OneNote Tutorial

OneNote Tutorial

OneNote tutorial provides basic and advanced concepts of OneNote. Our OneNote tutorial is designed for beginners and professionals.

What is OneNote?

OneNote is an electronic notebook, which is a part of Microsoft Office since 2003. It allows you to organize notes, files, articles, pictures, and more information in a single digital notebook. It is available approximately for all devices such as Mobile, Laptops, Desktops, and also for all the operating system (IOS, MAC, Windows, and Android).

What is OneNote

Note: OneNote is inbuilt with Microsoft Office 2003 and above versions. Therefore, we do not need to install it individually.

In this tutorial, we are going to use OneNote 16 on Windows 10 platform. Here, we will discuss the following topics:

Features of OneNote

Features of OneNote

Below is the description of the most important features of OneNote:

1. Organize data in Notebook

Organize data in Notebook is one of the best features of OneNote. It allows you to store data in the form of Notebook. A notebook is made up of one or more sections, and each section contains the individual pages or subpages. In Notebook, we store information in the form of text, image, audio, and video.

2. Web clipper

OneNote web clipper allows you to extract information from a web page to OneNote. You can access clipped webpages on any computer, tablets, or phones.

3. Templates

The template is a pre-designed layout of OneNote. OneNote 2016 contains several in-built templates, including decorative page backgrounds, uniform appearance, or a consistent layout.

4. Text Search

OneNote has an ability to search the particular text. You can simply press the Ctrl+E key to enable the search panel, and type what you want to search.

5. Recording

A recording is one of the important features of OneNote. In OneNote, you can record audio or video by clicking on Insert -> Record Audio or video. It helps you to record any interview, important notes on your own voice, etc.

6. Protect Sections with Password

OneNote provides password security for each section in a notebook. To make your section password protected, right-click on the section and select Password-Protect this section.

7. Tags

Tags in OneNote helps you to organize content, remember tasks, or find content based on the tags attached to it.

8. Translate Notes

OneNote allows you to translate the notes from one language to your preferred language, which is easily understandable by you.

9. Ink to Text

Ink to text is used to convert the handwritten notes into typed text. It helps you for writing the formal document, resume, and reports.

10. Ink to Math

Ink to Math is used to covert the equation to formatted equations.

How OneNote is Different from Microsoft Office

There are the following reasons that make OneNote different from other programs in Microsoft Office:

  • Notebooks are always open
  • No need to save the notebook
  • Limited formatting options
  • You can search text easily
  • Notes are recorded in the form of audio and video
  • You can translate text in your understandable language
  • Digital pages are of the infinite size

OneNote Alternatives

OneNote Alternatives


Bear is a flexible writing app for the notes. It is the best application for Apple devices. The main feature of Bear is its tagging system that allows you to organize notes using a series of tags which generally acts like a folder means your notes can be placed inside the multiple folders.

Zoho Notebook

Zoho Notebook is a note-taking app. It is quite similar to Evernote because it allows you to create notebooks, including the text, pictures, and voice notes. The main advantages of Zoho Notebook is that it includes a web-clipping tool that helps you to grab articles and other bits from the Internet. Zoho Notebook uses Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android platforms.


Simplenote is a very simple note-taking app which is available on Web, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, and Mac. It is open-source software which is created by Automattic, a company linked to WordPress. It includes features such as high efficiency and cloud synchronization that helps you to store more data.

The main advantage of Simplenote is that it provides a simple interface, fast processing, and has an ability to work offline.

The Disadvantage of Simplenote is that it allows limited search and limited reordering of the notes.


Evernote is one of the best alternative of OneNote. It is available for both free and paid versions. It allows you to sync and save your recorded notes, typed notes, and other notes in one convenient place.

It uses platforms like Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Browser, and Unix.


Laverna is a simple and secure editor for storing the notes. The biggest advantage of Laverna is that it provides end-to-end encryption, and everything is password protected. It stores note on Laverna’s server, but you can also have an option of integrating the notes with dropbox or RemoteStorage.

Google Keep

Google keep is an innovative note-taking application. It is a Google product which is properly synced with all other Google products. It stores notes in the form of draft e-mails. It also provides the option of attaching photos and web-clippers.

