Go Paperless with OneNote 2013
OneNote® 2013 can help support corporate initiatives to reduce employee/Studentdependence on paper and
printed documents. This guide gives you a quick primer on OneNote 2013 so you too can join the paperless
Topics in this guide include:
Top 10 ways to use
Get started with
How OneNote is
Capture informationCreate a notebook on
Share a notebook Take notes in an online
Search your notes Use OneNote on your
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Get started with OneNote 2013
You can use OneNote the same way that you use a paper notepad on your desk. Write down detailed notes, jot
down a quick reminder, or draw a quick sketch to communicate an idea. But OneNote provides wonderful
advantages that you don’t get with a paper notepad. For one thing, you never run out of paper! You can also
capture things in your digital notes that you can’t capture on paper—like an audio or video recording, or a screen
OneNote is easy to conceptualize because it’s structured just like a physical notebook, with sections and pages.
Notebooksare for big things, like ―FY2013‖ or that big project that will keep you busy for the next few months.
Use notebooks to group sections. Each notebook can hold many sections.
Sections group pages of a similar subject together. For example, you might want to create a section for a
smaller project, for meeting notes, for that vacation you’re planning, or for a class or seminar. Each section can
hold many pages.
Pages are where you actually create your notes. Write, type, and draw on pages just as you would on paper,
and create more pages whenever and wherever you need them.
How OneNote is different
OneNote is different from other applications in a few very important ways.
Open a notebook and never close it
We’re conditioned to close files after we’re done using them. The best way to use OneNote, however, is to open it
and never close it unless you need to reboot your device. It’s like always having that paper notepad or sticky pad
on your desktop within easy reach.
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You never have to save
Anything you add to an OneNote notebook is immediately saved. Likewise, if you make an organizational change,
such as moving a page or section, it’s automatically saved so you don’t have to think about it.
Send links instead of attachments
We have become accustomed to sending documents as attachments through Outlook, this is changing with the
increased use of SkyDrive
Online. With OneNote, when you want to share a notebook, or a
section or page within a notebook, you just send a link.
Multiple authors can edit the same notes at the same time
With OneNote, you and your teammates can work on a shared notebook at the same time and see each other’s
changes in real time. This makes OneNote a great collaboration tool.
Top 10 ways to use OneNote 2013
OneNote provides lots of great ways to go paperless. Use this list to jog some ideas. Each of these ideas is
covered in more detail later in this guide.
1. Review and comment on a document. If you’re asked to review a file (a PowerPoint® deck, for example),
print the file to OneNote, and then annotate it with typed or handwritten notes.
2. Go shopping and capture screen shots as you go. For example, search for a new car. Easily capture and
send screen shots to OneNote as you do your research.
3. Organize your work and life.Store and categorize the things that are most important to you in a central
location. This information might be in email, different programs like Word, Excel®, or PowerPoint, in a paper
notepad or printout, or even on sticky notes.
4. Share your notes. OneNote is all about sharing. Share a notebook with your teammates on SkyDrive Pro and
then edit together in real time. If you want to share notes in a Lync online meeting, you can start with Outlook
or Lync. Or share a notebook (i.e, budget, to-do list, or product research) with a family member on the
consumer version of SkyDrive.
5. Take your work with you. If you upload a notebook to SkyDrive Pro, you can take your work with you and
easily access the notebook from another Windows 8, Windows RT, or Windows Phone device.
6. Create a To-Do list. Add a To-Do-list to projects that you’re working on, and then mark off items as you go.
7. Sketch an idea. Use OneNote to jot down anything that’s on your mind. Sketch out an idea for a floor plan or
a server topology and watch your ideas grow.
8. Take down random thoughts with Quick Notes. If you have a random thought that you don’t want to
forget, jot it down as a Quick Note. With a Quick Note, you don’t have to think about where to place it in a
notebook. You can always move it to a notebook section later. Or not.
9. Take lecture notes. Sometimes you can’t write or type fast enough to take down everything in a meeting or
lecture. With OneNote, you can record audio (and video) so you won’t miss a beat.
10. Experiment! There’s no right way or wrong way to use OneNote. Organize as much or as little as you like. Jot
down an idea and watch it grow and take shape over time.
