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The Many Features of OneNote


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This topic was prompted by a post by a member of another forum who mentioned not being familiar with OneNote. Since OneNote is one of my favorite apps, I am sharing this for the benefit of others who may not be familiar with OneNote.


I have multiple notebooks in OneNote, all organized with numerous sections and I use it throughout the day -- on my laptop, desktop and phone. A few example notebooks are notebooks for Books & TV, Personal, Recipes, Windows & Programs and more. Coincidentally, I recently replied to a Twitter comment Dona Sarkar, head of the Windows Insider Program at Microsoft, posted about OneNote saying, "I agree 100%. I use it constantly. With it synched from laptop to desktop to phone, I have important information, notes, references, resources, etc. at my fingertips wherever I am." which resulted in a Microsoft OneNote Twitter reply asking me which features I use the most. I provided a screen copy of a page from my Books & TV notebook:




As can be seen in the image, I have favorite authors indexed and listed alphabetically in OneNote. Each author page includes a link to their website and a list of their books. Since I read three or four books a week, this is how I keep track of which books I've read and the books next on the list to borrow from the library. The list also came in handy when plodr and I were discussing authors not long ago. I went through my list and gave her links to a number of favorite authors and she gave me names that I added to a list to check the library online catalog.


In the "Recipe" notebook, I have a "Grocery List". It is broken down by category (produce, dairy, baking, etc.) and has check boxes (To do). When I'm running low on something, I place a check next to the item. Then, the next trip to the grocery store, I pull up the list and uncheck each item as I add it to the grocery cart. No more forgetting to pick up some needed item.


The OneNote app is pre-installed on Windows 10. The desktop, phone, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android versions are available at the locations below. Also included is the Web link for OneNote online:



One last thing for this starter topic: In the Twitter conversation I mentioned above, the conversation went back & forth for a bit and, coincidentally, whoever does the Microsoft OneNote Twitter account created and posted the cutest (ok, to me it was cute) image yesterday.




Please share tricks, tips and how you use OneNote or ask questions about features.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest LilBambi

I also am using OneNote for organizing books/authors for across devices. Also planning to use it for movies as well. I like OneNote and save the Notebooks to OneDrive.


I think it's a great idea for recipes as well.

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There are a lot of changes included in the latest update to the Windows 10 OneNote app. I created a compilation of the changes via the Thread reader app, available here: Thread by @MasterDevwi: "Hey OneNote fans! We just released a new update on Windows 10 (version 16.0.10325.20049) with a number of features based directly on your feedback […]"

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See the answers to these and other questions at Frequently Asked Questions about OneNote in Office 2019 - OneNote.

Beginning with the release of Microsoft Office 2019, OneNote for Windows 10 will be the default OneNote experience for Office 365 and Office 2019 customers.

Learn more about this announcement, and continue reading below for more details about what this means for you.


General information


Can I continue using OneNote 2016?


Will I lose OneNote 2016 when I update to Office 2019?


I’m an Office 365 subscriber. What will happen to me?


I’m installing Office 365 or Office 2019 for the first time. Which version of OneNote will I get?


I previously removed OneNote for Windows 10. How do I get it back?


I purchased a perpetual license for Office 2016. Will anything happen to me?


I have a perpetual license for Office 2016. What will happen when I upgrade to Office 2019?


What happens if I’m on Windows 7?


How long will you continue to support OneNote 2016?


Can I use OneNote for Windows 10 and OneNote 2016 side-by-side?


What does this mean for OneNote for Mac?


I have a favorite feature in OneNote 2016. Is it coming to OneNote for Windows 10?


OneNote is pre-installed on Windows 10 and available as a free download for Mac. What additional benefits do I get if I subscribe to Office 365 or purchase Office 2019?How do I access my local notebooks in OneNote for Windows 10?


Can I use OneNote for Windows 10 if I’m not connected to the internet?


How can I develop add-ins for OneNote?

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This thread has a lot of great information,  for I especially would like to know more about using OneNote. .I felt intimidated by everything and not knowing how to make it work with my daily activities.


Thank you Corrine!😀

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From Tips for searching notes - Office Support:
For better results when searching notes, consider the following tips:
  • Use uppercase and lowercase letters interchangeably Searching in OneNote is not case sensitive. For example, if you type “Monday”, OneNote finds all notes that contain both “Monday” and “monday”.
  • Use only the first few letters of a word to expand your search results When you type the first few letters of a word, OneNote finds any words that contain those letters. For example, if you type “Tim” and you have notes that include the word “time”, OneNote finds all notes containing both “Tim” and “time”.
  • Use "audio recording started" or "video recording started" to find audio or video notes When you record audio or video notes, OneNote automatically inserts the text "Audio recording started" or "Video recording started," depending on the type of recording. To search for audio notes, type audio recording started. To search for video notes, type video recording started.
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OneNote on Windows will get a series of updates over the next 12 months. The updates include a visual refresh, the latest Microsoft pen and ink advancements, a new navigational UI layout option that can flex for customer preferences, and more!  The objective of the changes is to unify the OneNote app installed with Office and the OneNote for Windows 10 app available in the Microsoft Store.  The end result will be a single OneNote app on Windows with the ability to use the interface and features you're familiar with.