Google Keep available on Web, Android, iOS, and chrome.

OneNote Hierarchy

OneNote Hierarchy

OneNote contains three main hierarchical levels: Notebooks, sections, and pages.


Notebooks are the main files for OneNote that holds all the information. When you run OneNote for the first time. By default, a notebook is already created. You may also create a separate notebook according to your requirement. For example, if you want to store the school notes, then create a notebook and name it School.


Sections are the next level in the hierarchy. It breaks a notebook into relatable topics. For uniquely identify the section, you can provide different color to each section. For example in a school notebook, make sections as Chemistry, Hindi, Maths, and English for each of your classes.


Pages are the last level in the hierarchy. It is used to store the information related to sections. The information is stored in the form of text, link, image, and table. Using school as an example again, your Chemistry section may include pages for Lecture Notes, Important Questions, and Assignments. Pages can be further divided into subpages which are same as pages. Subpages are used to reduce the clutter in the page pane. For Example, in Lecture notes, you can create a subpage of important notes.

OneNote Shortcuts Keys

There are the following shortcut keys used in the OneNote:

Typing and editing notes

Key Description
Ctrl+M Open a new OneNote window.
Ctrl+Shift+M Open a small OneNote window to create a note.
Ctrl+Alt+D Dock the OneNote window.
Home Move to the beginning of the line.
End Move to the end of the line.
Ctrl+Left Arrow Move one word to the left.
Ctrl+Right Arrow Move one word to the right.
Ctrl+Backspace Delete one word to the left.
Ctrl+Delete Delete one word to the right.
F7 Check spelling
Shift+F7 Open the thesaurus for the selected word.
Shift+F10 Open a pop up for any note, tab, or any other object that is selected.

Managing Pages, Notebooks and Sections

Keys Description
Ctrl+T Create new section.
Ctrl+Alt+M Move or copy current page.
Ctrl+PageDown/Page UP Go to next/previous page in Section.
Ctrl+Tab/Ctrl+Shift+Tab Go to next/previous Section.
Alt+Home/End Go to the first/last page in the section.
Ctrl+O Open a notebook.
Ctrl+Alt+Shift+O Open a section.
Ctrl+Shift+A Select current page tab

Formatting notes

Key Description
Alt+Shift+F Insert current date and time.
Ctrl+K Insert a link
Ctrl+Alt+1 Apply a heading to the selected text.
Ctrl+Shift+>,< Increase/Decrease the font size of selected text.
Ctrl+= Apply or removes subscript formatting from the selected text.
Ctrl+Shift+N Clear all formatting to the selected text.

Creating a Notebook

Creating a Notebook is a very simple task. When you open OneNote for the first time, a default notebook is created for you. You can also use this default notebook and add your own pages to it, or create a new blank notebook.

To create a notebook, follow the steps given below:

Step1: Open OneNote2016. Click on File->New->provide the notebook name. Then click on create Notebook.

Creating Notebook in OneNote

Step2: After clicking on the Create Notebook, the following screen appears.

Creating Notebook in OneNote

Rename the Section

To rename the Section, Right-click on the section then select Rename Section and provide a name that you want.

Creating Notebook in OneNote

Adding the Section

To add the Section, Click on the + at the top of the screen. Then type a name of the section which you want to add.

Creating Notebook in OneNote

Similarly, you can add more sections according to your requirement.

Rename the page

To rename the Page, Right-click on the page then select Rename, provide the name that you want to add.

Creating Notebook in OneNote

Adding the Page

To add the page, click on the +Add page at the Right panel of the screen. Then type a name of the page that you want to add.

Creating Notebook in OneNote

Similarly, you can add more pages according to your requirement.

Note: If you are using a recent version of Microsoft Office with Windows 10, there is a chance that you might have more than one version of OneNote on your device. For Windows 10, OneNote for Windows 10 (OneNote) is the latest version of OneNote on Windows because its interface is a combination of both Mac and mobile version of OneNote.

Basic tasks in OneNote

There are the following basic tasks that we perform in the OneNote.

Insert a table

In OneNote, it is very easy to insert a table in the page. To insert the table, click on the page where you want to insert the table then go to Insert -> table.