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Create a notebook on SkyDrive Pro
The best way to create a notebook is to create it on SkyDrive or SkyDrive Pro. When you create the notebook in
the cloud, you can access it from other devices wherever you are. It’s also much easier to share your notes with
others if you store your notebooks in the cloud. And when your notebook is automatically backed up, you don’t
have to worry if a device is lost or stolen.
To determine where to store a notebook, keep in mind that SkyDrive is a consumer service appropriate for
personal files and notes. If you want to store business information, store it on SkyDrive Pro (no HBI or PII data
though!), not your personal SkyDrive. Be careful about which notebook you’re working with so you don’t
accidentally upload personal information to SkyDrive Pro or confidential information to SkyDrive.
Create a notebook on SkyDrive Pro
1. Tap or click FILE, and then tap or click New.
2. On the left side of the New Notebook screen, tap or click <<SkyDrive Pro portal name>>, and then on the
right side of the screen, tap or click Documents.
3. In the Create New Notebook dialog box, select a location for the notebook, enter a name in the Notebook
Name box, and then tap or click Create.
4. You’ll be prompted to share your notebook with others. It’s probably best to add your notes first, and then
share it, so tap or click Not now in the Microsoft OneNote dialog box.
NOTE: You can password-protect a section if you don’t want to share it with others. For more information, see “Share a
notebook” later in this guide.
After you’ve created your notebook on SkyDrive or SkyDrive Pro, you’re ready to create sections and pages, and
start taking notes.
Create sections and pages
You can create a section for anything you want in your notebook.
For example, you might want to create a section for each of the
projects that you’re working on, and then create another section
for personal items. There’s no right way or wrong way to organize
a notebook. Just create some sections and pages and see what
makes sense. You can always reorganize later.
When you create a new notebook, the notebook contains one section called New Section1. That section contains
one untitled page. Add and rename sections as you see fit. To rename a section, right-click the section tab, and
then tap or click Rename. To add more sections, tap or click the plus sign at the end of the section bar. If you add
more sections than will fit on the section bar, OneNote hides some of the section names, but you can click the
down arrow next to the last section tab to see the hidden sections.
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To rename the untitled page that’s included by default, just click the page title on the right side of the screen, and
then start typing at the top of the page. OneNote automatically inserts the date and time that the page was
To create a new page, on the right side of the screen, tap or click Add Page, and then type a name for the new
To insert a page between already existing pages, just tap or click the + sign that appears when you hover the
mouse over an existing page.
Type notes on a page
When you’re ready to start taking notes, place the insertion point anywhere below or to the right of the page title,
and then start typing. When you start typing, OneNote creates a note container for the text. Note containers are
only visible when you type or format text in them, or when you hover your mouse over them.
You can type as much or as little text as you want in a note container. After you finish typing your text, you can
move the container anywhere on the page by dragging it. When you want to add a note elsewhere on the page,
just tap or click and start typing.
After you type notes on a page, you can format the text in much the same way that you would format text in any
Office application. For example, you can create a bulleted or numbered list, or align text within a note
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Write notes or create a sketch
If you prefer to write notes instead of type them, or if you want to create a sketch, tap or click the DRAW tab. The
DRAW tab includes several different pens and highlighters. Just choose the pen or highlighter you want, and then
use your finger or a stylus to start writing or sketching.
When you’re ready to start typing again, tap or click the Type button on the DRAW tab.
If you want to draw a shape, select an item from the Shapes list (tap or click the More arrow if you don’t see the
shape you want), and then tap or click and then drag to draw the shape.
If you’re using your finger to write or sketch, you can add more space between buttons and commands by
tapping or clicking the Touch/Mouse Mode button. You can add this button to the Quick Access Toolbar.
OneNote can convert handwritten notes to text. Just select the handwritten notes you want to convert, and
then on the DRAW tab, tap or click Ink to Text.
Whenever you type text that OneNote recognizes as a link, OneNote automatically formats it as one. You can also
create a link manually. Just select the text you want to use as the link, and then tap or click Link on the INSERT
Attach files to your notes
OneNote can keep all of your information about any subject or project together in one place—including copies of
related files and documents. Inserted files show up as icons on your notes page. Double-click any icon to open its
TIP: As an alternative to attaching a file this way, consider printing a file to OneNote as a static image. For more
information, see “Capture information” later in this document.
