Microsoft OneNote best features

5 OneNote features for the best user experience

OneNote is a one-stop digital notebook. With it, you can use endless folders, sections and subsections to keep track of your projects or notes better than almost any other program. In fact, you may be surprised to discover just how many OneNote features can streamline your workflow and boost day-to-day efficiency.

Here are 5 of our favorite OneNote features to get the most out of your experience.

Use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to import images and handwritten notes

One of the greatest and smartest OneNote features is its OCR technology. You can use the technology to automatically import text from images or even handwritten notes into your notebook.

Here’s how:

Right-click on the image and select “Copy Text From Picture.” OCR will automatically recognize any text within that image and copy it to your clipboard. You can then paste it wherever you want it to go. If you want to do this with your handwritten notes, simply take a picture of them first.

Just be aware that no technology is perfect, and if you can’t read your own handwriting, OneNote might have a similar problem.

Related: Office 365 Migration

Record audio and video directly into OneNote

With OneNote, you can record both audio and video directly into your notes without the use of a third-party application or software.

Here’s how:

Click the “Insert” tab to reveal both the “Record Audio” and Record Video” options. This will bring up a toolbar with all your control buttons. Place your cursor where you want the end files to go in the notes, then hit record. When you’re finished recording, the files will automatically appear in your notes.

Drag and drop files to insert them into your notes

Got files you want to reference in your notes? OneNote lets you attach them to pages with almost zero effort. These include audio and video files (as referenced above), but also .pdf files, Word docs, and more.

Here’s how:

It’s as easy as it sounds. Simply drag and drop the files into the desired spot, and you’re done.

Automatically source what you copy and paste from the web

This one is just a great feature that we’d be remiss not to mention. Anything you copy and paste from the Internet into OneNote will automatically show the source it comes from.

Here’s how:

Just copy and paste from the Web like normal. The source link will automatically show up below it. We find this incredibly handy when compiling and organizing online research.

Password protect sensitive sections of a shareable document

Planning to share your notes with co-workers or potential clients, but have sections that include sensitive data? OneNote allows you to password protect individual sections of your notes for just this purpose.

Here’s how:

Right-click on the section in question, then select “Password Protect This Section” from the menu that pops up. Next, click “Set Password” and key in the password of your choice. This password can be changed or removed later by right-clicking and selecting “Change Password” or “Remove Password.”

Only the beginning

As great as these easy-to-use OneNote features are, they’re only a fraction of what OneNote can actually do. Like all Microsoft products, OneNote integrates easily with other Microsoft apps such as Word, Powerpoint and Excel. If you’re not already using it, you’re basically taking notes in the stone age.

Related: Office 365 vs. Google Apps: 2 major reasons Office 365 wins