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
See what's new and improved in the July 2017 feature update.
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.
Improve reading with the Immersive Reader
Note: This feature is being made available to customers on a gradual basis. If you don't see it yet, please check back soon!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Your outline just got easier
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.)
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.
Correct that accidental Undo
Redo something you had undone. It's like it never happened.
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. 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
Write an equation on any page, click Draw > Math, and OneNote will help you draw a graph.
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.
Sort your notebooks however you like. Simply click and drag a notebook to reorder it in the list.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Change your ink's thickness or color, even after the ink has dried.
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
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.
Sketch your ideas and drafts with new pencil ink (Windows 10 Anniversary Update required).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Use Office Lens from inside OneNote to capture a document or whiteboard.
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.
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
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.
Use the new proofing tools for correcting or ignoring misspelled words.
Insert a photo into your notes from your tablet's built-in camera.
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.
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.
Important note for OneNote Insiders
OneNote Insider builds are temporarily on hold until the release of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. This means you won't receive app updates from the Windows store until they are released to everyone. You will start receiving your Insider app updates again in the very near future. Learn more
Be a part of the community
Office Insider Community
Connect with people who are as interested in technology as you are, and get support from the Office Insider community.
Follow us on @OfficeInsider
Join the growing community of experts and enthusiasts who are helping shape the future of Office.
Where to send feedback
To make a suggestion or report issues in Office Insider builds, open OneNote, tap the chevron to open the Notebook list, and click the gear to open Settings > Feedback.