Tip: Configure Paste Options in OneNote for Windows 10

Posted on May 27, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 13 Comments

Several readers responded to my recent complaints about how the new OneNote—OneNote for Windows, a Store app that is replacing the traditional desktop application—handles copying and pasting text from other applications.

If you’re familiar with how traditional desktop versions of Office behave, you know that they come with rules about how text and other content will appear when pasted, depending on the source. Additionally, these traditional Office applications provide a pop-up Paste Options toolbar that let you change how the content is pasted on-the-fly.

OneNote for Windows 10 does not work like that. Instead, it will paste text and other content into a notebook page using its own internal rules. If you want to paste something differently, you need to remember to right-click and choose Paste and then the type of paste you wish to make from a context menu.

Unsophisticated and almost completely non-discoverable? You bet. And for that reason, I recommended that anyone who needed to paste plain text into OneNote for Windows 10 should consider using a third-party utility.

But here’s some good news: Microsoft recently updated OneNote for Windows 10 to somewhat address this issue: You can now configure the default paste behavior in OneNote settings (in Options > Paste Options). And one of the choices is “Keep Text Only.” Which is exactly what I want.

You can and should also consider disabling the option “Include link to source,” if you don’t want those goofy little links to the original document online that OneNote always includes.

Thanks to everyone who wrote in about this.


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