What's new in OneNote for Windows 10

The OneNote for Windows 10 app and the OneNote 2016 desktop app are very similar, but there are a few key differences. Most notably, OneNote for Windows 10 is regularly updated with new features. Take a look below to see what's available to you today.

Latest updates for OneNote for Windows 10

There are no new features in the January Update Version 17.9001.2821, just fixes and improvements.

Previous releases

See what's new and improved in the December 2017 feature update (Version 17.8827.2055).

Set things straight

On touch screens, use the virtual ruler on the Draw tab to draw straight lines and measure distance. Rotate to a specific angle with the help of the angle indicator.


Ruler shown on OneNote page with three parallel lines drawn.

Speedy search

Search just got faster! Your search results now appear instantaneously, making it easier to get back to your notes.

Shows search pane and search results

See what's new and improved in the November 2017 feature update (Version 17.8730.2074).

Tilt to shade

Use your new Surface Pen and the pencil tool to write or sketch ideas. Tilt the stylus to do shading, just like a real pencil.

Scribble showing pencil output with tilt shading

But wait! There's more...

We're always making improvements to OneNote. Here are a few of our recent favorites:

  • PDF printouts now look crisp and clear in OneNote for Windows 10, even those that were previously inserted with other versions of OneNote.

  • Working with pages and sections is even easier. New icons have been added on the right-click menu to help you find just what you need to do.

  • The new merge formatting option for paste lets you keep the same font style and size without losing important formatting like bold, italics, and links.

Print sections or entire notebooks

Need an offline copy? No problem. Print a page, a complete section, or an entire notebook for safekeeping.


Printer dialog with single page selected

But wait! There's more...

We're always making improvements to OneNote. Here are a few of our recent favorites:

  • If you have high-DPI or multiple monitors, you’ll find OneNote looks and acts better than ever.

  • Take advantage of a new setting. You can decide if you want to automatically capitalize the first word of a sentence.

Convert handwriting to text

Take quick handwritten notes, and later convert them to text to align with the rest of your content. It'll even preserve the size and color of your ink, as well as highlights and effects! On the Draw tab, click the Lasso Select button. Drag a circle around the text you want to convert, then click Ink to Text.


Shows written words, the Ink to Text button, and the converted text words.

More dazzling ink effects

Note: This feature is only available if you have an Office 365 subscription. If you are an Office 365 subscriber, make sure you have the latest version of Office.

Grab a pen on the Drawing tab and try out lava, ocean, bronze, and rose gold. Make your notes sparkle!

Shows four ink swatches, lava, ocean, bronze, and rose gold.

More graph features

Note: This feature is only available if you have an Office 365 subscription. If you are an Office 365 subscriber, make sure you have the latest version of Office.

In addition to graphing your function, OneNote can now calculate its key features — such as minima, maxima, or axes intercepts.


Shows graph intercept properties

Revisit recent pages

Use the new Forward and Back arrows above the Home tab to navigate through the note pages you've already visited.

Shows visited pages arrows above the Home tab.

Link to a specific paragraph

Create a link to a specific paragraph and jump to that content. It's a great way to make a quick table of contents at the top of a long page of notes, or copy the link and paste it in an email to help others find the specific content you want them to see.


Shows note with Table of Contents and a contextual menu showing a link being copied.

Copy a hyperlink

Right-click a hyperlink in your notes and copy the link to use in other places.

Shows a hyperlink selected and being copied to a new location

Text to Math

Use your keyboard to type an equation as text in OneNote, and use Math to solve it or draw a graph. Simply type your equation, and on the Draw tab, click the Lasso Select button. Drag a circle around the text you want to convert, then click Math.

Note: This feature is only available if you have an Office 365 subscription. If you are an Office 365 subscriber, make sure you have the latest version of Office.

Shows typed equation, the math button, and the converted equation

Smart Lookup

Get definitions, wiki articles, and top related searches from the web without leaving OneNote. Right-click a word or phrase and choose Smart Lookup.


