Get started with the new OneNote

OneNote has a new look — thanks to an improved and consistent interface across the newest versions of OneNote. This article contains tips to help you get going quickly.

Note: The new OneNote experience is now available in OneNote for Windows 10, OneNote for Mac, OneNote for iOS (iPhone and iPad), OneNote for Android, and OneNote Online. (The OneNote 2016 desktop app will retain its existing interface.)

Get quick access to your notebooks, sections, and pages

The new OneNote user interface

If you’ve previously used OneNote, it will open the last notebook you worked in.

The pages and sections in your current notebook are displayed in easy-to-view navigation panes. To switch to any other page or section, click its name. You can also right-click (PC) or Control-click (Mac) the name of any page or section and then choose from more options.

If you want to open a different notebook, click the Show Notebooks button Show Notebooks button . In the list of notebooks that opens, click the name of the notebook you want to switch to. If no other notebooks are shown, click More Notebooks.

Tip: Can’t find the notebook you’re looking for? Make sure you’ve signed into the account that contains the notebook you want to work in. See Switch between your home, work, or school accounts later in this article.

Create new pages, sections, and notebooks

Notebooks in OneNote never run out of space. You can easily add more pages or sections to any notebook — and you can create new notebooks to keep separate subjects or projects organized.

Create new notebooks, sections, or pages

To create a new page in the current section, click + Page.

To create a new section in the current notebook, click + Section.

To create a new notebook, click the Show Notebooks button Show Notebooks button . At the bottom of the list that opens, click + Notebook. Depending on the version of OneNote you’re using, you can choose a color, name, and location for your new notebook.

Show or hide as much of the OneNote interface as you want

Do you want to see more of your notes while working on a tablet or a small laptop screen? You can easily hide any parts of the interface that you don’t need.

Navigation Pane options

On the View tab, click Navigation Panes. Here, you can select whether the page and section panes are always visible or should remain hidden, and whether you want to see page previews. If you change your mind about your preferences later, you can modify your selections at any time.

PC and Mac users can also resize the navigation panes. To do this, move the mouse pointer over the vertical edge of any navigation pane (Notebooks, Sections, or Pages) you want to resize. When a double-arrow pointer appears, click and drag the edge to make the pane as small or as large as you want.

Resize navigation panes

Tip: Reducing or hiding parts of the user interface on smaller screens makes it easier to focus on your thoughts and ideas while working. If you’re on a PC or a Mac and you want even more space on your screen for note-taking, you can enter Full Screen mode at any time by clicking the diagonal double arrow icon in the upper right corner of the OneNote app window. When you’re ready to return to normal view, click the icon again, or press the Esc key.

Find notes instantly, no matter where you put them

OneNote’s best-kept secret is its ability to instantly search entire notebooks at once.

Choose search options

Click the Search icon, and then type a keyword or search phrase into the Search box. Next, set your search scope by choosing to search in All Notebooks, only the Current Notebook, only the Current Section, or only the Current Page.

If your search text is found, it will appear in the search results list. Click any item that you want to view and OneNote will open that page. When you’re finished, click the X icon (on a PC) or click Done (on a Mac).

Tip: Not finding what you’re looking for? Make sure you’ve signed into the account that contains the notebook you want to search. See Switch between your home, work, or school accounts later in this article.

Switch between your home, work, or school accounts

OneNote lets you stay signed in with multiple personal, work, or school accounts and navigate between their notebooks with ease.

To view or change the accounts you use with OneNote, click the Show Notebooks button Show Notebooks button . Near the top of the list that opens, click the name of the account that you’re currently signed in with. In the list of accounts that opens, click the account that you want to manage, or click + to add a new account.

To remove an account that you no longer want to use with OneNote, click Sign Out.

Set your preferences for using OneNote

You can customize your overall OneNote experience by choosing your preferences for certain app-wide settings.

On a PC, click the Settings and More button Settings And More Button_C3_201752012228 located in the top-right corner, and then click Settings.

On a Mac, click OneNote on the menu bar, and then click Preferences.

Note: If you’re using OneNote Online, you won’t see the gear icon. That’s because OneNote Online works the same for everyone.

Got feedback about the new OneNote? Share it with us!

Tell us what you like about the new OneNote experience — and what suggestions you have for making it even better. You can send your product feedback directly to the OneNote team.

On a PC, click the Show Notebooks button Show Notebooks button . Near the top of the list that opens, click the gear icon, and then click Feedback.

On a Mac, click the arrow next to the smiley face icon in the upper right corner of the app window, and then choose the feedback option you want.

Related Topics

Redesigning OneNote (The Office Blogs)

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