Hey Reddit! We’re the Microsoft OneNote team and are excited to join you today. This summer we’ve launched a lot of new things around ink, back to school, learning tools, and an importer tool to help people move to OneNote. We’re ready to take a break from all of that and hang out to answer anything you want to ask.

Why is the OneNote brand color purple? What is the name of the outmost ring of Saturn? What quote by the Most Interesting Man in the World best describes OneNote?

We have the team here to answer your questions for the next 2 hours and are excited to get started. Anything is fair game, so let’s get to it! We’d love for you to try out OneNote for free on any device: Mac | iOS | Android | Windows

Verification: https://youtu.be/mFMLaiRqvLg

Thanks! The OneNote team

EDIT, 11:50am: Hey we'll be here for just a bit longer but if we don't get to your question now we'll try to come back when we get some free time again. Thanks for the great conversation and feedback!

EDIT 2, 12:10pm: Thanks everyone, this has been a blast! We're wrapping up now but will be checking in as more questions trickle in. If you have suggestions in the future head over to UserVoice: https://onenote.uservoice.com/ and if you have questions head to the Microsoft Forum: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/?auth=1

Comments: 703 • Responses: 76  • Date: 

SuddenSeasons236 karma

Why the decision to split OneNote into two different products? Having OneNote (Metro app) and OneNote 2016 on the same computer is extremely confusing for users. It's extremely frustrating when the wrong one opens, or if the user doesn't know the difference when searching in the start menu. Particularly if one version of the application is customized and set up for sync and the other is not. (We have never managed to get OneNote to sync with Office 365, only OneNote 2016)

I loved OneNote, and was a big proponent of using it, but the product requires too much hand holding from IT to continue using in my enterprise organization.

Yes, my users are not the most tech literate, but no amount of documentation or training has managed to bridge the "desktop apps" vs "metro apps" gap, and the product has fallen into disuse in my environment.

These instructions (https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Change-the-default-version-of-OneNote-on-your-computer-f261140c-5ce8-4cf4-ad0b-c9e1cb953831?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US) are not simple, and are not user friendly. In some environments they require administrative privileges to edit. It requires a change in multiple locations in order to set the default. This is extremely user unfriendly, and a huge step backwards for the product.

MSOneNote45 karma

Hi SuddenSeasons,

We know that having two versions of OneNote on Windows is confusing, and we're working on some things which should clear up this confusion.

The bigger answer to your question is that OneNote 2016 has been a great app that we've been developing for over 13 years. As the app continued to grow we started to identify areas that our customers and business mutually benefitted from. As we pivot to a more modern code base, we’re prioritizing Windows 10's capabilities to let us ship faster, build things more easily, and create deeper integrations into the operating system, such as the ability to launch OneNote above lock on Surface with the click of a pen. We recently added new ink features to the Windows 10 app and made it much simpler to use. We hope these will delight our users, even those who previously embraced the desktop app. Stay tuned for more features we think you will love! 

You make some excellent points about that support article. We'll re-evaluate it and see if we can make it more easier to use.

-William, PM Lead for OneNote's apps

nidnks27 karma

Is it possible for OneNote Touch and OneNote desktop to make use of same cache of notebooks to limit the space used per device. I love both apps but don't like to have two copies of same notes in the same device. I am aware that OneNote desktop makes two backup copies of every section. This means four copies of same data on one device and then backup in cloud too. How is it efficient?

MSOneNote13 karma

Yes this is definitely odd behavior, but given the restrictions for Windows 10 apps, we need to have two separate caches. You can delete backups in OneNote 2016 though to clear up space.

~ Grant

tekpxl69 karma

What's gotten into Microsoft lately? Actually listening to what the customers want? This is great!

MSOneNote81 karma

We let the college hires take over ;)

Kidding, thank you! we're trying our best to always hear what the customers want and get feedback as we're building it from real users.


1001tigers59 karma

Love OneNote to make class notes. Can we please have some of the following features?

  1. Embedding pdfs and word files. Currently, all the pages of the embedded document show up at once in a OneNote page. This makes sense for smaller documents, but for larger docs, having the ability to turn pages would make more sense.

  2. Allow exporting pages from the browser version.

  3. A linux version (or a more feature complete browser version). Lot of computer science classes prefer using linux over windows.

MSOneNote31 karma

Thanks for your feedback. Being able to turn pages in embedded documents is a great suggestion!

