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Cite in Word with the RefWorks add-in

You can use RefWorks to add citations to your text and automatically create a bibliography in a style of your choice.

Do you choose Write-N-Cite or the Citation Manager
To be able to cite in Word, you need the plug-in 'Write-N-Cite' or its successor named the 'RefWorks Citation Manager'. Which one you can use best depend on your preference and which version of Word you use.
Are you going to use RefWorks on a:

  • UMCG-PC: use Write-N-Cite (Look for the shortcut "Refworks for Word" )
  • RUG-PC: use the Citation Manager or Write-N-Cite 
    Note: Write-N-Cite does not work via the virtual workplace of the RUG (UWP), Citation Manager does.
  • Your own PC or laptopWrite-N-Cite works in all Word versions, except for Word 2016 for the Mac. The Citation Manager ónly works with Word 2016 (Microsoft en Mac)

Working with the RefWorks Citation Manager

What is the RefWorks Citation Manager?

That is a Word add-in that allows you to use RefWorks in Word. It is the successor of Write-N-Cite. The Citation Manager works easily and without many clicks.

The Citation Manager does work:

  • in Word 2016, both Windows and Mac 
  • at the virtual workplace of the UMCG (WOM) and the RUG (UWP)
  • with  the new RefWorks and  the old RefWorks (Legacy RefWorks)

De Citation Manager does not work:

  • in Word 2010 and earlier
  • Open Word and click the Insert tab
  • Click My Add-ins and choose RefWorks Citation Manager
    Is the Citation Manager not listed at My Add-ins? Then click Store, search RefWorks and click Install
  • Log in with your RefWorks account and select the correct RefWorks version

​Add citations in your text as follows:

  • Place the cursor on the spot where you want to add a citation
  • Click All References to see your folders. You can also search references using the Search field
  • Click Cite this to drop an in-text citation in your document where the cursor is. Or check the boxes next to a few articles and click Cite these.
  • It also automatically generates a bibliography, which will be updated automatically every time you add a new citation. (You can drop the bibliography to another page using Insert --> Page Break.)

Select an output style of your choice as follows:

  • Click in the Citation Manager on the menu icon  
  • Choose Change citation style
  • If the style you need is not on the list, enter style name in Search for styles, for example Vancouver
  • Select the style and click Update

Replace citation in your Word document 

  • Replace one of the citations in your Word document with another citation:
  • Click on the citation you want to change
  • Select another citation via the Citation Manager and Cite this.
  • our bibliography is automatically adjusted

Delete the citation in Word document

  • Delete references as you would any normal text in Word: highlight the reference and use the backspace or delete key.
  • Click the three lines menu icon  and Update document. This removes the reference from the bibliography.
  • You don't need to add a bibliography.  RefWorks Citation Manager generates the bibliography automatically to the end of your Word document, as you add references to your text.
  • If you delete references, remember to remove them from the bibliography by selecting the menu icon  and clicking Update document.

Working with Write-N-Cite

What is Write-N-Cite?

It is the predecessor of the RefWorks Citation Manager. With Write-N-Cite you can use RefWorks in Word. You have to install the plug-in once, after which you get an extra tab in Word, called RefWorks.  

Write-N-Cite does work:

  • in Word 2016 and earlier for Windows
  • at the virtual workplace of the UMCG (WOM)
  • with the new RefWorks and the old RefWorks  (Legacy RefWorks)

Write-N-Cite does not work:

  • at the virtual workplace of the University Groningen (UWP)
  • in Word 2016 for Mac


Step 1. Launch the RefWorks plug-in

Note:  The first time you launch the RefWorks plug-in, you must be connected to the internet in order to log in to your RefWorks library and sync it with the plug-in.

Tip:  In most cases, there is no need to log out of
RefWorks when you are not using it.  If you are using the RefWorks plug-in on a public computer without a personal login, you should log out when you complete your work.  

