Basic tasks in OneNote for Windows 8

If you’re new to OneNote for Windows 8, here's a quick introduction to the basics.

Create a new notebook
  1. On any page, tap the gripper icon in the upper-left corner.

  2. At the bottom of the gray pane that appears, tap + Notebook.

  3. Type a name for your new notebook (for example, Research Notes), and then tap ENTER.

Switch between notebooks
  1. On any page, tap the gripper icon in the upper-left corner.

  2. In the gray pane that appears, tap the name of the notebook you want to switch to.

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Type or write notes
  1. Tap anywhere on the current page and then start typing.

  2. Tap anywhere else on the page to begin a new note and then start typing.

  3. Tap the page header at the top of the page (over the date and time stamp) to type a page title.

  4. Use either the pen or stylus that came with your device or use your finger to handwrite notes directly on the screen.

    See Draw and sketch notes for more about ink tools in OneNote.

Save your notes
  • Like OneNote desktop, there’s no Save button in OneNote for Windows 8. That’s because OneNote automatically saves and syncs everything for you, no matter how small or large your changes are.

  • If you change your mind about something, just press CTRL+Z to undo your last action.

Select text with touch
  1. Double-tap the text you want to select.

  2. Adjust your selection by dragging the circles at the beginning and end of a text selection.

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Format text
  1. Select the text you want to format.

  2. Tap the radial menu that appears, and then apply the formatting options you want. For example, to change the size of text, tap the arrow next to the Font Size icon and tap the text size you want.

    If you change your mind, use the Undo command (CTRL+Z) to remove the formatting, or repeat the previous steps to apply different formatting.

Highlight your notes with ink
  1. Move the pen or stylus that came with your device close to the screen or use your finger to tap the screen.

  2. Tap the radial menu that appears and tap Draw.

  3. Tap the radial menu icon that appears, tap Highlight, and begin highlighting your notes.

Note: You can change the color and thickness of the highlighter by tapping the radial menu icon and tapping the arrow next to the Highlighter icon. If you want to remove highlighting, tap the radial menu to expand it, and tap Eraser. With the eraser selected, tap the highlighter strokes that you want to remove.

Add tags
  1. Select the text you want to tag.

    Note: Tags let you mark and prioritize important notes visually so you can more easily follow up on them again later.

  2. Tap the radial menu that appears, tap the arrow next to the Tag icon, and then tap the tag you want to apply.

    The To Do tag is interactive. You can tap the tag to check (or uncheck) the box and keep To Do lists up-to-date.

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Add Links
  • Whenever you start typing a URL in your notes (for example, www.onenote.com), OneNote automatically changes that text to a link. Tapping or clicking a formatted link automatically opens its destination in your browser.

Insert a picture from your camera
  1. On any page, tap where you want to insert a picture.

  2. Tap the radial menu that appears, and then tap Camera.

  3. If prompted, allow OneNote to use your computer’s camera.

    Note: If your device has a camera and you don’t see Camera as an available option, OneNote needs permission to use the camera. Press or tap Windows+C and then tap Settings > Permissions > Webcam > On.

  4. When the live image appears in your camera, tap the screen to take the picture.

  5. Tap OK to insert the captured picture.

Insert a picture from a file
  1. On any page, tap where you want to insert a picture.

  2. Tap the radial menu that appears, tap Picture.

  3. Navigate to the location of the picture you want to insert, tap the picture to select it, tap Open, and then tap Insert All.

    For a picture already in your notes, you can tap to select it, resize it, move it around on the page, or use the radial menu to tag or delete it.

Insert documents and files into notes
  1. On any page, tap where you want to insert a document or file, and then tap the radial menu icon that appears.

  2. Tap the arrow next to the Insert icon, and then tap File.

  3. Navigate to the location of the document or file you want to insert, tap to select it, and then tap Open.

Note: To open a file you've inserted into OneNote, tap the file, tap to expand the radial menu, and choose Open or Open with. You can also open a file by double-tapping its icon on the page.

Insert a PDF file as a printout
  1. On any page, tap where you want to insert the PDF, and then tap the radial menu icon that appears.

  2. Tap the arrow next to the Insert icon, and then tap PDF Printout.

  3. Navigate to the location of the PDF file you want to insert, tap to select it, and then tap Open.

Note: Each page of the PDF file is placed in your notes as a separate picture. You can move pictures wherever you want them, and you can resize them like any other inserted picture.

Insert a table
  1. On any page, tap where you want to insert a table.

  2. Tap the radial menu that appears, and then tap Table.

    OneNote creates a small table with one row and two columns.

  3. Tap in the first cell and start typing.

    • To move to the next column (or to create a new column), press TAB.

    • To create a new row of cells, place the cursor in the last cell on the right, and then tap or press ENTER.

You’ll find more table commands on the radial menu that appears whenever the cursor is located within a table cell. Tap the arrows next to the menu icons to see additional commands. See Use radial menus to display OneNote commands for more information.

Add more pages
  1. In the upper-left corner of the screen, above the page tabs, tap + Page.

    You can make any page as long as you want, but it’s a good idea to eventually add more pages to keep the information in your notebook sections more organized.

  2. Type a page title above the date and time stamp on the new page.

Note: If you’re using a mouse, you can change the order of pages by dragging their tabs in the list.

Add more sections
  1. From any page, above the section tabs, tap + Section.

    You can keep all your notes pages in a single section, but you’ll be more organized if you add more sections over time as your notebook grows.

  2. Type a meaningful name to describe the notes you’ll keep in the new section, and then tap ENTER.

    The new section you created will contain a single, blank page. You can begin taking notes on this page and create additional pages whenever you need them.

Note: If you’re using a mouse, you can change the order of sections by dragging their tabs in the list.

Print Notes
  1. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen (if you're using a mouse, right-click the page), and on the app bar that appears, click Print Page.

  2. Tap the name of the printer you want to use.

  3. Set any options you want, such as the page orientation and number of copies, and then tap Print.

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