Skip to main content


Tags: English, General

11. Cite While You Write (CWYW)

11. Cite While You Write (CWYW

Inserting references into Word

Cite While You Write (CWYW for short) is an add-on feature that is automatically installed into Word when you install EndNote on your computer. This feature allows you to insert citations and references directly into your Word document as you write. You can change all citations and references in the text from one output style to another, let's say from APA to Vancouver. CWYW will convert them automatically and according to the set of rules of each style. You can also edit specific citations in the text.

A note on terminology. In this guide I adhere to the common use of the terms citation and reference:

Citation = the reference as cited in-text, for example:

(Kotler & Lee, 2005)

Reference = the full reference as displayed in a reference list or bibliography, for example:

Kotler, P. & Lee, N. (2005). Corporate social responsibility: doing the most good for your company and your cause. Hoboken: Wiley.


N.B.! Are you using a Mac computer and Apple Pages word processor? You should look at this video on how Cite While You Write works on Apple Pages:


The Cite While You Write tab in Word

After having downloaded EndNote, you should see a new tab to the rightmost of the upper toolbar when you open Word. When you click on the EndNote tab the following panel of boxes will appear in a submenu underneath:


In the first box called Citations you find:

  • Insert Citation - Clicking on this will open a submenu where you can look for references in your EndNote library and insert them into your document (see further below).
  • Go To EndNote - This will open EndNote.
  • Edit & Manage Citation(s) - Highlight a citation in the text in order to edit it manually (see further below).
  • Edit Library Reference(s) - Highlighting a citation in your Word document and clicking on this option will get you directly to the editing mode of that reference in your EndNote library.

In the second box called Bibliography you find:

  • Style - This drop-down meny is your favorites list of output styles from which you can pick any available style you like in your Word document. Choosing a new style will automatically update all in-text citations and the bibliography.
  • Update Citations and Bibliography - Clicking on this option will update all citations and the bibliography in your Word document according to changes made in your EndNote library.
  • Convert Citations and Bibliography - A drop-down menu will give you a couple of options of how to convert your Word document, if you have finished writing an article which you want to send away to a publisher, for instance (see more about this below).
  • Categorize References - You can group references in your bibliography under different category headings by defining the category headings and specify the references included under each heading.
  • Instant Formatting is On/Off - When Instant Formatting is On the reference list in the Word document will be automatically updated as new citations are added to the text.


To the right of the Bibliography heading there is an arrow which will open a new window wherein you can change certain settings for your bibliography:


In the third box called Tools you find:

  • Export to EndNote - Export options concerning citations in the document or citations created in the Word document.
  • Preferences - General preferences for Cite While You Write
  • Help - Opens the help document for EndNote, including glossary and search functions and more.


Inserting citations and generating the bibliography in a Word document

There are several ways to work with Cite While You Write and I will show some of them. However, you should choose a way to work that suits you best.

  • Place the cursor in the text where you want to insert a citation and click on Insert Citation, the submenu will open and the following options:


  • Choosing Find Citation will open a search box wherein you can search for references from your EndNote library, by author, word(s) from the title or any other bibliographic data. Beneath the search field, the references that match your search criteria will be listed and in the panel below all the bibliographic data for the references will be displayed. Highlight the reference that you want to use and click on the Insert button. You may also specify this operation by choosing to insert the citation but excluding author(s), year, or both:


  • The citation will be inserted in the text and the whole reference will be placed at the end of the document, thus accumulating a reference list along the way (as long as you have Instant Formatting turned On, see above).
    You don't have to worry about alphabetizing or numbering your bibliography, this is done automatically in accordance with the rules of the style you are using at the moment. So, inserting a new citation earlier in the document is no problem:


If you are using a footnote system, like Oxford, OSCOLA etc., you first have to insert a footnote by clicking on the References tab in Word and choose Insert Footnote, or simply use Ctrl + Alt + F. Then, go back to the EndNote tab and click on Insert Citation.

  • Another way to insert a citation is to highlight a reference in your EndNote library (in the EndNote program) and then choose Insert Selected Citation(s):


  • You choose the style you want to format your citations and reference list (bibliography) in from the drop-down menu in the Bibliography box and you can change back and forth between styles without problem:


  • If you want to select another style, click on Select another style (see above) and choose from EndNote's other styles:


  • You can edit citations by first marking the one you want to edit in the text and then click on Edit Citation(s):


  • In the window that comes up you can see the highlighted citation that you have marked and you may also edit or remove the reference in the drop-down menu to the right:


The Edit & Manage Citations window includes the following options:

  • Exclude author - Tick the box to exclude author name in the highlighted citation, for example, if you have mentioned the author's name in the text and don't need to repeat it in the citation, in accordance with the rules of the style. This can of course be done the first time you insert a citation (see above).
  • Exclude year - Tick the box to exclude year in the highlighted citation. This can also be done the first time you insert a citation (see above).
  • Prefix - Enter text that will appear in front of the citation, for example, 'as cited by' etc.
  • Suffix - Enter text that will appear after the citation.
  • Pages - Enter page numbers, for example, when you have included a quotation.

In the reference list at the end of the Word document, a typical APA style reference will look like this:

As you can see, the second, and third row are indented by default. If you don't like this, you can change it from the Bibliography box by first clicking on the arrow to the right of the heading:


  • If you want to change this, click on the Layout tab in the EndNote Format Bibliography window, and change the value of the so-called Hanging indent to zero instead of the default value:


Convert to plain text

Journal publishers usually request that you remove all of EndNote's field codes before you submit an article. This is because these field codes may interfere with the publisher's own typesetting software.

  • To remove the field codes, click on Convert Citations and Bibliography to bring up the submenu and click on Convert to Plain Text:


  • Word will want to create a new copy of the converted document which you should save under a different name. Don't forget to also save the unconverted original so that you can edit in that version if needed later on: