What is OneNote

Nov 26, 2020 · 8 minute read

OneNote is a program that gives you this opportunity to organize and manage your data easily after you insert them on it and you can have all of your data in one file and even on one page and also you can search and find easily your desired phrases. in text, images, videos, and audio files. In this article, you will learn about the Quick access toolbars and how to customize them and also the tabs which you can see in the OneNote program like File, Home, Insert and … also about ribbons part and how to work with them in the OneNote program. you will learn about quick notes and how to organize the file which receives from other places. in the end, you will understand how to work with views and how to share your file in OneNote, and some shortcuts which you can use when you are working with this program.

What is OneNote App?

OneNote app is a digital notebook that is usable with all devices, regardless of its platform type, and allows you to move your content to any location. You can think of the OneNote as a real notebook, like the one you have with several notebooks in it. A notebook that is categorized and each category has several pages. If you have an Office 365 subscription, OneNote is a part of this package.


OneNote is one of the tools of the Microsoft Office package. In other words, it is installed on your computer at the same time when you install Word, Excel and PowerPoint. All you have to do is find it among the Office programs or search for OneNote app on your computer. You can download a separate version of this app from the OneNote website. If you are using Windows 8 or higher, you can download the universal app version from the Windows Store. In OneNote, organizing and managing information is possible after their initial insertion. In the usual method of data storage, we use several files with different formats to record research data. It takes a long time to review or reorganize them. But with OneNote, you can collect, organize and use all the information in one file, and even in one page. Another remarkable feature of OneNote app is the ability to quickly search for a phrase in text, images, video and audio files.

How to start using OneNote app?

In order to be a professional in OneNote, you need to have a basic understanding of its principles. Without sufficient knowledge of the basics of this app, you will not be able to take advantage of its key features. You can use this application to take notes, draw, and take screenshots or even record audio. You can also highlight, zoom, draw and pinch in OneNote.

In the top left corner of the OneNote app is the Quick Access Toolbar. Quick access toolbar has been made in Microsoft Office so that the most useful tools are always available to users. As you can see, there are several icons by default, each of which performs a specific task.

quick access toolbar in onenote

Clicking on this arrow will list some of the tools and features of the software. By selecting each item, that tool is added to the Quick Access Toolbar. You can customize the Quick Access Toolbar as you wish.

There are several icons in the upper right corner of the software. Click on the question mark icon to access the OneNote app guide. Note that you must be connected to the Internet to access this program guide. Click on the next icon to display the ribbon display settings.

Subsequent options are used, respectively, to lower the window, maximize the size of the window on the screen, and close the software.

At the bottom of these buttons is the name of the account you logged in with. As you can see, by clicking on it, you have options including the email address of the account, and you can change your picture and the user account.

The tools of the OneNote app are organized in the form of tabs and the set of tabs forms a ribbon. Tabs are located at the bottom of the Quick Access Toolbar.

You can click on the File tab to have the options to specify the current file, create and open OneNote projects, and the ability to share and output projects.

file tab onenote app

In the Insert tab, you have options for inserting tables, multimedia files, formulas and math functions, and other file types.

insert tab onenote

In the Draw tab, we have drawing tools. Using these tools, you can write manually in your notebooks or you can design charts.

draw tab onenote

In the Review tab, there are options for checking the spelling and grammar of texts, automatic text correction, file encryption tools, and more.

review tab onenote

The last tab is the View tab which includes tools and options for changing the page layout.

view tab in onenote

This area, including tabs and icons, is called a ribbon. But if you need more space, you can temporarily hide the ribbon. For this box, there is an arrow at the end of the ribbon, which by clicking on it, only the tabs are displayed. And by clicking on each tab, the tools and facilities related to that title will be displayed on the screen.

Below the ribbon you will see the name of the notebooks. By clicking on it the list of open booklets in the system will be displayed. As you can see, there is an option to create a new notebook and an option to open ready-made notebooks.

notebooks in onenote

Quick Notes are sent to OneNote app from other software to save information. You can send any type of file or information directly to OneNote. Then organize that information and put it in the right place.

Clicking Paste will add a panel on the left and display a list of open notebooks. Click on the arrow at the end of the notebook name. You can see the list of sections of the notebook.

Sections are used to categorize information. Each section is marked with a color and by clicking on each of them; you will see new pages and text. It is also possible to create new sections. After the last part, there is a positive sign that is created by clicking on that new part and is ready to receive a title. You can enter the title of this section.

The middle of the page, as you may have noticed, is where the information is inserted. You can see that at the top of that page title. And in the middle of the page you can enter all kinds of information.

Whenever you want to focus only on the information on each page, just click on the full screen icon to display the information in full screen. You will see that after clicking on the full-screen display option, the sections and ribbons are temporarily hidden on the screen, and only the information of the selected tab is displayed along with the name of the notebook.

In this view, we can browse the sections and pages of each section. Click on the title of the notebook. You will see a list of open booklets, sections and pages of each section. And by selecting the desired page or section, we will be transferred to it.

full screen view onenote

In full-screen view, you can also insert and edit information. There is an arrow at the top of the software. Click on it to see the full access toolbar and ribbon fully displayed. And you can select the tools you want and do your project. But the tools menu and ribbon are displayed as Auto-Hide, which means that if we click elsewhere on the page, you will see that they are removed from the page again.

Click on the Normal view option to return to the normal view of OneNote app. Again, we have all the tools and features of the software.

As your notebook increases, it will become more crucial to organize and put them in order. If you can’t manage it well, it will lead to a busy notebook and it will be difficult to find the desired content. Subpages are the smallest part of the OneNote app. These subpages work just like pages, but allow you to categorize your main content as well. To create a subpage, you must first create a new page, then right-click on the page and select “Make Subpage”.

subpage in onenote

OneNote app also has sharing tools for group work and makes it easy to share notes and projects with your team. You can enter text wherever you like in OneNote app and click anywhere to start writing. It should be noted that OneNote has two versions. The standard desktop version is a part of Office and the new Universal app is included in Windows 10. To start using OneNote in Windows 10 you can find it in the Start page. There is no need for signing up or subscription. Open the application and click on “Start using OneNote”.

There are many shortcuts in OneNote app that can speed up your work with this software:

Ctrl + F: Search the current page.

Ctrl + E: Search the entire Notebook.

= + Alt: Type a mathematical equation.

Ctrl + 1: Adds the first tag in your tag list to the current note.

Ctrl + N: Create a new page in the current section.

Alt + Left arrow: Return to the previous page in OneNote.

Ctrl + K: Create a link (to another notebook or to a webpage).

Ctrl + Shift + Alt + N: Create a new subpage on the current page.

Alt + Down Arrow: Skip to the next note container on the current page.

Ctrl + Alt + P: Play the selected audio file.