Scrivener + EndNote crib sheet

fuck yeah scrivener!

After much prevaricating I’ve downloaded Scrivener. Why? Because everyone told me I should, and I was convinced after watching the demo video (10 minutes well spent). For those of you who don’t know what it is, it’s a writing tool that makes long writing projects easier to manage. One thing that I wasn’t sure of when I downloaded it was how it links with EndNote, my citation management tool of choice.

A brief look around the Internet and I realised it does. I then realised I needed to know a bit more about EndNote to make that useful. I sent this to Dubber earlier, then realised it might be of wider interest. So, as sharing is caring, here’s my Scrivener + End Note cribsheet:


Once you have linked Scrivener and EndNote, cmd+Y will bring up EndNote’s library, from where you can copy & paste or drag and drop content into Scrivener. This will use the EndNote markup which looks a bit like this: {Hickman, 2010 #199@102-103}.

When you are finished drafting, compile from Scrivener to Word, and then run Tools > EndNote > Format Bibliography to convert the citations into your selected format and to generate a bibliography.

How to Link Scrivener to EndNote

Go to Scrivener > preferences > general and tell it where your EndNote application is.

screenshot of Scrivener preferences

EndNote Mark Up

Page numbers

When you place a citation you can add page numbers by typing @the page numbers before the closing } bracket.

e.g. like {Hickman, 2010 #199@102-103} = (Hickman, 2010 pp. 102-103)Date only
To omit author name just leave the comma but delete the author name:
{, 2010 #199@102-103} = (2010 pp. 102-103)

With annotations

To prefix the citation use a backslash before the start of the EndNote data:
{e.g. \Hickman, 2010 #199} = (e.g. Hickman, 2010)To suffix the citation, use `, after the EndNote data:
{Hickman, 2010 #199`, his emphasis} = (Hickman, 2010, his emphasis)

Importing drafts from Word

When importing documents from MS Word, it is best to first remove the citation formatting and revert back to EndNote mark up. That allows you to freely edit and remove citations and will ensure that your bibliography is correct when you output it later on.

Tools > Endnote > Unformat citation(s)


Update, August 2011

I spotted this video (by YouTube user Jigglebent), which takes you through all of the items discussed here. May be useful to watch that and then use the notes for reference:

I’ve also made an A4 PDF to print out and pin up over my desk, which might be of use:


A new bibliography style

I’ve never been happy with the default list of bibliography styles. In particular the Harvard and Author-Date styles don’t seem to want to display page numbers in citations, and the bibliography style for online materials seems a bit odd.

This bibliography style is my current Harvard variant, based on BCU’s Harvard referencing guidance for students.

Published by

Jon Hickman

Hi, I'm Jon. I teach and research digital culture, social media and new media practice at Birmingham City University. Find out more about me with this lovely CV: Find out about my work at the Birmingham Centre for Media & Cultural Research:

  • Liang

    Thank you! It’s useful!

  • Jon Hickman


  • David Jarman
  • Jake Grimley

    What’s Srivener? Would it write proposals for me without me needing to engage my brain?[please say yes]

  • Jon Hickman

    Hi Jake.A lot of my academic pals use it for writing long pieces of work (articles, theses, books). Other folk use it for writing novels and screenplays.You know what? It might be useful for your longer proposals simply because it breaks text into (or rather allows you to break text into) chunks. So if you wanted to take an modular approach to proposal writing you could gather all the stubs of things you normally write, generate a template and then use Scrivener as a paste boat to move stuff about.

  • Jake Grimley

    Our proposals are often longer than my final-year dissertation, so I guess they’d fit the bill for long pieces of work.The ability to pull together an outline out of chunks/modules would be very helpful. That’s exactly what we do / need to do. (all those case studies and appendices) Especially if you can share modules without binding them up within a single document.Suspect I would miss the page layout / image treatment / inline spreadsheets from Pages though…Guess I should just download it and take a look.CheersJ

  • Jon Hickman

    Scrivener has some formatting options within it, but a lot of people would use a workflow which involves moving the text into a page layout programme at the end. For example I have to take academic papers from Scrivener into Word to get my referencing compiled Spend some time with the formatting options in there though and you’ll get something nice from it.

