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EndNote X7.7: Managing your EndNote library

Referencing software

Page contents

This page tells you how to:


  • search references
  • sort references
  • update references
  • delete references
  • remove duplicates


Searching references

For a quick search from the main EndNote library, click on All References and use the Quick Search box located on the toolbar. Type the author's family name or a keyword, press Enter, and the matching records will appear on the screen. If you want to search a group only, then click on the particular group you wish to search.   

NB: Quick search will now search in your PDF files including sticky notes.

Sorting references

When you open a library, you will see headings like: Author, Year, Title, Journal etc. Clicking on these headings enables you to sort your library references alphabetically or chronologically.

To make other changes to how EndNote displays in the main library window, from the Edit menu choose Preferences and then click on Display Fields. For example, choosing Record Number from the column 1 drop-down menu will display the record number instead of the figure attachments. The position of the column headings can changed by dragging the headings.

Clicking on the EndNote Defaults button and OK will change the fields displayed back to the original EndNote settings.

Updating online references

Select a reference, right hand click and choose Find Reference Updates. EndNote highlights the differences in a side by side comparison. You can choose to update the empty fields only, replace all the fields or copy and paste specific information.

Deleting references

Highlight the references you want to delete. Drag the selected references to Trash, or open the References menu and select Move References to Trash. The references are now removed from the library.


EndNote will find duplicates of references and allow you to compare them side by side on the screen, with auto-highlights and locked scrolling, so that you can select which one you want to keep. Click on References and select Find Duplicates. Compare the records displayed on the screen and select the one to keep by clicking the Keep This Record tab. The older (first entered) reference will always appear in the left column. The duplicate will be automatically discarded from your library.

Warning: Before selecting Keep This Record, which will delete the duplicate, check the record numbers to be sure that you are not deleting a reference already cited in a paper.

EndNote can automatically eliminate duplicate references retrieved from an online search. Open the Edit menu, select Preferences and then Duplicates. Tick the box Automatically Discard Duplicates. Click OK