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Use Endnote to manage your references and format your bibliography

Import a PDF


Importing PDFs

Already have some .pdfs and want to get them into your EndNote Library without typing ? The File >Import feature will save time.

If you have saved .pdf documents on your computer or device, EndNote can detect the Digital Object identifier (DOI) from a .pdf document and find citation details to create an EndNote reference.  You can either do this one file at a time, or in bulk, using the File>> Import feature.

A copy of the .pdf document will also be attached to the reference.     There is an option via  preferences to have EndNote import automatically from a preferred folder.

To create a reference in your EndNote Library from a .pdf

1.  Open your EndNote Library

2.  From the File  menu, select Import from the dropdown list, and select File (for a single .pdf) or Folder (for a collection of .pdfs).
An Import Folder window appears

3. Browse to the PDF and Choose
4.  Be sure to select "PDF" as the Import Option
5.  Reference now appears in the EndNote Library, with PDF attached

[Please note: this feature works if the PDF contains a DOI]

File Import pdf example


Browse to where you have saved the pdf  (or entire folder of pdfs if you prefer) and choose, then press Import

Import pdf file example

Find reference updates

Find Reference Updates
EndNote's 'Find Reference Updates' feature (located under the References menu) can often find the details of your reference automatically, so you don't need to manually type in each document's details. However, if your document does not contain a unique DOI EndNote can't find the reference details for your document without a bit of prompting.
The easiest method is to:

  1. Put the title of the document into the Title reference field (copy/pasting from the document preview is a good shortcut)
  2. Save the changes you've made to the reference by clicking out of the reference and confirming the changes
  3. Right click on your reference and select 'Find Reference Updates...'. EndNote will search for the full details of the reference
  4. If EndNote finds a reference record that matches yours, it will let you decide which fields to update, usually you will select Update Empty Fields
    • if EndNote cannot find the details of your source, you will need to fill in the reference record manually
  5. Your reference has been filled in. Review the details that have been added as you may need to adjust some entries: check for abbreviated journal names, author names with initials instead of full names etc.


demostration of find full reference