See What's Coming to OneNote for additional information.

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You can do more with OneNote for the web and in Teams

The referenced article includes the following features and improvements in OneNote for the web and in Teams:

  • New mode switcher
  • Improved copy/paste
  • Zoom in and zoom out
  • Set picture to background
  • Remember the last page you were on
  • Auto-inking with stylus
  • Re-size embedded web content as videos
  • Improved link sharing experience within Teams
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As much as I hate Microsoft, I do use OneNote at work. I may read through it to see if any of them will help out.


BTW It still irks me that copy and pasting between O365 apps doesnt keep the font and color.


Good thing I use a mix or linux and windows at work.....

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From Refreshing the OneNote app on Android mobile:

QuoteThe new Home tab on your OneNote Mobile app allows you to:
  • Capture naturally with text, voice, ink, and camera
  • Remember with ease with rich note preview cards
The Home page displays your recent notes from all your signed-in accounts in a single unified view. You can tap on a note card to view or edit the note or long press on it to take a quick action.

You can switch between Grid view to see more notes at the same time) and List view (to see more detail on each note card) to select your preferred view.

NOTE: Learn how to connect your Samsung Notes to OneNote here.

Additional information at the referenced link.

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New Layout Options for OneNote on Windows are coming soon

The #1 request we’ve heard from educators and schools looking to move to the OneNote on  Windows (Desktop) version is an option to allow the user interface to look similar to the OneNote for Windows 10 version of OneNote, with pages, sections and notebooks aligned on the left-hand side, and the horizontal tabs to disappear. We’ve heard that many students also prefer this layout option to help simplify navigation, while making OneNote “look the same” on multiple platforms like OneNote web, Mac and iPad.


When this change comes about in 2023, switching to vertical tabs in OneNote on Windows will be easy: Click the View Tab -> Tabs Layout > Select Vertical Tabs.  With that change, your Notebooks and pages will now appear on the left.


Note: This feature will only be available for OneNote on Windows and it is not available for OneNote for Windows 10.


A demonstration of this new option is available in the referenced article.

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  • 10 months later...

From What’s New and What’s Coming to OneNote on Windows.


Enhanced Text Pen and Ink Gestures
With the enhanced text pen and inking gestures, you can do more with your digital pen (or stylus) on OneNote on Windows. With the text pen selected from the Draw tab, you can convert your handwriting to text as you write and edit your converted notes with natural gestures, such as selecting text with a strikethrough, deleting text by scribbling over it, and more. Learn more about the new text pen and available ink gestures in

We’ve also added tools to help you better annotate, take handwritten notes, and draw. This includes an all new Draw tab, improved ink reliability, and a quick shortcut to get help specifically built for ink!

(If you don't have a digital pen enabled device and have a touch device instead, or already have handwritten notes that you’d like to convert, select your handwritten notes through Draw > Lasso Select and choose Ink to Text on the ribbon to convert your handwritten notes to text. More information in this article).


Faster Notetaking with Text Prediction
Following Outlook and Word, inline text predictions are now available in OneNote on Windows. Text Prediction in OneNote lets you capture your notes faster by completing the current word and anticipating the next word or phrase of your sentence based on the context that you're typing in. These predictions appear in real-time as inline ghost text and are inserted on pressing Tab or the Right-arrow key.


New Layout Options
For those who love the left-sided layout on OneNote for the web, OneNote for Mac, and OneNote for iPad, you’ll be thrilled to hear that we’ve brought this experience to the OneNote on Windows app! Using the new Vertical Tabs layout option under the View menu, you can use a navigation experience similar to other Microsoft 365 apps and services, such as Outlook and Teams.


Supercharge Productivity with OneNote Copilot
In line with our recent announcements on Copilot availability, Microsoft 365 Copilot is coming to OneNote on Windows starting in November. Copilot in OneNote helps you create, capture, organize, and recall information with confidence. As your AI-powered notetaking partner, Copilot uses your prompts to draft plans, summarize your notes, generate ideas, create lists, organize information, and more. Learn more and explore what’s possible with Microsoft 365 Copilot from our official blog and support site.


Preview Stream Videos Inline
Starting soon, you can directly preview Stream videos (on SharePoint) within OneNote without needing to switch to another application. This seamless integration allows you to stay focused on your notes and maintain your productivity without any interruptions. This also adds Stream (on SharePoint) to the list of links that can be enriched by an inline preview. Learn more about embedding content on OneNote and supported links from our support article.  


Note: These updates are only for the OneNote app, not the OneNote for Windows 10 app. If you're still using the OneNote for Windows 10 app, it is recommended that you switch to the OneNote app as soon as possible. The latest OneNote Windows app is available as part of Microsoft 365, it may already be included as part of Microsoft 365 on new Windows 11 devices and can also be downloaded as a free standalone version from the Microsoft Store.

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