Turning off Endnote instant formatting


instantaneous 🙂 by Rody09, Attribution-ShareAlike Licence

EndNote has a wonderful feature which updates the citation and reference list as soon as you add a new citation to your document. Most of the time this is really helpful, but sometimes I find it better to turn off this feature and just get EndNote to update the citation and reference list when I ask it to.

One reason I do this is that it is hard to undo recent actions after EndNote has updated the reference list. This is because the EndNote update is actually a whole series of actions which appear in an endless train of recent actions that make it hard to go far enough back to undo what you really want to undo. You still can—its just more of a pain.

The other reason is that when you are writing a long piece of work with lots of references, updating the reference list can take some time, during which you can’t type. Well it’s not really a long time—only a matter of seconds—but that is enough to be a nuisance when you are in the middle of a train of thought that you want to get down.

You can easily turn off (or on) the instant formatting in the EndNote ribbon in Word. Look for the dropdown labelled Instant Formatting is On In the Bibliography section.


You can manually update the citations and reference list while Instant Formatting is Off by clicking on Update Citations and Bibliography which is also on the EndNote ribbon in Word.

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