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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Comments (13)

13 responses to “Tip: Configure Paste Options in OneNote for Windows 10”

  1. ken_kelly

    Great tip! This one was driving me crazy. Now if they could just get rid of the highlighted text menu pop-up, that would be awesome.

  2. Simard57

    are you using the full OneNote or the Windows 10 Version?

  3. timo47

    The lack of the "Paste Options toolbar" in the OneNote for Windows 10 app is my number 1 reason for sticking with the OneNote 2016 desktop app. I regularly need to switch between all 3 paste options, so setting a default is not enough.

    Aside from that, I can't stand the Fisher-Price like interface of the UWP app. It feels "off".

    And on a desktop I want my sections on top. The navigation system on the left side takes up way too much space.

    • Simard57

      In reply to timo47:

      "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."

      it is there! just not on the menu!

  4. Simard57

    what I want fixed is cutting/pasting into tables. it is different than how other office apps work. how about some consistency -- oh never mind!

  5. Byron Adams

    Paste Youtube video and have it show the title as a link is broken for me in OneNote 2016, but at least I can still use the toolbar to insert a video.

  6. pherbie

    Hey, I like the "goofy little links". They tell me where i got stuff from. What other tool does that????

  7. Byron Adams

    The biggest feature that I will miss in the OneNote Win10 version is the ability to click a link and launch explorer to a folder or start an application. I have lots of partial manual workflows in OneNote.

  8. pbeiler1

    I’ve been asking for the keyboard shortcut, CTRL+ALT+V, (paste special), since OneNote 2013, apparently not very popular. I prefer keyboard shortcuts to any series of mouse clicks.

  9. Rug

    One annoyance down. Now, if I could just send to this OneNote from Outlook...