End Note and Scrivener

Hey, Have you ever thought of making Scrivener work with EndNote? I tried to talk my daughter into using it for her academic studies but she has fallen in love with EndNote (which I can understand) but we can’t see anyway of using it with Scrivener right now. Maybe I am looking at it the wrong way…?

I searched for “Endnote” on the forum and came up with this post. It might prove helpful.


Scrivener should already work with Endnote, although it doesn’t have a direct plugin as Word does (I think only the big software companies are able to do that). Many Scrivener users use Endnote in conjunction with Scriv, though. Here is the general breakdown (with thanks to a user for telling me how they do it):

  1. Set up Scrivener preferences (under the General preferences) to use Endnote as the bibliography manager. This allows you to call up Endnote at any time by hitting shift-cmd-Y (or by going to Text > Bibliography/Citations…).
  2. Make sure you have your Endnote library open at the same time as Scrivener.
  3. When you need to insert a reference in Scrivener, go to your Endnote library (e.g. by hitting shift-cmd-Y in Scrivener if you followed step 1 above) and drag the reference from Endnote to the place you want to insert it in Scrivener (which may be inside a footnote or not). It gets inserted as a temporary citation.
  4. After you finish writing in Scrivener, export as a RTF (using Compile Draft).

The next part depends on what word processing and layout program you use.

If you use Microsoft Word:
5. Open the RTF file you exported from Scrivener in Word and save it as a Microsoft Word document (DOCX).
6. At this point you may want to do any final formatting or polishing that needs doing to the document in Word, such as fancy headers and footers, a title page etc (if you didn’t add such things in Scrivener).
7. Assuming the Endnote plugin is installed, go to the Tools menu in Word and choose Format Bibliography. (Note that this should be done while the endnote library you have used to drag and drop the references into Scrivener is open, otherwise it will ask you which library you want to use. You must select the same library you used when dragging and dropping references into Scrivener if you have more than one library.)

And that should be it.

If you don’t use Microsoft Word…
Any takers? Sorry, I still need to research this more myself.

All the best,

Thanks heaps.

My fiancee and I used Endnote together with Scrivener a lot, because we both are Phd students. We also planned to write these instructions for your reference, but just have not got time to do so yet…

Here are some additional points:

For step 3, instead of dragging-and-dropping, an alternative way is this: go to Endnote, select the reference(s) you want to insert, and hit cmd-C; go back to Scrivener, put the cursor where you want to insert the reference(s), and hit cmd-V. A temporary citation will be inserted, which looks like {Mayer, 1995 #67}. The last number is the internal reference # used by Endnote to uniquely identify a paper in the library. This copy-and-paste approach works better for me than dragging-and-dropping.

Getting the references ready is a step of the final process after compiling the draft to RTF or Word documents. In this step, if you don’t use Microsoft Word, you can still do the same thing. Here are the steps:
a) Open Endnote and the library you want to use.
b) Use menu Tools > Format Paper > Format…
c) In the “Open” dialogue, find and select the document (either .doc or .rtf) you want to format, and click “Open”.
d) Click “Format” button, and select the place you want to put the final draft. You can also change the name of the final draft.
e) Done! The final draft would be formated the same way as when you use Word’s plug-in. Thus, even if you do not use Microsoft Word, you can transforming the draft using Endnote’s “Format Paper” function.

Wish it helps!

Hi KB…My daughter has been playing with EndNote and Scrivener and sent me this -

Anyway, as an FYI - the scrivener guy said you need to (in step 4 of the doc you sent me) compile as draft (in RTF format) then resave to word or whichever wp program you’re using… that’s not necessary - you can compile as a word document straight from scrivener and the referencing from end note still comes across the same as if i’d done first as an rtf file… just thought you may be interested, or may even like to let him know.

Thought I should pass it on.

Cheers, Lindy

That’s true … but depending on what you’re then going to use that formatted RTF in, you may lose footnotes, headers and footers, etc. Not all wordprocessors accept footnotes, images, headers and footers etc. in RTF files. The route given ensures that they remain. The “Word” compile in Scrivener is an RTF file with a .doc extension and a different creator code … that’s legal and most WPs accept them, but they remain RTF, rather than binary .doc or .docx, with the resulting limitations, which is where the re-open in Word and save again comes in.