reference library I have shared with them. What can I do?

Reference libraries created using EndNote X9.3 or later versions are not backward compatible with older versions of EndNote. You will see this message before updating your EndNote:

To allow your collaborators to be able to view your reference library, you can consider any of these solutions:

Please feel free to contact us for assistance if you need further help.

I cannot use EndNote after upgrading my Mac OS to Catalina.  What should I do?

There is a compatibility issue between the macOS 10.15 Catalina and EndNote for mac version X9.2 or before.  Please download and install the version X9.3.1 from our webpage to solve the compatibility issue.

You may refer to here for the installation steps.

I was asked to choose an import filter when I import a RIS file downloaded from OneSearch.  What should I do?

Occasionally, EndNote may ask you to select an import filter when you import a RIS file. You may try the steps below to complete the import process.

  1. Type in "ris" in the quick search box and hit Enter.
  2. Select RefMan RIS.
  3. Click on Choose.

Click to see steps in screenshots

How can I set EndNote as the default app to open the .ris files downloaded?

For Windows user: 

  1. Right-click on the .ris file downloaded.
  2. Select Open with.
  3. Click on Choose another app.
  4. Select EndNote.
  5. Click on More apps if you cannot see EndNote in Step 4.
  6. Check the box of Always use this app to open .ris file.
  7. Click on OK.

Click to see steps in screenshots

For Macintosh user: 

  1. Right-click on the .ris file downloaded.
  2. Select Get Info.
  3. Select EndNote X9. If you cannot see EndNote X9, click on Other..., browse for EndNote X9 in the Applications folder.
  4. Click on Change All...

Click to see steps in screenshots

I cannot find “Hong Kong Polytechnic U” when I try to use “Online Search Mode” in EndNote library. What should I do?
The search option of “Hong Kong Polytechnic U” in ‘Online Search Mode’ has been temporarily suspended. The function will be reinstated as soon as the connection issue has been resolved by a vendor. In the meantime, you can add references by importing the .ris file which can be downloaded via OneSearch. Please refer to the Guide “Add References from OneSearchfor more details. 
I cannot complete the installation process when upgrading to the newest version of EndNote. What can I do?

This may be due to incompatibility of programs during installation. Please try the steps below:

  1. Select Custom when installing EndNote.
  2. Uncheck the box Install Direct Export Helper, and then proceed installation.
  3. Run "Risxtd.exe" file under C:\Program Files (x86)\EndNote X9. If you cannot find this file, please download the Direct Export Helper file here, place it to C:\Program Files (x86)\EndNote X9 and run it again. 

Click to see steps in screenshots

Can I recover my EndNote library if the .enl file is corrupted or lost?

You can try to recover or rebuild your EndNote library with instructions from this page. Contact technical support from EndNote if necessary.

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