Differences between using a notebook in the browser and in OneNote

Microsoft OneNote Online lets you take notes and organize note pages in a web browser. For more advanced editing features, use OneNote Online ‘s Open in OneNote command. When you save the notebook in OneNote, it is saved on the website where you opened it in OneNote Online.

The notebook you open in OneNote Online is the same as the notebook you open in the OneNote desktop app, but some features work differently in the two environments.

 Note    If you are using OneNote Web App with SharePoint 2010, see Differences between using a notebook in the browser and in OneNote.

In this article


File formats supported in OneNote Online

OneNote Online opens OneNote 2010 and later notebooks (.one files).

OneNote Online can’t open notebooks in other file formats. For example, these formats are not supported: OneNote 2003 or OneNote 2007 notebooks (.one), OneNote Package (.onepkg), and Portable Document Format (PDF).

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Features supported for viewing and printing

When you view notes in OneNote Online, you can page through a notebook, expand and collapse sections, see who has contributed which notes, and see previous versions of a page.

However, some features work differently in the browser than they do in the OneNote desktop app. To use features that are not available in OneNote Online, click Open in OneNote (requiresOneNote 2010 or later).

This feature Works like this in OneNote Online
Print Print is not available in OneNote Online. Instead, use your browser’s print feature. Use Print Preview to see if you need to scroll to a part of the notebook, or switch page orientation from Portrait to Landscape.
Audio and video OneNote Online does not play audio and video content, but the media is preserved in the notebook, and you can download audio and video files to your computer to play them.
Search Search is limited to the current section in OneNote Online.
Zoom Zoom is not available in OneNote Online. Instead, use your browser’s zoom feature.
Shapes, equations, ink In OneDrive, OneNote Online displays shapes and ink, but equations are displayed as placeholders. In SharePoint, ink is viewable, equations are displayed as placeholders, and shapes are hidden.
Rule lines and page color OneNote Online cannot display these, but they are preserved in the notebook.
Line breaks Line breaks are displayed as placeholders.

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Features that differ between the browser and the desktop

When you edit notes, some features work differently in the browser than they do in the OneNote desktop app. The following tables describe how OneNote Online supports features that might apply to your notes. To use features beyond what’s available in OneNote Online, click Open in OneNote (requiresOneNote 2010 or later).

Opening notebooks

This feature Works like this in OneNote Online
Information Rights Management (IRM) In SharePoint libraries that are IRM-protected, OneNote Online opens notebooks for reading, but not for editing. IRM protection can’t be added to notebooks in OneNote Online.

Editing and formatting

This feature Works like this in OneNote Online
Copy and Paste Copy and paste text, and copy/paste pictures from the web. Text pasted within a notebook keeps its original formatting, but text pasted from outside OneNote Online loses formatting such as bold and italics.
Font formatting Apply bold, italics, underline, font, size, and color. Note: the Format Painter command is not available in OneNote Online.
Text formatting Align text left, right, or centered; run text right-to-left or left-to-right; increase or decrease indentation; format text as a bulleted or numbered list.
Numbering and bullets Apply built-in numbering or bullet formats.
Styles Apply one of a gallery of built-in styles. You can also clear formatting.
Search Search is limited to the current section in OneNote Online.
Insert Space The command for creating empty space on the page is not available in OneNote Online. Try moving notes around to make room, or start a new page.
Rule lines and page color Commands for changing the look of the page are not available in OneNote Online. Rule lines and page color are hidden in OneNote Online, but they are preserved in the notebook.
Co-authoring Multiple authors can work simultaneously in OneNote 2010, OneNote Online, and OneNote Mobile. Show and hide author names.

Follow-up on notes

This feature Works like this in OneNote Online
Tags Tag notes for follow-up, and remove tags when you want. Tags cannot be customized in OneNote Online, and your custom tags are not available to apply. However, OneNote Online displays custom tags, and you can remove them.
Find Tags This feature is not available in OneNote Online.
Outlook integration OneNote Online does not support commands that work with Microsoft Outlook (E-mail Page, Outlook Tasks, or Meeting Details).

Reviewing

This feature Works like this in OneNote Online
Proofing tools Check spelling and set the proofing language, using the built-in dictionary. OneNote Online does not use a custom dictionary and does not include translation or a thesaurus.
Page versions View and restore previous versions of a page.
Review notes by unread, recent, and author Notes cannot be marked as read or unread in OneNote Online, and reviewing edits by how recent they are or by author is not available.

Objects

This feature Works like this in OneNote Online
Hyperlinks Insert, edit, and follow hyperlinks to the web or to other pages in the same notebook. Links to locations within the notebook work at the page, but not the paragraph, level in OneNote Online.
Tables Tables are created the same way in OneNote Online as they are in the OneNote desktop app.
Pictures, clip art, and screen clippings Insert pictures stored on your computer, or insert clip art available on Office.com. You can change the size of pictures, and add Alt-text. More sophisticated features for working with pictures, such as rotating or ordering in layers back-to-front, are not available in OneNote Online. You can’t take screen clippings in OneNote Online, but screen clippings in your notes display as pictures in OneNote Online.
Audio and video These are preserved in the notes, but cannot be recorded in OneNote Online. You can download audio and video files to your computer to play them.
Shapes, equations, and ink These can’t be inserted or edited in OneNote Online. In OneDrive, you can select and delete shapes, ink, and equation placeholders. In SharePoint, you can select and delete placeholders for these objects.
Symbols These can’t be inserted or edited in OneNote Online, but OneNote Online displays them as expected.
Embedded files Download these to your computer to open them.
Timestamp The commands for inserting the current date and time are not available in OneNote Online, but OneNote Online displays them as expected.
Linked notes The ability to link note-taking to files is not available in OneNote Online, and links to files are hidden. However, they are preserved in the notes.
 
 
Applies to:
OneNote Online, OneNote Web App