Microsoft OneNote often makes the list of best note-taking applications and for a good reason. You can create text, voice, video notes and attach pretty much any file right inside a note. But there are other features hidden beneath the surface.

This month, we bring you some of the most productive OneNote tricks for power users looking to boost their productivity but, if you’re just getting started, these tips will certainly benefit you too.

Grab text from images

OneNote supports OCR (Optical Character Recognition), which means you can now grab text from your images to the clipboard directly without typing it.

Add the image to note and right-click on it to select Copy Text from Picture option. Results are not very accurate in case of handwritten notes but otherwise, this works a treat.

Tag individual parts of notes

Tags are an amazing way to categorize notes, especially if they are related but saved in different notebooks or sections. But what many users don’t realise is that you can also tag individual parts of notes.

You can start writing anywhere inside a OneNote note. Simply right click on the header of the part you want to tag and choose one from the drop-down menu. That will give you a lot of freedom to work between sections and notebooks. You can also create custom tags if you want.

Group sections together

The OneNote functions in a simple way. It works like a diary where you create notes. OneNote stores those notes inside sections which are then stacked inside notebooks. You can group sections from different notebooks together, bringing more sanity to your notebooks.

Right-click on the section heading to select New Section Group. You may create as many as you like. After creating a new section, drag and drop the section to the section group that appears next to the section tabs.

Integrate with Outlook tasks

Users of Outlook will find this feature useful. You can create to-do lists in OneNote and then flag it to link with Outlook. The same to-do list will also appear in the Microsoft To-Do app, if you are using one.

Right-click on the to-do list item and use one of the flags to mark it. The one that says Outlook Tasks when you hover over it. You can also assign a date and time there. Just be aware that this only works on desktop.

Keyboard shortcuts

Just like other Microsoft applications, OneNote includes a range of handy, time-saving keyboard shortcuts. Here are the most useful:

  • Press Windows+Alt+N to open small note window without opening the whole app
  • Press F7 to check spelling and Shift+F7 to open thesaurus for a selected word
  • Press Shift+F10 to open the context menu
  • Press Ctrl+Shift+H to highlight selected text
  • Press Ctrl+/ to apply/remove number list
  • Press Ctrl+. (that’s a full stop) to use/remove bullet list
  • Press Ctrl+1 to create, delete, or mark to-do list item