Referencing Software: Adding PDFs

Information about EndNote, Mendeley, RefWorks, Zotero and RefME. Examples of how to use the software and links to training and support.

Importing PDFs

EndNote can import PDF files if it can find appropriate metadata stored in the PDF.

  • Select Import from the File menu.
  • Select File to import a single PDF, or Folder to import a folder containing PDFs.
  • Click the Choose button to select the file or folder to import.
  • PDF must be selected as the Import Option.
  • Click on the Import button to begin the import.

If all you see is the name of the file once EndNote has finished its import, then it means that it has not been able to find the metadata it needs and you will either have to enter the metadata manually or by importing the bibliographic information from a database and then manually adding the PDF later. 

Find Full Text

You can use Find Full Text to get EndNote to locate PDFs and web links to articles in your library. You will find it under the References menu. Once you have selected it, you will see the results at the bottom of the left-hand column. 

If you are using EndNote off-campus you should follow the instructions below to set up authentication - make sure you select the option 'Authenticate' before running Find Full Text, 

Go to the Preferences menu (on the Edit menu on a PC and the EndNote menu on a Mac) and in the Find Full Text option make the following changes:

For OpenURL  use the following link:

For Authenticate with URL use the following link:


In OpenURL path add: In Authenticate with:  Tick "Automatically invoke Find Full Text on newly imported references

Creating an automatic import folder

One option to manage your PDFs is to create an automatic import folder. This will allow you to file away PDFs as you discover them, then the next time you go into EndNote it will automatically import them all. 

To set this up go to your Preferences menu (in the EndNote menu on a Mac and under Tools on a PC.) Use the PDF Auto Import Folder to select a folder EndNote will watch for new PDFs. Any PDF added to that folder will be automatically imported into EndNote