EndNote20: ergonomic improvements needed

I’ve used EndNote since 2005, and seen a lot of previous versions. The upgrade to EndNote20 (E20) has introduced features that make it ergonomically poor compared to X9 or previous versions.  This matters, because it increases the strain on arms, wrists and eyes.  These features include:

Keyboard shortcuts: in X9 and previous versions I very frequently used ctrl+f (search) and ctrl+h (show all references). In E20 these shortcuts have been removed, with no replacement, which forces me to do more mousing.

Please reinstate these keyboard shortcuts.

Colour scheme: the interface has extreme contrast differences in background colours – namely the dark blue background of the left pane and top bar vs. the white background of search fields and reference list. This colour scheme causes unnecessary extra eye strain and cognitive load with no benefit to utility – it makes the interface harder/slower to read.

Please choose background colours with less extreme contrast (similar lightness values).

PDF viewing: I have always preferred Adobe Acrobat to EndNote PDF preview panes, because it has more space and more keyboard shortcuts.  The new E20 PDF window feature is a sad substitute, because it lacks advanced features like zoom-to-visible (Adobe ctrl+3), tabbed browsing and print previewing.  It also lacks basic features like keyboard shortcuts to zoom in or out or re-orientate the view. 

Please introduce a configurable option to open PDFs in either the E20 PDF window or Adobe Acrobat.

Panel layout: The left panel cannot be hidden, and the layout cannot be modified to move the right (editing/preview) panel to the bottom of the screen. This makes E20 basically unusable on my main monitor, which is portrait oriented (vertical), and even on a landscape (horizontal) monitor it reduces the amount of information that can be seen in the reference list, with no benefit to utility.

Please re-enable hiding of the left pane and allow the right pane to be positioned at the bottom of the screen.

Large margins: In E20 the margins around menus and panels are all larger than before (and not configurable). This squeezes the main reference list pane, which is where my eyes spend most of their time. The column margins in the reference list are unnecessarily wide, which means that less information can be shown. The wide line spacing in the reference list means that about 30% fewer references can be seen at once, and more scrolling is required (wrist strain!). 

Please allow users to set margins in the GUI or select a ‘compact’ view.

@Clarivate: thank you for listening to some of the user feedback with the recent E20 patch. Please continue to listen to users.  With future updates you can avoid the massive backlash we’ve seen with E20 by beta-testing with experienced EndNote users. We want to help make it better. :smiley:


Some excellent suggestions. In particular, I strongly support:

  1. Keyboard shortcuts (e.g., Ctrl+M for show all references)
  2. Reducing white space so more references are visible in main pane.

Strongly agree!

In particular the supper thick margins around each column and between entries.  Even when you recuce the size of the text the gaps stay the same.

As I use endnote on my laptop the new layout has so much wasted space that I can only see a max of 13 entries with my library open.  The left margin is super thick and the top toolbar is huge and takes up 1/3 of my laptop window. In x9 the icons and search window were in one line. With each of these put on a new line and the addition of tabs, I can barely read anything. None of these are adjustable which is rediculous we need to have to opertunuity to reorganise the size and layout of these features so that the app is even usable

It seems crazy that they would redesign the program and not test it out on 13" laptop screens

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I agree on all the above points! That were the most obvious drawbacks that I noticed when testing EndNote 20 for my company.

The colour scheme is terrible for eyes. I wish v21 can allow users to change the dark blue background.

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The screen/text colours problem is now running in several threads. Some prefer dark on light, some light on dark, and a few (some for medical reasons) prefer strange colour combinations.

Clarivate needs to modify V21 so that background and text colours can be set individually in any window.

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We’re definitely still listening!
The suggestions in this thread are no different.
Do please feel free to keep your comments, suggestions, and critiques of EndNote coming.

Thanks again for all of your continued feedback, and helping to improve the software for everyone!