Thursday, April 24, 2008

Introduction to OneNote Tips (plus Screen Clipping tip)

OneNote's user base has been steadily increasing over the years. So I thought this would be a good forum to share some of the useful tips and tricks in this fantastic software application that have made people's lives more productive.

OneNote is a software product that is part of the Microsoft Office family of products. It was originally introduced as a standalone application in 2003, but has since been included in the Office Home and Student 2007 and Office Ultimate 2007 suites.

Now, if you're a regular user of OneNote, you already have a taste of it's many flavors of productivity. However, if you're new to OneNote, you might be asking yourself, "what can OneNote do for me?". I hope to answer this question and many more through this blog.

OneNote was originally conceived as a digital note-taking application. A way to take notes on your computer so you can easily find them again. It was designed to make your experience as close as possible to a real paper notebook and still retain all the digital advantages of a computer. With that in mind, there are many more features that let you capture your thoughts, ideas, research, class notes, journal and much, much more. So stay tuned to this blog and hopefully you'll discover new ways to use OneNote that'll promise to make your life more productive.

My intent is to appeal to both the new user, the seasoned veteran and everyone in between who's interested in using OneNote. So I hope you enjoy this blog. I'd also be interested in hearing some of the ways you've found to make yourself more productive with OneNote.

Now, on to the first tip:
  1. Capture Screen Clippings.

  2. It's easy to capture a Screen Clipping in OneNote. This is essentially the same thing as taking a picture of what's on your screen and storing it in OneNote. Then you can add your notations above, below, to the side or right on top of it.

    This is useful for a number of reasons, but to put it into an easy-to-understand scenario, let's say you're a college student and are currently in a biology class. On the big screen, your professor navigates to an internet site that contains a picture of EscherichiaColi, also known as E. coli. He requests the students in the classroom who have computers to also navigate to the site. Then he begins explaining its genetic makeup.

    After you navigate to the site, you open OneNote and take a Screen Clipping of the picture he's explaining by clicking on the Insert menu, then on Screen Clipping and then you draw a rectangle around the picture. The picture appears on your page in OneNote and you begin taking notes, pointing your notes to the area of the picture he's explaining. After the class is over, you head to your next class.

    A few weeks later you're preparing for a biology exam. You're trying to remember some of the terms the professor used to describe E. coli. You open OneNote, type "E. coli" in the search box and just like that you're taken to the notes you took on that day. Now you have all those notes and the picture you took from the Screen Clipping. What's more, the internet address from which the clipping was captured appears beneath the picture so you can easily navigate back to it.
Tip: There are a few ways to capture a Screen Clipping:
  1. From the Insert menu in OneNote click Insert -> Screen Clipping -> draw a rectangle around the area of the screen you wish to capture. Once you release the mouse button, the picture is dropped right into your OneNote page.

  2. Right-click on Side Note in your Windows System Tray -> Create Screen Clipping:

  3. This will put you into Screen Clipping mode and you can draw a rectangle around the area of the screen you wish to capture.
  4. You can also press the Windows + S keys on your keyboard to activate the Screen Clipping feature.
  5. Note that this will only work if you currently have Side Note running in your system tray:

Additional information: You can customize the Screen Clipping feature to do any of the following:

  1. Copy the image to the clipboard only, (useful for when you want the picture to be dropped into another application).

  2. This is done by right-clicking the Side Note icon in the Windows System Tray -> Options -> Screen Clipping Defaults -> Copy To Clipboard Only.

    Note: When this feature is enabled, it only works when capturing a Screen Clipping via the Side Note icon. When accessed through the Insert menu in OneNote, it places the picture on your page in OneNote in addition to copying it to the clipboard.
  3. Disable Screen Clipping notifications, (the little bubble that appears above the Side Note icon in the Windows System Tray when the Screen Clipping feature is activated).

  4. This is done by clicking the Tools menu in OneNote -> Options -> Other -> Disable screen clipping notifications.


Anonymous said...

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Keep up the good work... get versions our YEARLY, and keep on blogging!


JohnM said...

