EndNote groups citations into "libraries" with the file extension *.enl and a corresponding *.data folder.
There are several ways to add a reference to a library: manually, or by exporting, importing, copying from another EndNote library, or connecting from EndNote. The program presents the user with a window containing a dropdown menu from which to select the type of reference they require (e.g., book, congressional legislation, film, newspaper article, etc.), and fields ranging from the general (author, title, year) to those specific to the kind of reference (abstract, author, ISBN, running time, etc.)
Most bibliographic databases allow users to export references to their EndNote libraries. This enables the user to select multiple citations and saves the user from having to manually enter the citation information and the abstracts. Some databases (e.g., PubMed) requires the user to select citations, select a specific format, and save them as .txt files. The user can then import the citations into the EndNote software. It is also possible to search library catalogs and free databases, such as PubMed, from within the EndNote software program itself.
If the user fills out the necessary fields, EndNote can automatically format the citation into any of over 2,000 different styles the user chooses. For example, listed below are some citations from Gray's Anatomy using several different styles:
1910 Anatomy, descriptive and applied. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger. [18th ed.]
|APA 5th||Gray, H. (1910). Anatomy, descriptive and applied (18th ed.). Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger.|
|MLA||Gray, Henry. Anatomy, Descriptive and Applied. 18th ed. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1910.|
|New England J Medicine||1. Gray H. Anatomy, descriptive and applied. 18th ed. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger; 1910.|
In Windows, EndNote creates a file with an *.enl extension, along with a *.data folder containing various MySQL files with *.myi and *.myd extensions. EndNote can be installed so that its features, like Cite While You Write, appear in the Tools menu of Microsoft Word and OpenOffice.org Writer.
EndNote can export citation libraries as HTML, plain text, Rich Text Format, or XML. From version X.7.2, one library can be shared with up to 14 other EndNote users. The data is synchronized via the EndNote cloud service, with everybody having full write access to the library.
EndNote can also organize PDFs on the user's hard drive (or full text on the web) through links to files or by inserting copies of PDFs. It is also possible to save a single image, document, Excel spreadsheet, or other file type to each reference in an EndNote library. Starting from EndNote X version 1.0.1, formatting support for OpenDocument files (ODT) using the Format Paper command is supported.
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