To attach a file:
1. In your notes, go to the page where you want to insert a file or document.
2. Tap or click INSERT, and then tap or click File Attachment.
3. In the Choose a file or a set of files to insert dialog box, select one or more files, and then tap or click
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Manage random information with a Quick Note
If you want to just take a random note and don’t want to think about
where to put it in your notebook, use a Quick Note. A Quick Note is like an
electronic sticky note. Quick Notes are stored in Unfiled Notes or the
Quick Notes section at the bottom of the list of notebooks.
You can move quick notes to other sections in the notebook later or you
can leave them in the Quick Notes section. You can search for information
in a Quick Note like any other note, so you don’t have to worry about
finding the information later.
Create a Quick Note with the Send to OneNote tool
You can create a Quick Note even when OneNote isn’t running by using the Send to OneNote tool. The Send to
OneNote tool is automatically installed and runs whenever you start your computer.
1. Press + N, and then press N again.
2. Type your note in the small note window. If you want to handwrite your note or format it, click the three dots
at the top of the note window, and then select from the different options on the ribbon. You can even add
pictures or sketches to a Quick Note or record audio or video.
To review your Quick Notes, tap or click the down arrow next to the notebook name, and then tap or click
If you’re using Quick Notes to keep small reminders and important information visible at all times, you can pin
them so that they stay visible. To pin a Quick Note, tap or click the VIEW tab, and then tap or click Always on
The previous section showed how to take notes in your notebook. You can also use OneNote to ―capture‖
information in a number of different ways.
Record audio and video
Recording audio or video notes is a great option when can’t write or type fast enough to take down everything
word for word. Audio and video recordings in OneNote are directly linked to any notes you take while recording,
so you can search your notes for specific notes associated with a particular part of a recording. When you play
back the audio clip, OneNote automatically moves the cursor through your notes.
NOTE: You can search audio recordings for spoken words. For more information, see “Search your notes” later in this
To start an audio or video recording:
1. Tap or click a location on the page where you want to place the recording.
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2. Tap or click the INSERT tab, and then in the Recording group, tap or click Record Audio or Record Video.
OneNote displays the AUDIO & VIDEO tab on the ribbon.
3. The recording starts as soon as OneNote places a media icon and date and time stamp on the page, as shown
in the following illustration.
4. While OneNote is recording, you can type notes that will be associated with the recording.
5. When you’re finished recording, tap or click the Stop button in the AUDIO & VIDEO tab.
6. To play back a recording, tap or click the media icon on the page, and then tap or click Play on the AUDIO &
NOTE:If you tap or click the See Playback button on the AUDIO& VIDEO tab, OneNote will automatically position
the cursor within any notes that you took on the page while the recording was made. For example, if you’re recording
an interview and you took notes two minutes into the clip, OneNote will jump to that exact part of your notes when you
play back the clip and it reaches the two-minute mark.
Capture a screen clipping
1. Go to the screen you want to capture. For example, open a particular web page.
2. Switch to OneNote, and then click the spot on a page where you want to place the screen clipping.
3. Press + S.
OneNote is minimized and the screen is dimmed.
NOTE: Press Esc if you want to cancel the screen clipping.
4. With your mouse, click and drag in any direction to create a rectangular selection over the area you want to
capture. When you release the mouse button, OneNote captures your selection as a picture and inserts it into
your notes page. If you’re capturing a screen from the web, OneNote also inserts the URL for the webpage
(and the date that you captured the screen) so you can get back to it easily.
Print a document to OneNote
You can print a static copy of a file to OneNote. This is particularly useful if you want to annotate the text with
typed or handwritten notes. For example, you might want to annotate a co-worker’s PowerPoint presentation with
To insert a document or file as a printout:
1. Tap or click the INSERT tab, and then tap or click File Printout.
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2. In the Choose Document to Insert dialog box, navigate to the file that you want to insert, tap or click to
select it, and then tap or click Insert.
3. Depending on the type of file you are inserting, OneNote will attempt to launch the source program for the
selected file, and then digitally print its contents to the current page in your notebook.
Organize your notebook
After you’ve created a number of sections and pages, you’ll probably want to reorder and combine elements to
organize your notebook. Use the following table to learn how to do common organizational tasks.
