There are plenty of OneNote tips and tricks out there, but which ones do you pick? OneNote has a number of great features and functionality to get work done and you can unlock even more potential as part of a paid Microsoft 365 subscription.
OneNote tips and tricks
Microsoft 365 subscribers can record audio notes, transcribe audio from personal audio files, bullet or number lists using keyboard shortcuts, capture text from images, and much more. Here are 5 OneNote tips and tricks that every user should know, even if you aren't a Microsoft 365 subscriber.
#1 Dictate and Transcribe speech
Did you know you can dictate and transcribe recordings automatically if you're a Microsoft 365 subscriber? Here's what you need to do.
- Go to the Home tab and go all the way to the right to find Transcribe under the microphone icon.
- In Transcribe, you can upload a mp3 via Upload audio or Start recording to create a new recording within OneNote that will automatically transcribed for you.
- In Dictate, you can speak naturally, and OneNote will keep a transcript of your speech that you can review later.
Can't find the Dictate or Transcribe button? Just a reminder, the dictation and transcription features are only available as part of a paid Microsoft 365 subscription.
Microsoft notes that OneNote does not record you when you use the voice dictation feature, the audio is used to live-translate your speech into text in OneNote. If you want to record your voice, consider using OneNote to record audio notes.
You can transcribe up to 300 minutes of speech content per month as part of a paid Microsoft 365 subscription.
#2 Convert to bulleted or numbered lists
Use these two keyboard shortcuts to create bulleted or numbered lists when you select blocks of text:
- Ctrl + . to create a bulleted list from the selected text.
- Ctrl + / to create a numbered list from the selected text.
#3 Expand and collapse outlines
The outline feature in OneNote makes it quick and easy to organize long complex documents or outlines. It can organize up to 5 levels of information. To use the feature, click the grabber icon next to the item to expand (plus sign) or collapse (minus sign) outlines on the fly.
If you want to rely on a keyboard shortcut instead, use the Alt + Shift + +/- keyboard shortcut to expand and collapse outlines. As an added bonus, you can also use the grabber to move specific text, images, or other objects within OneNote with your mouse.
#4 Move items within lists
If you want to move selected text within OneNote, you can hold down Alt + Shift + up or down arrow buttons, you can move an item up or down in the list order.
It can be a pretty clutch trick to know to avoid reaching for your mouse when you want to move things around.
#5 Copy text from images
This OneNote trick is great for when you want to extract text from an image. OneNote makes it easy as pie, here's what you need to do.
- Copy and paste an image into OneNote.
- Right-click the image and select Copy Text from Picture.
- Paste the text where you want it to go in OneNote or in another app.
Know of any other OneNote tips and tricks? Let us know in the comments!