Advice for deployment of EndNote X7 for Mac

So, out of the box, EndNote X7 for Mac is not deployable to a lab environment, particularly where the users do not have admin access. EndNote X7 will prompt for admin access, re-install the CWYW Word plug-in (despite the fact it’s already present), and then tell you that you’re running the demo version which will expire in 30 days.

Here’s what you need to do:


chown 99:99 "/Applications/EndNote X7/.license.dat"
chown -R 99:99 "/Applications/Microsoft Office 2011/Office/Startup/Word/EndNote CWYW Word 2011.bundle"

“Wait, I’m suspicious… what does that do?”

UNIX has the concept of “unknown” user, and corresponding “unknown” group.


Remember the episode of Futurama where they go to Mom’s Friendly Robot Company, there’s an exhibit of “who’s my favorite robot?”

and the answer is it’s a mirror

? Google: Transcript:Mother’s_Day


That’s the unknown user/group. Whoever looks at the file will appear to own it (the only exception is the root user who as system-god will see the “_unknown” identifiers instead). Google: “User 99, Unknown”


Apparently, X7 expects “the current user” to own the license file and the CWYW plug-in, and when it’s not, will prompt for admin credentials to re-install and “correct” it. Which is disastrously poor form for a lab environment and really needs to be fixed.