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EndNote (Desktop Version): Import PDFs

Add Citations to EndNote by Adding PDFs to EndNote

Do you have a collection of PDF articles saved on your computer that you would like to add to your EndNote library? The instructions below tell you how to do this.

Note: Not all PDFs have the metadata needed for this to work.

1) Click on File > Import. If you just want to import one PDF select File; if you want to transfer a folder containing multiple PDFs select Folder. In this example I am going to select Folder because I want to import several PDFs that are in the same folder.

Location of Import under File menu

2) Click the Choose button and navigate to the folder with the PDFs. (If there are subfolders in the folder which also contain PDFs you want to import, check the Include files in subfolders box.) In the Import Option drop-down menu select PDF and then click the Import button.

Import Folder window

3) All of the PDFs will be shown in a temporary Imported References list. In the example below, three of the PDFs successfully imported with both reference information and the PDFs (indicted by the small paperclip icons to the left). The two items in the red box illustrate what unsuccessfully-imported PDFs look like. While the PDFs did import, EndNote was unable to determine any reference information (i.e., author, title, etc.) from the PDF files. 

Imported PDFs

You may just want to delete PDFs that import without reference information. Instead, you could find those citations in a database that allows you to export the citation information into EndNote. Then you can use one of the other methods of saving PDFs to EndNote records.

4) To access a PDF of an article, highlight the particular reference in your library and click the tab with the PDF icon in the PDF Viewer. (May be in a different location depending on your library's layout setting.) If you wish to view the PDF in a new, larger window, click the icon in the top left of that frame.

Location of PDF Viewer

You can also double-click a citation in your library and scroll down to the File Attachments field. Double-click PDF file to open it.

File Attachments field in an EndNote record

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