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EndNote X8: Adding attachments

Referencing software

YouTube tutorial

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Adobe Reader by Adobe Systems Inc.

PDF handling

PDF handling preferences and PDF Auto Import Folder

EndNote enables the automatic import of all your pdfs into your library.  To set up the PDF Auto Import Folder:

  • Create a new folder in your downloads
  • Name folder - e.g. PDF Folder
  • In EndNote from the toolbar go to EndNote X8>Preferences>PDF Handling
  • Choose your preferred Renaming Option
  • Tick Enable automatic importing
  • In the new window navigate to your PDF Folder and click open
  • Click Save

Now whenever you download pdfs into your Downloads they will automatically go into your PDF Folder.  At this stage your pdfs will stimultaneously appear in your EndNote Library (into the Imported window and a citation will alos be automatically created.) and an automatically created Imported folder in your Dowloads. Note that Endnote does not import PDFs from subfolders within the Auto Import Folder.


File attachments can be a Word document, PDF, graphic file or spreadsheet.

Highlight the reference. Right hand click on File Attachments>Attach File. Locate the attachment, click Open. Save the file attachment once you click out of the reference.  If the attached document is a PDF it will open in the PDF pane. These references can now be identified in your library by the paper clip icon.
A PDF can also be attached by highlighting the reference and clicking on the PDF icon in the lower window and then on Attach PDF... Navigate to where it is saved, select your PDF and click Open. The PDF will open in the PDF viewer. 

Importing  and creating a reference from PDF files

If a PDF contains a DOI (Digital Object Identifier), EndNote can import a file or folder containing several files and automatically create references for them. 

To import your PDF file go to File>Import. Locate your PDF. At Import Options: choose PDF File or Folder.  At Duplicates: choose Discard Duplicates. Click on Import.  

View and annotate PDF files 

The PDF viewer allows you to quickly edit a reference and annotate attached PDF files.

To annotate the PDF, click on the Annotation toolbar... icon  and highlight the required text:

  •  Highlights - Click on the Highlight icon  and choose your desired color from the dropdown arrow of the Color Menu
  • Comments -   Click on the Sticky note icon   (the comments box can be resized).
  • The icon next to the paper clip allows you to open your PDF in a new window.