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5. PDFs & URLs

EndNote allows you to manage and integrate portable document files (PDFs) or URL links within references in your EndNote library. You may include PDFs or URL links in references 1) while you’re creating a new reference (use the TAB key to advance to the Link to PDF or URL field), or 2) after the reference has been added to your EndNote Library.

The following examples show how to include PDFs or URLs after the reference has been added to the EndNote library.  If you want to save a PDF while you’re entering a new reference, use the TAB key to go to the IMAGE field, then follow instructions from 3.2.2.


5.1. Link to PDF

Step 5.1.1. Select the Rosser 2004 reference in the Library window (highlighted).  








Step 5.1.2 Right-click to activate the menu and select PDF, LINK TO PDF.  (You can also access the menu by going to the toolbar and select REFERENCES, PDF, LINK TO PDF.)

Note:  You could also achieve the same effect by opening the reference, scrolling down the fields until you reach the Link to PDF field then right-click which will show the Link to PDF menu.



Step 5.1.3. The “Select a File to Link to the Reference” popup appears. 

Locate and select the pdf on your computer hard drive (Rosser & Townsend 2006).  Before you click OPEN to close the window, read the following regarding creating relative and absolute paths.

Relative Path (check box)
Note that in the lower section of the popup window there’s a check mark in the “Copy the file to the default PDF folder and create a relative link”.  This means that the saved PDF will be a portable link that “moves” with your library.  This means that EndNote will be able to access the file when you send your library to a colleague (you also need to include the DATA folder along with the .ENL file).  Also, if you make any changes to the original PDF those changes will not be reflected in the copied PDF file.

Absolute Path (check box blank)
If you prefer that EndNote use the complete path and filename to locate the original folder for the inserted PDF instead of saving a copy, then uncheck the “Copy the file to the default PDF folder and create a relative link”.

Note that if the file is moved from its original folder Endnote will not be able to locate it unless you delete the PDF file from the reference and re-insert  the PDF from it’s new folder location.



The EndNote window displays the references.  To confirm that the LINK TO PDF was inserted, double-click on the Rosser 2004 reference entry to open the reference.







Scroll down the Rosser 2004 reference fields until you reach LINK TO PDF.  The field shows the PDF icon which confirms the link.








Instead of opening a reference to see whether it contains a pdf file you can alter EndNote’s display settings so the library window shows the references with PDFs.

Step  5.1.4.    To change the display settings, go to EDIT, PREFERENCES.






Step 5.1.5.  The “EndNote Preferences” popup window appears. 

Select DISPLAY FIELDS, and from the pull-down menu in Column 1, select LINK TO PDF, then OK.








The library window now shows the PDF icon for the Rosser reference entry.





5.2. Drag & Drop PDFs


The quickest way to insert pdf documents into references is to use the Drag and Drop method.

Step 5.2.1.  Select the reference (highlight).






Step 5.2.2.  Locate and select (highlight) the pdf document on your computer’s hard drive or other device (e.g., CD, DVD, jump drive, external hard drive). 






Step 5.2.3.  “Grab” the pdf document and drag it into the Main Library. 









Step 5.2.4.  To confirm that the pdf document was placed within the reference open the Rosser reference (double-click on it) and TAB or scroll down the fields until you reach the LINK TO PDF field. 






Notice that the LINK TO PDF field contains a pdf icon which confirms that the pdf document has been inserted within the reference.

Note: Double-clicking on the pdf icon to activate the document.

Close the reference by using the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + W).





Step 5.2.5.  If you would like to change the settings on your library’s display so that documents containing PDFs are shown select EDIT, PREFERENCES.







Step 5.2.6.  The EndNote preferences menu will appear.  Select DISPLAY FIELDS.









Step 5.2.7.  Change the Column 1 setting to LINK TO PDF.  Then click OK to close the EndNote Preferences window.








The Main Library display window shows reference(s) containing pdf documents (Rosser 2006).





5.3. URL Links


EndNote enables storing web information as a URL link.

Step 5.3.1.  Select the Heck 2004 reference in the Library window (highlighted) and double-click to open the reference.







The opened reference shows the fields and corresponding information.

Scroll or TAB down the field list until you reach the URL field.







Step 5.3.2.  Open your web browser to locate the URL (shown below) then and paste the address into the Heck 2004 URL field.

Close the reference type by using the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + W) or by clicking on the “X” in the upper-right corner.