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Welcome to Microsoft OneNote Tips & Tricks

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ne of the new features we've implemented in OneNote 2010 is the ability to use predefined styles. This is a great way to keep formatting consistent across your notes. There are 11 new styles available for use. Here's what they look like:



  • A style is applied to the entire paragraph.
  • You can select multiple paragraphs and apply the style to each of the selected paragraphs.
  • You can apply the style by clicking on the desired style in the Home tab.
  • Any of the following styles can be applied by pressing the appropriate keystroke:
    • Heading 1 <Ctrl + Alt + 1>
    • Heading 2 <Ctrl + Alt + 2>
    • Heading 3 <Ctrl + Alt + 3>
    • Heading 4 <Ctrl + Alt + 4>
    • Heading 5 <Ctrl + Alt + 5>
    • Heading 6 <Ctrl + Alt + 6>
    • Normal <Ctrl + Shift + N>
  • With the exception of the Normal style, none of the styles are customizable.
  • To customize the Normal style, click File -> Options -> select the desired font, size and color.

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Here at Microsoft, we’re approaching the tail end of our release cycle.  We’ve been working hard on the new version of OneNote since we released OneNote 2007 and it’s almost ready.  I wanted to give you a taste of some of the OneNote 2010 goodness that will be coming your way in the coming months.

One of the the most noticeable changes is OneNote’s new page organization abilities.  Here’s an example of a set of pages in a OneNote 2007 section:

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Notice how each page tab is either fully extended, or slightly indented along the right edge.  To learn more about pages in OneNote, click here.  The indented pages are called “subpages”, and really only differ in appearance, (slight indentation along the outside edge).

In OneNote 2010, we’ve changed the appearance of the subpages to be indented on the inside of the page tab rather than on the outside.  We’ve also modified the color gradient of the subpages to be slightly less than their parent pages.  Here’s a look at the same section as portrayed above, opened in OneNote 2010.

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In addition, we’ve added a new 3rd level subpage and changed its indentation to be greater than it’s parent subpage, as well as a lighter color gradient than their parent pages.  Here’s a sample of what a section with 3rd level subpages might look like in OneNote 2010:

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Notice the indentation of the level 2 pages (Transportation, Lodging and Sightseeing) and the indentation of the level 3 pages (Hotel A and Hotel B).  Also, notice how the level 3 pages have a different color gradient than the level 2 pages.

One final note, we’ve added the ability to collapse a page group in order to reduce the amount of clutter.  Here’s a look at the same section with the Destination A page group collapsed.

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One of the first things you’ll notice about OneNote 2010 is the lack of the standard menus.  You know, File, Edit, View, etc.  These menus have served Office applications well for many years.  But the the new method of exposing OneNote’s features is through the Office Ribbon.  It makes it much easier to find a specific feature from the new Ribbon than digging through a bunch of cryptic menus. 

OneNote 2010 has the following ribbon tabs: File, Home, Insert, Share, Draw, Review and View.  Each tab contains access to easily visible features.  The Home tab, for example, contains all of the most popular and common features, such as Copy/Paste, formatting and other features that you would most-often use.

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As you can see, the buttons are large and easy to see.  In addition, the controls are all grouped by common feature sets.  For example, anything to do with text, such as bold, font color or alignment is found under the Basic Text group.  There are also some dropdown menus that make it easy to select a feature.  The ribbon tabs contain groups that that make sense.  For example, under the Insert tab, you’ll find any feature that has to do with inserting items into OneNote.

The Office Ribbon can be displayed in an expanded or collapsed state.  The view above shows the ribbon in its expanded form.  However, in order to conserve space, we decided to ship OneNote 2010 with the ribbon collapsed, like this:


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To display a ribbon, simply click on one of the tabs to reveal all of its features.  Or if you prefer to keep the ribbon in its expanded state, simply double-click any of the tabs and the ribbon will remain open until you double-click it again.


If you’re a long-time OneNote user, you’ll no doubt find a few new features that we’ve added in this release.  I’ll be introducing some of the new features in the coming weeks.  In the meantime, here are the remaining ribbon tabs:


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