Endnote X7 – annoying aspects.

I’ve upgraded to Endnote X7 and here are some things I’ve found that annoy me.

Annotation Removal:  I often add a little annotation “sticky note” to the document to mark where I was up to in reading it – especially for long articles that I can’t read in one sitting. In attempting to remove this mark – I clicked on the note to select it – right-clicked and then chose remove – BIG MISTAKE – this actually removed the entire PDF as an attachment from the reference within my library (groan) – I then I had to remember where it was to re-attach the same document (navigate to your library’s data folder -> PDF -> file). Instead -to remove the annotation- you need to do the first two steps (select the sticky note and right click) then go right down the bottom to “delete annotation”. This is probably pretty obvious to many people – but if you’re like me and jump the gun – you’ll find yourself without any PDF attached!

Completing Fields whilst the PDF viewer is open:  You can’t do this. this is dumb. I often want to open a PDF and fill in the fields from a version of the PDF that I can actually read and/or put notes in different fields. You can’t do it. Dumb.

Sync: this sounds good in theory but it is almost close to useless unless you’ve got like 5 references. This is because (a) it won’t sync smart groups or group sets. So it you’ve actually bothered to organise your library (which is essential once you’ve got more than a few dozen references) – forget it. Its stuck in desktop version (this has been a feature request since at least 2012) (b) no stop sync button (c ) no true sync preferences – all sync preferences offer you is 1. identify which library you want to sync and 2. your login details [I wanted to choose where unfiled syncs to  / if certain files should be synced or not etc etc / sync on close or open / etc etc] but nope. Nothing.

Lack of Tags and Tag Cloud (or using Keywords): the ability to tag items by multiple key words and to see/use tag clouds is now pretty common across many applications – I wish Endnote would add this feature. I know that there is keywords and that you can search by keywords but its not the same. For example – I can look up my keywords of my library (1521 terms in my Keywords List) but (a) I’ve no idea how many items contain that keyword from a first glance and (b) it’s static – I can’t click on it to create a quick group to look at. Instead I’ve got to re-type out the keyword in the search bar (in fact, it appears I can’t even copy/paste the keyword as no right click option- What?! talk about productivity loss. I just want to have a quick look at my references, by keyword, and seeing what is the common keyword – and I want to be able to do this many times *quickly* .


About Sarina Kilham

I'm a Doctoral Researcher at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney. Trained as a social scientist and with a Masters in Sustainable Agriculture, I'm interested in farmer's experiences of growing feedstock for biodiesel production. My research has focused on biodiesel production in Brazil and Timor-Leste. Also on Twitter @sarinakilham and blogging at thequalitativeresearcher.net
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