Help: Problem-Slowest ever Endnote X4 with Mac OS 10.6.5 using either Word 2008 or Word 2011


Why does Endnote not realize that there is an issue with X4.

I am having similar issues to many others and I think it is unfair to the rest of the people that have posted similar problems that Endnote lay claim that it is “not an issue on a mac platform” or even a windows platform.  This seems to be an X4 issue.  My scenarios,

  1. New Macbook Pro (2010), Mac 2008, Endnote X4 (Updated)

This is extremely difficult on me.  It is taking 30-60 seconds when adding a reference switching between endnote and word.  Also, it is taking 30-60 seconds to be able to click on my references in endnote and go between folder groups.  I have not experienced this with older versions of endnote so this is very strange to me.  

Default Endnote Settings (nothing has changed from the installation settings)

  1. New Macbook Pro (2010), Mac 2011, Endnote X4 (Updated)

Same problem and again,

Default Endnote Settings (nothing has changed from the installation settings)

Any Solutions???

Please have your company look into this and come out with a fix.  It is not efficient and can I say, respectfully, it is suppose to ease entering references and save time, not make it more difficult and longer.

–Frustrated, long time, Endnote user. 

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Can you provide specific steps for how you add the citations when you are switching between EndNote and Word? In other words, are you using shortcut keys or menu options and what application are you in when you invoke them? Also, what are the characteristics of the document (i.e., roughly how long and how many citations) and does it also happen with a new document or only documents that already contain content/citations. Lastly, you note that you are using the EndNote X4 (Update). Was this the public beta made available for Word 2011 support? This information will help us try to reproduce the behavior which we have not been able to do in-house thus far.


 - Mathilda, the EndNote team

I am having the same problems (very slow updates when inserting a citation).  I’m also using a Macbook Pro, MacOSX 10.6.6, Endnote X4, Word for Mac 2008.

I recently (about 3 months ago) converted to Endnote and Word on Mac, after getting frustrated with Endnote and Apple Pages on Mac, after converting from Windows, partly because EndNote supports Word on the Mac. I’ve used several versions of EndNote for Windows - never seen a problem like this.

My Word document is 150 pages, with about 200 EndNote references.  I generally use the menu from within Word (no shortcut keys).

Forget it - I’m going back to Windows.  I just lost a full days work today because EndNote X4 crashed with a COM error.

I too am experiencing extremely slow addition of and editing of references when using office 2011 and endnote x 4.0.2. I am in the middle of my thesis and had just updated office 2008 to office 2011. The older endnote x2 which was working fine with office 2008 did not work with office 2011 so I updated to the full version of endnote x4.0.2 ( electronic purchase and download). 

THis is extremely frustrating now as I stare at the screen while a new reference is inserted and it takes about 1-1.5 minutes for one reference to go through.  I have a very fast mac ( mac pro 3.1) with enough memory (16G) and have the OS version 10.5.8.

Please help.

Have you tried unformatting and reformating the document references (perhaps cleaning up any fields in between by the unlink fields option).  In my experience continuing to work on a Word document with endnote  references after migrating/upgrading is asking for problems as Microsoft continues to change the backend thru which the Add-ins/Plug-ins interface. 

We have been looking into possible causes related to slow performance that a few of you are seeing with EndNote X4.02 and Word 2011 on the Macintosh. We have not found any one specific cause but likely need more information.

For those of you having this issue, it would be very helpful if you could send me some samples - ideally the smallest possible sample Word document and EndNote library that are consistently slow - along with details of you computer set-up and typical workflow.

A .enlx file or the EndNote library and Word document zipped together would be best.

Jason Rollins, the EndNote team

jason [dot] rollins [at] thomsonreuters [dot] com

Has no one solved this problem yet? It’s extremely frustrating as a PhD student to shell out a lot of money for Office 2011 and then more to get Endnote X4 since the previous Endnote doesn’t work with the new version of Office, just to find it’s virtually impossible to write a paper. I am currently working on a paper that is 25 pages and growing for my Comprehensive Exams and as the references increase, the time it takes to insert a single citation increases exponentially. 

Is there a way to insert references from Endnote into Word in the “unformatted” form? I do know how to unformat my citations that are already in the paper, but every time I insert a new citation, my entire paper is automatically formatted again and a bibliography added. I believe that if the references could be added in their “unformatted” form, this lag would disappear. The way things are, the bibliography gets updated every time a citation is added.

Please help! Like most of you, I’m desperate!


Hi all!

I’m having a performance issue with Mac OS X as well. I’m currently using the test version of Endnote X4 (4.0.2) and Mac OS 10.6.6 on a Mac Book Pro with 4G/2.4 Ghz Intel Core.

