Microsoft OneNote has been around for a couple of decades. However, Microsoft has been offering two versions — Office 365 and UWA — of its popular note-taking service in the last few years. The Office 365 version works just like the previous versions, and a UWA (Universal Windows App) client is available from the Microsoft Store.
OneNote has been entirely free to use unlike other apps from Microsoft Office suite. In a recent push of native Windows apps, the company shut down the desktop version of OneNote, and is now focusing on the UWA version.
Microsoft is slowly adding OneNote desktop features to its UWA counterpart. While they have done a pretty good job, the company still hasn’t carried over all the keyboard shortcuts to the new app.
Now that doesn’t mean, we are out of options. The service does offer some compelling keyboard shortcuts. And in this post, I will cover the top essential shortcuts for OneNote on Windows and macOS platforms.
Before diving into the article, let me make it clear that I won’t be talking about the usual shortcuts here. The common ones such as Copy (Ctrl+C), Paste (Ctrl+V), Undo, Redo, select all are universal, and you are probably using it in one way or the other. Instead, I will walk you through the most important ones that help you get the job done.
1. Add Bullet Points/Numbered list
As with many note-taking applications, OneNote does support adding bullet points or numbering scheme to the note. You can use Ctrl + . shortcut on Windows or Command + . on macOS for bullet points or opt for Ctrl + / and Command + / to add numbers respectively. One can also go with various shapes and numbers from the list. They are not supported by any keyboard shortcuts though.
2. Select Title of Page
There come times when you quickly want to change the title of the page. You can use Ctrl + Shift + T shortcut or Command + Shift + T shortcut on macOS to select the page’s title.
3. Insert Hyperlink
OneNote does provide an option when you want to add a hyperlink to a certain word, just select the word and press the Ctrl + K or Command + K shortcut for macOS shortcut to complete the action.
4. Highlight Words
In a long note, you might want to highlight certain words to make them stand out in the crowd. With OneNote, you can easily highlight certain sentence or words with a quick shortcut of Ctrl + Shift + H and Command + Shift + H shortcut on a Mac.
5. Insert Date and Time
Working on a long note for a certain period time, you might want to add a date and time to the recent edits. Just press Alt + Shift + F or Shift + Command + D shortcut on Mac.
6. Show/Hide Ruler Lines
As the name suggests, OneNote does support ruler lines through the notes. Just press Ctrl + Shift + R on Windows to add or remove ruler lines from the page.
7. Add a New Subpage below the Current page
OneNote supports adding a subpage to a specific page in a given section. It’s useful in long projects. Press Ctrl + Shift + Alt + N shortcut, and you are good to go with a new subpage.
8. Open Another OneNote Window
Working on multiple OneNote pages can become tiresome after some time. Thankfully, OneNote does support opening a new window to add content. Press Ctrl + M shortcut to trigger the action.
9. Create New Notebook and Section
As you may already know, OneNote does support adding new notebooks and section to it. Now, of course, you can select ‘+’ icon, but even better one can use Ctrl + T or Command + T shortcut to add a new section. You can also create a new notebook using Control + Command + N shortcut on Mac.
You can also add a new page into section by quickly pressing Ctrl + N or Command + N.
10. Move Current Note to New Section
This one is standard across note-taking apps. One can quickly move pages to new section using Ctrl + Alt + M or Command + Shift + M shortcut on macOS.
11. Add Columns to the Table
OneNote does support adding tables to the pages. After a while, you may want to add columns to the table. On Windows just press Ctrl + Alt + R (for adding column to right) and Ctrl + Alt + E (for adding column to left). On macOS, you need to press Control + Command + L (adding a new column to left) and Control + Command + R (for adding a new column to right).
12. Add Tags
This one is a lifesaver. I regularly use them. Adding tags is the best way to glance through what’s important or what needs to be highlighted. Also, they are the easiest ones to remember.
For windows, one can use Ctrl + 1 (To-do), Ctrl + 2 (Important), Ctrl + 3 (Question), Ctrl + 4 (Remember), Ctrl + 5 (Definition), and Ctrl + 0 (Remove all tags).
macOS requires Command + 1 (To-do), Command + 2 (Important), Command + 3 (Question), Command + 4 (Remember),and Command + 5 (Definition) keyboard shortcuts.
13. Search Through Notes
OneNote offers powerful search function in the app. Press Ctrl + E or Command + E to search through notes swiftly.
Use OneNote like a Pro
The list above indicates that OneNote supports many shortcuts on Windows and macOS. The list is even more evident on Windows considering it’s a Microsoft product. I’m sure once you memorize most of these shortcuts, the note-taking app will be a breeze to use and navigate.
Next up: WhatsApp for Web also comes with several keyboard options. Read the post below to learn more about them.
Last updated on 07 February, 2022
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