Skip to main content
Skip navigation


EndNote X7

EndNote libraries

An EndNote library is the name given to the EndNote file that stores your records (references). You can open an existing library by browsing your files, or you can create a new library from the file menu when EndNote is already running. 

Open an existing library

  1. Launch EndNote from the Start menu or Start screen (Applications folder on a Mac).
  2. From the File menu select Open Library
  3. Locate the library you wish to use
  4. Select Open.

Tip: By default, every EndNote installation comes with a ‘play’ library. Locate it by navigating to
C:\Program Files\EndNote X* > Examples > Sample_Library_X*.enl
or to
/Applications/EndNote/Examples/Sample_Library_X*.enl on a Mac computer.

When you first open an EndNote Library you will see records (references) sorted in alphabetical order (by author) in the EndNote library window. You can browse through the references by using the scroll bars, the page up and page down keys on the keyboard, or the arrow keys.

Tip: References can easily be sorted by clicking on the column headings (for example Author, Year, Title).

Create a new library

With EndNote already running, use the File menu to create a new library.

  1. Go to the File menu and select New
  2. Choose a suitable file name
  3. Locate or create the directory (folder) where you wish to store the library file
  4. Select Save

This process creates a library with the file extension *.enl and an associated folder with the file extension *.DATA. Any files you attach to records (references) in your library are saved in the *.DATA folder.

It is recommended you create only one EndNote library for all your needs and to work with Groups to keep your references organised.

Back up libraries

The loss of your Endnote library can be a very serious matter. You should backup your library (and associated *.DATA folder) on a regular basis, as often as you would back up your document files. Endnote recommends that you keep several backup copies of your Endnote libraries, and that these backup copies are stored in different places. You should consider copying your files onto USB drive or CD.

Important note: Please refer to Share libraries and Word documents with EndNote citations for information on cloud storage of EndNote library files.

EndNote in action

Responsible Officer: University Librarian/Page Contact: Library Systems & Web Coordinator