Upper and lower case changes for ibid./ebd


My name is Maria, I am using Endnote X8 on a Mac (10.14.6.) for a phd thesis in Theology and I am writing this thesis in German. Therefore I created my own output style, matching the specifications of the faculty and my doctoral father combined with my own preferences. I am really happy that I choose Endnote for organizing my sources through the process. And so far everything works fine.

But now there seems to be a problem when it comes to the upper and lower case writing of repeated sources. So far I wrote the thesis without the replacement of repeated sources in subsequent citations (in footnotes). Now, at the last step of the process I switched to replace it with »Ebd. Cited Pages« for same references and »Ebd.« for same sources. (Ebd. is the german equivalent for Ibid.)

  • What works: In most cases Endnote sets »Ebd.« correctly with or without cited pages, accordingly if it is a repeated reference or source. The writing should be upper case then, which it does.

  • What does not work: 1. If I set a prefix like »Vgl.« (Cf.) it should automatically set lower case. 2. If there is a sentence like a quote in front of the source it automatically becomes a lower case »ebd.« which is not correct in German.

I understand, that the second problem is part of how citation works in English. But this does not fit to the (german) specifications I need to follow.

Is there any way to adjust the settings more granular, f.e. with conditions: if there is a prefix then lower case. If there is no prefix then upper case despite things that are in the footnote in front of the source? This would also be more logical.

Otherwise I have to manipulate dozens and hundreds of footnotes manually and that is surely not what you want to do at the end of months and years of hard work.

Thanks for your help and many greetings from Northern Germany.


It’s nice to hear that EndNote X8 has been largely useful for your work so far. You’ve encountered a tricky problem that isn’t uncommon when dealing with non-English citation styles.

Endnote X8 lacks built-in features for all your needs:

  1. There’s no automatic setting for lower case prefixes like ‘Vgl.’ (Cf.). You’ll need to manually adjust these.
  2. Preventing automatic lower case for quotes before sources isn’t directly supported. You could try adding terms that should stay capitalized to the “Change Case” list in Endnote Preferences.
  3. Conditional formatting based on prefix presence isn’t supported. You might adjust the output style to some extent, but full customization may not be possible. You’ll need to manually tweak where necessary.

I hope this helps, and best of luck with your PhD thesis!