I mainly use the Windows+S method to take clippings, but one odd aspect of doing this is each time it opens a new instance of OneNote with the clipping appearing in a new page of the unfiled notes section, even when OneNote is already open. If I take a series of clippings I end up with a series of OneNote instances. Is there a way to stop this behaviour?

Fleon said...

@John: I have it working in this manner: I do a Win+S clip that puts a clip into a new page in Unfiled Notes, but does not open a new ON instance. Each clip is still on a seperate page, however. If this is what you want, try the following steps. Right click on the ON icon in the system tray, goto Options, goto Screen Clipping Defaults, select copy to Clipboard and Unfiled Notes (Don't Show Image). See if that works for you.

Rhonda said...

I just discovered OneNote recently so this blog could not have more perfect timing. I am very happy to have discovered it. Thank you!

Cliff Allen said...

I practically live in OneNote on my slate tablet, so I'm always eager to learn tips on how to be more productive with it.

JohnM said...

@fleon: Thank you! the "don't show image" option stops the multiple OneNote instances problem.

todddoubleu said...

Three things:
1. Great suggestion on preventing the extra windows. Many thanks!
2. Anyone know if it's possible to have the "Screen Clipping Taken" pages default with the "Show Page Title" box on them?
3. Also, is it possible to merely "drag" images recently captured and simply "drop" them into other pages in a given section? I'm not looking to drop them into another notebook although that thought has me thinking about it as an option.

Anonymous said...

The Screen Clipping option is greyed out. Any advice?

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Joe M said...

Any way of getting rid of the extra spaces (CR) and the "Screen Clipping Taken: [date]" text after putting a screen clip in notes?

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Christian said...

Hi Jeff, I have a OneNote question that perhaps you may be able to answer. So, using your example of screen clipping from a slide during a lecture then adding your own notes to it...

If you add notes by inserting text boxes on the picture in various locations, everything is all right for now. However, let's say you want to add to your notes in a location before your picture. The picture will move down the page but the text boxes of notes added to your picture will remain in the same location. (Everything in the main text box that your picture is in moves down, but the other text boxes remain in the same position).

Hopefully you are following me here.. my question is this...

Can you add a text box (note) to a picture in your main text box where all your other notes are for a lecture and have those smaller text boxes "stick" to their inserted position relative to the content in the main text box. So, when you add content to the main text box and everything shifts down, the text boxes overlaying your picture will shift down with it in the correct positions.


if you could email me that would be great.

Dan said...

I enjoy printing older and classroom worksheets to OneNote, then copying the text from the print out and pasting it back into OneNote. My students can then manipulate the "image" or questions and give themselves more space.

However, I can not figure out how to create more space horizontally, or to the left and right, in the middle of these notes. I can add space to the left and right of the screen, but not any space in the middle. Is there a way to address this small issue?

Terry said...

The Windows+S method is as important to me as my Start button. OneNote is a brilliant application. I use the "Copy To Clipboard and Unfiled Notes (Don't Show Image)" option then I never loose a clip.

SMS Collection said...

Interesting one.
Thanks for share.

Your Handyman said...

I would Like to know how to export my screen clippings from one note. My goal is to upload them to picassa.

Angela said...

Hi, I am a mature, full-time student and have recently fell in love with OneNote 2010. One feature I miss from the 2007 version is the right-click and send to OneNote. Is there any way of getting that feature back? I am using IE8 and Windows 7.

I would also love to see a word list feature in future developements. It would be great to drag and drop words into a page and then have it sort them in alphabetic order automatically. This would be a tremendous feature for students, especially in the medical field.

Another small request would be to put open and closed brackets in the draw feature that we can use to highlight large blocks of important passages and then with the draw features make them stick to what they are attached to, perhaps there is already a way of doing this but I have yet to discover it.

I use this program 10 hours a day so I could probably come up with more on the wish list if you wanted but these are the most vital to my studies.

Thanks so much,


Anonymous said...

When using Screen Clipping command, it used to also copy the web link address but now it does not do I turn this feature back on?

Anonymous said...

How do you start OneNotes? I have MS 2010 on my computer.

Danette Sheppard-Vaughn said...

It is a good tool for documentation. Here is how to use screen clipping in microsoft word.