Skip to Main Content

EndNote X9 for PC

PDF & EndNote

You can set your EndNote preferences to automatically create a reference for any PDFs that you download to a particular folder. If EndNote is able to discover author & title information (because the PDF has an embedded DOI number), then the full reference will be created, otherwise a record showing the PDF name will be created, that you can then edit to add full details.

  • Click on Edit > Preferences > PDF Handling
  • Tick the Enable Automatic Importing option
  • Click Select Folder and browse to choose a folder that will hold your downloaded PDF files
  • Click OK.

If you set this preference then when you start EndNote it will automatically create records for new PDFs in your download folder, and attach a copy of the PDF file into your Library. The references are stored in the group Imported References, which you can then move into your own groups.

You can use EndNote to store your research PDFs and other file types. This will increase the size of your library, but makes accessing your PDFs more convenient.

You can attach up to 45 files (including PDFs) to a reference. Using the split-screen layout allows you to have a preview window of your PDF (note that preview only works for PDF file types), which you can then maximise to read in full-screen.

There are several methods to attach a file to a reference:

  • drag and drop - simply open a window where you can see your list of files, click on the file name/icon that you wish to attach, keep the mouse button pressed down and drag it over to your open EndNote Library and drop it on top of the reference. Your mouse icon will change to a green plus sign indicating that you are copying the file
  • click on the reference in your Library. Click Reference > File Attachments > Attach File on your EndNote menu bar. Browse your computer to find the file and click Open
  • right-click on the reference in your Library. Choose File Attachments > Attach File
  • click on your reference, then click the paperclip icon in the PDF preview panel at the (either at the bottom or right of  your screen) to browse and attach a file.

To remove an attachment, double-click the reference in your Library to open it. Scroll down to the File Attachments field. Right click on the PDF icon and select Clear.

You can create a reference by importing a PDF into your EndNote library. This works best when your PDF has a DOI (Digital Object Identifier). A DOI is a unique number assigned to digital resources.

  1. Click on File > Import.
  2. Choose File or Folder, depending on whether you have single or multiple PDFs.
  3. Browse to locate the PDF or folder of PDFs.
  4. Choose PDF as the Import Option.
  5. Click Import.
  6. EndNote will create a reference, and attach the PDF(s).
  7. If EndNote was unable to complete the fields, then the reference will only contain the PDF, and you will need to fill out the fields manually.

Watch: Working with PDFs and other attachments

This is an EndNote Training production published on May 5, 2017.  It shows three methods for importing references from the Web of Science: Online search, direct export, and importing text files saved from the Web of Science.