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EndNote: Full text PDFs

Guide to using EndNote at Murdoch University

Configure Endnote for 'Find Full Text'

EndNote can find and attach full text articles to some references already in your library.  If the Find Full Text function does not appear to work when you're off campus check that you have correctly configured EndNote:

PCs Edit - Preferences - Find Fulltext

Macs - Endnote X7 - Preferences - Find Fulltext

Open URL Path =

Authenticate with URL =

(NB: The Authenticate with URL box can be left empty if you are working on campus)

The Find Full Text feature depends on:

  • DOI (Digital Object Identifier). If EndNote references do not have a valid DOI in the DOI field it is unlikely to find full text for that reference
  • Cookies: enable web browser cookies

Full text options

EndNote can find and attach full text articles to some references already in your library.

You will need to configure EndNote (refer to box left) to use this function the first time.

  • Highlight the references for which you want to find full text (use the Ctrl key to select more than one reference).
  • Select References > Right click - Find Full Text > or use the icon . For Macs use

  • A temporary Find Full Text Group will appear in the left plane, which will disappear when you close the library.
  • If EndNote is able to find the full text, it will be attached to your reference and a paper clip icon will appear next to the reference.

  • To view the full text highlight the reference & click on the Attached PDFs tab OR double click on the reference ;to open and scroll down to the File Attachment field > Double click on the file icon to open.

NB: EndNote will not always find the full text article. This may be due to the quality of the data in the reference or the Murdoch University Library may not have a subscription to the journal.

If EndNote is unable to find full text (due to firewalls, network speed, non subscriptions etc) you can attach it manually:

  • Download the full text file onto your computer or USB.
  • Double click on the relevant reference in your EndNote library to open.
  • Select References > File Attachments > Attach File OR right click and select File Attachments > Attach File.
  • Browse and select the PDF you wish to attach.

  • The check box is ticked by default to attach a copy of the file to the EndNote record, storing it with your library & creating a relative link. Only untick this box if you want to link to the original file on your computer (creating an absolute link & not allowing it to travel with your library).
  • Click Open.
  • The file will appear in the File Attachments field of the reference.

Alternatively highlight the relevant EndNote reference and drag and drop the PDF icon into the reference (this is easiest done with the desktop shown and your EndNote library window minimised)

From a folder: highlight the relevant EndNote reference, and while in your EndNote library click

References>File Attachments>Attach File. Browse your folders for the PDF and then double click to attach it to the reference.

If a PDF contains DOI (Digital Object Identifier) EndNote can import a file or folder containing several files and automatically create the reference. To import a file or folder make sure you are connected to the internet.

  • Go to File > Import then select the file or folder.
  • Next click Choose and navigate to where the PDF/s are saved and click Open
  • At Import Option ; select PDF
  • Use the duplicates option as required : import all , Discard duplicates or Import into duplicates library
  • Leave Text Translation as No translation
  • Click Import
  • Once imported, click on the reference, right click and  select Add Reference to and save to a group.

Automatic PDF Handling

To set up the automatic transfer of PDF's to your library

  • From your EndNote library go to Edit > Preferences > PDF Handling
  • Choose your naming options eg Author + Year
  • Tick Enable automatic importing and create a new folder (e.g PDF Folder)

Any new PDFs saved will now appear in the PDF folder/Imported (this Imported folder is automatically created by EndNote and simultaneously the imported pdfs will appear as references in your library with the pdf attached.


You can annotate (add your own notes) using sticky notes and highlight text in attached PDF documents

  • Highlight a reference with an attached PDF
  • Click on the PDF name in the preview panel. eg Duncan-2015.pdf
  • A toolbar will appear. Hover over the icons to see their function.

  • The opens the PDF in the main window. To close, click the icon top left.

To annotate:

  • Select the Sticky Note icon.
  • Navigate to where you want the note.
  • Left mouse click to display a sticky note symbol > Double click to open.
  • Add your comments then click the Save icon.
  • To close note click on X in the sticky note

To highlight:

  • Select the Highlighting icon.
  • Select the text you want to highlight - selected text will be highlighted in yellow.
  • Click the Save icon.

You can mark your references as read by clicking on the grey dot which will un-bold the reference (to reverse simply click on the dot again):

You can assign your references a rating scale according to your own criteria. 

Highlight the reference and click in the Rating column to add the number of stars required.

You can search your library for all references of a certain rating:

  • Go to the Search Panel > select Rating from the dropdown menu choose the rating number of stars > click Search
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Video - importing PDFs

Video produced and kindly shared by EndNote Training.


This guide has been based, with permission, on the guide created by the King Edward Memorial Hospital Library.