|Microsoft Office OneNote 2003 Service Pack 1 or later
With OneNote 2003, you can take notes in your own style. As you continue to use OneNote, you're likely to discover many shortcuts and timesaving techniques.
This article offers some of the most popular timesaving tips, collected from users just like you. These tips will help you set up and customize your notebook, take and format your notes, and work with a variety of OneNote features that you may not yet have discovered.
Tips for taking notes
- If the note containers on your pages appear too light or too dark on your computer screen, you can set their contrast in the Display category in the Options dialog box (Tools menu).
- To resize a column of text within a note container, right-click the paragraph handle preceding the column, click Resize Previous Column on the shortcut menu, and then drag the pointer to the left or the right.
- If pasting text and graphics from a Web page doesn't seem to properly retain the formatting, try capturing the information in a screen clipping instead. On the Insert menu, click Screen Clipping, and then drag the pointer to create a rectangular selection around the content on your screen that you want to capture.
- Save time spent typing by creating AutoCorrect entries (Tools menu) for text that you type repeatedly. When you type the short form of AutoCorrect text, it is automatically replaced with the full text that you've specified.
- Use OneNote to help you study for an exam. If you take notes by using an outline format, collapse your outline down to the highest level of information, and then quiz yourself about the details hidden in the collapsed levels.
- To change the indents in an outline, place the insertion point in front of the text that you want to reposition, and then press ALT+SHIFT+RIGHT ARROW to increase the indent, or ALT+SHIFT+LEFT ARROW to decrease the indent.
- After searching your notes, press the ENTER key to navigate through the search results in your notebook.
- To help you line up items on your pages, OneNote automatically snaps items to an underlying grid as you move and reposition them. To temporarily ignore the grid, hold down the ALT key while moving something on the page. To permanently turn off the grid, click Snap To Grid on the Edit menu.
- To move an item, such as a block of text or a picture, so that it appears over or under another item on the page, hold down the ALT key while moving the item.
- If you accidentally turn off the OneNote icon in the notification area, you can turn it back on. In the Other category in the Options dialog box (Tools menu), select the Place OneNote icon in the notification area of the taskbar check box.
Tips for working with lists
- To quickly create a numbered list, type 1. followed by a space, type the list item, and then press ENTER. The next line of text will automatically begin with the number 2.
- To quickly create a bulleted list, type an asterisk (*) followed by a space, type the list item, and then press ENTER. The asterisk changes to a bullet, and the next line of text will automatically begin with another bullet.
- If you are typing in a bulleted list and you want to start a new paragraph of text within the same list item, press SHIFT+ENTER.
- To turn a numbered list on or off, press CTRL+SLASH MARK (/). To turn a bulleted list on or off, press CTRL+PERIOD.
Tips for working with hyperlinks
- To create a hyperlink to a Web site whose URL contains spaces, type a chevron (< >) at the beginning and end of the URL (for example, <http://my web site>).
- To create a hyperlink to an e-mail address, type mailto:, and then type the e-mail address (for example, mailto:email@example.com).
- To create a link to any section in your notebook, type file:, and then type the section's file name and extension (for example, to create a link to the General section, type file:general.one.)
- To create a link in your notes to a document on your computer, type file://, and then type the document's location and file name (for example, file://C:\My Documents\Resume.doc). If the file name contains spaces, type a chevron at the beginning and end of the path (for example, <file://C:\My Documents\My Resume.doc>).
- To create a hyperlink that displays friendly text instead of the actual URL for a Web site, create the hyperlink in Microsoft Office Word 2003 or Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003, and then paste it into your notes.
Tips for using note flags
- To quickly remove a note flag, place the insertion point in the text that is flagged, and then press that note flag's keyboard shortcut (CTRL+1 through CTRL+9). You can also use this keyboard shortcut to quickly select or clear a To Do note flag.
- To hide notes in the Note Flags Summary task pane that you already followed up on and marked as complete, select the Show only unchecked items check box.
Tips for using and creating stationery
- You can modify the existing stationery that was included with OneNote and create a custom design. To do so, apply the stationery to a new, blank page, add or change anything you like, and then click Save current page as stationery in the Stationery task pane.
- To quickly share your own customized stationery with other OneNote users, apply your stationery to a new, blank page, point to Send to on the File menu, and then click Mail Recipient. Recipients can use the Save current page as stationery option in the Stationery task pane to add the design to their list of available stationery.
- If you save a .one file in the OneNote Stationery folder on your computer, the pages in that file can be used as custom stationery for new pages in your notebook.
