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Write-N-Cite and Citation Manager

Video tutorials

  • There is an official Ex Libris (Proquest) YouTube channel with videos on each aspect of using RefWorks 
  • For the range of options for creating citations and bibliographies, see this video from the range.  Note that problems have been experienced with the Citation Manager tool: Write n Cite is recommended

Quick Cite and Create a Bibliography

  • It is also possible to generate in-text citations and reference lists from within RefWorks itself 
  • This is recommended (or necessary) for any users encountering problems with Write n Cite or Citation Manager
  • Citations and reference lists can then be copied and pasted into Word documents


Plug-in and Add-in

To use RefWorks directly within Word, a link is required via a separate plug-in called Write n Cite, or the newer add-in called (RefWorks) Citation Manager or RCM.

  • For users with Word 2019 or later versions, Write n Cite is not available
  • Information on Citation Manager is available lower down this page
  • However, Citation Manager add-in may not install for some users

Write n Cite

  • From within RefWorks, select the tools icon, then choose Tools from the resulting drop-down
  • Scroll down the next screen to "Cite in Microsoft Word"
  • Then: check against the Windows or MAC versions for the correct Write n Cite plugin to download
  • Once you have installed Write-N-Cite, open Microsoft Word and click the tab that has been added to your ribbon -- it will be called either "ProQuest" or "RefWorks." Click on “Log In” and enter your RefWorks username and password
  • To add your first citation, choose “Insert Citation” and then “Insert New”
  • A window pops up allowing you to choose a RefWorks citation from your RefWorks folders
  • On clicking OK, the citation is added to your document
  • Once you insert a citation, it also gets added to a menu under the “Insert Citation” button so you can re-use it quickly





















RefWorks Citation Manager (RCM)

  • To locate RCM in Word, choose: Insert and Store, then search for RefWorks from the Office add-ins
  • This should appear as a side-panel in Word, requiring you to sign in with your RefWorks account

See the following from the supplier, Ex Libris, on using the Citation Manager add-in:

If you have trouble locating or activating Citation Manager, it is recommended to use the manual option.


  • If you encounter problems with installing Write n Cite (or the alternative Citation Manager add-in), it is recommended that you use the Quick Cite and Create Bibliography functions from within RefWorks itself, and then copy and paste the results into your document
  • See: Quick Cite Tool and Creating a Bibliography in How to use RefWorks in this guide

Add a Bibliography

  • You can insert a bibliography into your document by clicking “Bibliography Options” and “Insert Bibliography”

Bibliography options in RefWorks

  • The bibliography is added to the document. It updates automatically, so every time you add a citation to the body of your text, the full citation appears in the bibliography, properly ordered

Word document with citations and reference list

  • At any time, you can change your citation style.  Cite them Right Harvard (author - date) and Vancouver (numbering) are two frequently-used systems, but you should always check with your course leaders or tutors as to which system they prefer you to use

Drop-down menu for citation styles in RefWorks in Word

The citations and bibliography in your document will automatically update.

Citations and reference list in Word document

Some referencing styles, such as MHRA, require the use of footnotes.  You can add a citation as a footnote instead of an in-text citation by checking the box that says “Make Footnote” when you add a new citation.

Make footnote option in RefWorks Write n Cite


A footnote is added to the bottom of the page:

Footnote in Word

That’s it! Now you know all you need to begin using Write-N-Cite to speed up you work.

NB:  you can also create a bibliography from within RefWorks itself.  This can be useful for checking with a tutor or others in a study group, or as a manual copy-and-paste alternative if you encounter problems with Write n Cite or the add-in Citation Manager. 

The Write n Cite plugin also has advanced options for things like customizing your bibliography’s formatting or editing your citations. You can learn more at NB: this help page uses screenshots from the older Legacy version of RefWorks.  

Information for MACBook users 

  • MACBooks, and some other laptops with Word downloaded from the UoB software site, may not be compatible with the Write n Cite plugin for use with Word.

Alternative 1: use the Quick Cite and Create Bibliography options from within RefWorks itself. 

  • Results can be copied and pasted into a Word Document
  • See the section in this guide on "How to use RefWorks": 'Quick Cite' and 'Creating a bibliography'

Alternative 2: use the newer RefWorks Citation Manager.

  • NB: this may not be available to all users
  • Go to: Word and choose Insert - Store - Add-ins: search for RefWorks or Citation Manager and Add

Word document with Store for Add-ins including RefWorks Citation Manager

  • Then sign-in on the right-hand panel with your RefWorks account
  • See the following from the supplier, Ex Libris, on using the Citation Manager add-in:


MACBook users able to use Write n Cite may need to install Java software first.

  • See the Apple website page; you may need the older legacy Java SE6; or you may be asked to install Java JDK as of Autumn 2019
  • Then close down any open Word screens, before re-opening to allow the toolbar for RefWorks Write n Cite to be activated.  You may need to make toolbars visible to do so

Cite in Microsoft Word in Tools in RefWorks has details of downloading Write n Cite

     Write n Cite details and operating systems such as those for MACBooks                                                                                                     



1. If it is not already active, activate RefWorks Citation Manager by going to Insert -> Add-ins -> My Add-ins and choosing it from the box that pops up.


2. A panel will slide out from the right side of your document, listing your RefWorks citations!

4. Clicking Cite this will drop an in-text citation into your document where the cursor is! 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.)

5. That's it! You have everything you need to use RefWorks with Microsoft Word.

NB: if you have problems with generating citations and bibliography, for example in a longer piece of work, it may be worth considering the alternative method of generating citations and bibliography from within New RefWorks, and copying and pasting these in to your document. 

  • See "How to use the New RefWorks" - "Quick Cite tool" and "Creating a bibliography".  

Google Docs

RefWorks can also be used in conjunction with Google Docs to cite references directly in-text and create a bibliography (reference list) at the end of the Google Doc.

To install the add-on feature in Google Docs, go to the tools icon in RefWorks, then tools again.  Scroll down to the Cite in Google Docs section to follow instructions to "Get the add-on".

Tools icon                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Once installed, a panel should appear on the right of the Google Doc.  You can use this to select citations from your RefWorks account, insert these into your work and create a reference list (bibliography) at the end.  When you have finished your document, it can be downloaded as a Word document. 

For more information on using the RefWorks add-on within Google Docs, see the supplier guide (Ex Libris, 2020).


Ex Libris (2020) 'RefWorks Plugins: Connecting Your Browser, Microsoft Word, and Google Docs to RefWorks', RefWorks User Guide. Available at: (Accessed 12 August 2020)

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