Insert or attach files to notes

The notebooks you create in OneNote let you collect and keep all kinds of information in one place. Inserting information from other sources is a great way to save time. Instead of retyping information or relying on links to documents and files that may become unavailable when you go offline, you can bring the content you need directly into OneNote — either as an attachment or as a printout that you can annotate.

Attach a file

Attaching a file (such as a Microsoft Word document) to a page in OneNote places a copy of that file in your notes. The file appears as an icon that you can double-click to open and edit the contents of the file.

  1. In OneNote, click anywhere on the page where you want to insert a file.

  2. Click Insert > File Attachment.

  3. In the Choose a Document to Insert dialog box, click the file you want to attach, and then click Insert.

  4. If prompted for additional options, click Attach File

Attached files are stored as part of their associated notebook. If you move a notebook to another location, any inserted files move with the notebook.
 

Insert a file as a printout

Inserting a file as a printout places a picture of its contents on a page in OneNote. You can’t edit printouts like regular notes, so they’re a good choice if you want to keep the original formatting. The inserted printouts work just like inserted pictures. You can resize them and move them anywhere on the page.  You can add notes or annotations to the image, and even extract text from the image and paste it as editable text.

  1. In OneNote, click anywhere on the page where you want to insert a file printout.

  2. Click Insert > File Printout.

  3. In the Choose a Document to Insert dialog box, click the file you want to insert, and then click Insert

Note: If you want to insert a password-protected document, you’ll need to enter the correct password before the document will be printed to OneNote.

See also

Add an Excel spreadsheet to a page

Add a Visio diagram to a page

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Attach a document or file

Insert a document or file as a printout

Attach a document or file

To keep a copy of any document or file as part of your notes, you can attach it to your notebook page. Double-clicking the attachment icon will open the document or file in its intended program (for example, a Word document attachment will open in Microsoft Office Word if it is installed on your computer).

  1. On the Insert menu, click Files.

  2. In the Choose a file or a set of files to insert dialog box, navigate to the location of the file that you want to insert, and then click to select it. (To select multiple files, hold down the CTRL key while you click to select additional files.)

  3. Click Insert. A copy of the file is inserted on the current page and shown as an icon that you can double-click to open or view the document or file.

Note: OneNote attaches a copy of the source document or file. OneNote does not maintain a link to the source file. If the source file is updated later, those changes will not appear in the copy you attached.

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Insert a document or file as a printout

When you want to insert information from other files on your computer without attaching or linking to the files, you can insert a picture or "printout" of the information by using the OneNote printer driver. Instead of actually printing the file onto paper, the printer driver sends the printout to your notebook electronically. You can position the printout anywhere on a page. You can't open and edit the printout as if it were the source file, but you can copy text from the printout and paste it anywhere for editing. You can also annotate the printout pictures with additional notes by typing or writing over them.

  1. On the Insert menu, click Files as Printouts.

  2. In the Choose Document to Insert dialog box, navigate to the location of the file that you want to insert, and then click to select it. (To select multiple files, hold down the CTRL key while you select the files.)

  3. Depending on the type of file you are inserting, OneNote will attempt to launch the source program for the file and then print its contents directly to the current notebook page as a picture.

Note: If you are trying to insert a document that is password-protected, you must enter the correct password before the document can be inserted into OneNote.

Reposition a file printout picture on the page

By default, each page of an inserted document or file is placed in your notes as a separate picture. You can move inserted printout pictures wherever you want them.

  1. Select the picture by moving the pointer over it and then clicking the dashed blue border or the picture handle alongside the picture.

  2. Click and drag the picture to a new location.

Copy text from a file printout picture

Unlike most programs, OneNote allows you to copy text from an inserted "print" image and paste it elsewhere for editing.

  1. Right-click the printout image, and then do one of the following:

    • Click Copy Text from this Page of the Printout to copy the text from only the currently selected printout picture.

    • Click Copy Text from All the Pages of the Printout to copy the text from all of the pages of an inserted printout picture.

  2. Navigate to the page in your notebook (or to another program) where you want to paste the text, and then press CTRL+V to paste the copied text.

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