By export, do you mean exporting as a Word/PDF document, or moving it to a different notebook?


benders_game53 karma

I absolutely love OneNote! In my mind, its a program that really fits its purpose well, an no other comparable programs come close. However, we use Macs at work, and corporate IT policies make it absolutely clear that storing company data on 3rd party is strictly prohibited. As you know, local storage is only possible with the Windows version, not the Mac version.

Looking at this ticket, it seems that I’m not alone. However, the response from Microsoft was infuriating: "We have no plans to support local notebooks in our other clients, since storing your notebooks in the cloud enables experiences that are not otherwise possible”. This explanation simple doesn’t pass the sniff test. (How is not being able to use the software a better experience than using it with local storage?)

So,my question to you folks is this: What is the real story here? Could you reconsider?

MSOneNote36 karma

Benders_game … I like what you did there with the user name.

We have a small team and only get to focus on a few things. Since many of our new features are based on services and features that are part of OneDrive and many of our users use the app on multiple devices we are focused on cloud based notebooks. Many customers that cannot store their data on the cloud use Share-Point on-prem to store OneNote notebooks, which I know is not an option for everyone.

~ Ryan

2drawnonward584 karma

What's the deal with the small team size for possibly THE coolest thing the company does? Note I'm not a gamer 😃 Does Microsoft realize OneNote is one of the best things out there and it's up to them to make it blossom?

MSOneNote85 karma

I will screenshot this and send it to Satya :) We do get a lot of love at Microsoft.

~ Ryan

jhoff8043 karma

How do you plan on reconciling the advanced feature set of OneNote 2016 with the new features you're adding to OneNote UWP?

Shape recognition, for example, is UWP-only. Or integrated Office Lens. Or the math features (but see below question about that as well...). However, some of us need the desktop version for many of the more powerful features that it provides. Are we going to permanently be out of luck with the newer things that have been coming to OneNote UWP? The solution can't just be to have two different programs both requiring the same giant notebook files to be synced down, can it?

Also, will there ever be an update to the "Microsoft Mathematics Addon for Word and OneNote 2013" to make it OneNote 2016 compatible? It already does a lot of the math stuff that just got added to UWP OneNote, but again is more fully featured.

Desktop: Why don't we have the option to show Quick Access Toolbar buttons in the top bar even when in full-screen mode? Needing to press the top bar to drop the menu down first defeats the purpose of quick access.

And finally, will the W10M/Phone version ever get the advanced formatting features/small screen version of the ribbon that the other Office apps have on mobile? Will the draw tools ever be an option on the phone screen, considering they already exist in the damn app and are just hidden until you connect a Continuum screen?

Seriously, I can't live without OneNote, but some of this stuff drives me batty.

MSOneNote13 karma

Hey jhoff80,

We're bringing the best features in OneNote 2016 to OneNote for Windows 10, and you'll see many of them show up in the app over the coming months. Which features would you like to see added to OneNote for Windows 10?

As we pivot to a more modern code base, we’re prioritizing Windows 10's capabilities to let us ship faster, build things more easily, and create deeper integrations into the operating system, such as the ability to launch OneNote above lock on Surface with the click of a pen. We recently added new ink features like the ones you mentioned and we're making the app much simpler and easier to use. We hope these will delight our users, even those who previously embraced the desktop app.

We have no current plans to update the Microsoft Mathematics Add-on for Word and OneNote 2013, but you can expect the new math features in OneNote for Windows 10 to improve over time.

That's a great question about the QAT. We designed the full screen experience to be as distraction-free as possible. That being said, I can see how showing the QAT would be nice.

As for formatting on Windows 10 Mobile, we work hard to balance adding as many features as possible without cluttering the interface and making it hard to use. Some of the more advanced formatting options aren't as critical on mobile, but as a power user myself, I'd love to see them added at some point. :)

Similarly, we're looking at the best way to bring ink to mobile. We want to make sure we deliver a great experience and not simply port the existing one from desktop. If you have thoughts on what you'd like to see, please give us feedback on http://onenote.uservoice.com.

Thanks for being such a big fan of OneNote!

-William, PM Lead for OneNote's apps

grevenilvec7533 karma

Any plans to bring back the radial menu?

MSOneNote23 karma

Well, that'd be a compete 180 wouldn't it?


skeal30 karma

Are there any plans to add dark page colors?

MSOneNote33 karma

That's something we've had a few requests for so we are considering it for the future.