Tips for taking audio and video notes
- The audio feature in OneNote can help save time when you're doing research on the Web. As you drag information into side notes, try annotating that information with audio notes that you record.
- To begin recording audio without first starting OneNote, right-click the OneNote icon in the notification area (at the far right of the taskbar), and then click Start Recording Audio on the shortcut menu.
- You can keep an audio To Do list by recording notes to yourself by using the OneNote audio feature. To follow up on each item, add a To Do note flag to each audio clip, and then check off the items as you complete them.
Tips for organizing and managing your notebook
- To rearrange the tabs at the top of your notebook, right-click a section tab, and then click Move on the shortcut menu.
- To change the default color that is applied to a new section, right-click the section tab at the top of the page, point to Section Color, and then click the color that you want to apply. Click None to remove coloring from a section entirely.
- Page tabs appear on the right side of your notebook by default. To display the page tabs on the left side of your notebook, in the Display category in the Options dialog box (Tools menu), select the Page tabs appear on the left check box.
- If you use a Microsoft IntelliMouse® pointing device with OneNote, you can quickly scroll through the pages in a section of your notebook by resting the mouse pointer over the page tabs and then rotating the wheel button.
- If you have a small computer screen and you want to maximize your note-taking area on the page, you can hide the titles of the page tabs in the margin by clicking the Hide Page Titles arrow in the page tab column, at the bottom of the document window.
- If you accidentally delete some pages in your notebook, you can still recover them. To recover a page, click Deleted Pages Folder on the View menu, right-click the tab of the page that you want to restore, and then click Restore on the shortcut menu.
- If you want to change the way OneNote is set up, you can customize any of the items on the menus and toolbars by right-clicking a toolbar, and then clicking Customize on the shortcut menu.
Tips for sharing notes
- Before sharing your notes with others, check for spelling mistakes. Press F7 to open the Spelling task pane, and then click Start Spell Check.
- To send a page of your notes in an e-mail message to another user, click E-mail on the Standard toolbar, and then type the appropriate information in the To and Cc boxes. If you change your mind before sending the message, click E-mail on the Standard toolbar again to cancel the e-mail message and return to your notes.
- To share an entire section of your notes with another OneNote user, create an e-mail message in Microsoft Office Outlook® 2003, and then attach the .one section file to the message.
- To preserve the appearance of notes that contain special or complex formatting (for example, diagrams, overlapping note containers, or notes with a variety of handwritten annotations) and share them with someone who doesn't have OneNote, save them as a Web page. In the Save As dialog box (File menu), click Single File Web Page (Publish a copy) (*.mht) in the Save as type list. After the file has been created, you can e-mail it, copy it to a shared location on a network, or publish it on a Web site.
- To stop sharing a section in your notebook during a shared note-taking session, click Browse and Move To in the Share with Others task pane, and then, in the Save As dialog box, choose a new location for the section under \My Documents\My Notebook. Changing a section's location will stop that section from being shared.
- You can use Word 2003 to create larger documents that are based on outlines you've created in OneNote. To copy an outline from OneNote to Word, hold down the CTRL key while you drag the note container that includes your outline into a new Word document.
- Use different colors to identify participants in a shared note-taking session. Ask each person to use a specific pen or font color when they add their notes to the shared page. For example, you might type your notes in blue text and use a blue pen to mark up a diagram. Another person might use green text or a green pen. Add a list of names and corresponding text colors at the top of the shared note page so that shared session participants know who is typing or writing.
- Want to show friends or coworkers what OneNote can do? Click Microsoft Office OneNote Tour on the Help menu.
Tips for using side notes
- To quickly open a side note, even when OneNote isn't open, press the Windows logo key+N.
- To save side notes in a section other than the Side Notes section, open the section where you want to save the side notes, and then resize the window until it becomes a side note window. When you drag information into or type notes in this window, the notes will automatically be saved in this section.
- To print a side note, maximize the side note window, and then click Print on the File menu.
Tips for protecting your notes
- To keep notes in a particular section safe from prying eyes, right-click the section tab, and then click Password Protection on the shortcut menu.
- To automatically lock a password-protected section in your notebook, you can set a time interval in the Passwords category in the Options dialog box (Tools menu).
- To permanently remove a page that you've deleted from your notebook, click Deleted Pages Folder (View menu), right-click the tab of the page that you want to remove, and then click Delete on the shortcut menu. To permanently remove all deleted pages at once, in the Editing category in the Options dialog box (Tools menu), click Empty Deleted Pages.