Logging in to the RefWorks plug-in:

1. Click RefWorks from the Microsoft Word ribbon. 






2. Click Log In.






3. Enter your email address and RefWorks-password, click Login and choose New RefWorks

The first time you log in, it will automatically “sync” with your RefWorks library.  This may take a few seconds. It is downloading your references and collections.  Any time you make changes to your RefWorks items you can click Sync my Database your new and edited items will be added to the plug-in.


Step 2.  Selecting Your Output Style

The first thing you will want to do is select an output style for your document.  Any in-text citations or footnotes and your bibliography will be displayed in your document while you write your paper – in the output style you have selected.  You can always change the style later if you need to.

1. Click the Style drop down. You will see a list of RefWorks' recent styles.

2. Click on the style name.

3. You can change your output style and the formatting of your paper at any time by clicking on another Style in the list and selecting a new output style. Access to other Styles can be gained by using Select Other Style at the bottom of the list.

Is the style you need not listed?

Follow the steps below to add a new style to the list in Word:

  1. Click the quotation mark button and click Citation Style Editor

  2. Search for the style you need (eg: Vancouver or the title of a journal)
  3. Click the style to open the screen below.  

  4.  Click Save 
  5.  Return to the list of styles with the arrow on the left
  6. Now the new style is added to My Styles
  7. Go to Word, select the RefWorks tab and click Sync My Database and the new style will be added to the list of styles.

Step 3.  Write Your Paper and Inserting Citations or Footnotes and Your Bibliography

Note:  You may want to sync your RefWorks library with Write-N-Cite if you have recently added items you want to use in your paper.  Click the Sync my database icon to download new or updated items.

When you are ready to insert an in-text citation or footnote into your paper:

1.  Click the Insert Citation and Insert New option to launch the insert/edit citation box.  If you have previously used Write-N-Cite, you may see some recently selected citations listed above the Insert New option.   You can select citations displayed from this list or access all your references from the Insert Newoption. 

2. Once the Insert/Edit Citation box displays, you can access your items by Collection or by searching.  The Search box will search every field.

Tip: Use the horizontal scroll bar to see the full title.  Right-click on the item and select Show Full Reference Detail to display all fields of information (file attachments are not displayed).

Full Reference View:

3.  Click on the item you wish to insert into your paper.  You will see a preview of the formatted citation in your current Output Style.

Tip:  Add more references to the citation using the plus icon, remove them by using the minus icon, or reorder the references with the up and down arrows in the Compose Citation area.

4. Click OK to insert your formatted citation into your paper.

5. To insert a footnote instead of an in-text citation, click the Make Footnote checkbox in the Edit References area.  Once you make a footnote and finish editing the citation, you will not be able to undo this action.  However, you can always add a new in-text citation.

6. You can insert your bibliography anywhere in your paper while you are writing.  Click Bibliography Options, Insert Bibliography.  Note: the bibliography will be inserted wherever the cursor is in your paper. 

You can click Remove Bibliography and re-insert if it you need to change the location.

Deleting one references from a list of many:

1. Move your cursor on top of the citation in your text. Double click the citation to go to Insert/Edit Citation window
 2. Click the reference you want to remove under Compose Citation
 3. Remove the reference using the minus sign 
 4. Click OK. The bibliography is updated automatically

Deleting the whole citation:

The Insert/Edit window cannot be used in this case
1.In Word, select the citation and delete it as you would any other text (CTRL-Del)
2. You need to update the bibliography by clicking Reapply Output Style

Step 4. Save your formatted paper
(you should really save it periodically while you are writing!).

Install the plug-in

Do you want to use the plug-in on a computer of the University or the UMCG? 
Install the plug-in as follows:

UMCG staff: 

  • Use the shortcut "Refworks for Word". Only in that version of Word will Refworks be available.
  • If you don't have access to  "Refworks for Word", please call the ICT helpdesk (050-36 11111), they can add the RefWorks plug-in for you

University staff and students: 

  • Go to the Start menu on your computer
  • All Programs
  • select: Library Services Reference Management RefWorks Write-N-Cite 4.2('Security Alerts' can be ignored.) 
  • Restart Word after the installation has finished. In the menu bar in Word a RefWorks button has appeared.

