External links

Create PDFs External Links

Backup your library

This procedure will work best for users who have access to a shared network drive. Would be possible to use a cloud based shared folder, but then a clickable link would not be possible. Users would need to search the folder for the relevant PDF file.

This procedure relates only to PDF files. Other file attachments or figures will NOT be changed or removed from the library. PDFs will NOT open or be editable in EndNote.

Only the MAIN / ADMIN user can make this change. Best to unshare the library with all users. Once these changes have been made, the library can be shared again.

You will need to rename all the PDFs in your library using the record number as it is a unique value. In this example we are using the Label field. You must use a field that is NOT used for any other reference information.

Adding the label field to the library window will help to visualise each step. The displayed fields can changed in the Preferences > Display Fields.

Sort the library by PDF links. We only want to make changes to records with a PDF attachment. Use the column heading to sort. You could add these references to a group. Select all references with file attachments, right click or Groups menu, Add References to... Either add to a group or create a new one.


With the PDF references selected, References menu > File Attachments > Rename PDFs. Note this action cannot be undone, so make quite sure you have a back-up of the original library. Rename using the record number.


Still with the references selected, Tools menu > Change/Move/Copy Fields. Use the Copy Field option. From: Record Number, To: Label. Replace Entire Field. This is the reason we want to use a field that is not in use.


The Label field now contains the record number. Check that only the references with file attachments have a number in the Label field. Click on some references, make sure the PDF name matches the record number for the reference.

Close EndNote.

We need to create a new folder on a shared network drive. We are going to create a link to that location. Only users with permission to access that folder will be able to open the PDF.

Navigate to the location of the EndNote library. Open the LibraryName.Data folder > PDF folder. Use the search option to find all .pdf files. Cut and paste the PDF files to the shared PDF folder.

Cut and paste

Note the file path to the shared folder. In this example we will use: \\CSNSW\Shared Drive\Shared PDF Folder, we will need to add a slash to the end of the path to give \\CSNSW\Shared Drive\Shared PDF Folder\

Open the library.

The PDFs will no longer show in the library. An error will show in the PDF viewer on the main library only. Shared users will not see this:


Select all the references in the group or all those with a record number in the Label field.

Add the extention to the end of the number in the label filed with the Change/Move/Copy command. Do not add a space.

change field

Do the same to add the path before the number. Do not add a space.


The Label field now has a clickable link to the PDF in the shared location. If the shared folder location changes, you could clear the Label field with the Change Fields command and repeat the process with the new file path.