Skip to Main Content


Learn how to use the reference management programme Mendeley.

Create folders

All References include all references in your Mendeley library, However, you can use collections to organise your library. 

  • Group references by a theme or a project/assignment 
  • A reference can be assigned to multiple collections

Create a collection

  • Click New collection, enter a name
  • You can create sub-collections to further sub-divide your references. Right click on a collection and select New collection to create a sub-collection.

Add references to a folder

  • On All References (your main library), click a reference or select several references, drag them into a collection

Delete a collect or a reference in a collection

  • Right click on a collection or a document in a collection, select Delete or Delete reference
  • References still remain in the All Collections folder. If you want to delete a reference completely from Mendeley, you should delete the reference from the All References folder

Notebook and annotations

Read and annotating documents

Find how to annotate PDF documents from the Mendeley Reference Manager online guide.


When you make notes to a PDF document, a click on the article in your library will show all annotations you made to the PDF. You can also make a general notes (e.g. a brief summary of this article) for this document.  


Notebook is a new note taking tool from Mendeley Reference Manager. You can create notebook pages for different topics and use them to collect annotations and highlighted text from PDFs as you read them.

  • Click Notebook, then New Page. Type a title or topic and start a new page
  • Open a PDF article in your library, highlight a section that you want to add to your Notebook. Click the highlight to select Add to Notebook



  • The highlighted section will appear in the new topic page


  • You can add highlights from as many PDFs as you want to your Notebook
  • You can create as many Notebook pages as you like

Add notes to PDFs (Old Mendeley desktop)

Add notes in PDF

You can highlight or add notes in a PDF document saved in your Mendeley.

  • In order to highlight a section in a document, you should select Highlight from the toolbar first.
  • To add a note, you should also select Note from the toolbar, then click a place where you want to add a note. A yellow box will pop up, type your notes in the box and close the box. A note icon will appear in the text.
  • You may Edit or Remove a note using a right click on the note icon.



Add notes in a reference record

  • Select a reference in the central column of your Mendeley library, then select Notes in the right column to add notes to this reference record.
  • For example, you could add a short summary of the article and how it relates to the context of your research. 



You can sync your desktop library with your Mendeley Web library. This ensure that you can access to your Mendeley online from other computers. Syncing is also a way to back up your desktop library to your online library in the cloud. 

Automatic synchronization

If you are signed in to your Mendeley desktop, your references and documents should automatically synch with your Mendeley Web, to ensure your library remains consistent and current. 

To check whether the synch process is working correctly, add a document to your Mendeley desktop library. Press the synch button and wait for the document to synch. Log in to your Mendeley Web account and check whether the document has been added to your online library. 

Synchronization options (for old Mendeley desktop only)

You might prefer to disable the automatic synchronization that is the default setting of Mendeley, for example if you have a limited internet connection. 

It is possible to adjust the automatic synchronisation from within your Mendeley desktop library, by clicking Edit Settings

You can uncheck the synchronize attached files box. Be aware though that you will need to apply this change by clicking Save and Synch. Doing this will remove existing PDF's from your Mendeley Web. You can check the same box again later to reload them from your desktop Mendeley to Mendeley Web, but if you have large numbers of PDF's/attachments, then this process may be very time consuming. 

Another option might be to choose which folders you want to automatically synchronize, and which you don't by changing the synchronize process from entire library to selected folders. Only the folders that are checked will be synchronized. 


Edit output styles

Mendeley users can use the CSL editor to edit output styles. Follow the online instruction on the Mendeley website to learn how to use CSL Editor.