RefWorks (Legacy version)

This guide will present RefWorks to help with managing your sources as you research.

Write-N-Cite Word Add-in

Write-N-Cite is a utility that allows users to run an abbreviated version of RefWorks in their word processor. This version of RefWorks displays Author, Title, and Year Only, with a full view option available if needed.

Installation Instructions and Download.

Write-N-Cite III for Windows Requirements

  • Windows XP or later (including VISTA)
  • 64 MB of RAM
  • 1.5 MB of available hard-disk space
  • Internet connectivity
  • Microsoft® Word 2003 or later.

Note for Office 2010 users: Although RefWorks Write-N-Cite is compatible with 2010, it is difficult to switch documents back and forth between Office 2007 and 2010 formats. 

Write-N-Cite 2.5 for Macintosh Requirements

  • Mac OS X version 10.3 or later (including Leopard)
  • Microsoft Word for Mac 2004 or 2008
  • Internet connectivity

Working with the Write-N-Cite Window

(These instructions are for Write-N-Cite version III for Windows.)Write-N-Cite Logo

  1. Open your Word document.
  2. Look for the Write-N-Cite tool; in Office 2007 and 2010, you will find this under Add-ins.
    You can also start Write-N-Cite from the shortcut icon on your desktop. 

    Word ribbon with Add-ins highlighted

  3. Click on Write-N-Cite and, when prompted, log into your RefWorks account.
    If you are off-campus, you will also need the UofA Group Code

    Write-N-Cite Login screen
  4. The Write-N-Cite window shows the name of the Word document that is active in RefWorks.
    Click the box next to Always on Top to keep Write-N-Cite on top of all other programs including Word.

    Write-N-Cite Window showing Always on Top checkbox
  5. The Write-N-Cite window shows a brief / one-line view of the references in your database. 
    Click View to see the full citation. 
    You can choose to view all citations or just those from a particular folder. 
    You can also Sort citations in the current view.

    RefWorks Write-N-Cite screen
  6. Type your paper.  When you are ready to insert a citation into your paper, click on the Cite link for the reference you wish to add.

    Citing a source with Write-N-Cite
  7. Write-N-Cite will insert opening and closing curly brackets { } as well as the Ref ID, Author Last Name and Year. 
    {{7406 Austen,Jane 1991}}

    Word Document with temporary placeholder citation.

    This is called a Temporary Citation Placeholder and it is what RefWorks reads when formatting your paper. 
    Don't worry - this is not what your final citation will look like.
  8. If you want to insert a second citation in the same place, just click the Cite link again. 
  9. When you have completed your paper and are ready to process the temporary citation placeholders, click Bibliography

    Write-N-Cite Bibliography screen
  10. Select the correct Output Style and select Create Bibliography. You Word file should be processed, inserting the full citations in your chosen style.

    Processed Word document showing parenthetical citation and Works Cited.

Troubleshooting tips:

  • Always check your citations for accuracy and formatting before turning in your paper.
  • Some larger Word documents may take a long time to process.  If you are having difficulty with formatting a long paper, try using the Bibliography tool inside of RefWorks, rather than Write-N-Cite. 


The New Write-N-Cite: Right for Me?

RefWorks Tab in MS Word

RefWorks has released Write-N-Cite 4 for Mac and PC; this new release has some powerful features but also some limitations. 

First, the limitations:

  • Write-N-Cite 4 is limited to databases of no more than 2000 references.  RefWorks is working to increase this number, but, if you have a large database, stick with WnC III for now. 
  • In some cases, the RefWorks add-in can seem to slow down Word a bit.  This is particularly noticeable when you are syncing your RefWorks database between the local computer and the RefWorks server.
  • GACL computer labs do not yet have this new version installed.  If you find it confusing moving back and forth between versions, stick with WnC III for now.  

But there are some great features that make the new version worth investigating:

  • Greater integration in Word: style changes are shown instantly; no more curly brackets or odd codes.
  • Bibliography-only citations: add references to be listed in the works cited section, but not as in-text citations, footnotes, or endnotes.  
  • Edit references on the fly: add page numbers, expand journal titles, or make other quick edits as you write.
  • Automatically create folders of all references used in a particular document.

Learn more about the new Write-N-Cite at the RefWorks help site or view their YouTube channel for more info:

RefWorks Tutorials

refworks tutorials

View the RefWorks video on using Write-N-Cite.