importing a library and retaining its formatting

We want to use a unique reference style from another agency. I am to set it up for our office. I would like to see their style template. Or at least a library of their references in the style they use. But I am noticing that anything I import or add to my EndNote is formatted to the last reference style I used. I created a new library and it has the same style as the other library I have.

Is there some way to have EndNote keep the reference style of an imported reference?

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I really don’t understand the question.  the library is a database.  The output styles manipulate the data according to a set of rules.  importing anything is not going to affect the output?  

Hello Leanne,

Thanks for the quick response. Please accept my apologies for not know what I am asking for. I haven’t used EndNote before. Looking through Help on the desktop EndNote I have found the language that might clarify what I am asking for.

I have been directed to set up a new Reference Type Table for our section of the Alaska State Department of Natural Resources using the Alaska Department of Fish and Game reference type that they created and use in EndNote.

One of the people there sent me an email with two attached  .ens files saying, “I’ve attached our style templates (one that supports a URL and one that doesn’t) for our in-house citation style.” But if I open them I am thinking they will immediately convert to a Reference Type I have already chosen on my EndNote.

Looking in Help I have found the Sharing Your Reference Type Table directions. This looks like what I want to do. But the offices for Fish & Game are across town in a different building than where my office is. Do both users have to be on the same computer? Can the files emailed to me work for this task?

Thanks again. Sincerely, Kitty

You can work with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) by email and do not have to be working from the same computer. (Or are you/ADFG working from a shared library using Endnote’s sharing feature which connects to an Endnote Online account?)

Just to clarify, a “Reference Type” refers to a category of references (e.g., Book, Report, Journal article, etc.). Are you saying that besides the modified output style file the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) created a custom reference type which may or may not include custom or renamed fields (e.g., Author, Title, Year, etc.)?

If so, and you want to use the reference type created by the ADFG, you could either: 1) manually create the reference type; or 2) request that the ADFG export* their reference type table as a .XML file which in turn you can set up on your computer. (Once the Reference type table is imported into Endnote on your computer you will be able to use the ADFG Endnote library file (.enl) and a corresponding output style file (.ens).)

BTW, when sending Endnote library files, the file should be sent as a “Compressed library” (.enlx) which combines and compresses the Endnote.enl.file and .DATA folder. (Go to the Endnote toolbar and select File> Compressed library.)



*Go to the Endnote toolbar and select Edit >Preferences. In the Endnote Preferences dialog box click to select “Reference Types”. Under the section labeled Reference Type Table click the “Export” button to export the table as a XML file. (Note: before importing the XML file into Endnote, you should also make a backup of your own Reference type table as what you import will override the current table settings.)

Thank you CrazyGecko for responding with such good information so quickly.

No I don’t think that is what I want yet. Looking at the Reference Type export window it looks like I would need to have each reference type exported individually? And that is just one component of an output style.

What I want is the ADF&G output style which may or may not include customized Reference Types and all the other fields that make up a style. It looks like the editable fields include a range of fields in the Citations, Bibliography, Footnotes, and Figures & Tables sub-menus listed in the Edit Output Styles window.

We are not working in any sharing mode or on the EndNote web. I have a trial version that I am supposed to see if it will work for us so I can recommend or not recommend it for purchase. I realize that the purchased version will have more features, but I will still need the ADF&G output style as the one primarily used and will need to be able to easily get it on my EndNote on my computer and the EndNote that will be installed on the sections researchers computers.

Thanks for your help.

Sincerely, Kitty

(Sorry, I see I missed a reply as I was out of the office, so this may be moot, but I think before you make a decision you should view some of the training materials and perhaps join a webinar)

The files they shared with you – ending in .ens is an output style format used when formating documents.  If they have changed or added reference types that is when they would need to export a  Reference Type Table  for you to import into your version of endnote, so it could correctly parse any specifically named record fields and reference types (traditional reference types are things like “Journal Article” “Book” “Book Section” etc.)  So if thye have told you you need to change the reference types in your library, then you need them to send you an exported “reference type table”  and import that, according the instructions you read.  If all they really are doing is changing the order/punctuation of the bibliography output for a manuscript, then openning and saving the .ens files they sent you and using those when you are working on a paper and inserting citations - on the bibliography ribbon/menu.  

I recommend you might want to view the youtube channel and get a feel for endnote.  There are 7 min quick start videos and quick start resources and free webinars you can signup for  (see You probably want to find the PC or Mac versions, as there are some subtle differences in the location of tools, tool bars, and preferences settings.

There is also a youtube channel and other resources in the training forum of this community – for example see here:  

Hello Leanne,

I have watched several of the videos on youtube and videos from\training which is how I learned some of the terms to use to ask the questions.

I understand that .ens is a data file of bibliographic records. Right now as I practice with creating a library and adding references from Internet and database searches, or from a bibliography sent from a coworker in my office the references change to the style I have chosen on my EndNote. Which would be OK if I had the ADF&G style on my EndNote and had it as the style I want to use.

So it sounds like importing a Reference Table for each of the Reference Types used by ADF&G would work. I will email my contact person the directions and see how it goes.

But can you direct me to one of the videos that might show how to have refences in a library with different styles. I would think that I could have groups of references with different styles to meet the needs of different types of writing I might do?

And/or to upload references retaining their styles.

Thanks for the help.

Sincerely, Kitty

nope  – the .ens is a file that tells endnote how to export files from endnote – it doesn’t have any data in it?  

enl files are pointers to data in the library

the library info is all included in .DATA folder with folders in it.  

you can compress a library into a .enlx file which has everything and can be unpacked by endnote into the .enl file and the .DATA folder and contents.  

the ref type table will end in .xml  - instructions are in the preferences – edit>preferences>Reference Types (see attached image) you export and import them there.