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15 Best Shortcuts in OneNote 2013 - Increase Your Productivity

OneNote helps you take notes digitally.
OneNote helps you take notes digitally.
Florian Führen - Flickr

There are many things you might not know about OneNote. For one thing, it can read your handwritten notes and automatically convert them to text. For another, you can use a stylus to write comments on your printouts using Insert and File Printout. OneNote can do arithmetic and basic equations, as well as calculus and other advanced computations. You can record audio from meetings, as well as easily share your notes with other people you are collaborating online with. As if these features weren’t awesome enough, here are some shortcuts that will make OneNote an even better tool to use for all your note-taking needs.

Quick Shortcuts

These desktop shortcuts in OneNote will cut down your production time a great deal when you’re working.

  • Ctrl + . (period) – This enables users to create a bulleted list. You can also highlight an existing list and makes bullet points for them.
  • Ctrl + Enter - This adds a new table row. Place your cursor above the row that you want to create your new row in, and use this shortcut.
  • Ctrl + 1 – This creates a to-do list in OneNote.
  • Ctrl + Alt + 1/2/3 and so on – Pressing this shortcut creates a new heading to your notes. The numbers correspond to your headings accordingly.

Basic Editing

A lot of more common editing shortcuts are already well-known, but while these are less popular shortcuts, they certainly are not less productive.

  • Ctrl + Shift + H or Ctrl + Alt + H – This highlights any group of text in yellow. It’s crucial for when you need to emphasize a few key points in your notes.
  • Shift + F10 – This allows you to bring up the context menu for your notes.
  • Alt + Shift + D/T – This adds the current date/time.
  • Alt + N,P/S – This inserts a photo from a certain file/ or from a scanner or camera.

Outline Tools

Any note-taking endeavor involves a lot of outlining. These outlining shortcuts in OneNote will create easy outlines to organize your thoughts even better.

  • Alt + Shift + 1/2/3 and so on – This shows all the levels of your outlines from 1 to 9, while Alt + Shift + 0 expands all the levels of your outline so you can scan and review them properly.
  • Tab – This increases one level of indention in your notes.
  • Shift + Tab – This decreases one level of indention in your notes.
  • Alt + Shift + Plus Sign / Minus Sign – The plus sign shortcut expands an outline that you have collapsed, while the minus sign shortcut allows you to collapse an expanded outline depending on your needs.

Note Tagging

When everything seems too cluttered, it’s important to correctly tag and label your notes, as well as know how to properly search for them when the need arises.

  • Ctrl + 1 to 5 – Use this when you want to apply, mark, or clear a tag. 1 is for the To Do tag; 2 for the Important tag; 3 for the Question tag; 4 for the Remember For Later tag; and 5 for the Definition tag.
  • Ctrl + 6 to 9 – This applies or clears a custom tag you created.
  • Ctrl + 0 – This effectively removes all the tags that you have created from your selected notes.


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