Only one file by library (merge *.data and *.enl in one file)?


I am wondering why there are two documents for Endnote library: one folder (*.data) and one file (*.enl)?

why there is no only one file containg all recorded information? 

Why Endnote creates these two documents?

It would be handy if there is only one file by library (*.enl or *.data, or *.lib for example) so one can deal with easier, for example to send it, open, backup, restore…etc.

Now, we have to send both documents, the data folder and enl file, to be able to use them, which is not practical!

If I send only the *.enl or the *.data folder, the other party won’t be able to open either of them!


If you select “Compressed Library” from the File menu, you can create a single file that has the .enl and .DATA parts zipped together in a format that’s suitable to email.

The recipient just opens the compressed file in EndNote and it expands to the 2 parts again.

Thank you very much, LLCC, for your answer.

It is a little bit surprising that no Endnote expert asnwer such a question but an Endnote user!

Anyway, if it is possible to combine the two files for sending, why it is not possible to make the library as one file too?


This is a self-help user forum, not  tech support from Endnote,  so we do tend to answer each other! If you want to know why the software developers do something, I suggest you contact tech support via their website.  



The opinions expressed here are those of other users and do not necessarily reflect the positions

of the software providers, unless they are clearly self-identified as moderators or Tech Support folks!

This is not a tech support here for Endnote? 

The moderator are not expert in Endnote? 

What amazing support then! 

If this is userss forum, why we should make suggestions then? Just to lose time?

By the way, Leanne, are you a simple user or a part of Endnote team? 

I am an experienced user and have no affiliation with TR or the Endnote team!  

Where are the support team so?

You are very active on the forum, I thought you are an Endnote team member! 

Anyway, thank you for your contribution!

When you create an EndNote library with version 8 or later (9/X/X1/X2/X3/X4/X5/X6/X7) a .Data folder is created along with the .enl file. This .Data folder contains indexing information for the library along with group affiliations, custom term lists, file attachments and other data. See the following article for more information:

While you can compress this into one file, when you open that compressed archive, it will expand into the .enl and associated .Data folder. On the Mac, there is an option to create a Package file in the .enlp format. This contains both the .enl file and associated .Data folder. Information about Mac package files can be found here:

Windows does not currently have a similar Package feature.

Keep in mind; suggestions submitted here are reviewed by the EndNote team in order to help make decisions about any potential new or modified features of the software.