Skip to Main Content

EndNote: Setting Up Your Library (X9)

Create an EndNote Library

Your references will be stored as records in an EndNote library.

  1. Open EndNote X9 .
  2. From the menu bar, select File > New.
  3. Select where you would like to save your library. Note: Do NOT save your working library on a cloud drive such as Box, OneDrive, or Google Drive. It is also best not to save it on a USB if possible. These locations are fine for storing compressed backups, but will corrupt a library in use. Save your library to the hard drive of your computer.
  4. Give your library a meaningful name (not "My EndNote Library") and click Save.

This will open an empty library ready for you to add references.

Some points to remember:

  • An EndNote library is independent of the EndNote program, in the same way a Word document is independent of the Word program. You can save your library in a different location to the software, but you will need EndNote to be installed on your machine to open your EndNote library.
  • When you create a library, a library file (.enl) and a .Data folder will be created in the same location with the same name. Keep .enl file and the .Data folder in the same folder location, with the same name, if you move your library.
  • You should store your EndNote library on your computer hard drive, not in cloud storage or on a USB drive. Cloud storage can corrupt your EndNote library over time, and cause it to stop working properly or at all. If you don't have access to hard drive space or you need to access your library on multiple devices, you should use EndNote Online.

Back Up Your Library

Click File > Compressed Library (.elnx)...

This will create an archived copy of your library at the time of backup. This file keeps both the .enl file and the .Data folder together, and you can use it to restore your library or open it on a new computer.

It can be helpful to add the date to the file name so you can keep track of which backup is the most current. e.g. PsychologyLibraryBackup3June2019.enlx

Choose Your Referencing Style

The output style in EndNote controls how your references are displayed. You can choose to display the information you enter in a number of different referencing styles. For instance, APA 7th, Vancouver, or IEEE.

To select an output style:

  1. At the top of the EndNote window, there is a drop-down menu box that shows the current output style. The default is Annotated.
  2. Open this menu box. Scroll through the output style options, select your desired style, and click Choose.
  3. Your selected referencing style should now show in the box.

Output styles drop-down menu in EndNote X9

If your desired output style is not already in the list of options, choose Select Another Style... to open a window displaying another 600 output style options, or see the Referencing Output Styles page for more help.

Set Up Your EndNote Display

The layout menu at the bottom of the EndNote window (Mac users: this menu is at the top right instead) allows you to control how the Groups Panel and Reference Panel are displayed.

  • The Groups Panel shows a list of the your reference groups. You can create groups to bring together references. These references might related to a particular assignment, topic, author, or year. One reference can be placed in multiple groups. Multiple groups can be put together in a Group Set.
  • The Reference Panel shows the information you have entered for a reference, a preview of what the end-text reference will look like in your chosen output style, and any PDF documents or attachments you have added to the reference.