To Do this
Reorder sections, pages, or
Drag the section, page, or notebook to a new place within the section bar, page list, or
Move a page to a different
Drag the page tab and let the pointer rest on the destination section until the section
opens, and then drop the page in the desired location within the pages in the new
Move a section to a
Drag the section tab and let the pointer rest on the notebook list. When the list opens,
drag the section to the appropriate notebook.
Delete a section or page Right-click the section or page, and then tap or click Delete.
NOTE: If you need to recover a section or page that you deleted from a shared notebook, open the shared notebook,
tap or click the HISTORY tab, and then tap or click Notebook Recycle Bin.
Combine multiple sections into a section group
If your notebook has more sections than will fit on the screen, consider combining sections into section groups. A
section group keeps related sections together and can hold as many sections as you want. For example, if you use
your notebook to store a large collection of recipes, you could create section groups for alphabet ranges like A –
D, and then include a separate section for each letter of the alphabet in that section group.
To create a section group:
1. Open a notebook that contains at least two sections.
2. Right-click any section tab, and then tap or click New Section Group.
3. Type a name for the section group, and then press Enter. You’ll see the new section group to the right of the
section tabs near the top of the page.
4. To add an existing section to the section group, just drag a section tab to the section group icon. When you
tap or click the section group, you’ll see the sections you added.
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5. To go back up a level, tap or click the green arrow to the right of the notebook name.
Create subpages to create a page group
Create subpages to group related pages together in a page group. A subpage is the same as
any other page, but its page tab is indented. The visual indentation makes it easier to keep
information separate. The following graphic shows subpages grouped under the
Productivity page group.
To create a subpage:
1. On the right side of the OneNote window, above the page tabs, tap or click Add Page.
A new page is added at the bottom of the other pages.
2. Type a page title for the subpage, and then press Enter.
3. Drag the page tab to the right. You can also drag the page up if you want to place it under a different page.
NOTE:To promote or demote a subpage after you create it, right-click the page tab, and then tap or click Make
Subpage or Promote Subpage.
Share a notebook
If you share a notebook on SkyDrive Pro, you can work simultaneously with team members and track changes in
real-time. If team members are viewing the shared notebook while you’re typing, your notes will automatically
appear on their screen and vice versa. The notes are refreshed every few minutes so everyone can see each other’s
changes. You can even edit the same paragraph of notes on the same page without having ―note collisions.‖
Share an existing notebook on SkyDrive Pro
1. Open the notebook that you want to share.
2. Tap or click FILE, and then tap or click Share.
3. On the left side of the Share Notebook screen, tap or click <<SkyDrive Pro portal name>>, and then on
the right side of the screen, tap or click Documents.
4. If prompted, sign in to Office 365.
5. If you want to start sharing immediately, in the Share Notebook screen, on the right side of the screen under
Invite People, enter the names or email addresses of the people you want to share with, specify permissions
(Can edit, or Can view), include a personal message to include with the invitation (optional), and then tap or
NOTE: You can assign a password to a section if you don’t want people to be able to access that section. To add a
password to a section, right-click the section tab, and then click Password Protect This Section. In the Password
Protection pane that appears, under Current Section, tap or click Set Password, and then enter and confirm your
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Use the HISTORY tab
When you’re working with a shared notebook, use the HISTORY tab to determine who has made changes, what
changes have been made, and so on.
The following table describes the buttons on the HISTORY tab.
Use this button To
Next Unread Move to the next unread section in the notebook. If the Next Unread button is
not available, there are no new unread notes.
Mark as Read Mark a section that you’ve read (to narrow down unread content).
Recent Edits Specify a time period to review recent edits.
Find by Author Search for changes by a specific author.
Hide Authors Display or hide author initials.
Page Versions View a previous version of a page (select the page tab for a page to see a list of
Notebook Recycle Bin Restore a deleted page or section from a shared notebook.
Take notes in an online meeting
OneNote is fully integrated with Outlook and Lync, so you can take and share notes easily with others.
Take notes in a scheduled Outlook meeting
1. In the Outlook calendar, open the meeting you want to take notes on.
2. On the ribbon, tap or click Meeting Notes.
3. In the Meeting Notes dialog box, do one of the following:
a. To share your meeting notes with others, tap or click Share notes with the meeting.
b. To take notes for yourself only, tap or click Take notes on your own.
4. In the Choose Notes to Share with Meeting dialog box, pick a section and page for the new notes, and then
tap or click OK.
