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EndNote (Desktop): Creating a New EndNote Library

Use this guide to get started using the desktop version of EndNote.

Simple Step-By-Step

Creating a New EndNote Library

  1. In EndNote, select File → New

  2. Select where you want to save the library

  3. Type the name of your new library

  4. Click the "Save" button​

From The Experts

More Details About Libraries

  • Libraries have two parts: a file with the extension .enl and a folder with extension .data.

    • The .data folder contains file attachments, term lists, and citations.

  • The number of references you can have in a library is unlimited - but it is best to keep it under 100,000.

  • You can create any number of libraries, but you can only sync or share one of them using EndNote Online

  • Libraries created on a PC can be used on a Mac, and vice versa.

  • It is very important to periodically back up your EndNote libraries. To do this in EndNote, select File → Compressed Library (.enlx) and follow the prompts.

  • Storing EndNote libraries in cloud-syncing folders or keeping read-write EndNote libraries on network drives or flash drives, can corrupt the data.

Creating a New Library (Windows)

The timestamped tutorials below demonstrate the steps for creating a new EndNote (20 and X9) library for Windows users.

Creating a New Library (Mac)

The timestamped tutorials below demonstrate the steps for creating a new EndNote (20 and X9) library for Mac users.

Backing It Up

The following video-only tutorial demonstrates how to create a copy of your library in EndNote 20 for backup purposes or offline sharing.

The following timestamped tutorial from the EndNote Training YouTube channel illustrates the steps to backing up a library in EndNote X9 after creating one.