RefWorks: Write-N-Cite

Using “Write-N-Cite” With MS Word

Write-N-Cite is a RefWorks application that allows you to insert references into MS Word documents.


  • Write-N-Cite runs on your computer, in addition to the web, so it must be downloaded and installed (the computers within the library should already have this installed).
  • Available for Windows (XP and Vista) and Mac (OS X version 10.3 and later) users. RefWorks provides installation information here.
  • Once Write-N-Cite is installed, you will see a shortcut on your desktop, and a toolbar will appear in MS Word.


  • Open a document in MS Word
  • Open Write-N-Cite by clicking on the Write-N-Cite icon within MSWord. If you are using MS Word 2003, the RefWorks icon will appear under “Tools” or in the toolbar. In Word 2007, it appears in “Add-Ons”.
  • When you click on the Write-N-Cite tool, you will be prompted to log into RefWorks (Write-N-Cite works best when you are connected to the internet: read these instructions to learn how to use Write-N-Cite offline).
  • Write-N-Cite will appear as a smaller, separate window as you are working on your document. You can select “Always on top” to keep this window from getting minimized
  • Write-N-Cite will, by default, show all your references. You can change this by going into “View” and selecting a specific folder.
  • When you want to cite a reference, leave the cursor in the Word document where you’d like the reference to fit. In the Write-N-Cite window, find the corresponding reference and hit “Cite”. You will see something like {{57 Austin,D.W. 2008}} appear in your Word document. This is a temporary placeholder – the reference will look different once you have formatted your bibliography through Write-N-Cite.
  • When you have finished adding your references, click the “Bibliography” link in Write-N-Cite.
  • A Bibliography window will open. From here, you can choose an output style (for example, APA). If you don’t see your choice in the pull down menu, you will have to log into RefWorks and access the Output Style Manager (Tools->Output Style Manager). From here, select the correct style and add it to your favorites. This style will show up in RefWorks after the Bibliography page is reloaded (to reload the page, navigate away and back).
  • Once you have selected the correct style within Write-N-Cite, click “Create Bibliography”
  • Write-N-Cite will now process your MS Word document, formatting references within the text as well as a list of references at the end of the document.
  • You can change the format style (for instance, from JAMA to APA) by clicking on “Bibliography” and choosing a new style.
  • If you need to change your output style or add references, make the changes and reformat (select Bibliography, then “create Bibliography” again).
  • For more help with Write-N-Cite, including what to use when you don’t meet the compatibility requirements, and how to use Write-N-Cite offline, see these pages. 

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