Sitemap | EndNote
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Do you mean 
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎03-22-2019

Question about how pdf attachments work

Hi everyone! I've just upgraded from Endnote X4 to X9, and I am trying to decide how to change my personal practices regarding pdfs associated with the entries in my library. I'm struggling a bit with hard drive space on the computer I am using (SSD drives- super fast, but also annoyingly small and I desperately don't want to carry around external drives all the time), and I'm having trouble finding information online about the size of .data folders and how the pdf attachment system works. 


I keep a master bibliography (currently has almost 1450 entries) and then search and select references from there to build individual libraries for specific projects. Many of the references have pdfs associated with them, and in left over practice from my original not yet X version of Endnote, I had always just kept them over in a windows>MyDocuments directory folder and included a notation in the reference about where I could find the file. That worked well enough, but now that you can display the pdfs alongside the reference entry, I'm interested in maybe linking all my pdfs to the master bibliography and essentially using Endnote to replace my manual file management system. 


I have done some testing to discover that the highlights/comments I make to the pdf in Endnote stay with the file when I open it in Adobe Acrobat from inside Endnote, and the changes I make in Acrobat follow through in Endnote- fantastic! Those tests also demonstrate that the changes I make to the pdf inside Endnote are not transferred to the file currently saved in the MyDocuments directory folder. This suggests that the Endnote .data folder is holding a copy of the pdf.


QUESTION: How will the size of the .data folder affect performance and stability of my master bibliography database? My current MyDocuments directory folder is about 1.5 GB. Am I going to break Endnote after I put a ton of work into making these links? Will the .data folder be larger than the basic files I have held in the MyDocuments directory folder because of the software functionality?


I'd be happy to archive and delete my windows directory folder to free up space and actively archive project libraries as I work, but I just want to make sure I understand how this feature is actually functioning and how robust it is so I don't create problems for myself down the line. Some of the pdfs are scans of rare books and journals that are not available in the US or online, and losing or corrupting these files would be a significant problem.


Thank you for any help you can provide!

Posts: 8,363
Registered: ‎04-10-2008

Re: Question about how pdf attachments work

PDFs added to endnote automatically will end up in the .DATA folders.  Those that you drag and drop can be handled according to your preferences, either relative (in the .DATA folder structure) or stay where they were (Absolute). Those stored as "Absolute" can be copied and converted to "relative".  If you compress a library with absolute links, the PDFs are not compressed in the library, they stay where they were.  If you move to a new computer, you have to maintain the relative location of the PDFs structure, or the links will break.  I actually don't know what happens when you sync a library to the cloud storage, to those PDFs that are stored in the absolute location.  -- probably not synced?  


So to be safest, you need to make regular backups.  I have one big library and keep it synced and keep it backed up, as well.  My PDFs are always stored as relative links and are therefore in the data folders and are synced to the cloud.  (plus they are all backed up, as I said).  Mini-libraries just take up more space (and duplicate the PDFs), so I don't ever create those.  I have 5.6 K references, but only about a third of those have any PDF attachements.  It is about 2.3 Gbs  


I have no degradation of Endnote functionality on a Windows machine.  


(long time Endnote user)