Help Desk

Information Technology

Making a .bib file from your EndNote Library

If you already have an EndNote library, you can continue using Endnote or switch to a program that makes bib files more easily (such as JabRef or BibDesk). If you would like to switch, follow these instructions and then open up the resulting .bib file in the new program. Otherwise, follow these instructions and then utilize the .bib file in your LaTeX file as described here.

  1. Open the library in EndNote.
  2. Select the references you want to export, then choose Show Selected References from the References menu. (If you want to export the entire contents of the library, choose Show All References from the References menu.)
  3. Make sure to add a unique name to the Label field for each reference. BibTeX will not work unless each reference has a unique name in the Label field. Make it an easy to remember and consistent format, like 'Author:Year' so you can easily cite references while you write in LaTeX.
  4. If you want to change the order of the references, choose Sort References from the References menu.
  5. Make sure the entries don't have have any special characters in it, like &, % or $. You should also make sure that you don't put any characters with accents in the label, such as é or ï. Latex will not process these characters well and will stop the file from compiling. You can go back to the .bib file later to change the symbols to proper LaTeX markup. (Check out the special symbols section here for how to do that.)
  6. Make sure that BibTeX is an export option by going to Edit--> Output Styles. If BibTeX Export is not an option, go to Open Style Manager... and scroll down to the BibTeX entry and click the checkbox as in the below image:
    bibtex sample image
  7. Make sure that the option BibTeX Export is checked in the Output Styles menu as well:
    bibtex export image
  8. From the File menu, choose Export.
  9. Select the file type for the exported file. Choose Text Only to use in BibTeX:

    bibtext export image

  10. Name the export file the same name as your LaTeX file with the '.bib' extension at the end and save it to the same folder as your LaTeX file. Choose Save.
  11. Endnote has a tendency to add gibberish at the very beginning of the exported file, so you're going to have to open the new .bib file in your LaTeX editor and delete the symbols up (but not including!) to the @ symbol. Here's the first line of an exported .bib file:
    Delete the "Ôªø" (leaving @misc{Boltzmann) and save the file in .bib format.
  12. To use the bibliography in your LaTeX file, go to the setup instructions.