  • Gloria

jipot28 karma

As a recent CS graduate, and someone who has used OneNote for over 6 years, and quite exhaustively all throughout college. I am a huge, huge fan.

This may be out of scope, but what is the best way to get an interview at Microsoft with the OneNote team? I have applied for numerous positions, but never been contacted back for even a phone screen. My qualifications (shameless plug) are definitely not bad, I interned at Xamarin and have been working professionally in the .NET and C# world for over a year.

Can I shoot y'all a resume? It'd be a huge dream to work on a product I absolutely love <3

MSOneNote37 karma

Thanks for your support, jipot. DM me your resume via twitter (@darrengaustin) and I can pass along to the right folks to review.


oftheterra25 karma

Evernote has a fantastic tagging system where you can actually build a "tree" of tags which supports expanding/collapsing nodes, click to filter, editing of tags, etc. Is the OneNote team working to expand the tagging system to better support organizing and browsing your notes by tags?

MSOneNote12 karma

Yes, definitely. We think we can leverage tags to improve both navigation and organization capabilities of OneNote. One of the things we hear from users is that they like how OneNote allows them to tag individual content on a page versus being limited to tagging just a full page so we want to keep that aspect of OneNote's current tags while adding some of the capabilities you reference above.

Stay tuned for some UX improvements coming that will open up opportunities to better leverage tags in the future.


Mapsle24 karma

First of all: Thanks for this great piece of software!

I´m studying mechanical engineering and am pretty much doing all my note taking in OneNote since I´ve gotten my Surface Book a year ago.

It´s great, especially in classes like mechanics, but there are two things I wish you guys could add:

  • Preview Page Outlines (as in Excel) - creating PDFs/printing leads to weird results otherwise
  • a ruler would be nice too

Now to the actual question:

How are the realationships between the different MS Office Developer Teams? Are the Excel guys acting like they are more important than the Word guys etc. (or any funny story that happened between the different teams).

Tl;dr Prolougue: OneNote is awsome, and Preview Page Outlines would be nice to have

MSOneNote41 karma

Printing is an area where we get lots of feedback especially with an infinite canvas. We are working on a few ways to make it better but one thing you can try now in the Windows OneNote 2016 is to set a paper size in the view ribbon tab, then you will get an outline that you can adjust your content to.

A ruler is coming just in time for holidays.

We have a great relationship with other office teams, we are kind of like the teenager of Office so sometime they give us good parental advice and sometimes we listen. We are big family, Excel is the most buttoned up, Word tends to go on and on a little, and Outlook seems to always be notifying us about something or other on all our devices.

~ Ryan

Nebulaeus15 karma

Microsoft is starting to develop a really excellent reputation for their apps on the iPad Pro and OneNote is no exception. Your excellent support for the Apple Pencil and Split Screen is appreciated. It is the most important app on my device! I was wondering if the ability to create section groups my be coming to OneNote for iPad anytime soon? Also wondering if more drawing tools like the pencil you added to the Windows version is coming to the iPad as well?

Keep up the awesome work!

MSOneNote11 karma

Thanks! We are working on adding the ability to create section groups now and will have that in a release coming soon. We are also working on bringing pencil and the new ink effects to iPad as well.


jenmsft14 karma

Favourite doughnut type? I need to know for... reasons 🍩

MSOneNote16 karma

Rainbow donuts are where its at...


-Ian Mikutel, PM Lead OneNote Ink

MSOneNote14 karma

The team is currently enjoying two dozen Top Pot donuts: http://imgur.com/a/6S9so


MSOneNote14 karma

Jelly fill... obviously.


MSOneNote19 karma

No way it's jelly. Gotta be a fresh, hot Krispie Kreme. If not that, then Chocolate Old Fashion for sure. -Darren

MSOneNote13 karma

Apple fritter. Go big or go home. ~Grant

astromaddie13 karma

Hey guys! OneNote is a really cool piece of tech, and I've been starting to get used to switching over to it for notes at work (the cross-syncing is super useful for my laptop and tablet).

Out of curiosity, while there's obviously no "wrong" way to use software like OneNote, it's a pretty versatile blank slate-- so, what's the most innovative, creative, or just flat-out bizarre usage of OneNote that has surprised you from users or test groups?

MSOneNote6 karma

Hey Astromaddie!

