Attachments no longer connect to endnote references


In changing computers and OS and other things recently, I reconfigured how my files were laid out and thus interrupted the link between my endnote references and the actual documents and articles that are stored on my computer. Is there any way to fix this without having to re-connect each one separately? I have over a hundred articles, so I really hope there’s another way! And I can’t just reconfigure the folder and file names to be the way they were before, since my whole system is now different.



EndNote X2; Mac OS 10.5 

 Please? Anyone? Even if it’s not possible… a response would be helpful… 

Better to elaborate how you “link” your endnote reference with actual documents and (probably) pdf files. Do you “attach” PDFs with each reference? Do you use absolute link or relative link?

I guess if you attached all the pdfs in DATA folders, you should be able to migrate whole library without a problem. I’m a PC user and have no idea how the link is handled in Mac version, but I guess similar management. So, wait for Mac user response with these details?

Thanks for the response. I wasn’t aware that there are multiple ways to link a file. I have a specific folder in which I keep all of my downloaded articles, and whenever I download a new one and cite it in EndNote, I just drag and drop the article into the Attachment field of the citation. This creates a link, along a specific path, between the EndNote reference and the actual text. 

The path between the references and the texts has now changed, and so if I try to open an article from within an EndNote citation I get an error message saying that the file cannot be launched. There is no option to “find file” as there might be in other programs.

Hope this information is helpful.

So, once again I’m assuming Mac Endnote and PC Endnote work in the same way, which might be wrong.

Use “Show All Fieldds” to check what is the path to your attachment.

If it starts like “Internal-”, your attachments are copied to a folder in “Data” folder.

If it starts from hard drive volume name, endnote is using absolute path.

Did you migrate the Data folder with library file? If you didn’t, all of your attachments were in the folder, and new Data folder was created in your new OS and environment. Hopefully you still have all the files in the old OS.

Okay, I think I get what you’re saying, but I don’t keep my attachment files in the default data folder; I keep them in a specific folder that I set up myself, because I wanted all the texts to be in the same place as all my other university-related documents. I use them in non-endnote related contexts as well, so it seemed illogical to keep them in the Endnote folder. I guess that means I use the “absolute” way of linking them.

So I know exactly where all the articles are, and I know exactly where the references are. It’s just the link in between them that’s changed (because some of the names of the folders in between changed due to a change in system).  

In other programs that I’ve come across, when a path between two linked elements changes, there’s sometimes a dialog box that opens up that allows you to go and find the linked file, so that the system can automatically change the path and remember the new path for next time. Sometimes there’s even an option for “change all” or something like that. This is what I’m hoping to be able to find here, and so far it doesn’t appear as though EndNote has such an option… 

So, let me ask again.

Did you check your path in the attachment using “Show all fields” ? How does it look like?

Did you move your .Data folder with your library when you migrated your OS and computer?

These things make a huge difference.

Maybe it is a difference between Mac and PC versions, but I can’t find anything that says “show all fields” anywhere. I can, however, see the path to my articles when I attempt to open them, and the path is the list of folders as it was set up on my older system, the path that I set up myself, as I said, rather than than the default .data folder path.

Yes I did move my .data folder and everything else when I migrated. But again, that’s not the issue, because my file attachments were not kept in that folder. 

“Show All Fileds” is available (in PC version) from the pull down menu of style slector, right next to the “mode” buttons.


Anyway, if you are sure to use absolute link, and the folder structure has been changed, only thing you can do is to bring your folder structure back to the previous one. Then, it should work.


I tested migrating path text from “File attachment” to URL field is possible. Because “Show all fields” display path text to the attachment, if I can move them to URL, I can “batch process” to change the path link using “Change text” command. Then, I can move the URL path back to File attachment.


Good idea? Unfortunately, it didn’t work. “Change & Move field” command doesn’t allow me to move the filed data from “File attachment” field.



Yeah no, there’s nothing like that that I can find in the Mac version. It must be called something else and be kept somewhere else… but if its only purpose in this case is to be able to see what the path is, then I don’t really need it, since I know what the path is. Or is there another reason why it would be useful here?

The way I have my system set up now, I can’t just change the folder names to reflect the previous path. I thought about that already, but was hoping there was another way besides that or reconnecting every single individual article. Looks like I just have to reconnect the articles manually. 

Thanks anyway for your help! 

PC version by default use “relative link”, so I just wanted to make sure you are using absolute link by using “Show All Fields”.

By the way, Endnote help manual says about “absolute link”:

“However, if you ever move the file from the original folder, EndNote will not be able to access it unless you clear the file from your EndNote reference and reinsert it from the new folder location…”

But, it is too late to point it out for you. Manual also says method to convert from “absolute link” to “relative link”, but not the other way around. If there is such “relative to absolute” conversion, you would have migrated with relative link from old system, then convert to absolute link in the new system.

I requested to strengthen aboslute link features, like “re-link attachment” capacity, along with my opposition to have relative link feature itself.

Yeah that re-linking feature would be a good idea, and it’s a good point that you bring up about copyright. I hadn’t even thought about that. 

I think it’s the default in the Mac version to make a relative link as well; I just changed it when I first started using endnote because I wanted all my articles in the same place as my other school stuff, and didn’t want to use up the space it would take to have them all duplicated, several hundred MBs. That was a few years ago and I hadn’t had any issues, so I forgot that there was another way to do it completely. 

On another note, I just tried the “convert to relative link” thing, but it didn’t even work because the path has changed so it couldn’t even find the absolute link. So I guess my only option is to do it all manually. It’s too bad EndNote doesn’t have a better way to do it! 

Is it true that you can’t set up a dummy “location” that the Mac would be tricked into thinking that the folder location you have now is not the ‘real’ location?  Once you got it to find them once, you could do the relative conversion and not worry about it again?   I think other mac users had tricked their computers into thinking a folder was elsewhere somewhere in the forum, but can’t put my finger on it right now. 

Hmmm, that sounds intriguing, but I have no idea how to do something like that… any tips?

is where I saw something to this effect, but you will need a Mac guru to tell you how this might work for you? 

Actually, using “Change text” command allows batch processing of path modification.

I haven’t tested myself, but check this thread.

I searched “relative link” and “absolute link” in the forum, and these threads look relevant. There may be more, so if you find other relevant threads, please add.

Use “attach pdf” as keywords to search forum. You can find lots of relevant posts.

I can’t list these links because they are too many.

Wow, thanks for all that! I’ll give it a look. I discovered something interesting yesterday which also makes me think there might be another way…

I have two endnote libraries going for different projects currently. The problem I originally reported on was about one of them; I hadn’t used the other since switching OS. I pulled it up yesterday and tried to open a file attachment through the reference… and it worked. Strange, because the articles associated with this library were also moved to a different folder, thus changing the path. Somehow Endnote was able to find them anyway. So it may be more complicated than I thought… But I’ll check out those links you posted and see if I can find some answers…

I am writing 4 years later, but did you ever find a solution to your problem?