capsule review

EndNote 6

At a Glance
  • ISI ResearchSoft EndNote 6

    Macworld Rating

For more than a decade, ISI ResearchSoft's EndNote has made life easier for authors who need to include citations and bibliographies in their work. Last year, we chided ISI for releasing EndNote 5 without support for OS X or Microsoft Word X (Reviews, January 2002). EndNote 6 corrects this misstep by providing OS X and Word X compatibility -- in fact, now it's for OS X only. EndNote 6 also has several new features that can make academic writers even more productive than before.

More Than Text

We ran EndNote 6 in OS X 10.1.5 without a hitch (an OS X 10.2-compatible version should be shipping by the time you read this). Like its predecessors, EndNote 6 stores text references in a specialized database called an EndNote 6 library. As you write, you copy selected references from the library into your document; EndNote formats the in-text citations and bibliography to suit the publication for which you've indicated you're writing, as we discuss later in this review.

With version 6, you can export all the references embedded in a formatted Word document into a new or existing EndNote library. Although the exported references don't contain notes, abstracts, images, or captions, this is an easy way to share bibliographies with your colleagues without sending them your entire EndNote library.

The program goes a step further by also letting you create references that contain pictures, artwork, and other nontextual data and then insert them into your manuscript as figures. With the Insert Image command, you can add any JPEG, TIFF, GIF, BMP, or PNG file to a reference (see "The Best Image"). A similar command, Insert Object, links an EndNote reference to any type of file -- it's handy for cataloging PDF documents and other files that Insert Image doesn't support.

To insert a figure into a Word document, you use a new tool called Find Figures to search the library for references that contain images and other graphics. EndNote 6 copies the contents of the linked file into your manuscript, along with the file's caption, and generates a figure citation at your chosen insertion point. If you later move or delete a figure, EndNote 6 can renumber the figures and rearrange them and their captions accordingly. The only limitation is EndNote's inability to handle multiple-part figures: for example, one consisting of figure 2a and figure 2b.

It's unfortunate that EndNote doesn't provide a tool for managing tables. If you're writing for a journal that requires independent numbering schemes for tables and figures, as many do, you'll have to number the tables manually. Still, EndNote's ability to insert and keep track of figures is sure to be a big time-saver.

Easy Formatting

Academic writers face enough of a challenge in making sure their information is valid -- they don't want to worry about proper formatting as well. EndNote 6 helps here by providing Word-compatible templates for 145 publications, from the Journal of the American Chemical Society to the Journal of Virology. You can fill in the template manually, or you can use EndNote's Manuscript wizard, which asks you to supply the basic information most publishers require, such as a title, authors, and keywords.

EndNote creates a formatted document from your data, complete with margins, headings, and markers for all the required sections. Special placeholders tell EndNote where to place the bibliography and figure list in the final manuscript. The program even chooses a bibliographic style that matches the publication you've selected. In our tests, EndNote did an excellent job of selecting styles and putting all the elements in their proper place.

If the journal you need isn't on EndNote's list, you can try to modify an existing template by opening it in Word. However, neither EndNote's printed manual nor its online help offers any guidance on how to accomplish this. Although we managed to devise a rough template after some experimentation, we weren't able to edit its placeholders or customize its Manuscript wizard to request specific information.

New on the Menu

In addition to a pleasing Aqua interface, EndNote 6 sports revamped, more logically arranged menus. For example, the commands in version 5's Text, Terms, and Paper menus have been incorporated into the Edit menu and the new Tools menu.

Alas, EndNote veterans will also note that the Scan Paper menu, which allowed you to format WordPerfect, Nisus, AppleWorks, and plain-text documents, is missing -- EndNote 6 supports only Word X. (Until ISI delivers on its promise to restore the Scan Paper function in a future update, you can use EndNote 5 with these other word processors in OS 9 or in OS X's Classic mode. EndNote 6 ships with a version 5 CD.)

Macworld's Buying Advice

Despite its minor limitations, EndNote 6's ability to import and organize text references and figures will save hours of frustrating work. Whether you use version 5 or still enter and format references by hand, EndNote 6 will be a worth-while investment.

At a Glance
  • Macworld Rating

    Pros

    • Automatically inserts figures in manuscripts
    • Templates simplify document formatting

    Cons

    • Doesn't handle tables or multipart figures
    • Limited ability to customize manuscript templates
    • Supports only Word X
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