How to make "et al" appear in in-text citations in APA 6th


I am using Endnote 8, APA 6th, and Word 2002. I am trying to get Endnote to cite one author plus et al when there are more than 3 authors.

After reading some messages in here, I have checked for the following:

Edit > Output styles > Edit “APA 6th”, then Citations/Author Lists, and it is currently ticked for:

“abbreviated author list - first appearance: if 6 or more authors, list the first 1 and abbreviate with et al in italics”

“abbreviated author list - subsequent appearance: if 3 or more authors, list the first 1 and abbreviate with et al in italics”

I have also checked settings in Word, Tools > Endnote > Format bibliography, and it is set to “Output style: APA 6th”

Nevertheless, when I try to insert citation into Word document, it comes out like this: (Oldham, 1995) 

The full reference is 

Oldham, G. R., Cummings, A., Mischel, L.J., Schmidtke, J.M., and Zhou, J. (1995). Listen while you work? Quasi-experimental relations between personal-stereo headset use and employee work response. Journal of Applied Psychology, 80(5), 547-564.

So I want the in-text citation to look more like this: (Oldham et al., 1995) 

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Many thanks!

Please attach your current version of  style? 

Hi there,

Thanks for your very quick response! What is it that you need me to attach? The actual .ens-file for APA 6th?

Best regards

yes. for example, here is mine, which gives the italicized et al.  I also include the view of the settings. 

Other things to check, that the authors are correctly entered in the record, one to a line.

Oldham, G. R.

Cummings, A.

Mischel, L. J.

Schmidtke, J. M

Zho, J.

But Endnote 8 is a pretty old version and was buggy to boot, so I would upgrade if it is with-in your power! 

(This is a version ENX3 style, but I think they are still compatible). 


APA 6th.ens (57.3 KB)
apa6th-author list.gif

Many thanks for your reply. I had not actually written each author on one line, but instead separated them with commas. Splitting them to one line per author now created a new problem: Endnote now cites all authors in the text. So now my citations say (Oldham, Cummings, Mischel, Schmidtke, & Zhou, 1995) - instead of (Oldham, 1995). Obviously made a difference, but still no et al… 

Have attached the things you required. I wish I was able to upgrade, but I am just a fairly poor PhD student studying a distance course, so I probably have to try and sort it out without the upgrade, unfortunately.  

Let me know if you have any other ideas, given the new circumstances above. 

Thanks again!

APA 6th.ens (59.8 KB)


That is because it is set (as I believe APA 6th requires) to show up to 5 authors if there are 6 authors or less at the first appearance.  If you want it to only display 2 (as Jones & Smith) and anything over 2 as Jones et al you will need to change that “6” to 3 in the First Appearance box.  (like it is for subsequent appearances).

Fantastic! Huge thanks for all your help!!

what is “first apperance box”, please  share a photo or en example 

No problem although there are two examples in the posts below (the .gifs)  But here it is again.  Highlighted.  

I followed that you’ve mentioned but not working. 

all authors names are showing not et al.

how can I fix this

You need to make sure any changes are saved to a new output style and that you then select that output style in WORD on the ribbon, and not in Endnote to apply those changes.  This often means you need to show all styles and select the newly created one?  

Dear it is not working when i chose the style from word ribbon and insert citation, i get blank no action on word page however if i chose another template it works 

Then you are probably using an output style that is set up for footnotes and not for in text citations.  For a footnote style you need to insert the footnote using the word processor procedure and then insert the citation into the footnote.  

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I have been looking for a solution to the issue of et. el., I find your suggestion to be very helpful. Thank you 

When you change the author number from 6 to 3 in the edit box, you need to “Save” it. Either you give it another APA name or under the same name advisable give it a new name like APA 6the New or something. 

Hi there,

I’m not sure whether you’re still looking for a solution for the ‘et al’ issue, but if you try to add a blank space before ‘et al’ on the ‘Author List page’ in endnote, I think it should work, I’m having the same issue, now I fixed it. Hope it would work for you. 


Bro doesn’t cite manually your papers. Use Vancouver citation generator before I also cite my papers manually but this type of error I have faced daily. So I start searching on the internet and I found citation generator

Hi Leanne,

I am a brand new endnote user, so thanks in advance for your patience.

Under “Author Separators” I only seem to have 2 options.  Is there a way to create a 3rd option?  This is what I am trying to achieve:

2 Authors:

Always cite both authors’ names in-text everytime you reference them. Example: Johnson and Smith (2009) found…

3-5 Authors:

Provide all the authors’ last names when you first refer to a document with 3-5 authors. Only list the first author with the Latin abbreviation “et al.” for any subsequent references.


   Jones, Chavez, Jackson, and Chen (2010) duplicated…

   Jones et al. (2010) further described…

6 or More Authors:

If a document has six or more authors, simply provide the last name of the first author with “et al.” from the first citation to the last.


   Thomas et al. (2007) likened abnormal psychology to…

   … distractions (Thomas et al., 2007).

Important Note: If you have two or more documents that look the same when shortened, please follow the guidelines set out in the Authors and Dates Matching section.

I think that is what the currrent settings will achieve?  

First appearance if less than 6, then all authors will be listed (that would be 2-5) the first time but if more than 2 but less than 6, only the first author will be listed et al.  

Subsequent appearances – anything more than 2 (which would be listed as “Johnson and Smith”) will be first author, et al.