Basic tasks in OneNote

Attach Files

One Note allow you to attach a file from the different location that you want to use in current document. The attached file works as a reference file for that document.

To attach the file Click on the Insert -> double click on File Attachment. Select the file that you want to attach and then click on the Ok. After clicking Ok the following pop up will occur.

Basic tasks in OneNote

In above pop up, click on the Attach File, now you can see that file is attached in the OneNote.

Basic tasks in OneNote

Insert the Picture

In OneNote, you can insert the pictures, clip arts, and graphics to make the page more attractive. To add picture click on Insert -> Online Pictures. After clicking on the insert picture, a wizard will open to search the image online.

Basic tasks in OneNote

Now, type the name of the image in search box and select one of them. To add the selected image in the working area, just click on the Insert.

Basic tasks in OneNote

Insert the Online Video

OneNote allows you to add online videos. The video makes your notebook more understandable, interesting, and informative. To insert video Click on Insert -> Online video, the following pop up will occur in which provide the link of the video that you want to add and then click on the OK.

Basic tasks in OneNote

After clicking Ok, video will be inserted in the OneNote.

Basic tasks in OneNote

Insert the Link

Link option in a notebook is used to link the other notebooks, pages, and sections in the notebook. With the help of a link, you can access your favourite page by only one click.

To insert the link click on the insert -> Link. The following pop up will occur in which provide a link which you want to insert and then click on the Insert.

Basic tasks in OneNote

Now you can see that link is inserted in the Assignments page.

Basic tasks in OneNote

Change the page Color

You can also change the page color and makes the page more attractive. To change the page color, click on View -> Page Colour, select the color that you want to add in the page.

Basic tasks in OneNote

Add Rule Lines

To add rule lines click on the View -> Rule Lines.

Basic tasks in OneNote

Translate the Notes

OneNote offers the translation facility using the AI-powered Microsoft Translator service. It allows you to translate the text into your understandable language. To translate the notes, click on the Review -> Translate then select the language in which you want to translate the notes.

Basic tasks in OneNote

Ink to Text

OneNote uses a handy conversion tool to convert the handwritten text into typed text. To convert handwriting text to formatted text, first write the text in the working area then click on the Draw -> Ink to Text.

Basic tasks in OneNote

OneNote Page Templates

OneNote 2016 has a large variety of templates which provides various formatting options to create clean, attractive, and structured notes. By default, OneNote 2016 allows five types of page templates that are: Academic, Blank, Business, Decorative, and Planners.

Adding a OneNote Page Template

To add OneNote Page Template, go to the Page in which you want to add the template. Click on the Insert ->Page Templates button. From the Page Templates Button, select Page Templates.

OneNote Page Templates

From the Templates pane, select the category to expand the list of templates. Click on the template that you want to add in the page based on the requirement.

OneNote Page Templates

Now, you can see that template is added in the current page.

OneNote Page Templates

How to add tags in OneNote

OneNote tags help you to quickly identify the important items, provide reminder about the action items, and filter the files that you want to share with others.

Add the tag

To add the tag, first place the cursor at the beginning of the line or paragraph of text that you want to add.

Click on the Home -> Tags, and then click on the tag that you want to apply.

How to add tags in OneNote

To remove the Tag, click on the Home->Tags->Remove Tag.

OneNote Vs. OneNote 2016

OneNote OneNote 2016
OneNote is pre-installed with Windows 10. It runs only on Windows 10. OneNote 2016 comes with Microsoft Office. It runs on Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.
OneNote stores all data in the cloud and provides a powerful backup solution. OneNote 2016 stores all notes on your computer’s hard drive.
OneNote allows you to change page color. OneNote 2016 does not allow you to change the page color.
OneNote does not support page templates OneNote 2016 support page templates.
In OneNote, Sections are at the left side of the panel. In OneNote 2016, Sections are at the top of the screen.


Before learning OneNote, you must have the basic knowledge of Computer Fundamentals.


Our OneNote tutorial is designed to help beginners and professionals.


We assure that you will not find any problem in this OneNote tutorial. But if there is any mistake or error, please post the error in the contact form.

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