We posted yesterday on a new version of OneNote for Windows being tested by Microsoft with Insiders. Today Microsoft formally announced the app and detailed its new features.
The refreshed app is intended to help users:
- Focus on their content
- Capture naturally with voice, ink, camera, and AI
- Organize pages the way you want
- Share their notes with clarity
Building upon the ribbon refresh last year, the new visual refresh extends to the navigation panes and full screen mode. The page list, section tabs and notebook dropdown all have been visually updated. OneNote will look consistent next to other modern apps.
Subtle touches let their personalization through, such as the Mica effect, which incorporates the Windows 11 theme and desktop wallpaper into the app window.
Microsoft says they obsessed over every rounded corner and animation to bring a new level of polish to the app.
Functionally, Microsoft has updated how pages with unread changes appear. The new unread indicator easily lets you see which pages and sections have unread changes, with a similar design to other areas of Office.
With the optional simplified ribbon, users be able to create more screen real estate for their content, while preserving quick access to commonly used features. This strikes the perfect balance between using the full height classic ribbon and hiding the ribbon completely.
In addition to increased screen real estate, users also have more focus time as OneNote can update to the latest features while you’re away. The update under lock capability from Office downloads and installs updates while their device is locked.
Capture Naturally with Voice, Ink, Camera and AI
OneNote gives you the ability to work the way you choose. Draw their inspirations with ink, capture their thoughts with dictation, imagine better with camera, and work smarter with new AI capabilities.
The updated draw tab brings writing and drawing tools to OneNote that look and work the same way as Word, Excel, PowerPoint. Ink to shape transforms their drawn shapes into its pixel-perfect version. Ruler measures and draws straight lines at any angle. Ink to text accounts for the size of their writing so that converted text will be proportional in font size.
Microsoft says Digital inking has never felt more natural with an experience that feels consistent. When inking with their Surface Slim Pen 2 on a Surface Laptop Studio or Surface Pro 8, you will feel tactile signals as you write, mimicking the feel of pen on paper.
Over the next few months, Microsoft promises we will see more improvements to ink quality and even more features including pencil, ink replay and a new pen focus view! Just by undocking their pen, you can transition into a pen-first experience making it easy to focus on their writing and annotations – no distractions.
Voice and ink are a powerful combination. Together for the first time in Office, soon transcription and ink will make it easier than ever to take notes, focus on what’s important, and review their content later. With transcription on, you can record what you hear. You’re free to annotate, write notes, or highlight what’s important. When you’re ready to review, their ink will play back in lockstep with the recording. You can easily jump to a specific moment by tapping on any annotation to recall more context.
Leverage the power of their voice to conquer the blank page and capture notes at the speed of their thoughts with dictate in OneNote.
Break away from the keyboard and stay in their flow by using dictation with our AI-backed voice commands to add, format, edit, and organize their text. Say “delete that” if you change their mind, or “pause dictation” if you need a break. In line with our investments in pen and ink, we are ensuring a uniform experience across Office apps like Word and Outlook. Over the next few months, current dictate customers will see existing and new voice commands in Office apps added to OneNote. The auto-punctuation feature in dictation settings uses AI to ensure their thoughts flow freely without worrying about punctuation.
OneNote already makes text in pictures searchable. This has been useful for snapping a picture of a recipe or whiteboard. Now we’ve made it easier to insert from camera, which launches the Windows camera app and inserts pictures you capture directly into OneNote.
Organize the Way You Want
By popular customer request, page sorting is now available. You can sort alphabetically, by date created, and date modified. You can still drag and drop pages to sort manually. OneNote will remember their last manual sort order for every section, so you can explore sort options without losing their existing order.
Share with Clarity
When you’re done capturing and organizing their notes, the new share experience in OneNote more clearly outlines opportunities to bring collaborators into their content. Those who want to give someone access to an entire notebook and collaborate in real time can select Share Entire Notebook or Copy Link to Notebook. Email Copy of Page is a great way to share a single page while keeping the rest of their notebook private.
Which features can I try today?
As of May 2022, the following features have rolled out to 100% of audiences in the Current Channel:
- Ink to shape
- Ink to text with font size awareness
- Page sorting
- Update under lock
The following are available to Insiders, who get to try features earlier (Join the Office Insider Program)
- Insert picture from camera
- Updated share experience
The rest of the features mentioned in this post are coming soon.
Which version of OneNote does this post apply to?
OneNote lets you access their notes no matter which platform or device you’re using. That’s why there’s OneNote for Windows, macOS, iOS, Web, and Android. On Windows, there are currently two versions: the OneNote app that’s installed with Office and the OneNote for Windows 10 app. We are unifying the two apps so you’ll have the simplicity of a single OneNote app on Windows. The OneNote app on Windows continues to get new features while absorbing key unique features of OneNote for Windows 10.
The focus of this post is on updates to the OneNote app on Windows. While OneNote for macOS, iOS, Web, and Android continue to be updated regularly, improvements to those platforms will be shared in separate posts.
How do you get the OneNote app?
The latest OneNote app is available as part of Microsoft 365, comes preinstalled as part of Office on Windows 11, and can also be downloaded as a free standalone version from: https://onenote.com/download