Shows sentence with highlighted phrase and contextual menu with Smart Lookup highlighted

Insert online pictures

Use Bing's Image Search to safely insert photos and images without ever having to leave OneNote. On the Insert tab, choose Pictures > From Online. In the Online Pictures pane, use a keyword to search for the perfect picture for your notes.


Insert tab showing the Pictures drop down with Online highlighted.

Tables of all shapes and sizes

One cell or many? Choose the number of rows and columns you need to organize your content. Once you've got a table, you can add or delete rows or columns, add table shading, or sort your content.


Insert table command showing selection grid

More highlight colors

Yellow isn't the only color in the rainbow. Now you can highlight with blue, green, red, and more.

Highlight button with dropdown showing dark purple selected

Zoom in, zoom out

Use the new Page Width option on the View tab to zoom out to see all the notes on your page, or zoom in to focus on just what you need.

Shows zoom options with the Page Width option selected

Customize your pens

Choose a personal set of pens, highlighters, and pencils for inking. On the Draw menu, choose the plus sign (+) beside the pens, and choose the type of pen, width, and ink color. Your new custom pen will be added to your drawing toolbar ready for your next masterpiece.

Draw menu showing dropdown menu for adding a custom pen

Improve reading with the Immersive Reader

The Immersive Reader boosts reading skills by adjusting text spacing, presenting a narrow column for reading, and highlighting each word as the document is read aloud. It has been designed to help you improve your reading skills by boosting your ability to pronounce words correctly, to read quickly and accurately, and to understand what you read. On the View menu, choose Immersive Reader, and choose your Text options, Parts of speech, Voice options, or have the text read aloud.


Learning Tools in the Immersive Reader

Multitasking made easy

On the View tab, choose New Window, or use Ctrl+M, to open a new instance of OneNote. Now you can see a bunch of notes at the same time. Multitasking has never been easier!

Two instances of OneNote running with different notes showing

OneNote reimagined

It’s easier than ever to organize your notes with an improved layout. All of your notebooks, sections, and pages can be found in columns on the side of the app, efficiently navigable with screen readers, keyboards and more.


The new OneNote user interface

Resolve page conflicts

Page conflicts sometimes happen in shared notebooks. We've made it easier to find and resolve the differences. Pages with conflicts will be marked with a triangle icon. After opening the Page Conflicts pane you'll see the versions of the page, who edited it, and when. Choose which version you want to keep, or copy specific content from an earlier page version to the current page.

Page Conflicts pane showing three conflicting versions of a page

Your pages, your way

Page previews provide a glimpse of what's in your notes by showing the first few words of text on the page, and a thumbnail of any pictures. Turn it on by checking Show Page Previews in the View > Navigation Panes drop down. If you like a more compact view of your page list, you can always clear the box and go back to seeing just the page title.

Section pane and page list with page previews showing

Hide subpages

Create more room in your page list by collapsing your subpages. Select one or more pages, and from the right-click menu, choose Make Subpage. This will indent the pages beneath the page above and allow them to be collapsed by clicking the chevron beside that page. Use Ctrl+Shift+* to expand or collapse the tabs of a page group.

Shows page list with subpages collapsed

Find text on a page

Use Ctrl+F to quickly search for a specific word or phrase on the current page. OneNote will find it in text, images, and your handwritten notes. If you don't find it, you can still expand your search scope to include the current section, current notebook, or all notebooks.

Shows search drop down with scoping options, current page is active.

You're the expert with Tell Me

Click the light bulb in the upper right corner of the app window, and simply type what you want to do in OneNote using your own words. Tell Me will guide you through the process as well as offer additional resources such as Help or Smart Lookup. Use the keyboard shortcut Alt+Q to quickly go to Tell Me.

Tell me drop down menu showing suggested actions

Your outline just got easier

Note: This feature is only available if you have an Office 365 subscription. If you are an Office 365 subscriber, make sure you have the latest version of Office.

Researcher helps you find relevant quotes, sources, and images to start your outline in OneNote. On the Insert tab, choose Researcher. Type a keyword for the topic you're researching and Bing will create a list of results. Add the source to your notes, and the source will be added automatically.


