Skip to Main Content


A guide to using the citation manager RefWorks

How to Use Write-N-Cite with Older Versions of Word

This tool can be added to your personal devices and is not available on computers in Iona College Libraries and computer labs.

Write-N-Cite is a utility that allows users to run an abbreviated version of  RefWorks in Microsoft Word. You can access your references by folder (or sub-folder), by quick search or by all references with the ability to sort by author, title or year.   

With Write-N-Cite, you can cite references in a manuscript with just a click and watch your paper format instantly including in-text citations, footnotes, and your bibliography.  The utility installs a RefWorks tab in the MS Word ribbon or you can access it from the References tab in Microsoft Word.

You can get started with Write-N-Cite easily and view the formatting of your in-text citations, footnotes, and bibliography – all while you are writing your paper.

To get started:

  • Click "RefWorks” in your MS Word ribbon to launch Write-N-Cite
  • Select an output style
  • Insert in-text citations or footnotes and your bibliography
  • Save your paper

Step 1: Launch Write-N-Cite

Note: The first time you launch Write-N-Cite, you must be connected to the internet in order to log in to your RefWorks library and sync it with Write-N-Cite.

Logging-In To Write-N-Cite:

1. Click RefWorks from the Microsoft Word ribbon. 

Microsoft Word Ribbon - RefWorks highlighted

2. Click Log In

Microsoft Word Ribbon - Log-In highlighted

 3.  Enter your Iona email address and RefWorks password and click "Login". Note: Do not log-in from my institution.

RefWorks Log-In Screen

The first time you log-in to Write-N-Cite, it will automatically “sync” with your RefWorks library.  This may take a few seconds. It is downloading your references and collections.  Any time you make changes to your RefWorks items you can click Sync my Database your new and edited items will be added to Write-N-Cite.

During this period, you can still access all of Word’s functionality, but the Write-N-Cite functions will not become active until syncing has finished.

Step 2: Selecting Your Output Style

The first thing you will want to do is select an output citation 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 will see a list of RefWorks' recent styles.

2. Click on the style name.

3. You can change your output style and the formatting of your paper at any time by clicking on another Style in the list and selecting a new output style. Access to other Styles can be gained by using Select Other Style at the bottom of the list.

arrow pointing to drop-down menu of citation styles on Write-N-Cite

Step 3: Write Your Paper and Inserting Citations or Footnotes and Your Bibliography

Note:  You may want to sync your RefWorks library with Write-N-Cite if you have recently added items you want to use in your paper.  Click the Sync my database icon to download new or updated items.

When you are ready to insert an in-text citation or footnote into your paper:

1.  Click the Insert Citation and Insert New option to launch the insert/edit citation box.  If you have previously used Write-N-Cite, you may see some recently selected citations listed above the Insert New option. You can select citations displayed from this list or access all your references from the Insert New option. 

arrow pointing to insert new in Write-N-Cite

2. Once the Insert/Edit Citation box displays, you can access your items by Collection or by searching. The Search box will search every field.

arrows pointing to folder and article

Tip: Use the horizontal scroll bar to see the full title.  Right-click on the item and select Show Full Reference Detail to display all fields of information (file attachments are not displayed).

arrow pointing to show full reference detail

Full Reference View:

full bibliographic information with notes

3.  Click on the item you wish to insert into your paper. You will see a preview of the formatted citation in your current Output Style.

preview citation highlighted

Tip:  Add more references to the citation using the plus icon, remove them by using the minus icon, or reorder the references with the up and down arrows in the Compose Citation area.

preview citation area - arrow pointing to plus icon, minus icon, up and down arrows

4. Click OK to insert your formatted citation into your paper.

5. To insert a footnote instead of an in-text citation, click the Make Footnote checkbox in the Edit References area. Once you make a footnote and finish editing the citation, you will not be able to undo this actionHowever, you can always add a new in-text citation.

arrow pointing to make footnote box in Write-N-Cite

6. You can insert your bibliography anywhere in your paper while you are writing. Click Bibliography Options, Insert Bibliography. Note: the bibliography will be inserted wherever the cursor is in your paper. 

arrow pointing to bibliography options area in Write-N-Cite

three bibliographic references

You can click Remove Bibliography and re-insert it if you need to change the location.

arrow pointing to remove bibliography in Write-N-Cite

Step 4. Save your formatted paper.