Two major drawbacks with citations in Word 2008

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by buffalohill, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. buffalohill macrumors newbie

    Feb 29, 2008
    I've come across two major problems with citations in Word 2008. I wonder if anyone knows of a solution or if, at the end of the day, I'm just doing something wrong.

    When I want to insert more then one reference at a point in a text Word inserts each reference in separate brackets rather then entering all citation into one set of brackets: (author1 date1)(author2 date2)(author3 date3) instead of (author1 date1, author2 date2, author3 date3)

    Any idea how to solve this?

    If I click "Works Cited" or "Bibliography" in the "Bibliographies" pane under "Document Elements" Word inserts a list of references containing all references in my citations toolbox. This happens in both cases. But I only want the references that I have actually inserted into my text to come up in my "Works Cited" list. Updating the "Works Cited" or "Bibliography" list makes no difference, either just simply display everything thats in my toolbox. The way I understand it I should be able to have a long list of citations in my toolbox from which I can pick the ones I need to insert by double clicking and then I should simply be able to click "Works Cited" and Word gives me a reference list with all refs that have been inserted in my text (not simply all that are in my toolbox).

    Any clue what's going on? Am I missing something?

    Cheers for any suggestions out there! :)

    (PB G4, 1.67 GHz, 2 GB Ram, OS 10.4.11, Word 2008 12.0.0)
  2. ArthurS macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2006
    Bump as I'm curious about these exact same things
  3. catachip macrumors regular


    Jun 7, 2007
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    Word 2008 just has really poor citation management. I tried doing what you're doing (for reasons explained below) but found no solution.

    I'm a biological science grad student, so, writing papers with lots of citations (managing references from PubMed, etc.) is very important. EndNote is really the only way to do this effectively right now. It connects directly to PubMed, or other online sources, and imports the references directly. Then, you can insert the references and it will generate a Bibliography with just those inserted. It also has citation style formatting for every major journal, and will auto update your entire document with the proper intext citation style (i.e. numbers, author, etc., etc.) as well as the bibliography at the end of the text.

    Unfortunately, EndNote X1 (the most recent version) is only compatible with Word 2004. Microsoft dropped scripting from Word 2008, making it impossible for EndNote to work in it's current form. I assume that because so many people in academia use Macs that they will design some new technology to make it work. They have stated on their website ( that they are working on a solution. Until then, I have to keep a copy of Office 2004 on my computer to do the citations in. I do as much in 2008 as I can, because it's faster, then switch to 2004 for citation management, etc.
  4. buffalohill thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 29, 2008

    Ok, what I said under point one doesn't seem to be absolutely true, there is a way to insert two citations into one pair of brackets, you kinda double click or something, I got it to work but can't remember exactly how. Anyway, not totally intuitive but it works.

    On point two it really is all bad. Check out this article:
    First, in regard to EndNote, I'm sure they will come up with a solution but Thomason Software (the EndNote guys) have always been notoriously slow in addressing mac issues and either way, EndNote is such a badly written piece of software with a very Windowsy feel to it, that most people would love to have a more apple-like solution.

    What to do?
    Well, I've emailed the guys at Papers asking them to implement a proper citation tool with "cite while you write" functionality in Papers 2.0, and they responded that this was indeed something they were looking into. However after seeing their webcast (, where they barely mention this intention but keep rambling about all the other things they were looking into, I have a feeling that this is not very high on their priority list. The guys (i.e. Alex) at Papers however seem to be taking their customer feedback very serious and so here's my suggestion:

    Send them an email (the feedback tab at:! tell them what you need! They are listening! If we get a few people to do so citation might actually start crawling up their to do list and will hopefully be implemented soon! At the end of the day, papers with EndNot like "cite while you write" functionality is really just about the best you can ask for, so let's give it a try!

    Hoping for a solution soon! Cheers!


  5. joemacuser macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2008
    Both of these things you can do easily...

    First, if you enter the first citation by double clicking the one you want from the citations list, it will enter one citation (brown, 2003) like that. Then, if you insert your cursor at the end of the 2003, and double click the next citation you want, it will look like (brown, 2003; red, 2001).

    Secondly, if you use a citation, and then later remove it it might stay in the citations list. If you go to the citations list and click the settings button at the bottom right of the citations window, it will bring up a menu with Citations Manager in it. Click this, and when the window opens you can select the citation in the right window you want to remove. Similarly, if you find a citation you have used that has been inadvertently converted to text and is not in your list, you can click the name to the left, and add it so it will show up in the list. Close this window and then insert your citations list from the document elements tab as usual, and see how it goes.


  6. hayduke macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2005
    is a state of mind.

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