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EndNote - Citation Management Software

Creating Bibliographies: "Cite While You Write"

Use the Format tab primarily to create an independent bibliography of all of your references or groups of your references. You can also download the plug-in for using EndNote Online to insert references as you write your papers in Word here -- a feature called "Cite While You Write."

Format tab

To create a stand-alone bibliography of all the references in a group:

  • Select the group of references you want to use
  • Choose the style in which you wish to format the references—by clicking on the Select Favorites link, you can create a drop-down list of the styles you use the most often
  • Choose the file format – you can choose between HTML, TXT, or RTF.  For creating a bibliography in Microsoft Word, you will need the RTF format.
  • Choose to either Save, E-Mail or Preview & Print your bibliography


Inserting citations as you write with Microsoft Word ("Cite While You Write"):

If you have downloaded EndNote desktop to your computer, an EndNote toolbar was automatically downloaded into your Word program. If you do not see the EndNote toolbar in Word

  • ​Go to EndNote Online
  • Click on the Format tab
  • Click on the Cite While You Write Plug-In link
  • Follow the instructions to download the toolbar.

Once you see the EndNote tab in Word's top menu, insert a reference into your Word document by:

  • Selecting which citation style you want to use -- APA 6th in the screenshot below
  • Then clicking the Insert Citation icon:

Word EndNote Menu

  • You will see a screen that will let you search your EndNote Online library for the reference you want to insert. Type an element of the reference, such as the author’s name, into the search box.  When the reference is displayed, either double-click on it, or click on it once and then click on the Insert button.


  • This is how your paper will look:


The Cite While You Write (CWYW) feature in EndNote allows you to insert references from your EndNote library directly into a Microsoft Word document. Your bibliography will be automatically composed at the end of your paper as you insert references.

When you downloaded the EndNote software, an EndNote toolbar should have been automatically added to your Microsoft Word program. This toolbar will assist with easy insertion of your references.

Word EndNote Menu

To insert references and create your bibliography:

  • Open the paper you are writing in Microsoft Word
  • Select the style that you want to use in your paper by clicking on the drop-down arrow in the box in the tool bar. If the style you want to use is not displayed, click on Select Another Style at the top of the list of options, and click on the style you want. It will now always be displayed as an option on your drop-down list.

Dropdown menu

  • When you come to a place in your paper where you want to insert a reference, place the cursor exactly where you want the reference to go
  • Click on the Insert Citation icon (magnifying glass) in the EndNote toolbar 
  • This will open up a surrogate of your EndNote library. Enter a term or an author’s name in the Find box to search for the reference in your EndNote library
  • Click on the reference you want to insert, and then click on the Insert button


  • The reference notation will be added to your paper

Paper text

  • The complete reference will automatically be added to the bibliography being created at the end of your document References listed in your bibliography will automatically be updated and displayed in proper order for the style you have chosen, not in the order in which you added them to your document.

References in paper


Creating stand-alone bibliographies

You can easily to create a separate or independent bibliography of references in your EndNote library.

  • Open your EndNote library and choose the style that you want to use


  • Highlight the references you want to include in your bibliography. You can highlight the entire library, or you can hold down the Ctrl button and click on individual references to include.


  • After highlighting the references you need, right click in the highlighted area, and then click on Copy Formatted, as shown above
  • Open up a new blank Word document. Right click on the page, and click on Paste. Your bibliography will appear! It may be necessary to do some additional formatting, such as adding a heading, or creating additional spacing between references, to get it just the way you want it.


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