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EndNote: Attaching PDFs

Attaching Files to References

You can attach PDFs or other types of files to EndNote references. The simplest way to attach a file to a reference in your library is to do it manually. There are 3 basic ways of attaching a file manually. 

  1. From the main EndNote window, right click on a reference and choose the File Attachments option to browse for and attach the file.
  2. Drag and drop a file from your computer into the reference.
  3. Open the reference editing window by double clicking on a reference. Scroll down to the File Attachments field and right click to attach the file. 

Importing PDFs

You can import PDFs into your EndNote library. EndNote X4 and later can extract the reference information using its Digital Object Identifier (DOI). If the DOI is not present the PDF will be imported, but you will need to do manually enter the reference information into EndNote.

  • Open your EndNote library and click File--> Import
  • At this point you can opt to import a single PDF (choose File) or a folder of PDFs (choose Folder)
  • From the ensuing Import File box choose the PDF (or folder of PDFs) you wish to import an use PDF as the Import Option:

Automatic PDF Importing

  1. Create a folder on your computer called to use as your designated import to EndNote PDF folder
  2. Go to Edit -> Preferences -> PDF Handling
  3. Put a check in the "Enable automatic importing" box
  4. click Select Folder and browse to the folder you created in step 1 above
  5. Select the desired Auto Renaming Option
  6. PDFs saved to the designated EndNote PDF folder will be automatically added to your EndNote library

NOTE: EndNote can only generate a complete reference from the PDF if it has an embedded DOI. 

Using Find Full Text

  • Make sure your Find Full Text preferences are set up properly (see Find Full Text Preferences box on this page). 
  • Select the references for which you want the full text. Hold the shift key to select multiple references.
  • Click the Find Full Text icon on the top of the EndNote window 
  • At the prompt, enter your CampusID and password and click "continue"
  • The progress will be displayed in the bottom left side of the EndNote window


Note: The find full text feature will not be able to find and attach PDFs to all of your references. If you want PDFs attached to all of your references you will need to manually attach many of them.

Find Full Text Preferences

EndNote's Find Full Text tool will automatically search the web for PDF files of the references in your library. EndNote searches a few free resources, but it can also search GSU's subscription databases for PDFs

To get the EndNote find full text feature to work with GSU library resources you will need to adjust some settings:

  • From EndNote click Edit --> Preferences
  • A window will open. Click on the Find Full Text option
  • Enter the the following URL in the OpenURL path field:  

NOTE: Authentication for EndNote's Find Full Text feature does not work with OpenAthens, the library's authentication system. Consequently, the Find Full Text functionality will be limited. It will retrieve articles from open access journals, but it won't be able to find PDFs that are behind a paywall.