After having typed in some data (around 30-50) it started to get much slower. Now it takes about 5 seconds opening up a new window (cmd/apple + N) for typing in new data. Saving the data (cmd/apple + W) takes about 7-8 seconds. At the moment I have already typed in about 100 sets of data and the performance is getting worse.

Have people experiencing the performance problem together with word also the same / a similar problem typing in new data? Is Endnote familiar with that performance issue?

Thanks for replying,


I have to add, after having upgraded to X4 today, that I’m shocked by the performance slowdown in parts of this new version. Is the EndNote team so under-resourced that it can’t do some code profiling (Shark is your friend!) before release? Wow.

This, plus some new bugs (tabbing between fields–how much more obvious and central to EN’s functionality can you get?) make downgrading back to X3 look attractive.


Just bought a Macbook Air…PRECISELY FOR PORTABLE WRITING USING WORD AND ENDNOTE.  Mac OS X 10.6.7, Word 2008, Endnote X4, all latest versions of software, only 2 pieces of software that I loaded onto the machine.  Using Endnote makes Word screech to a halt, eats up the CPU to the point that it is unusable.  When I de-install EndNote, it works fine again.  Love the Mac, but if I cannot fix this, will have to take it back and get my money back.  Shouldn’t this just work?


Yes, this is a problem and we are actively working on a solution. If you have this problem, please consider joining our beta tester program for X5 which is recruiting right now -  More beta testers will help insure that we cover as many scenarios as possible.

 - Mathilda, the EndNote team

I, too, am having issues (with a thesis for a PhD, I don’t need this!) with 10.5.8, Office 08 and the new x4.

Basically, the system freezes, gives me a 1712 message error, then leaves the citation in temporary form. Restarting Endnote fixed the problem once. But not after that. The early citations took well over a minute to process, I had success with probably 5 or 6 before this began happening. This particular document is only about 12 pages long, and the citation count is low (less than 40).

I will try the unformat/reformat suggestion. Failing that I’ve got to re-install x3 because this is ridiculous! I have had issues with Endnote before, but nothing like this. Is it actually better with Office for Mac 11?

Does anyone have any solutions to this?

It takes me 1-2 minutes to insert of edit a reference. So writing my PhD is grinding to a halt.

Macbook Pro + Word 2011 + Endnote X4


iMac + + Word 2011 + Endnote X4

Endnote: I think you should provide a health warning to those downlaoding X4 for OSX.

Can you provide us with a free download of Endnote X3 while you fix this so we can continue our work without disruption?

I was really looking forward to X5 specifically because I hoped it would solve this problem.  It did not.  Inserting or editing a reference results in the attached box of collecting, updating, assigning hyperlinks, etc.  It takes about a minute for this process to run.  Where it is most frustrating is that I insert the reference - wait a minute, then edit it to add the page number - wait a minute, for every reference.  In the end I am losing quite a bit of time just dealing with this.  My document is about 84 pages, five of which is biblio and I have still a long way to go.  

And kudos to the Author (year) addition!!  

First, I can’t live without Endnote.  I have at least 10 years of papers with Endnote references.  But as with the other posts here, once a document gets over about 3 pages, it takes a long time (30 sec) every time I add a citation or shift paragraphs or anything that causes it to reformat the citations and bibiolography.  It doesn’t matter if I use the CWYW from inside word or insert from Endnote. I use a master file with my refs (about 3000) and form groups (great feature, btw.) 

I looked for a way to turn off the autoformatting function, but what was in the CWYW preferences didn’t seem to make a difference.  Would love a better solution.  Word is bad enough by itself.

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I have the same problem (Macbook pro, Words 2011 and X4)

each added reference triggers the update of the whole library, which takes 1 full minute…

I ususally cancel the update since it is so annoying

I continue inserting new references after canceling

I do a general update from time to time but I am afraid that canceling the library update when adding new refs introduces some errors in the refs…

it would be nice this problem is solved soon


i think many Mac users have had this problem even before the newest version.  I am holding out a bit longer before making the switch to another citing program… something I hate to do, but the lack of response from the Endnote team is pushing me away :frowning:

Hello all - I apologize for the inconvenience people are experiencing with performance and Cite While You Write.  We made changes to improve this in X5 but we still have more to do. I would ask those having this problem to send me a private message with contact information. We will need additional details about your specific configuration, library, and documents. As mentioned earlier, all those interested in participating in our beta program are absolutely welcome. This is a chance to see what’s coming and give us feedback.

 - Mathilda, the EndNote team


    I am having the very same problem described here. What is bewildering to me is that everything seemed to be working just fine for the past 6 months or so, yet suddenly when I am nearing the end of my Th.M. thesis everything goes “haywire.” Is there a solution to this problem? What can I do immediately?? I need to be able to get back to work. Intead of placing the citation in proper Turabian format, I get: {O’Brien 13-14} - this is SO not going to fly with my advisors! Please reply asap.

Thank you!