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Mendeley: Using Mendeley with MS Word

Learn how to use the reference management programme Mendeley.

Using Mendeley with MS Word

Mendeley uses a plug-in to format in-text citations and reference lists in MS Word. The functionality of this plug-in is limited, but it is simple and easy to use.

  • Install the Word plug-in first.
  • Open MS Word, click the References ribbon to find the Mendeley Word plug-in toolbar. 


Insert in-text citations

Insert in-text citations

You can select citations from your desktop Mendeley and insert them as in-text citations in your Word document.

  • Select your preferred referencing style (e.g. APA 6th) from the Style dropdown box
  • Place a cursor at the end of a sentence where you want to insert an in-text citation
  • Click Insert Citation from the Mendeley Word plug-in bar
  • Search for the relevant reference using the search box, or click Go To Mendeley to select a citation from your Mendeley library


  • Click OK to insert this citation in your document.

Edit in-text citations

  • If you notice mistakes in your in-text citations or reference list (e.g. spelling mistakes, incorrect capitalisation etc.), the best way to remedy this is to correct the details in your Mendeley library first. Then go back to your Word document and click the Refresh button on the Mendeley Word plug-in bar to update these citations.


  • If you would like to remove an author from an in-text citation or add a page number to an in-text citation, click the in-text citation in your document, the Insert Citation button in the Mendeley Word plug-in bar will change to Edit Citation:


  • Click Edit Citation, the following box will pop up. Click the citation "Machius 2003"


  • You can now edit this citation, e.g. select Suppress author, or add a page number, etc.


Insert and Edit a bibliography

Insert a bibliography

Click Insert Bibliography to start building your Reference List. Each time you add a new in-text citation to your document, the reference will be automatically added to your reference list, in the correct order.


Edit a bibliography

In-text citations and the bibliography in a Word document are linked with your Mendeley library. However, you can make a plain text document without Mendeley field codes.

  • After you complete your writing, click the Reference ribbon on the top of your Word document.
  • In the Mendeley Word plug-in bar, click the Export as drop-down menu, select Without Mendeley Fields


  • Save this file to your computer. This will create a duplicated document without Mendeley field codes. When you click on the references or in-text citations, you will not see the gray colour background.