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Introduction to RefWorks Citation Manager

RefWorks Citation Manager is a plugin for Microsoft Word (2016 versions onward) that lets you run a simplified version of RefWorks inside Word.

RefWorks Citation Manager is available through the Microsoft Store and can be installed directly from Microsoft Word. By default, Office automatically updates RefWorks Citation Manager whenever a new version becomes available.

It is not currently possible to install RefWorks Citation Manager on a University of Bolton computer or Library laptop. The Library is investigating the possibility of adding RefWorks Citation Manager across the University network. Check back for updates soon! 

The following instructions are for people with their own laptop or device where they have the administration rights to install apps and plugins. 

It is possible to create simple bibliographies in RefWorks without the use of RefWorks Citation Manager, and copy and paste that into your assignment. 

Features of RefWorks Citation Manager

RefWorks Citation Manager:

  • Provides read-only access to your RefWorks account, enabling you to view and insert your previously collated references into your document, formatted using previously defined citation styles.
  • You can add inline citations. Adding a citation also adds a bibliography to the end of the document. As you add or remove references, the plugin automatically updates the bibliography.
  • Enables you to bulk format all entities managed by RefWorks Citation Manager. 
  • Every time you log into RefWorks Citation Manager, it automatically synchronizes with your RefWorks account.


  • Refworks Citation Manager is not available for older versions of Word, (Microsoft Office pre-2016) users must use Write-N-Cite.
  • RefWorks Citation Manager provides limited access to your RefWorks account, and does not enable you to make changes to your references. If you have documents with codes that were added using RefWork Citation Manager associated with legacy RefWorks, RefWorks Citation Manager can convert these codes to (new) RefWorks. RefWorks Citation Manager cannot otherwise manage older codes.

Installing RefWorks Citation Manager

  1. In Microsoft Word, select Insert > Store and search for RefWorks.
  2. RefWorks Citation Manager will be listed. Select Add to install; it opens in the right sidebar.

  1. Log into RefWorks. Synchronizing data with your RefWorks account may take a few moments, especially on your first login. Once you are logged in, the sidebar updates with your references.

An action menu is available on the left of the sidebar, and a configuration menu is available when you select the top right of the sidebar.

  1. To set the citation style, select Change citation style in the action menu. A dialog box appears in the right sidebar. Select the style and select Update. Every time you perform this action, all citations and the bibliography will be updated to the new style.

Using RefWorks Citation Manager

To insert a citation:

Select the reference and select Quick Cite. When you do, two things are added to your document:

  • An inline citation
  • A bibliography at the end of the document.

If a bibliography already exists, the reference is added to it.

To configure the reference before inserting it:

  1. Select the reference and select Preview & Edit. The Preview & Edit pane appears. Full reference information appears at the bottom.

  1. Select to insert the citation inline.
  2. Optionally configure whether to change the page numbers, hide the author, or hide the publication year. A preview of the citation and the bibliography entry appears.
  3. Optionally add a prefix or suffix text to the reference.
  4. Select Insert Citation. An inline citation is added as well as a bibliography entry.

Additional actions:

  • Edit a citation – Move your cursor to anywhere in the citation. The information opens in the right sidebar.
  • Delete a citation – Select the entire citation, either by highlighting it with your mouse or by selecting the block element handle and pressing Delete. Select Update document in the action menu to update the bibliography.
  • Add a citation to a footnote – Create a footnote in Word and add a citation to it as you would add a citation inline in the text.
  • Refresh RefWorks – If you need to refresh the RefWorks pane, select Reload from the configuration menu. 

Help using RefWorks Citation Manager

If you are struggling with any aspect of using RefWorks Citation Manager:

  1. Open a new window in your web browser and log into your RefWorks account at
  2. Click on the question mark icon in the top right hand corner, and select Contact Support
  3. Use the online chat feature to speak to a RefWorks Support Agent. 

Please remember that it is not currently possible to use RefWorks Citation Manager on a University-managed computer, including Library PCs and Laptops. The Library is currently investigating how to enable this feature.