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Michigan State University

Mendeley: Tips & Tricks

Information for Mendeley uses, including citation download assistance, bibliography creation, and tips to make Mendeley a time-saving, citation management tool

Printing Annotated PDFs

Editing Citations

To edit citations, simply click on the field in the right editing pane and make the necessary additions and/or corrections. There is no way to mass change case of multiple fields at once; they need to be changed manually by either retyping or cutting & pasting into Word, using the 'Change case' feature, then copying & pasting back into Mendeley.

Remember to sync with Mendeley Web before you close Mendeley Desktop to update the online citations.

Bibliography Copy & Paste Method

You can copy citations directly from Mendeley Desktop and paste them into Word to create a bibliography.

  1. Identify the list of citations you want in Mendeley by using folders and/or tags.
  2. Go to View > Library as citations.
  3. Select the citation format you need.
  4. Highlight the cites you want by either
    • CTRL+A for all of the citations.
    • Crtl + clicks on the desired cites for non-adjacent citations.
    • Click + Shift on the top citation and click on the bottom citation for adjacent citations.
  5. Right click to Copy the citations.
  6. In Word, Paste the citations.


For those who are interested, here's information on LaTex and Bibtex compatibility. Sources is MIT's Zotero guide.

What is LaTeX?

LaTeX is a typesetting program that takes a plain text file with various commands in it and converts it to a formatted document based on the commands that it has been given. The source file for the document has a file extension of .tex. It is widely used at MIT for theses and other technical papers due to its prowess with mathematical and foreign characters. For more information on LaTeX, see LaTeX on Athena Basics, provided by the Athena On-Line Help system.

What is BibTeX?

BibTex is a bibliographic tool that is used with LaTeX to help organize the user's references and create a bibliography. A BibTeX user creates a bibliography file, wth a file extension of .bib, that is separate from the LaTeX source file. Each reference in the bibliography file is formatted with a certain structure and is given a "key" by which the author can refer to it in the source file. For more information on BibTeX, see MIT IS&T's page: How do I Create Bibliographies in LaTeX.

Mac - PC Differences

Certain elements appear in different places on PCs then on Macs.  Here are a few of the know differences.

Web Importer
If you are on a Mac and using Safari, make sure that the "Add bookmark" is set to "Bookmark Bar," not "Bookmark Menu." See here.

Adding Files
Mac - File drop-down from the ribbon at the very top. The icon opens the file manager on the hard drive.
PC - Click the far left icon then select the method

General / Document Details / File organizer / Watched folders / BibTeX / Zotero / Connection
Mac - Top-most Ribbon - Mendeley Desktop - click Preferences
PC - Click the Tools drop-down, Options

Removing URLs from bibliographies using the Word plugin

You can remove URLs from a bibliography by opening Mendeley Desktop and clicking View >Citation Style >More Styles, and set Include URLs and Date Accessed in Bibliographies to Only for Webpages. From Mendeley Support,

Altering title word appearances

To alter the appearance of a word in the title field, use HTML tags.

Italics: <i> </i>
subscript: <sub> </sub>
superscript: <sup> </sup>
boldface : <b> </b>

WARNING - this isn't holding on some systems. Mendeley Support is working on a permanent fix.

Annotated Bibliography

You can create an annotated bibliography using Mendeley and Word.

  1. Select and install the citation style American Psychological Association 7th edition (annotated bibliography).
  2. In the editing pane, click on the Notes tab and insert your annotation there.
  3. In Word, select the same citation style.
  4. Choice 1 - Word doc page 1 - insert the in-text cites you want. On page 2, insert the Bibliography and the annotations will be embedded with the citation.
    Choice 2 - Create a folder of the citations you want (or a tagged list) and sort them by author in the table. Change the view to 'Library as Citations'. Ctrl+Shift A the citations, Ctrl+C, and then Ctrl+V in Word. This will paste in the citations and the note-annotations, but cut the connection back to Mendeley so you can edit them independently. 

Keyboard Shortcuts

The current keyboard shortcuts in Mendeley Desktop are as follows [for Macs, use cmd instead of Ctrl]:

Ctrl + 1 – switch to library tab
Ctrl + 2, Ctrl + 3,…, Ctrl + 9 – switch to relevant numbered tab.
Ctrl + Shift + C – Copy Citation
Ctrl + D – Remove Annotation
Ctrl + E – Export File
Ctrl + F – Find (F3 Find next, Shift+F3 Find Last)
Ctrl + G – Go to page number
Ctrl + Shift + H – Highlight Text
Ctrl + K – Copy LaTeX Citation
Ctrl + N – Add note
Ctrl + O – Add Files
Ctrl + Shift + O – Add Folder
Ctrl + Q – Quit program
Ctrl + Shift + R – Highlight Rectangle
Ctrl + W – Close tab
Ctrl + Home – First Page
Ctrl + End – Last Page
F5 – Synchronize Library
Mendeley Support pge:

Michigan State University