SCRIVENER & ENDNOTE & bibliography

Hello, is it really still not possible to implent Endnote in Scrivener so that I can output a bibliography at the end? That can’t be possible after years that CWYW is not possible. How do you do it for scientific papers and books? :unamused:

I use Bookends. It’s much better than Endnote. I gave up using that more than twenty years ago. I wrote a doctoral thesis using Scrivener and Bookends. No problem.

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CWYW is a buggy mess. When collaborating with others who use Endnote, my only condition is to turn it off. I’ve had to help multiple students who created a mess with their bibliographies and Word running so slowly every time they add or remove a reference, crashes and so on and so forth.

For my own scientific papers, Bookends + Scrivener + Pandoc generates automatic bibliographies which are far more reliable than Word + Endnote CWYW…

The last time I tried CWYW – which was admittedly a long time ago – I thought it was trash. Try writing a 150,000-word book, and it is a major obstacle, not a help. I wouldn’t touch it with a 100 foot bargepole.

How did you integrate Bookend into Scrivener? My master thesis worked very well with Word and Endnote. I never had any problems. But for two book projects and the PhD thesis, I have now switched to Scrivener.

How can you use Bookend and Scrivener together?

In the end, Scrivener doesn’t throw out a bibliography, does it?

thanks a lot

It’s super simple: In the settings of Bookends you choose Scrivener as your word processor. You run both programs and when you write in Scrivener—wether in the main text body or a footnote or document or project notes—you hit a keyboard shortcut (CMD-Y) and then Bookends becomes the frontmost app. Then you pick the reference and hit CMD-Y again. Scrivener is frontmost again and you will find a temporary citation like {Strunk, 2019, #287248} at the cursor position where you left. Add the page number like this {Strunk, 2019, #287248@25}.

It is also possible to get a small Bookends search box hoovering over the writing app.

(By the way: The transportation works through the clipboard so if you are using a clipboard manager you could use that one for often used references too. If they allow groups or whatever they call it you could create a reference group. Copied, which I used to like, even allows rules to move every copying from a certain app to a certain group.)

In the end, you are right, Scrivener does not throw out a bibliography. You first have to compile your manuscript to a format Bookends can work with. It can handle stand-alone RTF files and there is a Word plug-in too.

Bookends has a huge catalogue of bibliography formats and you could easily create a new one if you had to. I never worked with Endnote but to my knowledge Bookends offers Endnote import so you would not have to create a library from the scratch.

I work as described above. Temporary citations (the bit inside curly braces) are very convenient. You can also use Typinator or similar expansions if there are any works that you cite very frequently, so that you only have to type a short string and the whole temporary citation gets put into your text, with no switching of applications. When work is completed, I compile to rtf and scan the resulting file in Bookends. Final formatting of the whole document is done with Nisus Writer Pro, or Word.

Ok, but as described above it also works in Scrivener 3 with Endnote. If I need to make Word the final bibliography, then I might as well do it with Scrivener and Endnote, because that works as described above. That Scrivener does not make any bibliography is really bad for such a program.

I have been an Endnote user since version 1 of that software. Seriously. Endnote temporary citations are the the only way to go whether you are Working in Word or Scrivener. And when you produce final copy, be sure to produce a final copy that eliminates all the field codes in your output (Word doc), so you always have a lower-tech, non-Endnote-bound copy of your finished work. This last part might not seem important now, oh but trust me.


If you have only just switched to Scrivener there is a lot to discover about the program and how it works. It is nothing like a conventional word processor (like Word, for example). An important thing to know is that a Scrivener project is not a single “flat” file like a Word document. Instead it is a package (a kind of disguised folder, that looks like a single file). Inside the project/package there are hundreds or thousands of individual files. This architecture means that Scrivener can do things that Word could not do in a million years, but it also means some other things that might be easy for the programmers of Word are not easy for the developer of Scrivener. And Microsoft is a huge organisation while the programmer of Scrivener for Mac is a single individual. Personally, I’m just grateful that Scrivener does what it does, and I don’t mind if it will not do what Word does.

Also, as has been noted on this forum before, CWYW for Word is itself the work of Endnote, not the maker (MS) of the app it works with.

Of course, what made that possible is the fact that MS had set up an entire internal programming language (VBA) for Word that made it possible to write macro programs to exert control over any function of Word. But it still took the will and interest of the makers of Endnote to write the necessary code to make CWYW happen.