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EndNote: Troubleshooting

Guidance and support material for using EndNote referencing software.

Common issues

Cannot Edit Range (Conflict with Mendeley)

The Cannot Edit Range error when using EndNote's Cite While You Write tool (i.e. via the EndNote tab in Word) to cite references in a Word Document may be due to a conflict with Mendeley.

  1. In Word, click File > Options > Add-ins
  2. At the bottom of the Word Options box click the Manage drop-down menu (its normal default is COM Add-ins) and select Word Add-ins and click Go.
  3. Untick or deselect Mendeley from the list of add-ins and click OK.

You should now be able to add EndNote citations normally. If you have any citations created when experiencing the 'cannot edit range'  error (these are usually enclosed in curly brackets {}) you will probably have to delete them.

If EndNote citations and references still do not appear or format correctly, you may need to uninstall the Mendeley Word Plugin

  1. Close Outlook and Word.
  2. Open Mendeley Desktop 
  3. From Tools, select uninstall MS Word Plugin.

Hopefully you can now cite EndNote references to your Word document. You may need to click Update Citations and Bibliography. Also check that Instant Formatting is switched on.

Track Changes

Citations may be corrupted if you are showing the Markup when using Track Changes in Word. Always use Track Changes in 'No Markup' or 'Final' mode (depending on your version of Word. See further articles below from EndNote:

Tip - Use Unformatted Citations

Switching between formatted and unformatted citations can help avoid your document becoming corrupted.

Switch to Unformatted Text when you are:

  • Cutting, Copying Pasting sections of text which may include citations (when moving text between documents, make sure both documents are set to 'unformatted citations').
  • Performing other complex editing
  • Inserting text into a master document (e.g. merging chapters).
  • If inserting citations to a very long document is taking a long time or even causing the document to 'hang'.

What is Unformatted Text vs Formatted Text

Formatted citations what you expect to appear in your final version e.g. Harvard references will look something like this (Jones, 2009 p.21).

Unformatted citations are temporary placeholders. Regardless of referencing style they are very basic and appear in curly brackets. Codes are used to denote page numbers or different formats of the citation e.g.:

Formatted Citation Unformatted Citation
(Jones, 2009) {Jones, 2009}
(Purvis, 2000 p.26) {Purvis, 2000 #92@26}
Davic (2003)

{Davic, 2003#81@@author-year}

Switching to Unformatted Citations.

  • Make sure EndNote is open on your desktop when you are working with unformatted citations
  • In your Word document click the EndNote tab
  • Click the Convert Citations and Bibliography menu
  • Select Convert to Unformatted Citations

Returning to Formatted Citations

  • In your Word document click the EndNote tab
  • Select Update Citations and Bibliography


Help with EndNote

Check the guides on this EndNote help page. Check the tabs at the top for more information.

If you can't find what you need contact

Tip - Use Field Shading to Increase Visibility of In-Text Citations

This feature helps prevent you from accidentally deleting or editing EndNote fields.

1. Go to Word's Options - Advanced: File > Options > Advanced

2. Scroll down to the Show Document Content section and find Field Shading drop-down box. This is usually set to 'When Selected'.

3. Change the Field Shading drop-down box to Always.

4. Select OK to save the changes.

Your EndNote in-text citations and bibliography will now appear in grey shading. Do not delete or edit this text directly in Word as this can leave computer code behind which may corrupt your document. Use Edit & Manage Citations button in the EndNote toolbar  to make changes.

Recovering an EndNote Library

If your EndNote Library is corrupt or has stopped working, you may wish to contact the Information Centre or Library to request assistance with this process. If that is not possible, the following guidance may help.

IMPORTANT - File Location for EndNote Library
Whichever way you recover your Library, make sure that the appropriate files are on your device or your University network drive (H: drive)  not in OneDrive or other cloud storage area. (If using your H: drive, from outside the University you must be connected to the University Network via VPN or Remote Desktop.)

Restoring from Backup (Compressed Library)
It is best practice to take frequent backups (File - Compressed Library) so that you always have a version you can retrieve if necessary (File - Open Library - navigate to the latest backup which will have a .enlx file extension).

EndNote Library Recovery Options
If you don't have a recent backup and need to try to recover your library, the Clarivate Recover EndNote Library instructions may help.