10 Best Features of Microsoft OneNote You Should Know


Microsoft’s OneNote has been around for a while and is usually shipped with Office Suite. But now OneNote has got a lot better with powerful features and most important one is that  it is now 100% free! If this is the first time you are hearing about Microsoft OneNote, then let me explain that it is a note-taking program using which you can quickly capture ideas, to-dos, screen-shots from web into a note file which can be synced across all smart devices including PC, Mac, Android, iOS, and Windows Phone via Microsoft’s Free OneDrive account. Sounds cool isn’t it? Let me walk you thought 10 best things you can do with it.

10 Best Features of OneNote

1. Screen Clipping

OneNote’s Screen Clipping feature lets you take snap-shot of anything like for instance a webpage from your browser into your OneNote notebooks.

Screen Clipping in OneNote

Screen Clipping in OneNote

2. Markup Tools

OneNote comes with some handy drawing tools including highlighter, lines, arrows, circle, rectangle, etc.  for your added convenience. It also has the lasso select tool using which you can easily select graphics you want, and it also has eraser for selective deleting objects.

Screen Clipping Feature in OneNote

Screen Clipping Feature in OneNote

3. Extract Text from Image (OCR)

OneNote has OCR capabilities, which means you can extract text from an image. Once you get an image into OneNote via screen clipping or by any other means, you can simply right-click on the image in OneNote and select “Copy Text from Picture”.

Copy Text from Picture - OneNote

Copy Text from Picture – OneNote

Paste it elsewhere and there you are – text extracted from the image!

Pasted Text - OneNote

Pasted Text – OneNote

4. Audio and Video Recording

With OneNote you can record audio and video from your device’s  camera, and if configured in ‘settings’, OneNote lets you search for words in the audio and video recordings too.

Video and Audio Recording - OneNote

Video and Audio Recording – OneNote

As on when this article was written, OneNote supports Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish languages for word search within audio and videos, but make sure to record audio in a noise free environment and with a good quality mic.

Audio Search - OneNote

Audio Search – OneNote

5. File Printout

OneNote lets you insert a print out of anything that you can print on a paper into the notebook. Instead of actually printing the file onto paper, the printer driver sends the printout to your notebook. So why would you do that? The advantage of doing this is that once the print out is placed on the page, you can annotate, highlight text, and markup over it and then take a paper printout.

OneNote Printout

OneNote Printout

6. Make Shopping List (or any To-Do Items List)

It’s easy to make a shopping list or any such to-do list in OneNote – just select the items in a list and hit the To Do Tag button to add check-boxes to each item. This is extremly useful when you are also using OneNote app on a smartphone where the shopping list is in sync with your desktop application. You can simply open the shopping list on your smartphone and use it while shopping and mark them done as you finish adding items to your cart.

Shopping List - OneNote

Shopping List – OneNote

 7. Page Versions

Page Versions are great for way to restore or compare the different version of a notebook. Using OneNote page versions you can see several save versions (if available) along with time stamp in the right hand side pane. To do this go to “History” tab, and click on “Page Versions”. You can also delete all the versions of a page or a section or even from entire notebook.

Page Versions

Page Versions

8. Translate

OneNote comes with a built-in Microsoft Translator for your quick and effective language translation needs.

Translate in OneNote

Translate in OneNote

9. Scan Image

If you have a scanner, you can scan documents and picture to your notebooks, markup them using tools and save them digitally nice and organized and since OneNote can search for text in scanned images due to its OCR capabilities, you can quickly locate a document by searching for a word or a phrase. Unfortunately there is a drawback here: Scanning isn’t available if you’re using the 64-bit version of OneNote on a 64-bit version of Windows.

Scanned Image in OneNote

Scanned Image in OneNote

10. Templates

Starting with a Template is a cool way to start writing on something, and OneNote comes with several templates from categories including Business, Planners, Decorative, and Academic.

Templates in OneNote

Templates in OneNote

Did you find something else cool in OneNote that is not listed here? Tell them via the comments below. If are yet to try OneNote, better late than never and what more it’s now completely free, grab your copy now!

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Kiran Kumar

Hi there! Kiran Kumar is an Engineer by profession, and loves blogging primarily on Microsoft Windows operating system and also enjoys reviewing software and products. Currently, he is exploring Windows 10 and you will see a lot of articles on know-how about it. When he is not writing for TWP, he enjoys time with his Family, listens to lot of music, enjoys Biking, and occasionally plays racing games on Xbox One.