Solid Update to Research Tool

SAN FRANCISCO (07/05/2000) - EndNote users who worried about the fate of their favorite bibliography manager when Niles Software was acquired last year can rest easy. ISI ResearchSoft has released EndNote 4.0 with a host of new features that make for a solid, if pricey, upgrade.

The roster of changes includes several welcome additions to the Library window.

You can specify which fields to display, adjust column widths by dragging, and click on any column heading to sort the references on that field. The Library window also includes a collapsible preview panel that lets you see how references will appear in the final bibliography. Finally, this version at last grants our oft-repeated wish for a horizontal scroll bar.

ISI has also beefed up EndNote's search functions. For example, you can save and reload complex search criteria and restrict searches to the first author listed. EndNote 4.0 retains its predecessor's ability to query Z39.50-compliant databases over the Internet or institutional intranets, but it also ships with connection files for more databases (217 in all).

Whenever you add references to a library, EndNote 4.0 saves the authors, keywords, and journals in term lists. As you enter text into a field, EndNote scans the appropriate term list for a unique matching entry and fills in the rest of the text for you. This feature saves keystrokes and minimizes errors when you have to enter references manually.

EndNote's new Style Manager window makes it easier to add new bibliographic styles or edit existing ones, and you can specify which styles you want to appear in the Style menu. We also appreciate EndNote's new formatting options-for example, you can specify font and style settings for individual authors. Visible symbols now represent formatting characters, including tabs and carriage returns, so you can specify precisely how you want the bibliography to appear in your document. EndNote 4.0 also supports hanging indents in bibliography layouts. (We did run into a snag when we imported two of our old definitions, however.)Macworld's Buying Advice It's gratifying to see ISI continue to improve EndNote's interface and add to its feature set, but the US$100 upgrade price ($80 for the downloadable version) is a bit steep. By comparison, a fully functional version of Research Software Design's Papyrus 8.0, which lacks some of EndNote's bells and whistles, costs only $89. Upgrade cost aside, however, EndNote 4.0 is a solid update to an already excellent research tool.

RATING: 4.0 mice

PROS: Customizable Library window; autocompletion of entries; preview panel.

CONS: Expensive upgrade.

COMPANY: ISI ResearchSoft (510/559-8592, http://www.isiresearchsoft.com).

LIST PRICE: $299.

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