EN 20 is a disaster

The lack of the tool bar has completely disrupted workflow. It is inefficient to have to go for a 3 step pull down instruction to insert a citation instead of clicking an icon… 

In the same manner everything that was easy to find is now hidden… how do you switch from online search only to other options… I like online and local. The little icons to do this are gone.

I am going back to X9. I hope that EN20 is taken care of otherwise it’s a deal breaker…

I have been using EN for… 20 years or more. Never had this frustration and time wasting I ca ill afford!



  1. The size of the references in the library is awfull to work on a big screen.

  2. The new marking read/unread is unclear (if it can be an option to choose various colors for ref. it will be great)

  3. Cannot drag-n-drop references from the search results to the folder. Each time pressing right button? No, thanks. It was the last thing I could tolerate.

Delete the Endnote20 and return to X9. Or may be it is better to go to the Mendeley? It is free.

I also have been using endnote (and reference manager) forever. This is the first time that an upgrade feels like a huge step backwards. The interface is now devoid of useful items. I am likely to throwaway 20 and revert back to X9. The 20 development team should be fired.


I agree - removing the tool-bar tells me that your developers have never used EndNote. Why would you take simple things from 1-click, to hiding them in menus and making them 3-clicks.

My research group has been moving towards Zotero, I have been fighting that, but maybe its time to give up the fight


Agreed. Big problems with EN20.

I’ve been using EndNote since 1997 and I just spent one hour Live Chatting with Tech Support to troubleshoot my install. EN20 instantly crashes Word (Mac) if I Format Bibliography. According to Tech Support, this is because EN20 is incompatible with recent versions of MS Word (wait, what?).

The recommended fix is to ununstall Word and retro-install an old version (e.g., 16.43). I did this (there goes my morning …) and it does get EN20 working Yay! But, now my Word is old, vulnerable and in ‘compatability mode’.

Also, if anyone else does this, be sure to disable the AutoUpdate feature of Office, or else you’ll have to do the uninstall/re-install thing all over again next time you re-start. Sigh…

I am limping along hoping that EndNote is up-graded. This is so silly.


I have not faced the Word reference insertion issue yet-- please Lord, may it not be as bad as everyone is saying-- but as soon as I opened up the new EndNote 20 I hated the look. It is ugly, the color layout is hard on my eyes, I can see fewer references at a glance because of the increased spacing between lines… I don’t like that the reference only opens up in a side window, especially because that doesn’t allow me to see as easily if an abstract transferred in with formatting problems that I need to correct in order for it to display compactly in an annotation. Time will show what else is an issue.

I asked tech support what the advantages were of this new version, and they could not give me a real answer, except that X9 support would end.  Now why did I buy this upgrade? First time I’ve ever regretted it, and I’ve been using it since the earliest versions. I would not recommend it right now.


Uninstallin Word and reverting to an older version is NOT an acceptable fix. I have Office 365 and it keeps me updated as a suite. C’mon, Clarivate, you can do better than this.


Hi all,

I had to test EndNote 20 for our group. I am longtime EndNote user – 10-15 years. I have been pushing very hard for everyone in our group to use EndNote, but EndNote 20 is not helping.

I am really disapointed with EndNote 20. I have no idea what the developers were thinking with this revamp of EndNote. It seems that EndNote 20 was design to break from EndNote X, but by doing so, too many options that users liked were thrown away.

For the very few items I find interesting in this new version, there are so many I do not understand:

  • Removing the top button is on of them
  • The color/icon choices for the smart groups, groups from group, they are barely differentiated
  • Emailing a reference is more cumbersome
  • It seems that EndNote 20 no longer creates a visible temporary folder when updating references in a Word document
  • The general look of EndNote is eye tiring. This maybe fine if you open EndNote once in while, but maybe less if you use it extensively

These is on the list of most disapointing changes.

The only added option I like is that EndNote 20 now shows other file types than PDFs.  I am serioulsy hoping that EndNote 20.1 would fix what in many users’ opinion was broken with EndNote 20.

For now, my recommendation to my group is to stay with EndNote X9.3 as long as possible or to update when EndNote 20 gets fixed. Otherwise, I feel it is a downgrade.



I have also decided today to go back to X9. Not only does version 20 not allow us to open up an edit window, and refuse to integrate term lists into the edit sidebar, it also leaves out certain fields. It’s hideous.


Can someone help me how to go back to X9? I tried but get messages about corrupted databases…



Reach out to tech support directly, but make sure you have the X9.3 update to maintain library compatibility, an Endnote preX9.3 version won’t be able to open a library manipulated in Endnote20.  


I have used EN 20 only one week before asking for a X9 license because this new version is really a disaster, as you say. And like you, I am an EndNote user for a long time.

It’s the first time I see such an awful version of a software.

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First time I used EndNote 20 today (for 1h before I went back to X9). This is not an update, this is a jump back. All workflows are disrupted, useful icons disappeared. Whoever was leading the development team should be sacked.

My team will use X9 and we will skip 20 and all updates/new versions until the usability of X9 is fully restored.

Useless indeed. 


Yes. I agree with you. 

The surprising thing to me is that Endnote 20 release arrived with the advertisement or something like “new version based on user feedback”. I wonder which users did they get feedback from considering this is a software aimed at a niche audience - scientists and researchers.  Most of the innovations were removing useful  features and legacy options that are super useful to a research flow. 

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Dont be naive… Users DID NOT give feedback. Developers did what was easy and convenient for them. And if you say “its a bug” they will say “its a feature”.

I am VERY DISSAPOINTED at the lack of response on this forum from the said developers. What they essentially did, was what Bil Gates did long tme ago. Succesfully sold a product that does not work… And we are the dupes…

What I find they should do is offer us a FREE MIGRATION TOOL back to 9.3. FREE. And get their product to be an IMPORVEMENT on 9.3 and not a brand new, DISFUNCTIONAL program

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Agreed, EndNote 20 is a serious DISASTER! It is a downgrade from X9.

The latest update 20.1 (as of June 25 2021) attempts to recover the functionality lost version X9; however, EndNote 20 is still downgraded compared to X9. Specifically:

  • The PDF Preview Pane is back (from version X9); this is progress, however the default pane is the “Summary” pane. ACTION 1 for Clarivate : please provide option to set the default pane to “PDF Preview”, say under Preferences.
  • The “Search Showing” option is still not back (from version X9). ACTION 2 for Clarivate : please bring back ALL of the the search options from X9. 

ACTION for Clarivate: complete both above actions ASAP (within days, not weeks or months), or you will lose a LOT of customers who are going back to X9 or leaving EndNote alltogether for another product! I strongly recommend that you LISTEN to your customers!

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