  • Graham

    Hi JonIs there a standard Havard template in Scrivener?

  • Jon Hickman

    Do you mean in Endnote?At the top left of the Endnote window, it tells you your current style: drop box allows you to go to the full library of styles for Scrivener…Well Scrivener, AFAIK doesn’t manage the references for you, so the templates only really help give you a framework for the paper – you still need to hook in some bibliographic software (as I do) or do your referencing long hand into the paper.Scrivener has a template for a few different styles of academic paper, but really they just form a boilerplate that reminds you to put things in (I think the Chicago one manages footnote based citation?).I tend to use blank documents and then drop my headings in as I structure the paper. Hope that helps

  • geriod
  • E Ronald

    Thanks for posting this! I’m using Scrivener at the moment for my dissertation, and this page has been a great resource in trying to corral all my citations.

  • Jon Hickman

    No problems, glad to be able to help

  • David Jarman

    Good to see this Scrivener + EndNote is working well for folk.I hope this doesn’t come across as trolling… but without access to a local copy of EndNote I’ve been using Sente as my Scrivener citation manager. Seems to be going ok, though taking a while to get everything looking as I’d like.It’s Mac only and is here: if you’d like to investigate.

  • Jon Hickman

    Nae bother, the comments are yours…

  • Keryn

    Havent tried it yet but thanks, its good to know you can. I have my biblio stored in Endnotes and have reverted to Scrivener to organise my shambolic text. I was wondering how to get them to talk to each other

  • Ásdís

    Thanks so much! Very helpful. There is one question though. I can’t figure out how to put the references in in such a way that many references appear within one set of parenthesis in Word. Example: (Johnson, 2012; Anderson, 2011) – I am stuck with (Johnson, 2012) (Anderson, 2011). It would be great to have this tips on your crib sheet (if you know how to do it).

    • Jon Hickman

      Sorry for the late response to your question.
      You simply wrap both references in one set of curled brackets and separate with a semi-colon

      {Berkey-Gerard, 2011 #24; Hopper, 2009 #102}

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  • jay


    In stead of footnote, if I want to make an endnote (so that it will appear at the end of a book, how can i do it. Thanks.

    • Jon Hickman

      Um, that will depend on which citation style you chose, AFAIK. I use Harvard which creates a bibliography at the end others create references in footnotes

  • Richard Yue

    Help, I have a problem linking EndNote with Scrivener in my Windows version. I followed the instruction to set up EndNote in Scrivener by going to Tools>Options>General>Bibliography/Citations Manager>Choose
    After choosing EndNote, instead of saying EndNote on the left hand side (below Bibliography/Citations Manager), it shows: Icon86B3F2D61
    After pressing OK, I still cannot bring up EndNote. What have I done wrong?

    • Jon Hickman

      I’m so sorry that I’ve only just seen this and I can’t help (I don’t know Windows)

    • Paula Tizzano Fernández

      The default folder which Scrivener opens up when you want to choose a citation manager is not the one where the EndNote.exe file is located, so instead of an executable file, what you are choosing is an icon. Please go back in the folders tree and find Program FIles (x86), then find EndNote and once into that folder click on EndNote.exe. When you do so, you will see that the word Endnote comes up in the Scrivener menu instead of the Icon+numbers name.

      I hope this helps

  • Kirsten Krauth

    This is really brilliant. I’m at the start of a PhD – and was hoping to begin with Scrivener and Endnote, both new to me…

  • derdissertant

    Thanks a lot for this crib sheet! A very nice collection of tips. I didn’t know about the citation suffix. Very helpful, indeed!

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  • Priscila Bluth

    Thank you SO much for this crib sheet!
    It has saved me tons of time as I write my dissertation. HOWEVER, I still haven’t figured out how to code a EndNote citation into Scrivener so that when I compile/format into word it’ll look like this: Author (year) instead of (author, year). Any suggestions? Thanks!