Researcher pane showing Rainforest search results

See what's changed

When someone else changes content in your shared notebook, we'll make the page or section name bold so you know.

Page list of a shared workbook showing page names bold when unread.

Nickname your notebook

Add a nickname to your notebook to make it more personal and easier to find. This won't change the original filename of the notebook or break any links you have to the notebook, it only changes the name that's displayed in OneNote. Great for students with class notebooks.

Shows a team notebook with Nickname notebook selected

Change the notebook color

Red for work, blue for personal? Change the color of your notebooks to keep things organized. Right-click the name of your notebook, choose Notebook Color, and select a color from the palette.

Shows Notebook color palette

Print directly to OneNote

Send anything on your computer right to OneNote. Install the Send to OneNote app from the Store and then select "Send to OneNote" when printing a file. To learn more, see Send documents and files to OneNote for Windows 10.

Send to OneNote icon

Insert meeting details

Choose Insert > Meeting Details and choose an Outlook meeting. The meeting details will be added to a new note including the time, date, place, who's invited, and more. You can freely add to, change, or delete any part of the meeting details in OneNote without affecting the original meeting notice in your Outlook calendar. For example, you can delete the names of invited attendees who weren’t at the meeting so you have a record of who actually attended. (Requires Outlook 2016.)

Art showing the relationship between Outlook and OneNote

Page versions

Travel back through time to recover older versions of your pages. Right-click on any page, and choose Page Versions. A pane will open listing the different versions of the page. Clicking on each version will highlight the elements added in that version. If you need to restore a previous version of the page, select the version in the pane and choose Make Current Page. (Currently only available on your PC or tablet.)

Page Versions pane showing several versions of a page.

Select multiple pages

Use Ctrl+Click or Shift+Click to select multiple pages, and then move, copy, or delete them all at once. You can even use this to create or promote groups of subpages.

Fast track moving or copying pages

Right-click a page and choose to cut or copy it, then paste it in your new destination.

Check spelling in another language

If you create notes that contain text in different languages, it's now possible to check the spelling in each of the languages. Right-click the selected text, and choose Set Language to specify the language to use when you check spelling on your selected text.

Note: If you don't already have the proofing tools installed, you may get an alert the first time you select a language. Follow the prompts in the message to add the language.

Selected French text showing contextual menu of how to set language.

Correct that accidental Undo

Redo something you had undone. It's like it never happened.

Shows the Undo and Redo buttons

Audio notes

Record a meeting or lecture and keep the recording as part of your notes. On the Insert menu, click or tap Audio. Recording starts as soon as OneNote adds a media icon to the page. To end the recording, press Pause or Stop. To play a recording, click the media icon on the page and then click Play. LEARN MORE
For keyboard shortcuts for working with audio, see Keyboard shortcuts in OneNote for Windows 10.

Easier insertion of files and pictures

Quickly insert files and pictures by dragging or pasting them into your notes.

Capture your screen

Use the Win+Shift+S keyboard shortcut to capture a region of your screen and then paste it into OneNote or any other app as an image. (Requires the Windows 10 Creators Update.)

Drag and drop pages and sections

Keep everything organized with a quick drag and drop of pages or sections into different sections or notebooks. You don't need to right-click and use the Move/Copy dialog anymore, just click and drag a page or section to its new location.

Graph your math equations

Note: This feature is only available if you have an Office 365 subscription. If you are an Office 365 subscriber, make sure you have the latest version of Office.

Write an equation on any page, click Draw > Math, and OneNote will help you draw a graph. For more information, see Draw graphs from math equations in OneNote for Windows 10.

Graph math equations in OneNote for Windows 10

Recover deleted notes

If you’ve ever accidentally removed any pages or sections from your notes, you can now restore them. Right-click any notebook in your Notebooks list, and then click View Deleted Notes. In the page list, right-click or tap and hold on a page or section to restore it.

Organize sections into groups

Create section groups to make organizing and navigating large notebooks even easier. If you have our OneNote Preview enabled (Settings > Options > OneNote Preview) just right-click the + Section button at the bottom of your section list, and click New Section Group.

