Use tags to categorize and prioritize notes in OneNote for Mac

OneNote provides several tags — visual markers — that you can apply to any part of your notes to help you visibly prioritize or categorize marked notes. For example, in a list to plan for an upcoming trip, you might apply the Critical tag (visualized as a red exclamation point) to the line item “Renew your passport” to let you easily remember its importance the next time you glance at the list.

Add a tag

Do the following:

  1. In your notes, click or select the text that you want to tag.

  2. On the Home tab, move the mouse over the Tags gallery, and then click the down-facing arrow that appears at the bottom of the gallery box.  

  3. Click the icon of the tag that you want to apply. For example, to tag the text as an important question that you’ll need to remember to find an answer to, click the purple Question icon. Use the arrows that appear in the Tags gallery to scroll through tags or to display menu of all available tags.

Tip: The To Do tag is interactive. After tagging a note with it, the tag will appear as a blank check box. You can click this box and OneNote will place a red check mark in it to show the item as completed. It’s a handy way to visually track your progress in any to-do list.

Remove a tag

You can remove a tag that has been previously applied to text.

Note: You cannot remove non-customized tags from the Tags gallery. You can only remove tags that you've customized.

  1. In your notes, click or select the text whose tag you want to remove.

  2. Click the Home tab, move the mouse over the Tags gallery, and then click the down-facing arrow that appears at the bottom of the gallery box.

  3. Click the tag that is currently applied to the text. The tag will be removed from the text.

Note: If you want to remove a custom tag, at the bottom of the Tags gallery, point to Delete Custom tag, and then click the tag you want to delete.

Create a tag

If you don't see a tag that better suits how you'd like to categorize a note, you can create your own tag.

  1. In your notes, click or select the text that you want to tag with a custom tag.

  2. On the Home tab, move the mouse over the Tags gallery, and then click the down-facing arrow that appears at the bottom of the gallery box.  

  3. Click Create New Tag.

  4. In the Create a Tag pane that opens on the right, give the new tag a name, such as "Contact".

  5. Under the name of the tag, click an icon that identifies the tag. Featured or popular icons will be displayed on the Featured tab. Click the All icons tab to see all icons you can use.

  6. Click Create.

    Tip: To change the name of the tag later, you'll need to create a new tag with a different name.

  7. When the pane closes, select the text you want to identify with the new tag.

  8. To find the new tag to apply, move the mouse over the Tags gallery, and then click the down-facing arrow that appears at the bottom of the gallery box.  

  9. Select the new tag.

Search for tags

You can search for tags that are used in your notebook.

  1. On the navigation bar on the left, click the Search button.

  2. Without typing a tag name in the Search box, at the bottom of the search list you can click one of the tags that are currently being used in your notebook.

    Click one of the currently used tags to see which pages use the tag. OneNote will open the page you select and then highlight all occurrences of your search on that page.

  3. If necessary, adjust the scope of the search by clicking the Filter icon below the Search box.

    • Click All Notebooks to find information on any of the pages in any of the sections in any of your open notebooks. To confirm which notebooks you have open, click the Show Navigation button Navigation button turned off in OneNote for Windows 10 .

    • Click Current Notebook to find information on any of the pages in any of the sections in the notebook you’re currently working in.

    • Click Current Section Group to find information on any of the pages in any of the sections that are part of a section group you’re currently working in.

    • Click Current Section to find information on any of the pages in the current section.

    • Click Current Page to find information on the current page only.

  4. You can also search for tags by typing the tag's name in the Search box, and then clicking the Tags tab to see which pages use the tag. OneNote will open the page you select and then highlight all occurrences of your search on that page.

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