5 steps to sync Endnote 7 libraries via Dropbox

Recently, I changed from JabRef to Endnote 7, and found that Endnote doesn’t offer an easy or straightforward way to sync its reference libraries via Dropbox. In fact, Endnote appears to discourage users from using Dropbox to sync their libraries (see here for example).

My workflow is as such: I store all articles (typically in pdf) in a Dropbox folder so that the files are synced across my desktops and laptops. I also need to sync my bibliography manager’s library file, so that when I add/remove articles (with file attachments and remarks) in the bibliography manager, the changes are applied to all terminals without extra intervention.

Here’s a Endnote 7 + Dropbox hack that works for me (in Mac OS 10.10.5 environment):

Step 1. Create a folder “Endnote” in Dropbox > References. (You can add the “Endnote” folder to whichever folder you use to store your references.)

Step 2. In Dropbox > References > Endnote, create three new folders: “Styles”, “Filters”, and “Connections”.

Step 3. Open Endnote 7. Go to File > New to create a new library “References” (or use any name that you like). Save this library in Dropbox > References > Endnote.

Step 4. In Endnote 7, go to Preferences > Folder Locations. Change the locations of folders for “Styles”, “Filters”, and “Connections” so that they points to the respective folders that have been created in Step 2.

Step 5. In Endnote 7, go to Preferences > URLs & Links, uncheck “Copy new file attachments to the default file attachment folder and create a relative link.”

In the other terminals, you can go straight to Step 3 with a minor change^: instead of creating a new library in Endnote 7, go to File > Open Libraries and select the endnote library that you created for the first terminal. (^ Assuming your files sync correctly in Dropbox, those Endnote folders should appear in the other terminals once you have created them.)

Now your Endnote libraries should sync via Dropbox.

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