Virtual workplace UMCG (WOM)

If you work at home or on a laptop via the WOM (, you have to install the Refworks plug-in each time you open Word, via the Start button > All Programs > UMC Groningen Applications > Proquest RefWorks install. You have to do this every time when using the WOM (it only takes a few seconds).

Virtual workplace University (UWP)

Unfortunately, the RefWorks plug-in does not work properly at the RUG virtual workspace (
Of course, you can always install the plug-in on the computer itself. See the instructions below.

Install the RefWorks plug-in on your own computer or laptop

  • Go to RefWorks and log in
  • Click on the icon with the 3 dots  and choose Tools
  • Next to Cite in Microsoft Word, click the button Download & Install. Or click the link Other Windows and Mac versions.
  • Restart Word after the installation is finished.
  • In the menu bar in Word a RefWorks (or ProQuest) button has appeared which can be used to start Write-N-Cite.

Problems with Write-N-Cite

The RefWorks tab in Word has disappeared

Word sometimes removes the RefWorks plug-in. This happens, for example, when you ’ve logged in to a Word document with multiple RefWorks accounts or when you ’ve installed multiple versions of the plug-in on your PC.

You can find out whether Word has disabled your the plug-in via Word using:

  • File > Options > Add-ins.

If the plug-in (Write-N-Cite) is listed in 'Disabled Application Add-ins' then you can undo that via:

  • Manage: > select in the drop Disabled Items > Go 
  • Select Write-N-Cite > Enable


Still unsolved? Send an email to

Error message Windows or MS Office

The latest version of Write-N-Cite (04/04/1376) is not compatible with some combinations of Windows and Microsoft Office. See the  compatibility chart" below for the versions of Windows and Office that cause problems.

Compatibility List
Compatibility List

Fortunately, there is an alternative available. The previous version of Write-N-Cite 4 (version 4.4.1272) should work for most combinations of Windows and Office (except for Office 2016). See b elow the Write-N-Cite version download 04.04.1272:

32 bit: 
64 bit:

In Word, you can check whether you have Word 32 or 64 bit. In Word, go to File; Help and look under the heading "About Microsoft Word".

Required supporting software

Write-N-Cite may also cause problems because the necessary supporting software is missing or not up to date. Usually ,this software is already installed on your computer. See b elow the additional software required for Write-N-Cite 4. Optionally, you can download and update the software via the links.

  1. Please make sure you have updated your computer’s operating system and MS Office itself by visiting
  2. To download and install .NET 4 please visit Microsoft .NET Framework 4 .
  3. To download and install Visual Studio 2010 Tools for Office Runtime please visit Visual Studio 2010 Tools for Office Runtime .
  4. Please make sure you have a current installation of Java on your computer by visiting the Java download site . (Note: an update of your Java will request the installation of a third-party toolbar for You need to decline the installation of this toolbar to avoid its installation.)

Write-N-Cite doesn’t work on my Mac!

Presumably, Java is not installed on your computer. In the latest operating systems from Apple (OS X 10.9 and OS X 10.10) Java is not installed by default. To check if your computer has the latest version of Java, go in the Safari browser to: .
If your Mac has an OS X 10.9.5 or OS X Yosemite 10:10 operating system, go to the Apple Support Website to download Java 6: .

More info

Works online or offline and on Windows or Mac
Working online or offline is seamless – no need to be connected to the internet – and you can share documents between the Windows and Mac versions seamlessly.

Google Docs
You can also use RefWorks in Google Docs

Questions? Ask us!

Guus van den Brekel Robin Ottjes

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Subjects: Faculty of Medical Sciences