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Partner Students RefWorks: Linking RefWorks to Word (Windows 7/8/10)

Linking RefWorks to Word

RefWorks is cloud based so you can use it wherever you are but you can also link it to Word so that you can insert references into assignments/papers you are writing.

If you use Word 2016 or later you should use the new RefWorks Citation Manager but if you are using an older version of Word use the Write-N-Cite plugin. 

If you have started writing a document with Write-N-Cite do not start using RefWorks Citation Manager. Complete the document and then start using RefWorks Citation Manger when you begin a new document.

Having trouble using RefWorks with Word? Check out our Troubleshooting tab for help with common issues. 

Using RefWorks with Word 2016 and later

  • To use RefWorks Citation Manager open a new document and click on the Insert ribbon.
  • Click on Get Add-ins

  • Search for RefWorks and click Add.

The add-in screen

  • Log in to your RefWorks account. If it gives you the option choose new RefWorks account.


You now have a new ribbon in Word, RCM. From this ribbon, click on the RefWorks logo. 

NB If when you try to add RefWorks Citation Manager you see an error message saying Word cannot load add-ins it's because you are not signed into your Microsoft/Office 365 account.

  • Click on your name in the top right-hand corner of Word (which will probably have a yellow exclamation mark next to it).
    Screenshot of the add-in account error message
  • Under the account error message click on Sign In and sign in to your Microsoft/Office 365 account. You should now be able to add RefWorks CItation Manager. 
  • After you've logged in your references will appear and you can browse through the list or search for a specific reference.
  • Once you've found the one you want to add hover over it and choose Cite this. This will add the in-text citation to your document along with the full reference for the reference list/bibliography.
  • Choosing Edit this will allow you to add page numbers or remove author's surnames if needed.
  • If you want to add more than one citation at once use the checkboxes next to the references to choose the ones you want and then choose Insert citation
  • To change the referencing style click on the '3 line' menu in the add-on, at the top next to where it says DMU Harvard (current) and click on Citation style. You can then choose your new referencing (citation) style.



Using RefWorks with Word 2013 and earlier

If you are using your own PC or laptop you can download Write-N-Cite from RefWorks. If you are using a Mac follow the instructions on the RefWorks for Macs page.

  • Click on the More icon in the menu at the top of your screen in RefWorks and choose Tools.

The More menu icon

  • Follow the instructions on how to install Write-n-cite.

Screenshot of the Instructions on how to install Write-N-Cite

  • Once Write-N-Cite has been installed an extra tab appears in Word. It will either say RefWorks or ProQuest.

RefWorks log in button

  • Click on this tab and Log in with your DMU email address and RefWorks password. Your Word document is now linked to your RefWorks folders.
  • Choose your referencing style by clicking on the drop down box next to Style. You may have to choose Select other style to find DMU Harvard.

Showing how to change referencing styles in Word

  • To insert a citation click on Insert citation and then Insert new

The Insert citation drop-down menu

  • In the pop-up box you can search for a reference or navigate to it via the folders on the left-hand side. You have options for footnotes and to hide the year or author, for example if you have a sentence structure of 'The argument made by Smith (1992)'. In this case the author's surname has already been included in the sentence so it doesn't need to be repeated in the citation. 
  • To add page numbers add them into the suffix box.

The pop-up box that appears to insert a citation

  • Your citation will now appear in your Word document.

Important note! If you notice an error with your citation once you have added it to Word (e.g the author's name is spelt incorrectly), remove the citation, make the corrections within RefWorks, and then click on Sync My Database in Word. You can then re-add the citation.

Do not edit the citations within Word as this can lead to corrupted citations. 

Once you have finished writing your paper you can add the bibliography or reference list.

  • Click on Bibliography options and then Insert bibliography. Your bibliography will appear wherever your cursor is so make sure you've moved it to the end of the document. 

Bibliography options drop-down menu