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RefWorks guide

RefWorks utilities

RefWorks has two different utilities for Microsoft's Word (desktop application): RefWorks Citation Manager and Write-N-Cite. They will help you make in-text references and a source list in a Word document. There is also a dedicated utility for Google Docs users, the use of which will not be discussed in more detail here. Instructions for using it can be found in the Help Videos section.

Citation Manager is recommended for use if the Word version is 2016 or later. Write-N-Cite is suitable for use if the version of Word is 2016 or older. Therefore, use only one of these utilities according to the version of Word in use. To find out about the product information in Word, open File > Account.

For Mac users, we recommend using Citation Manager for its better compatibility.

RefWorks Citation Manager (RCM)

How to install RCM

You can get access to Citation Manager through Word.

1. Open Word and click Add > Search Utilities.

2. Find the utility by typing for example rcm in the search box and running a search, so that the utility appears in the search results list. Click Add beside the utility.

3. Accept the licensing terms and privacy policy by clicking Continue.

4. The RCM menu now appears in the Word menu.


How to login

1.-2.  On the Word menu, click RCM > RefWorks Citation Manager, and the login window appears on the right side of the page.

3. Log in to the utility with your RefWorks ID and password.

Selecting your output style

1. In the RCM window, click the three-line icon and further Citation style.

2. You can change the output style in the Change Citation Style field. Choose the desired style from the list. If the style is not displayed on the list, you can use the search box to search for it.

3. Select the output style you want, and finally click Update.


Inserting citations

1. You can browse all your references simultaneously or folder at a time. Click All References to view folders. You can also use Search to search for references.

2. To add a reference to the text, click the Cite this button on the reference. The reference then moves to the text.

3. You can add more references at a time by selecting the desired references to build the reference at the top of the RCM window. After selecting all the necessary references, click Insert Citation. References then move to the text.

4. Reference can be edited (for example, add page numbers) by clicking on the Edit this button in the reference (see the picture on top). Make the changes and click the Insert citation button. Page numbers are added from Add prefix/suffix. The characters you add become part of the text reference (inside parentheses).

Deleting citations

1. Remove the reference as you would delete ordinary text, that is, paint the reference and press the Delete or Backspace button on the keyboard.

2. Click on the Citation Manager three-line icon and select Document and References. This also removes references from the source list.

Inserting a bibliography

In Citation Manager, you do not need to add a list of source separately. The source list automatically builds up to the end of your Word document when you add references to the text. In order for the automatic source list to work, RCM's Bibliography function must be turned on.

If you delete references, be sure to update the document by clicking on the three-line icon and selecting Document and References (see the picture above). Updating also removes source references from the source list.

RefWorks Write-N-Cite


You can install Write-N-Cite freely on your own home machine, but the installation on Centria machines will be done by IT support if requested.

Before proceeding with the installation, Word must be closed.

1. Click Tools > Tools  on the Refworks top menu and move to Cite references in your word processor.
2. You can see the Write-N-Cite versions on offer from behind the Other Windows and Mac Versions link. Click Download & install to select the appropriate version.
3. Click Save File to save the installation package on your computer. Alternatively, you can also start the installation directly with Run if your browser allows it. In this case, skip paragraphs 4-5 of this instruction.

4. Open the Windows folder list from your computer and go to the  folder where the file was downloaded.
5. Double click on the exe file to start the installation of the Write-N-Cite program.
6. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Open Word after installation and check if the RefWorks menu appears in Word. If not displayed, you can activate the utility using the instruction shown below.


1. Open Word and select the RefWorks tab

2. Click Log in

3. Enter your RefWorks login name (Login) and password (Password) and click Log in. If you have made changes in your Refworks, you should also update your Write-N-Cite by clicking Sync My Database button from Word tools.

4. Remember also to log out of WNC programs with Log out.

Selecting the output style of your citation

The first thing you will want to do is to 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´ll see a list of styles on offer at RefWorks. Click on the style name or click Select Other Style at the bottom of the list to see your personal “favorites”. They can be found by putting My Favorites in the Filter field in the opened window.

2. Click the name of the style you wish to use for your citations.
3. You can change your output style and the formatting of your paper at any time by clicking on Style and selecting a new output style.

Note: If the referral style you need isn't in the style selections, you will need to log in to your RefWorks account and add it using the Output Style Manager.  Once you add the style, click Sync My Database in the Extras area of Word's RefWorks menu to to get the WNC up to date.

Inserting citations

1. Click Insert Citation > Insert New  to launch the insert/edit citation box. If you have previously used Write-N-Cite, you may see some recently selected citations listed below the Insert Citation option.

2. Once the Insert/Edit Citation box displays, you can access references by folder search for a specific reference.  The search box will search every field of every reference.  You can use “AND” and “OR” when using the search box.
3. Right-clicking on the reference will display the Show Full Reference Detail option,  which allows you to view the complete record (file attachments are not displayed).

4. Click OK to insert your formatted citation into your paper. To add a second references in a single citation, click the + button in the Compose Citation area and then select the reference from your list.

The selected citations are shown in Compose Citation box.


You can edit citations with Edit References. Make sure that the citation you wish to edit is selected in the Compose Citation  box.

  • Hide Author - hides the author(s)
  • Prefix - add text to the front of the citation
  • Suffix - add text to the end of the citation

Deleting a citation

Deleting a citation from a list of citations:

1. Double click the citation you wish to edit to open the Insert/Edit Citation window.
2. In Compose Citation box, click the citation you wish to delete.
3. Remove the citation by clicking the minus icon.
4. Click OK. The bibliography will update automatically.


Removing the whole citation:

Write-N-Cite's Edit option doesn't work in this case. Do as follows:

  1. Delete the citation just like you would remove normal text in Word.
  2. The bibliography doesn't update automatically, so you'll have to update it manually with RefWork´s function Reapply Output Style.

Inserting a bibliography

You can add a bibliography anytime while typing. Move the cursor to the point, where you want to add the bibliography.  

1. Click Bibliography Options > Insert Bibliography.

2. All references will be added automatically into the bibliography as you use them.

You can remove the bibliography by clicking Remove Bibliography function. Always use this function to delete the bibliography, do not delete the bibliography with Word functions.