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Mendeley referencing software: Adding Citations to Your Documents - Mac

Software that helps with referencing. In this guide learn about Mendeley and download Mendeley.

Mendeley's compatibility with Mac

New Mendeley app

A new app, Mendeley Reference Manager, is replacing Mendeley Desktop. It is compatible with Mac OS 10.10 (Yosemite) and above.

The Mendeley Desktop version is not compatible with the three most recent Mac operating systems as outlined in this news update. Please note Mendeley Desktop has some features not yet available in the new Mendeley Reference Manager. See our comparison of Mendeley Desktop and Mendeley Reference Manager here.

For more information, go to What browsers and operating systems are supported for Mendeley products? 

You can download the app at:


Need help getting started?

Before You Begin

These instructions refer to the older Mendeley Desktop app and associated "Cite-O-Matic" Word plugin. Please see here for the newer Mendeley Cite, which works with Mendeley Reference Manager app (and Mendeley online).


You will need to install the Mendeley MS Word Plugin before using Mendeley citations in your Word documents.

First make sure that all instances of any Microsoft applciations are closed.

Open Mendeley Desktop and click on Tools, Install MS Word Plugin.

Mendeley Desktop Word Import


The plugin will install and you should get a success message with instructions on how to use it.

Word Plugin Successful



Adding Citations to Word Documents

Menedley inserts a new tool bar into your Word document.

Word Mendeley Toolbar

Position your cursor in your document at the place where a citation is required and click on Insert or Edit Citation in the Mendeley toolbar.  From the search box select your reference.

Word Insert Citation mac

Note that only the intext citation is inserted at this stage.

Word Inserted Citation Mac

Position your cursor where you want the bibliography to appear, check your citation style and click Insert Bibliography to create a bibliography.

Word Insert Bibliography

Editing Citations in Word Documents

You should not attempt to edit citations or bibliography entries by typing directly in Word.  If any reference information needs to be changed it should be changed in Mendeley and the bibliography reinserted.

Some editing of citations is possible in the Mendeley toolbar.  To edit a citation click on it.  Then click on Insert or Edit Citation in the Mendeley toolbar.


Word Edit Citation 1


Then click on the citation in the search box.

Word Editing Citations 2


You may then make any of the changes allowed for in the popup. This is useful for adding page number to in-text references where a direct quote has been used.

Word Editing 3



Changing Citation Styles in Word Documents

Click on the drop-down menu for styles in the Mendeley toolbar.


Word Change Style



If the required style is not listed click on More Styles.  This will open Mendeley Desktop and expose a longer list of styles.  It is also possible to import new styles from this screen.

Mendeley Styles



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