5. OneNote creates a page linked to your Outlook appointment so you can always keep the meeting details and
your notes from the meeting together in one place.
Take notes in a Lync online meeting
1. In Lync, send an instant message, start an audio or video call, or tap or click Meet Now to start an online
meeting with someone.
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2. In the meeting window, tap or click the Manage Presentable Content icon.
3. In the pop-up window, tap or click the ONENOTE tab, and then tap or click My Notes.
4. In the Select Location in OneNote dialog box, pick a section and page for the new notes page, and then tap
or click OK.
5. The new page is linked to your Lync conversation, so you and other participants can contribute notes in real-
Search your notes
One of the great things about OneNote is that you can just start adding notes to your notebook without worrying
much about organization. OneNote has very powerful searching tools so you can always find your notes instantly.
Search for text in your notes
By default, OneNote instantly searches all of the notes in all of your notebooks. To start an instant search:
1. Press Ctrl+E, and then enter your search keywords in the search box. As you type, OneNote displays the
search results in the pop-up window below the search box.
NOTE:If you want to change the search scope to just the current page, tap or click Find on page (Ctrl+F). You can also
narrow the search to a section, section group, or a notebook by selecting from the search list.
2. Tap or click an item in the results list to go to the page that includes those search terms. The search terms are
highlighted on that page.
3. When you’re done, press Esc or tap or click the x in the search window.
NOTE:By default, OneNote searches for text in pictures and screen clippings as well as note text. You can turn this off if
you want. You can also choose to search audio. (You can’t search audio if you’re using a Windows RT device, however.)
Audio search is turned off by default. To turn these options on or off, tap or click the FILE tab, and then tap or click
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Tag notes to categorize and prioritize them
You may want to tag your notes to categorize or prioritize information. For example, if you’re writing a paper, you
might want to highlight information with the Important tag. When you tag a note, OneNote places an icon to the
left of the tagged text or other object. You can search on tags to instantly categorize your notes by those tags.
For example, the following graphic shows a line of text marked with the Important tag.
Examples of other built-in tags that you can use include: To Do, Question, Highlight, Definition, Contact, Phone
Number, Idea, Web site to visit, Critical, and so on.
To tag a note:
1. Select the text or other object you want to tag.
2. Tap or click the HOME tab, and then in the Tags group, select a tag. For example, to create a To Do list, tap or
click To Do.
NOTE: You can customize the built-in tags to suit your needs. To customize a tag, tap or click the small downward-
facing arrow at the bottom of the tags list box, and then tap or click Customize Tags
in the list.
Search for tagged notes
1. Tap or click the HOME tab, and then in the Tags group, tap or click Find Tags.
2. In the Tags Summary pane on the right side of the screen, OneNote displays a list of all the tagged notes in
the notebook. To go to a tagged note on the appropriate page, tap or click the entry in the list.
3. If you want to customize the display of the results list, in the Group tags by list, select a different grouping.
For example, you might want to display the results by section name.
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4. If you have a lot of notes and a large number of tags, you may want to narrow the search scope. To do this,
select from the Search list at the bottom of the pane. For example, you might want to narrow the results to a
particular section or to a particular week or day.
Use OneNote on your Windows Phone or
Windows RT device
After sharing a notebook on SkyDrive or SkyDrive Pro, you can easily access the notebook from a Windows Phone
or Windows RT device.
Access a notebook from your Windows Phone
In Windows Phone 7, OneNote Mobile is included as part of Microsoft Office mobile. In Windows Phone 8,
OneNote is a standalone app that you can pin to Start to get to your notes in one tap. You can take a note with
just your voice, search the contents of notes, and get around your notebooks more easily. To learn more about
OneNote on Windows Phone 8, go to: http://www.windowsphone.com/en-US/how-to/wp8/office/use-onenote-
mobile. For more information about Windows Phone 8, see the ―Extend Your Productivity (and Have Fun!) with
Windows Phone 8‖ Work Smart Guide at: <<URL>>
Access a notebook from your Windows RT device
Windows RT includes Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013 RT, which includes OneNote 2013 RT. You can
access a notebook on SkyDrive Pro using OneNote 2013 RT or you can install and use the OneNote Windows
Store app. For more information about accessing SkyDrive Pro with a Windows RT device, see the ―Get Productive
with Your Windows RT Companion Device‖ Work Smart Guide at: <<URL>>