Our Class Notebook template was actually inspired by how some IT admins for a school were configuring OneNote notebooks on SharePoint. They basically setup SharePoint permissions to enable more granular (i.e. section level) sharing to allow teachers to run their entire class out of a single notebook. If you're interested in Class Notebook, you can find out more info here: https://www.onenote.com/classnotebook

  • Grant

Aurock111 karma

Why does Onenote feel so clunky when inserting other files/documents?

When I attach a file in Onenote (any document type file at least) it asks if I want to attach the file or insert a printout. If I choose to attach the file, I get a little icon and filename in my note. I can't see the contents without opening the attached file. If I choose to insert a printout, I get an image of what the document would look like printed on paper. The image is static, I can't edit the contents, or even select text from the 'printout' to copy and paste somewhere else.

Making things more confusing, when I choose to insert a printout of a document, I still get the little icon and file name at the top, which looks just like when I attach the file. IS the original file attached in addition to including the printout? If it is, then why bother asking if I want to attach the file or insert a printout if it's going to do both?

Contrast those examples with how Evernote handles such attachments. If I drag a text file into a note, Evernote drops the contents of the file into the note as text. It's just as if I had typed the text into the note manually. If I drag a PDF over, evernote shows the entire PDF in the note, using an embedded pdf viewer. I can't edit the contents of the PDF of course, but I can select and copy text, just as I could if I opened the PDF in Adobe or FoxIt reader. I just have a free evernote account, it would do more with the attachments (pdf annotation, indexing the contents of attached word docs, etc) if I had a premium subscription.

Attachments in onenote just don't seem as simple or handled as well as in evernote. Any improvements coming down the pipe on that front?

MSOneNote8 karma

Thanks for the feedback, we are aware of the digital printout experience gaps on OneNote as well as how important it is to get the printout annotation experience smooth. Right now we insert PDF printout as image and willing to change to the native PDF rendering approach. We also want to provide good printout experience for other Office applications such as PPT and Word. Stay tuned and we are on it!

~ Fanguang Kong

Musichead246810 karma

I love your app, and am actually typing up what I want to ask in advance using OneNote.

  1. What OneNote tips and tricks do you have for college students?

  2. How do you recommend organizing different classes? By notebooks or sections?

  3. What are your plans for the future of your mobile app?

  4. What are the current storage limits for using OneNote and how do I know If It affects me?

MSOneNote9 karma

Hi Musichead2468, a few answers/comments: 1) We have some great tips and interactive guides for Windows Desktop OneNote Students here: http://onenoteineducation.com/en-US/students/

2) For organizing classes, it will depend. I might suggest a notebook for each class if you take lots of notes, but if you're a lighter note-taker, maybe one notebook with a Section for each class

3) Our plans for mobile apps is to make them best of breed on any platform!

4) We don't have storage limits for OneNote that is stored locally (other thn HD), but you will have mobile device storage limits, or cloud storage limits for OneDrive, depending on what your plan is



MSOneNote3 karma

This video gives a great quick overview of students using OneNote for their classes: https://youtu.be/h_Dc8nDf_U4. Some of my favorites: (a) Use your pen to take notes, just like you do on paper. Then use Ink to Text and Ink to Math to convert, share and search it. (b) Embed pictures, videos and audio. You get to decide how you want to learn and share, based on your learning style. (c) Share your notebook with other students or teachers. They can jump in and watch or contribute at any time.


mattbdev8 karma

Will the OneNote app for Windows 10 gain all the features of the traditional OneNote app?

MSOneNote7 karma

In listening to user feedback, we found that even though the Win32 version of OneNote is incredibly powerful, many users - and new users in particular - found it difficult to use. So our goal for the Windows 10 app is to bring in the most valuable features from the classic OneNote app while delivering a more simple and pleasant user experience for users overall.

Many of the top features in OneNote 2016 will be added to OneNote over time. For a full comparison of the two apps, check out this article: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/What-s-the-difference-between-OneNote-and-OneNote-2016-a624e692-b78b-4c09-b07f-46181958118f

  • Darren

twint77878 karma

When will the ability to password protect noted come to Windows Mobile?

MSOneNote5 karma

A lot of people have been requesting this, we currently have it on our backlog. For now, you can open any section you password protected starting on the desktop.


Omar-AlGhamdi8 karma

Included Excel sheet in OneNote is not as good as it's in Word. Do you plan to improve it in the future?

MSOneNote7 karma

We are always looking for ways to improve the integrations with the other Office apps and the Excel integration is one we think can be really powerful.

