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Guide to getting started with Mendeley citation software.

New MS Word Plugin

As of late 2022, Mendeley has switched over to a new interface with Microsoft Word called Mendeley Cite. This guide is based on a previous version. The features are similar but the instructions will differ. This guide will be updated in 2023. For the most up to date support, please visit Mendeley's excellent official support guide:


Mendeley's Citation Plugin for MS Word (Windows, Mac) and LibreOffice (all platforms) allows you to insert citations and generate bibliographies from your Mendeley library. Mendeley formats most common citation styles and also allows for creating custom styles. 

Need specific help creating or formatting your citations and bibliography? Contact Contact Christie Silkotch, Mendeley Coordinator, at

Install the Citation Plugin

Make sure your word processor is closed before installing the plugin.

Within Mendeley Desktop, select one:

  • Tools > Install MS Word Plugin
  • Tools > Install LibreOffice Plugin

In-Text Citations

  • Place the cursor where you want to insert your in-text citation.
  • Click Insert Citation from the Mendeley toolbar.*
  • Choose the item you'd like to cite:
    • Do a quick search from the Mendeley toolbar (author, title, year) and select item from the results, OR
    • Click Go to Mendeley to select an item directly from your Mendeley Desktop library. Highlight the item then click Cite to select return to your word processor.
  • To add a page number for your citation, click on the "Author Year" (highlighted below) after you've selected an item to cite:
    Mendeley Citation Editor Add Page Number
  • Optional: Repeat to add multiple items into that single citation.
  • Click OK.

*The toolbar's location varies depending on operating system; see Mendeley's Citation Plugin Guide for details.

Use the Styles drop-down in the toolbar to select your citation format (APA, MLA, CSE, Chicago/Turabian, etc.) Selecting a new style will update your citations and bibliography accordingly.

Mendeley Styles Drop Down

If you don't see the style you need, click More Styles to search for and install additional styles.

For advanced users, there is also the CSL Editor to create or reformat a style.

If you need to cite two items in one citation:

  • highlight both individual citations and click Merge Citations, OR
  • use the option to "Search for additional reference" when creating your citation to select multiple sources for one citation.

The Citation Plugin allows for manually updating each citation to insert or edit page numbers.

Select the citation you'd like to edit, then:

  • MS Word: Click Insert or Edit Citation
  • LibreOffice: Click Insert Citation

Click on the abbreviated citation (Author Year, highlighted below) to see the following fields:

Mendeley Edit Citation


Create a Bibliography

After you have inserted all of your citations, place the cursor at the end of your document and click Insert Bibliography from the Mendeley Toolbar.

Simple as that!

More Support