Translations of this page:

We’re in the process of updating the documentation for Zotero 5.0. Some documentation may be outdated in the meantime. Thanks for your understanding.

[deprecated] How do I import my EndNote library, complete with attached PDFs?

This procedure is no longer necessary for Zotero 3.0.9. Please refer to this article for help

Obviously, manually adding every PDF from a large EndNote library would be rather labor intensive. There is a trick to automating it, though.

Zotero's RIS import does have the ability to import PDFs and Endnote does export links to your PDFs in the RIS files it generates. The problem is that Endnote does not give the full path to the file.

You should be able to import all the PDFs by using a single find and replace statement. In EndNote, you need to export your library using the RIS (Refman) style. It should be exported as a text document.

In it, you will want to replace the 'internal-pdf:' links with 'file:' links.

On Mac OS X and Linux, you may run:

sed -e 's/internal-pdf:\/\/.*\//file:\/\/[escaped-path-to-pdfs]\//g' [input.ris] > [output.ris]

(see remark below)

On Windows, you may copy the following and paste it into notepad. Save as “ris-fix.vbs” or similar & run it:

' RIS link fixer for windows
' transforms Endnote internal-pdf:// links into file:// links
Dim FileName, objDialog, boolResult
Dim regEx, FileContents, modFileContents
Dim objShell, pdfFolder
'choose RIS file
Set objDialog = CreateObject("UserAccounts.CommonDialog")
objDialog.Filter = "RIS (*.ris)|*.ris|All Files (*.*)|*.*"
objDialog.FilterIndex = 1
boolResult = objDialog.ShowOpen
If boolResult = 0 Then
  FileName = objDialog.FileName
End If
Set regEx = New RegExp
regEx.Pattern = "internal-pdf://.*/"
FileContents = GetFile(FileName)
'choose folder containing PDFs
set objShell = CreateObject("Shell.Application")
set pdfFolder = objShell.BrowseForFolder(0, "Specify a folder where you have copied all your PDFs...", 0)
If (not pdfFolder is nothing) then
  ReplaceWith  = "file://" + pdfFolder.self.Path
  If (Right(ReplaceWith, 1)<>"\") then 
    ReplaceWith = ReplaceWith & "\"
  End If
  regEx.Global = True
  modFileContents = regEx.replace(FileContents, ReplaceWith)
  If modFileContents <> FileContents Then
    WriteFile FileName, modFileContents
    Wscript.Echo "The RIS file has successfully been modified."
    Wscript.Echo "No EndNote attachments have been detected in the RIS file."
  End If
End If
function GetFile(FileName)
  If FileName<>"" Then
    Dim FS, FileStream
    Set FS = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
    on error resume Next
    Set FileStream = FS.OpenTextFile(FileName)
    GetFile = FileStream.ReadAll
  End If
End Function
function WriteFile(FileName, Contents)
  Dim OutStream, FS
  on error resume Next
  Set FS = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
  Set OutStream = FS.OpenTextFile(FileName, 2, True)
  OutStream.Write Contents
End Function
Remark on sed statement

Thanks for the tip. If the previous sed statement doen't work for you, try

 sed -e 's/internal-pdf:\/\//file:\/\/[escaped-path-to-pdfs]\//g' [input.ris] > [output.ris]


Explanation: The previous sed statement did not work for me, as it removes the subdirectory contained in the RIS file exported by Endnote, resulting in [base-pdf-dir]/[filename.pdf]. However, to find the PDF [base-pdf-dir]/[subdir_named_by_endnote]/[filename.pdf] is neccessary.

Example: Your Endnote library called Literatur (i. e. Literatur.enl and Literatur.Data), and the exported RIS file Literatur.txt are located at H:\EndnoteTest. Run

sed -e 's/internal-pdf:\/\//file:\/\/H:\/EndnoteTest\/Literatur.Data\/PDF\//g' Literatur.txt > Literatur_2zotero.ris

The resulting file Literatur_2zotero.ris can be imported in zotero.

kb/exporting_from_endnote_with_pdfs.txt · Last modified: 2017/11/12 19:53 (external edit)