OneNote for Windows 10 Gets a Major Update

Posted on July 19, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Office, Office 365, Windows 10 with 19 Comments

Microsoft’s William Devereux has documented a nice set of new features that just arrived in the latest update to OneNote for Windows 10. And if you’re in the Insider Program, there are even more new features, including our first peek at the new simplified ribbon.

“We just released a new [OneNote] update on Windows 10 with a number of features based directly on your feedback,” Mr. Devereux tweeted late Wednesday. “As always these features are rolling out, so if you don’t see one of them yet then check back soon.”

I did receive the update last night—it updates the version number to 16.0.10325.20049—and here’s what’s new for everybody:

New Page deep link tile. You can now pin a OneNote “New Page” deep link tile to your Start menu so that you can jump directly to a new note in Quick Notes. To do so, open the Settings and More (“…”) menu and choose “Pin New Page Tile to Start.” Unfortunately, you cannot then pin the tile to the taskbar, which would eliminate a step and be even quicker.

Optional OneNote tile transparency. Speaking of tiles, you can also optionally pin a transparent version of the app’s tile to the Start menu. (What this really means is that it will match your configured accent color instead of being purple.) To do so, open Settings > Options and select the “Pin transparent tile to Start” button, under Start Tile.

Insert online videos. A new Insert Online Video in the Insert tab of the ribbon lets you easily embed web-based videos in your notes. (You can also just paste the URL of a video into your notes to achieve the same thing.)

Default paste. This one isn’t actually new to this version, but it’s a nice addition: You can now choose a default paste method, as you could previously in OneNote 2016. To configure this, navigate to Settings > Options > Paste Options. Choices include “Keep Source Formatting,” “Merge Formatting,” “Keep Text Only.”

In addition to these new features, those on the Windows 10 Insider Preview—or those who have enabled Office Insider access from within OneNote—will also see some unique new features too:

Simplified ribbon. While the new simplified ribbon is based on the version of the ribbon found in today’s OneNote for Windows 10, it’s also cleaner, easier to use, and better suited for high DPI displays. Meaning that it no longer looks like a PlaySkool toy.

New paste options. This one cures a problem I’ve had with OneNote for a long time: It has always included a source URL when you paste in content from the web. Now you can disable that.

Updated Clear Formatting. The Clear Formatting command will now clear any custom paragraph spacing from the source too.

New table options. You can now optionally hide table borders and quickly select a range of cells. You can also optionally exclude the header when sorting. (These are features that should have been available from day one, I think.)

Simpler symbol insert. You can now use a new Symbol Gallery in the Insert tab to more easily insert symbols.

Improved eraser. For those using smart pens, the Eraser tool now supports two new eraser sizes. (Yes, it works with a mouse or touch too.)

Microsoft Translator support. OneNote for Windows 10 now includes a Translate command on the View tab so you can translate a selection or the entire note.

 

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Comments (19)

19 responses to “OneNote for Windows 10 Gets a Major Update”

  1. spax

    Have they fixed sync yet?


    It is a wonderful program with a lot of potential. I really relied on it heavily in med school for the majority of my notes, because it was just such a convenient way to markup PDFs and organize things. But I would often hit some snag, which I could never identify what the triggering event was, but would result in some notebooks being perpetually out of sync on some computers. It got so frustration, and nothing but vague statements from Microsoft about if the issue even existed despite myriad online reports of similar problems, that I eventually just gave up on it.


    I've since moved mostly to the Google/Chromebook ecosystem. OneNote was good enough that it would have kept me with Microsoft if they had fixed it within a reasonable amount of time (this persisted over years.)

    • hometoy

      In reply to spax:

      If your Chromebook is new enough it can run Android mobile apps, have you tried OneNote mobile?


      I ask because whenever I consider moving to Chromebooks I wonder how well does the Android version of OneNote (and other MS Office applications) work and will they work offline like they do on a tablet?


      Also, on the tablet it synchronizes my changes when I get back online and can access the notebooks through the browser (like when I am at work) and I would want to make sure that is still true.

  2. RonH

    Can't wait to test this out.