There are some technical limitations to the current way it's integrated into OneNote, so we are looking at alternative approaches that will let us do a lot more there.


glah8 karma

Howdy y'all, thanks for doing this! Here are my questions:

  1. Is there still resistance against adding in more robust editing tools for photos and (to a lesser extent) text?

  2. Are there any big things that you're working on, don't have ready yet, but can tell us about (or at least give some juicy hints)?

  3. What should we call the "Desktop" verison vs the "Windows Store" version? Are those it on names or is there a more streamlined way to refer to them?

  4. What is the most widely consumed snack on average of the OneNote team?

I'll probably think of some others, but that's it for now. It's great that you are doing this!

MSOneNote10 karma

Hey glah, thanks for joining us today!

  1. Not at all, but it depends on what you consider "robust editing tools." OneNote is a note-taking app, so we'll add any photo and text editing tools that make sense in a note-taking environment. We won't turn the app into Paint or Photoshop though.
  2. We're working on a ton of great features, including a brand-new UI which is more accessible and consistent across platforms. We think you'll really like it, and you'll be able to try it for yourself very soon! We also just released the ability to share a single page (instead of an entire notebook) via our app on Windows 10.
  3. That's a great question. We refer to the "desktop" version as "OneNote 2016" (or whatever the year of your version is) and the "Windows Store" version as "OneNote for Windows 10."
  4. We stock our offices with a bunch of free snacks, including yogurt and fruit. But right now, we're consuming too many donuts. :)

-William, PM Lead for OneNote's apps

bugmenot123458 karma

When will you implement back the Camera & Scanner function? Thanks.

MSOneNote18 karma

It uses TWAIN, an ancient piece of code so we didn't keep porting it forwards.

I'm in marketing, I'm not super sure what that means either ¯_(ツ)_/¯ -Scott

GeneralSham7 karma

You lost your arm!

MSOneNote11 karma

i was feeling a bit light...

bugmenot123455 karma

Thanks for the reply.

How about Windows Image Acquisition? I'm sure there is an updated way to access the scanner and camera on Windows 10, no?

bschorr6 karma

You could use the Office Lens app (now available on Windows 10 for free) to capture images and put those into OneNote (or PDF or Word or...)

You'll find Office Lens in the Windows App Store.

MSOneNote6 karma

Ben, is that you?



surface_book7 karma

Thank you for transparent EPS files. OneNote brought me back to Windows from Linux with my ASUS EP121. I've been a devoted tablet PC user since. I do research in astrophysics and many are switching over now that Bash is supported and they can also have OneNote.


  1. I've noticed ink changes in OneNote 2016/365 Insider Previews. Specifically on my Surface Book I have jagged ink, while UWP apps like OneNote and Plumbago are fine. Is this indicative of changes to the OneNote ink implementation in the desktop inline with the new Ink system on W10? Also, Ruler?

  2. What happened with synced notes? Why didn't they take off with other programs? Can I write my own PDF reader app which syncs notes with page location so I don't have to insert printouts? Basically it seems like the feature hasn't lived up to it's potential.

  3. Program and Latex syntax highlighting. When?

MSOneNote14 karma

  1. Yes! We turned on ink smoothing in OneNote for Windows 10 which is why you see those differences. We actually use a different ink rendering pipeline for the Windows 10 app, thanks to a great partnership with my friends in the Windows org.

  2. Rumor has it that Santa has ink rulers on his sleigh...

  3. We're pretty big on sync, as you know. It's hard for us to speak to why sync isn't more prevalent in other apps, but if I had to guess its because its actually a fairly non-trivial thing to do, and do well. We're humble on this and still working on constantly improving our own sync, even though we've been at it for many years. :) We do have our own OneNote API and service that might make it easier for you to build what you're looking for. Check out all our docs here: https://dev.onenote.com/

  4. We've actually played around with program and syntax highlighting tools in some recent hackathons internally and built prototypes. Nothing official to announce yet, but if you want to upvote this feature idea you can do so at https://onenote.uservoice.com/

Thanks for using OneNote :)

-Ian Mikutel, PM Lead OneNote Ink

Alikont6 karma

While developing UWP version of OneNote, did you made any specific requests for the platform? What APIs are available in UWP because of you?

Do you have any interesting stories of interaction with other Microsoft departments (like UWP, Azure, Windows)?

