Take and format notes

Note-taking in Microsoft OneNote 2010 is as easy as writing in a paper notebook, but in OneNote you can also move text anywhere on the page or to other pages, create space and add pages when and where you need to, and tag important notes for follow-up.

Your notes can include any combination of typed text, pictures, and graphics — including text and images you collect from the Web pages — as well as digital handwriting, audio and video clips, and more.

What do you want to do?


Type or write notes on a page

Do either of the following:

  • To type notes, click wherever on the page you want the notes to appear, and then type your text. You can keep typing within the current note container, or click elsewhere on the page to create a new note.
  • If you're using a pen-input device, click the Draw tab on the ribbon, and then, in the Tools group, click or tap a pen color to use to handwrite your notes anywhere on the page. To switch back to typing at any time, click the Select & Type button on the Draw tab on the ribbon.

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Move text on a page

Do any of the following:

  • To move text within the same page, move the mouse pointer over the text. When the note container appears, click the top edge of the note container, and then click and drag the container to a new location on the page.
  • To copy or move text from one page to another page, right-click the top edge of the note container, click Copy or Cut on the shortcut menu, and then paste the notes to the page you want.

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Add space to a page

Do the following:

  1. Click the Insert tab.
  2. In the Insert group, click Insert Space.
  3. On the page, click where you want to insert more space, and then drag the pointer in the direction indicated by the arrow to add as much space as you want.

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Create a new page

Do the following:

  1. On the right side of the OneNote program window, click the New Page button above page tabs column. (Click the arrow next to the New Page button to choose a blank page, to create a subpage in a page group, or to create a page from a template.)
  2. At the top of the new page, type a title into the dotted heading area. The page title you type also appears on the page tab for the new page you created.

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Change the order of pages

Do the following:

  • To move a page within the same notebook section, click and hold its page tab and then drag the page tab up or down to a new location.

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Insert the time and date

Whenever you create a new page in OneNote, it is automatically stamped with the current date and time to indicate when the page was created. Depending on how you use OneNote, you can also use your computer's current date and time in your notes whenever you want to mark or track chronological events. For example, you can keep a log of phone calls received at specific times during the day by preceding the call details with the date and time of the call.

Do the following:

  1. Place the cursor where you want to add a date and time stamp in your notes.
  2. Do one of the following.
  • On the Insert tab, in the Time Stamp group, click either the Date, Time, or Date and Time button.
  • To quickly insert the current date, press ALT+SHIFT+D on your keyboard.
  • To quickly insert the current time, press ALT+SHIFT+T on your keyboard.
  • To quickly insert the current date and time, press ALT+SHIFT+F on your keyboard.

 Note    By default, OneNote uses the date and time format specified in the Control Panel in Microsoft Windows. To change the way dates and times are displayed in OneNote, open the Windows Control Panel, click Clock, Language, and Region, click Region and Language, and then, in the Region and Language dialog box, select the date and time format you want. Changes you make will apply only to new pages in OneNote and not any pages that you have already created.

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Create a bulleted or numbered list

Create a bulleted list

Bulleted lists are a great way to list items in random order, such as a shopping list.

Do the following:

  1. In your notes, place the cursor where you want to begin a bulleted list.
  2. On the Home tab, in the Basic Text group, click Bullets.
  3. Type the text for the first bullet, and then press ENTER to create the next bullet.
  4. Press ENTER twice in a row to end the bulleted list.

 Tip    To automatically begin a bulleted list, type * (asterisk) at the beginning of a new line of text, and then press the SPACEBAR or TAB key on your keyboard.

Create a numbered list

Numbered lists are a great way to list items in chronological order, such as step-by-step instructions.

Do the following:

  • In your notes, place the cursor where you want to begin a bulleted list.
  • On the Home tab, in the Basic Text group, click Numbering.
  • Type the text for the first item, and then press ENTER to create the next item.
  • Press ENTER twice in a row to end the numbered list.

 Tip    To automatically begin a numbered list, type 1. at the beginning of a new line of text, and then press the SPACEBAR or TAB key on your keyboard.

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Add or edit a link

OneNote automatically creates a link (formerly called hyperlink) whenever you type or paste an Internet address or World Wide Web URL into your notes.

Add a link

Do one of the following:

  • In your notes, type or paste the Internet address that the link should point to. For example, to add a link to the Microsoft Web site, type http://www.microsoft.com (or just www.microsoft.com) and OneNote will automatically make the link clickable.
  • On the Insert menu, in the Links group, click Link. In the Address box, type the Internet address that the link should point to.

 Note    To create links to other pages in your notebook, click the notebook section containing the page that you want to link to, right-click its page tab, click Copy Link to Page, and then paste the link wherever in your notes you want it to appear.

Edit a link

To change the Internet address an existing link in your notes points to, do the following

  1. Right-click the link whose address you want to change, and then click Edit Link on the shortcut menu.
  2. In the Link dialog box that opens, replace the URL in the Address box with the new one you want. If necessary, also change the descriptive text that appears in the Text to display box to match the destination of the new link.
  3. Click OK.

Remove a link

To delete a link without deleting the text that contains it, do the following:

  • Right-click the link you want to delete, and then click Remove Link on the shortcut menu.

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Add tags to important notes

OneNote provides several tags, such as Important and To Do, that you can apply to notes. Tags let you visibly prioritize or categorize notes and they can be used to group notes by classification or importance when searching your notebooks.

Add a tag to a note

Do the following:

  1. In your notes, click the text that you want to tag.
  2. On the Home tab, in the Tags group, click the tag symbol you want to apply. Use the arrows to scroll through the list or click the More arrow to show all available tags.

Search for tags

To quickly find all of your tagged notes (for example, to see all items you marked with the Important tag), do the following:

  • On the Home tab, in the Tags group, click Find Tags. In the Task Summary task pane that opens, click any tag to find and open the page that contains the associated note.

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Save notes

OneNote automatically and continuously saves your work while you take notes, whenever you switch to another page or section, and whenever you close sections and notebooks. There is never any need to save your notes manually.

You can freely shut down OneNote as soon as you're done taking notes. When you next start OneNote, it will automatically open the last page you were looking at.

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Applies to:
OneNote 2010