Importing bibliography with accents, italics, and special characters

I am a novice EndNote user. I have zoological bibliographies of several thousand citations in Word documents (Word 2002).  Scientific names (Genus, Species) and ship names (research vessels) are by convention italicized.  Tagging the files is not a problem but, my understanding is that only “plain text” can be imported which looses the italics.  Is there some way to tag imported text so that when imported, the italics are preserved or can be automatically restored?

Maybe not with Endnote. I actually ran into a similar problem because import from Pubmed loses italic information, but I made a macro in Word that search and changes format to italics. I do that for frequently used species names like, C. elegans, Caenorhabditis elegans, Danio relio, Drosophila, and Dictyostelium discoideum. I do that once all the refernece work is done. (I often forget to do that, to be honest.)

If you need to change several thousands of those, I have no good suggestions.

I wish Endnote has capability to use Term list such that it replaces format automatically. It happens so often, like in vivo, in vitro, de nove, etc. those latin words as well.

Thanks for your reply.  A perfectly servicable solution to this problem was developed 20 years ago with the advent of SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) and its successors (XML, etc.).  It is a pitty that EndNote (and presumably other Thompson products) of markup language capabilities to deal with complex text. 

Endnote has a long history, starting with a capability to handle ASCII text information to format bibliography for popular journal styles. It was good old time. Limited, but simple single-task software. But it didn’t have a powerful capacity to manage large databases, or relational structure. Recent upgrades have been geared to this aspect. But, core algorithms for style formatting and search/replace functions have not been reinforced. As you pointed out, markup text can not be imported as they are. For my purposes, I want support for “Regular Expression” like sed or gawk in unix system, which allows us to do more powerful search.

On the other hand, it is convenient to keep instruction manuals of older versions at several places, because the chapters I often need to look at (style formatting, custom style making, etc) are mostly the same (!)

Yes, regular expression support would be an exceptionally useful feature.  Regular expressions would allow users to invent their own tagging systems.  Even a simple global string search and replace function would be very useful for database cleanup.  (And the necessary code is all out there, public domain.  Just plug it in!)

Does Thompson or the EndNote team have a place to send bug/deficiency reports and suggestions for new features (other than here)?  I could imagine a list of potential new features for EndNote users to vote on or prioritize to let the developers know what is actually most important to their customer base.

My years in software development suggest, unfortunately, that new features are more often driven by marketing (what features will make good bullet points for new sales) than what will actually improve functionality or make current (=already sold) customers happy.

I don’t know of any solution to the italics problem. However accents can be imported in versions of EndNote from ver.8 onwards.

In Word, use the Save As command to save the tagged bibliography as Plain Text. Word should prompt you for the text encoding to be used. Select “Other Encoding” and choose “Unicode (UTF-8)”.

When you use the Import command in EndNote, make sure that the option in the Text Translation box is Unicode (UTF-8).

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By the way, I wouldn’t recommend doing detailed tagging of your references before import. I think it is easier to import each reference into a single field in EndNote, and then drag and drop the different elements of the reference into the appropriate fields. See this FAQ.

Suggestions can be entered here -

Plus, you can feel free to send your ideas directly to me via email -

The development team reviews and considers every single suggested item; we get thousands of these and keep a master database for future reference.

In general, we do try to balance new features with tweaks and improvements to current functionality for our existing customers. 

Jason Rollins, the EndNote team

I realize this is an old-ish thread but it perfectly addresses my problem.  I recently upgraded from EndNote9 to X3.  Am disappointed at how relatively little seems to have changed through several versions of EndNote.  In particular, to judge from this thread, there is still no way I can change selected words in the titles of references to italic format — a simple search text and replace format as has been available in most text handling software for the past 20 years.  The options in the Change Text dialog box are truly pathetic for such a mature program as EndNote.  Scientific work is awash with needs for text formatting and special characters, and EndNote is supposed to cater for precisely that type of situation.  Is any progress expected on Change Text options soon?

The irony is not lost on me that in typing this message for a mere discussion forum I’m provided with facilities for font selection and format, text alignment and tons of other options.  If this is provided in a free discussion forum software why is it difficult to implement in the EndNote software I’ve paid good money for??!

Thanks to the link given by John East, I had the Idea to clean all my references directly in Endnote:

  • CTRL+A in order to selection all references

  • Edit / change text  (options: any fields, don’t match words and don’t retain capitalization)

for instance:

—> search for “√©”  ; change to “é”

—> search for “√¢”  ; change to “â”

and so on

Etienne from University of Sorbonne