MSOneNote6 karma

We did! We work very closely with our friends in Windows to find unique integrations we can do together. Our most recent example of this was the brand new (literally announced this past Tuesday) pencil ink tool in the OneNote for Windows 10 app. My ink team partnered directly with Windows to build this into the platform, and as a result we have a great new ink tool (seriously, I've seen what artistic types can do with this thing and its crazy cool). It requires Windows 10 Anniversary edition as a result, which we also think is helpful because if apps like OneNote can make it clear to folks why upgrading their Win 10 machine helps them, it makes Windows job a bit easier too. It's a win-win for everyone in our minds.

For more on the pencil ink (including a really cool before/after picture) check out our announcement post from earlier this week: https://blogs.office.com/2016/08/30/onenote-august-roundup/

Thanks! -Ian Mikutel PM Lead, OneNote Ink

betrion6 karma


What happened to the voice recording feature? I was using OneNote almost exclusively for that. It was available on 8.1 yet removed on W10.

Are there any plans to "bring it back"?


MSOneNote7 karma

Yes, we are bringing it back, and making it even better across platforms. Stay tuned!

~Fanguang Kong

two_off5 karma

What are the best tips for regular OneNote users that want to improve their productivity with the tool?

MSOneNote7 karma

Our quick start guide and tips-and-tricks have some nice tricks you can use:

  1. Tips-and-tricks Ebook - https://support.office.com/en-us/article/eBook-OneNote-2016-Tips-Tricks-4e08cf8b-dc37-4229-bdef-1f580220b6f5?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US

  2. Quick start guide - https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Office-2016-Quick-Start-Guides-25f909da-3e76-443d-94f4-6cdf7dedc51e?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US

I also found this video helpful for setting OneNote up for productivity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_MnLwrDBrM. It is totally up to you though on what productivity method works for you best. Try a few different things and see what works. OneNote is flexible enough to help you create your own productivity method.


Intergalactic_Noob5 karma

For someone who wants to learn how to use OneNote and really get the most out of it, what training material can you recommend?

MSOneNote3 karma

nidnks5 karma

Do you recommend making use of onetastic addon in OneNote? Are there similar products?

MSOneNote6 karma

Yes, I highly recommend trying out OneTastic. It's super useful for Windows Desktop OneNote and has a ton of cool features, macros, etc. Link is here: https://getonetastic.com/. Also you can check out http://www.onenotegem.com/ for some interesting OneNote Addins.


PingCrowley5 karma

OneNote is great and I prefer it over Evernote in a lot of ways, so please don’t take these questions as negative. For me, there are two big gaps compared to Evernote--the Web Clipper and Tagging.
The Web Clipper has come a long way, but I still find it inferior to Evernote’s. The recent version has been buggy not worked well for us. Can you give us an idea of what is coming in that regard? Shortcuts would be great. I also have a lot of trouble “loading my notebooks”

Adding custom tags is awkward, as is searching for tags. Maybe I need to learn more about this, but it is not as intuitive as Evernote for me. Can you speak to where you are going with tags in the product? The ability to centrally manage a tag store across multiple notebooks is appealing to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I think OneNote is great and I’m moving away from Evernote. Thanks for doing the AMA.

MSOneNote5 karma

Hey PingCrowley! Thanks for using OneNote!

We have made a number of improvements with our Web Clipper, so thanks for noticing. =D If you have a bug, please report/post on our Microsoft Community Forums http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/office/forum/onenote_clipper Regarding "loading my notebooks", this is most likely because you have LOTS of files on your OneDrive for Business account. We are working to improve this experience for our users.

Our custom tags were developed awhile back. As we've moved forward with different platforms including mobile, we're looking at ways to improve tags/tagging in the future.

Thanks for using OneNote!


celestialsword4 karma

What are you doing about syncing? Working in OneNote 2016 feels like working in Outlook 2003. Syncing is terrible. It's honestly the only thing holding me back from moving from Evernote to Onenote.

MSOneNote5 karma

Hi, Sync is a hard problem to solve, especially for pieces of software that were built arguably before sync was really "a thing." We hear you and feel your pain (we use OneNote all the time too), we are working really hard on fixing sync as a top priority. -Scott

BrakkeBama3 karma

Guys, when are you going to address the issue with the proofing language re-setting to the UI language constantly.
It's positively maddening for us who are either multilingual and/or in foreign countries.