Make notes accessible

Use the Accessibility Checker on the View tab to identify and fix accessibility issues in your notes before sharing them with other people. For more infomation, see Make your OneNote notebooks accessible

See more of your notes

We’ve heard your feedback about the inflated size of the ribbon, context menus, and page list and have reduced the overall footprint of the OneNote interface, leaving you with more room on your screen to view and edit your notes.

Save time with new keyboard shortcuts

We’ve updated our list of keyboard shortcuts in OneNote for Windows 10 to include all the latest ways you can accelerate your note-taking.

Use full color emoji

Say goodbye to black and white emoji. Now you can express yourself in full color.

Reorder notebooks

Sort your notebooks however you like. Simply click and drag a notebook to reorder it in the list.

Password protection

Password-protect notes to keep them safe from prying eyes.

Create diagrams or flow charts

Use the Shapes gallery on the Draw tab to insert perfect circles, squares, arrows and more.

Save images and files

Save your favorite picture or an important file outside of OneNote. Just right-click and save it to a location you specify.

New page placement

Quickly add a new page below the currently selected one, rather than at the bottom of the page list. Right-click a page, and choose New Page.

Change the layer order

Put tables, note containers, pictures, and shapes into your notes and then arrange which are in front and which are behind. Right-click the object and choose Order to change where it appears in relation to others.

Paragraph handles

Grab the paragraph handles and reorder or collapse text on the page.

New bullet styles

Tired of plain old bullets? Spice up your notes with dashes, arrows, diamonds, and more. Click the arrow beside the Bullets button and choose a different style.

Notes with style

Keep a consistent look across your notes when you use built-in styles for headings, quotes, code, and more.

Background pictures

Set a picture as the background of your notes so you can type right over it. This is a handy trick when you need to type over forms, or annotate pictures. Right-click the picture, and choose Picture > Set Picture as Background.

Insert space

When a page is full of notes, you can add extra space in the left margin or in the middle of a page with the Insert Space tool. You'll find it on the Draw tab.

Format painter

Easily copy all of your formatting (font, size, style, and color) from one heading or line of text to the next. Select the text that has the formatting you want to copy, and on the Home tab, click the Format Painter button. The pointer changes to a paintbrush. Use the brush to paint over text to apply that formatting.

Paste options

When you paste copied text, you can choose to keep all of the original formatting, paste just the text, or paste as an image. Select the text, and when you're ready to paste, right-click and choose Paste to choose your option.

Multiple notebooks

Jump start your note-taking and personal organization by opening your favorite notebooks all at once and effortlessly switching between them.

Set your defaults

Choose Settings > Options and pick your favorite font and size to use as the default for new notes.

Notebook authors

See other authors’ initials next to the changes they’ve made in a shared notebook, or turn off this option on the View tab to hide these initials for a cleaner look.

Spell checking options

Turn off the Check Spelling option when you just don't need it. Choose Settings > Options and choose Hide spelling errors.

Multiple accounts

Sign into multiple personal, work, or school accounts and easily switch between and share notebooks stored on these accounts.

Undo what you did

Minds are for changing! Use the Undo button or CONTROL+Z to rewrite history.

Page colors

On the View tab, select or change a background color for any page in your notebook.

Share an individual page

No need to share the whole notebook. Send a viewing link to a single page and let them see it in a browser – no sign-in or app required. For more information, see Share a page of notes from OneNote for Windows 10.

Table Shading

Give your tables a make over. Add colorful shading to cells, rows, or columns to make your tables easier to read.

Add alternative text to pictures

Make your images accessible to screen readers by adding alt text. Simply right-click on an image, select alt text, and then add a title and description.

Choose the account for new notebooks

Create a new notebook using your work or school account, or your personal account.

Clear formatting

Too much of a good thing? Remove all that bold, italic, underlined, purple, 18 point, Lucida Sans formatting in just one click. Select your text, and on the Home tab, click the Clear All Formatting button.

