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How do I attach a pdf or other file to an EndNote reference?

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If you already have the

UTS Library's picture
UTS Library, 6 years ago

If you already have the reference in your EndNote library, the easiest way to do this is:

  1. First save the file (eg to your Desktop - it doesn't really matter where)
  2. Then drag the icon of the saved file onto the reference in your EndNote library.
  3. You can attach more than one file to a reference in this way, and the files can be any format, not just PDF (eg Word documents, images etc).

You will now see a paperclip symbol in your reference library, just to the left of the Author of the reference. This indicates that the reference has an attached file.

If you don't have the saved pdfs for some references in your EndNote library, you can set EndNote's preferences so that the Find Full Text icon can search through the Library's databases and attach pdfs if they are available somewhere. Instructions on how to so this are at this Answer.

If you don't yet have the reference in your library, EndNote X4 and later versions allow you to import it from a saved PDF file:

  1. First save the PDF file - anywhere you like, but perhaps into a folder containing other PDF files.
  2. If using Windows, click on File, Import, then click on File... or Folder... depending on whether you wish to import a single PDF or a folder of PDFs. Select the individual file or folder, set Import Option to PDF, and click on Import.
  3. If using a Macintosh, click on File, Import, select the file or folder you wish to import, set Import Option to "PDF File or Folder", and click on Import.

The references for these PDFs appear in your library, and each has its PDF attached. Note that if a PDF was not created in a format that allows EndNote to distinguish between the different elements of the citation (eg if it was a scan, or an older pdf) then the reference created will have mostly empty fields that you will need to fill in using data from the attached file.

If you select the reference in EndNote and click on the yellow Open File icon in EndNote's tool bar this opens the first attached file. Alternatively, or to see all attached files, double click on the reference and scroll down until you find the field called File Attachments (EndNote X1 or later) or Link to PDF (EndNote X or earlier), where you will see icons representing the attached files. Click on an icon to open up the file. To delete a link to an attached file, just highlight its icon and delete.

The attached file itself has been copied and stored in the .Data folder that was created when you created your EndNote library, and which has the same name as the library but with .Data instead of .enl as the file extension. Because the links from the references in your EndNote library to attached files go to the copies in the .Data folder, once you've attached a file to a reference you don't need to store any other copies of it elsewhere on your computer.

When you make a copy of your EndNote library (for backup purposes, or to save to a USB) use File, Compressed Library. This creates a single file containing both your EndNote library and the associated .Data folder including all attachments. Opening a compressed library restores the original library and the .Data folder. You can also use File, Save a Copy in EndNote, which creates separate copies of the library and its .Data. All the links to attachments in the copy of the library will go to the files in the copy of the .Data folder.

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