My entire computer and softwares are set to language en-US but I need to work with nl-NL. So, I set the proofing language of my text to nl-NL (or occasionally es-ES when needed) but whenever I click my mouse cursor anywhere else inside an editable (and unwritten) area the proofing language reverts to en-US and now all my text is underlined with red squiggly lines.
Even if I temporaily ignore the squigglies, to continue typing I have to yet again select the correct language from the proofing language menu. Please... it's driving me nuts! How is something so essential allowed to be ignored for so long? This should be somewhere on the top of your buglist IMHO.

MSOneNote2 karma

We are working on ways to get this fixed. Please keep voting for it at https://onenote.uservoice.com/forums/327165-onenote-for-mac/suggestions/12933318-set-default-proofing-language which helps push things to the top of our list.

~ Ryan

SDLcdm3 karma

Why has syncing slowed in Office2016? Syncing used to occur continuously in the background and now it only seems to happen when I flip to the page/section that is new and the changes arrive a few seconds later (when they used to already be there before I changed pages).

MSOneNote10 karma

Sync is a top priority for our team, and we're actually building an entirely brand new sync system which'll speed things up a lot once it ships.

~ Grant

PingCrowley3 karma

Is there a timeline on supporting organization accounts on the Android app?

MSOneNote8 karma

We recently added it. Boom! ;)

Click on your account profile and hit work or school account.


bXm833 karma

Any idea what's up with this glitch? After using the pan tool and switching to a pen and writing, all the pan swipes I made pop up until I write as many times as I panned.

Office 2016, windows 7, Huion W58 tablet


MSOneNote5 karma

Hello bXm83, Sorry that you are hitting this -- it is a known bug and we have a fix for it locally, but it has not shipped to prod yet. The quick work-around is to click on the cursor/edit button before selecting the pen tool. (We have the concept of wet ink and dry ink -- changing the tool flushes the wet ink in the queue.) - Greg

PAJO233 karma

Hi folks! Is there going to eventually be equation support for the Android App? Right now they are blanked out on the mobile app. Thanks!

MSOneNote3 karma

Yes we will support that in the app. We are working in bringing features to Android app based on the volume of customer feedback so please head over to UserVoice and vote for it. https://onenote.uservoice.com/forums/327162-onenote-for-android

Glowerman3 karma

Will photo/image CROPPING be offered soon?

MSOneNote2 karma

We like it as well!

~ Fanguang Kong

PlatypusLawyer3 karma


thanks a lot for making OneNote, my daily driver in the academic world.

I just have 1,5 maybe two questions ;)

1) Why isnt it possible to hide authors in the OneNote App. I would really love to use it (more), because of the very limited/basic UI but I am always finding myself falling back to OneNote (Office). Working on a page with 3 or more people really gets "distracting" with all the auther colors and name over it. :/

2) Exporting to Word. Like others have mentioned the Nebo app already, I really love their export experience. Is MS working on it to improve/fix exporting OneNote pages/sections to Word?! It takes me quiet some time to fix all the formatting issues :(

MSOneNote2 karma

  1. you will get it soon!

  2. heard your request and thinking and discussing now:).

-Fanguang Kong

soulseeker243 karma

Is there any way OneNote can be as smooth and easy-flowing as the default stock Notes app is on my phone and/or Mac? I know it doesn't have as many features like OneNote does, but sometimes, I just need the simplicity and ease of quickly jotting something down without waiting to sync, or my app taking a long time to launch, like OneNote does sometimes. This is the sole reason why I haven't made the permanent switch to OneNote... hopefully I can soon. Thanks!

MSOneNote5 karma

Hi soulseeker24,

If you're on Windows 10 I would recommend using the new Sticky Notes app. I use it tons for quick note taking. Longer term integration story is still bring figured out, but this way suit your needs today.

  • Gloria

just_one_simple_man3 karma

What are your plans for the Android version of the app? I am a new user to Onenote and I plan on using it on both my laptop and my phone.

MSOneNote7 karma

We just moved to a new code base for the android platform, now we'll be able to ship things faster. With that out of the way we're going to be working our way through the top user requests and getting Android on par with the other platforms. -Scott

razetheroof3 karma

Thanks for such a great app! I've been using it on a Surface for almost three years now and it's made my life (especially around exam time) a lot easier.

Since nobody's asked yet, why is the OneNote brand color purple? Is there some unknown story behind all of the colors used in the Microsoft Office suite?

MSOneNote7 karma

Purple is the color of royalty. That and all the other colors were taken by Word/Excel/PowerPoint.

~ Grant

jaro_odd2 karma

Why croping/trimming of images is only available in the OneNote online version?