Embed even more content

Paste a link to an Office 365 Video or a Microsoft Form, and interact with it directly on the page. For more information, see Embed content in OneNote.

Share photos or files from other apps

Use the Share button in any app to send photos or attach files to OneNote. For more information, see Send photos and images from other apps to OneNote for Windows 10.

Text highlighter

Grab the new highlighter on the Home tab, and select your important text. You can almost hear the squeak on the page.

Try our new designs

We’ve made some changes to help you get around your notes. Check them out by turning on Settings > Options > OneNote Preview and let us know what you think!

Editable ink

Change your ink's thickness or color, even after the ink has dried.

Ink replay

Note: This feature is only available if you have an Office 365 subscription. If you are an Office 365 subscriber, make sure you have the latest version of Office.

Replay your handwriting forward and backward to hide and reveal content, provide step-by-step instructions, or better understand the flow of others' thoughts.

Math made easy

Note: This feature is only available if you have an Office 365 subscription. If you are an Office 365 subscriber, make sure you have the latest version of Office.

Write out an equation, and OneNote will help you solve it step-by-step. It's like having your own math coach. For more information, see Convert and solve math equations in OneNote for Windows 10.

Pencil ink

Sketch your ideas and drafts with new pencil ink (Windows 10 Anniversary Update required).

Ink effects

Note: This feature is only available if you have an Office 365 subscription. If you are an Office 365 subscriber, make sure you have the latest version of Office.

Jazz up your notes and annotations with new ink colors like rainbow, galaxy, gold and more.

Audio notes on your phone

Record a quick audio reminder or sound clip on your phone and keep it in your notes.

Sharing is easier

Share your notebook with anyone right from OneNote, and they can view or edit it on any device. For more information, see Share notes from OneNote for Windows 10.

Embed videos

Play your favorite videos from YouTube, TED, Office Mix, and more in OneNote! Paste the link into a note, grab some popcorn, and enjoy the show.

Ink grouping

Right-click a selection of handwritten notes or drawings to group them together. After that it’s easy to move them around as one piece.

Storytelling with Sway

Embed interactive, dynamic content into your notes with Sway – for moments when showing is more meaningful than telling.

Easier sign-in

We listened. If you only use OneNote at the office or in class, you can now sign in with just a work or school account.

Know who's working with you when you share

Click the Notebook presence icon to see who's working with you in a shared notebook.

Office Lens

Use Office Lens from inside OneNote to capture a document or whiteboard.

Shape Recognition

Automatically transform your drawings into shapes. On the Draw tab choose Convert to Shapes and draw a shape, such as a circle, triangle, or rectangle.

More organized notes

Move or copy pages and sections to keep everything organized, just the way you like.

Faster editing on your phone

Copying and pasting content on your phone is just a touch away.

Quick menu on your phone

Share, pin, delete, or sync from a quick menu right inside the page on your phone.

Say cheese!

Quickly insert a photo into your notes from your phone’s camera.

Share your notes to Outlook Mail

Share a copy of a page from your phone to other apps like Outlook Mail

Quick colors

Quickly access four colors while drawing with a pen or highlighter.

Draw in full screen mode

Take advantage of the full screen drawing mode to maximize screen real estate and eliminate distractions.

Proofing tools

Use the new proofing tools for correcting or ignoring misspelled words.

Say cheese!

Insert a photo into your notes from your tablet's built-in camera.

Line thickness

Thick or thin - change the thickness of your lines when you draw.

Better drawing experience

We listened. We've reduced the appearance of the keyboard when you're using the drawing tools.

Bug fixes

We addressed problems some users had when opening OneNote.

Font and font size

Change the font face and font size to make notes easier to read.

Take notes when your Surface is locked

Full drawing capabilities when your Surface is locked, including ink color, highlighter, eraser types, and more.

Latest updates for OneNote Insiders

There are no new features in the January Update Version 17.9001.2821, just fixes and improvements.

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Where to send feedback

To make a suggestion or report issues in Office Insider builds, open OneNote, tap the Show Notebooks button chevron to open the Notebook list, and click the gear to open Settings > Feedback.

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