Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Importing Citations Into Microsoft Word 2010

I've always been a big fan of Microsoft Word.  I think it has many features that people overlook, including the ability to add an automated table of contents and a pre made bibliography page. Even though Word offers these and other conveniences to make writing reports much easier, many researchers and report writers don't use the built in features of work, preferring to manually and put their table of contents and bibliography by relying on a third party utility like write and cite.

For researchers and grad students like myself, it is very easy to export our article references from the university's library database into Ref Works. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Ref Works, it is a web based citation manager.  While Ref Works is very good for receiving the citations one might use, it didn't seem to have the most versatile export abilities.  That is, until I found a free utility that was posted on the web. Thanks to a grad student named Ritesh Agrawal, we can all enjoy importing our citations into Microsoft Word. Mr. Agrawal created an add-in for Word that he calls Reference Manager. Reference Manager can search the web for citations and can also import citations from both the web and from a text file. While I can't verify all of Reference Manager's capabilities, I was able to use it to import citations from Ref Works. Also, reference manager is not perfect. Some of the imported authors' names were truncated (abbreviated).  To me, that doesn't make it unusable and it is still much better than typing everything in by hand. So, if your still interested, here is how I did it:

Install Reference Manager

1. You will need the Reference Manager add-in for Word.  Here is the author's blog site:


Here is the download link:


2. Download the reference manager file and unzip it in a convenient spot.

3. Double click the setup.exe file and follow the prompts.

You should see a dialog box like the one below

4. Click the install button and accept the warning. This triggers a Microsoft update called VSTO. That stands for Visual Studio Tools for Office. It's ok, it's from Microsoft and you know that's a name you can trust!

After everything is finished, you should get a dialog that looks like this:

If you don't receive this dialog box, try reinstalling the addin and restarting your PC.

After a successful installation, you should see a tab named "Memento" in Word.

Now, you are ready to get started!

Download references from Ref Works

 1. First, log into Ref Works and call up your list of citations. For this example, I created a list of 15 citations. Click the 'Export' link to get started.

2.  Ref Works gives you the ability to export in 6 different formats. I tried all six and was able to get Reference Manager to import citations using the Bibtex format. Other formats may work, but this was the easiest. After the export, you should see a green box in the lower right corner of the screen. Inside that box, click the link to email the file.

3. Once you've collected the notepad file with your citations in it from your email inbox, you are ready to import into Word.

Importing Your Citations into Word

1. Open your freshly updated MS Word and select the Memento tab. Click the "From Text File" button in the 'Import' ribbon section. This opens a dialog box that will allow you to import your citations.

2.  Copy/paste your citations from the downloaded notepad file. Here is an example of what you should see:

3. Click the 'OK' button and wait. The first time I did it, nothing seemed to happen. So, I closed the dialog and checked the citation manager in Word. Voila! All my citations were there. Here is what you should see:

When adding the citations to your bibliography, double check to make sure you are ok with result. I noticed that some of the references had truncated author's names. If you want to experiment, try downloading from Ref Works using different formats and then try importing them into Word using the different available formats in Reference Manager.

I hope this tutorial has been helpful. Have a great day!

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