    My 2 most used apps after mail and Calendar on PC are Onenote and ToDo. Happy to see the updates these are getting


  3. neunmalelf

    I'm still waiting for the OneNote EDGE and Chrome ADDONS to get at least the same functionality EVERNOTE. And maybe even recognize the user defined font size (all fingers crossed).

  4. davervw

    The desktop version of OneNote 2016 is now popping up with license agreement, and says licensed to Home and Student (File + Account). Did this change? I thought the desktop version was Free(*). Do I need to move to App to be legit for work without paying for full office?

  5. mikeg68

    It's nice that they are adding features to OneNote Win10 but they are not compelling enough to move me away from OneNote 2016. I don't know why Microsoft doesn't just add the features from OneNote 2016 that people love.

    What OneNote for Win10 is missing that would get me to switch from using OneNote 2016.

    1. Linked Notes: being able to doc a page to the side of my Surface tablet desktop is a feature I use everyday.
    2.  Ability to use Onetastic, indispensable add-on that adds huge functionality to OneNote.
    3. More integration with Outlook, especially with outlook tasks. It's a great feature I use all the time at work.
    4. Tags: enough said!
    5. Templates: Got to have them, saves so much work.

     

    If you're going to develop a replacement version I would think you wouldn't want to take away key functionality. I like to give credit where credit is due and I appreciate the new drawing tools.

  6. BoItmanLives

    No thanks. Sticking to proper Win32 version.


    The crappy mobile app UWP junk is too watered down for real productivity. It will never match Win32.

  7. chrisrut

    One begins to think Microsoft has not leveraged "pin the tile to the taskbar" because either a: they're completely nuts, or b: they have a good reason. Since the utility is so blindingly obvious, I conclude the latter, and interpret it as a deprecation of the task bar rather than psychosis. But if deprecated, then what? Such ruminations lead to speculation on deep philosophical questions like: "Well then, where the heck will the clock go?" Perhaps the "notch" on smartphones (or each tab) is the taskbar of the future...

  8. Finley

    MS needs to add the ability to copy multiple photos at a time into OneNote


    Biggest thing keeping on OneNote 2016

  9. Mahern

    Question for Paul or anyone:


    When will there be feature parity between the Windows 10 version and the Office version of OneNote?

    Its hard to decide when to switch because it's unclear of the tradeoffs if going to the Windows 10 version...


  10. wbhite

    Still has a LONG way to go before it has 100% feature parity with the desktop version. Until then, I'll stick with OneNote 2016.

    • jgraebner

      In reply to wbhite:

      The big blocker for me being able to switch over from the desktop version is the inability to edit Office documents that are attached to the notes. Microsoft has said that is coming, but hasn't given a timeline yet. Once that is in place, I do think I could probably switch over fully.

    • chrisrut

      In reply to wbhite:

      I transitioned just a couple of months ago, and I stopped missing the desktop version after a few weeks; I no longer perceive myself as missing anything - and these updates are terrific. Truth be known, I can't actually remember what bothered me, other than the different layout to which I am now accustomed. Accordingly, I think most could transition with little discomfort. But if there's a deal-breaker in there for you, who am I to judge?

      • plettza

        In reply to Lewk:


        The ability to move a notebook in the OneDrive folder structure. OneNote notebooks created with UWP app always go to DocumentsNotebooks which I don't like. OneNote 2016 not only allows you set the default save location but also allows you to move the entire notebook

      • wbhite

        In reply to Lewk:

        Perhaps the biggest is full Outlook integration (insert meetings, create tasks, etc.). Also, custom tags; insert date/time; emailing notes as PDFs. These are just some of the ones I've run in to. If these are available and I'm wrong, please correct me.


        However, drawing and inking is vastly superior in the UWP version, and I switch to it when I'm in pen note taking mode.

      • AnOldAmigaUser

        In reply to Lewk:

        Insert a Screen Clipping? I use this all the time inside OneNote desktop.

        OneNote for Windows 10 does not include this option, so I must fire up the Screen Clipping tool, minimize OneNote, take the clip and then paste it into OneNote. A much clumsier process.

  11. sakhinecklace

    Thanks for this valuable information this is too inform me

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