MSOneNote2 karma

You can get this feature for OneNote Desktop with OneTastic here: https://getonetastic.com/macros.

We are also working on this feature for other platforms in the future


NoWaitItsThis2 karma

Love OneNote! What is the best possible way to use VBA with OneNote? Any documentation on OneNote VBA? I don't have administrative rights to install Onetastic, etc. Thanks, and keep up the good work! :)

zim1172 karma

Is there any possibility of getting an agenda notification system ??

Like on the UWP calendar app it pops up on the desktop could we have a reminders that you put in one note and any meetings ect will notify you on desktop And you have the ability to cross of what you have done ?? This would be great as I'm currently mcgivering my calendar for this purpose but would love to see a to-do ist style feature in one note as would have me using onenote 24/7

MSOneNote2 karma

Cool suggestion. We are looking to leverage Wunderlist capabilities more and more in OneNote for a better experience around task management. Good stuff coming.


suchnsuch852 karma

  1. Do you guys plan on rolling out more templates? I was looking for some templates for detailing business projects. Also noticed that there are no templates for OneNote on Office.com.

  2. Any chance will you guys be integrating Lync Presence into OneNote?

MSOneNote3 karma

The best place to get template notebooks is docs.com

Integrating Lync is a good idea, can you zip over to https://onenote.uservoice.com/ and vote for it?

~ Ryan

Omar-AlGhamdi1 karma

What is the best way to save written notes in OneNote? With scanner and without it?

MSOneNote2 karma

Hey, we recommend using Office Lens, a free app on all platforms. You can scan your content in and it will auto crop plus enhance the content with optical character recognition making your handwriting fully searchable! -Scott

drhead1 karma

I've been using OneNote for my math classes lately, and it's working somewhat well. Are there any hidden features for inputting formulas faster, though? I like how formulas end up looking when I have the time to do them, but it takes an awfully long time to select a fraction or exponent template from the ribbon and then fill them in.

MSOneNote2 karma

You can also use the linear format for input. It is the same as in Word, see https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/murrays/2006/09/06/formula-autobuildup-in-word-2007/ for some more info, - Greg

HoustonComfort1 karma

What is your favorite OneNote feature and what do you think sets OneNote apart from other similar tools?

jenmsft3 karma

I love love love the new glitter pen ink colours that were added recently 😊

MSOneNote5 karma

Yes! So glad you do, we built it after a middle school student specifically suggested it. -Scott

MSOneNote3 karma

We <3 you too Jen!


-Ian Mikutel, PM Lead OneNote Ink

MSOneNote2 karma

My favorite feature is the ability to embed web content in OneNote. You can see the different things you can embed here: http://onen.link/onenote-content-examples-community-notebook

I think what makes OneNote unique is our notebook metaphor with sections and pages to keep people organized and that our canvas is infinite so you can place stuff anywhere you want on the page.


seb_rattansen1 karma

OneNote is super handy - thanks for making it so useful.

Q1: How closely do you work with the Surface team? I think OneNote is the Surface's killer app, but I'm not sure this view holds within Microsoft?

Q2: Is there any plans to make the pages list in OneNote 2016 more visually appealing?

MSOneNote2 karma

Hey seb_rattansen,

I'm glad you love OneNote!

A1: We work very closely with the Surface team. In fact, we meet with them regularly to discuss potential opportunities for leveraging new capabilities in their hardware. A great example of this is the Surface pen clicks which let you launch OneNote while your device is locked. This wouldn't have been possible without a close partnership with them. Stay tuned for more exciting Surface features!

A2: We're always looking at how we can improve the aesthetics of OneNote, and we're working on a new experience which will be more accessible and consistent across platforms. Stay tuned for more details on this in the future.

-William, PM Lead for OneNote's apps

tekpxl1 karma

what about touch-id functionality?

MSOneNote2 karma

For password protected sections we support that


Aurock11 karma

On the lines of my previous question/comments -- Do you have any good resources you can recommend for someone with ADHD on how to make the best use of Onenote?

MSOneNote2 karma

Our learning tools add-in has a focus mode that you might find helpful. http://www.onenote.com/learningtools

~ Grant p.s. that video might make you cry

tekpxl1 karma

what about adding speech-to-text? This would be a great addition in the classroom, no?

MSOneNote4 karma

We thought that would be a great addition too, great minds think a like. Our Learning Tools add-in for PC has that capability, download it for free here: http://www.onenote.com/learningtools