Master OneNote’s Keyboard Shortcuts for Increased Productivity

In the digital age, productivity is often synonymous with efficiency. One way to boost your efficiency when using software like Microsoft OneNote is by mastering keyboard shortcuts. Keyboard shortcuts are combinations of keys that perform a specific function, allowing you to navigate and operate software more quickly than using a mouse or touchpad. This article will guide you through the most useful OneNote keyboard shortcuts and provide tips on how to use them effectively to increase your productivity.

Understanding Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are designed to save you time by reducing the number of mouse clicks or touchpad gestures you need to perform a task. They can be particularly useful in a note-taking application like OneNote, where speed and efficiency are key. By mastering keyboard shortcuts, you can take notes, organize your notebooks, and navigate OneNote more quickly and smoothly.

Platform Specifics

Shortcuts below are based on using a PC. For the Mac shortcuts, you ned to simply swap the CONTROL key in the shortcut for the COMMAND key on your Mac. I spend roughly equal amounts of work and personal time on my Mac and my PC, so it is great that the shortcuts are matched in this way.

Basic OneNote Keyboard Shortcuts

Let’s start with some basic keyboard shortcuts that can help you navigate OneNote and manage your notes:

  • Ctrl+N: Create a new page in the current section.
  • Ctrl+T: Create a new section.
  • Ctrl+Shift+N: Create a new notebook.
  • Ctrl+Shift+T: Create a new section group.
  • Ctrl+1: Apply or remove the ‘To Do’ tag.
  • Ctrl+Alt+N: Move to the next page in the current section.
  • Ctrl+Alt+P: Move to the previous page in the current section.
  • Ctrl+G: Open the ‘Go To’ pane to navigate to another page, section, or notebook.
  • Ctrl+E: Activate the search box to search your notes.
  • Ctrl+Z: Undo the last action.
  • Ctrl+Y: Redo the last action.

These shortcuts can significantly speed up your note-taking and navigation in OneNote. For example, instead of clicking on the ‘New Page’ button to create a new page, you can simply press Ctrl+N. Similarly, instead of clicking on the ‘Search’ box to search your notes, you can press Ctrl+E.

Text Formatting Shortcuts

OneNote also provides keyboard shortcuts for text formatting. These shortcuts can help you format your notes more quickly and easily:

  • Ctrl+B: Apply or remove bold formatting.
  • Ctrl+I: Apply or remove italic formatting.
  • Ctrl+U: Apply or remove underline formatting.
  • Ctrl+Shift+L: Apply or remove bullet formatting.
  • Ctrl+Shift+H: Highlight the selected text.
  • Ctrl+Shift+>: Increase the font size of the selected text.
  • Ctrl+Shift+<: Decrease the font size of the selected text.
  • Ctrl+Shift+A: Change the selected text to uppercase.
  • Ctrl+Shift+K: Insert a hyperlink.

These shortcuts can make it much easier to format your notes. For example, instead of clicking on the ‘Bold’ button to make text bold, you can simply select the text and press Ctrl+B. Similarly, instead of clicking on the ‘Increase Font Size’ button to increase the font size, you can select the text and press Ctrl+Shift+>.

Advanced OneNote Keyboard Shortcuts

In addition to the basic and text formatting shortcuts, OneNote also provides some advanced shortcuts that can help you manage and organize your notes more effectively:

  • Ctrl+Shift+C: Copy the formatting of the selected text (Format Painter).
  • Ctrl+Shift+V: Apply the copied formatting to the selected text.
  • Ctrl+Alt+D: Dock the OneNote window to the side of the screen.
  • Ctrl+Shift+F: Open the ‘Find and Replace’ dialog box.
  • Ctrl+Shift+E: Open the ‘Find by Tag’ dialog box.
  • Ctrl+Alt+G: Open the ‘Page Versions’ pane.
  • Ctrl+Shift+M: Open a new OneNote window.
  • Ctrl+Shift+O: Open the ‘Sort Pages’ dialog box.
  • Ctrl+Shift+S: Open the ‘Section Password’ dialog box.

These advanced shortcuts can help you perform more complex tasks more quickly. For example, instead of manually copying and pasting formatting from one piece of text to another, you can use the Format Painter shortcuts (Ctrl+Shift+C and Ctrl+Shift+V). Similarly, instead of manually sorting your pages, you can use the ‘Sort Pages’ shortcut (Ctrl+Shift+O).

Customizing Keyboard Shortcuts

One of the great things about OneNote is that it allows you to customize your keyboard shortcuts. This means you can create your own shortcuts for tasks that you perform frequently. To customize your keyboard shortcuts, go to the ‘File’ menu, select ‘Options’, then ‘Customize Ribbon’, and finally ‘Customize Keyboard Shortcuts’.

Customizing your keyboard shortcuts can make OneNote even more efficient for you. For example, if you frequently use a specific tag, you can create a keyboard shortcut for it. Or, if you often move pages between sections, you can create a shortcut for that.

Practicing Keyboard Shortcuts

Like any skill, mastering keyboard shortcuts takes practice. Start by learning a few basic shortcuts and using them regularly. Once you’re comfortable with those, gradually add more shortcuts to your repertoire. Over time, you’ll find that you’re able to navigate and operate OneNote much more quickly and smoothly.

One effective way to practice keyboard shortcuts is to set yourself a challenge. For example, try to spend a day focussing on OneNote new shortcut, or set of shortcuts.

Keep Going

Keyboard shortcuts are a powerful tool that can significantly increase your productivity in OneNote – it has mine! By understanding and mastering keyboard shortcuts, you can navigate and operate OneNote more quickly and efficiently, saving you time and effort. Whether you’re a student taking notes for a course, a professional managing a project, or just someone trying to stay organized, mastering keyboard shortcuts can help you make the most of your OneNote experience.

So, start exploring the world of keyboard shortcuts in OneNote today and discover how they can transform your note-taking process. Remember, the key to mastering keyboard shortcuts is practice, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t remember all the shortcuts right away. Keep practicing, and before you know it, you’ll be a OneNote keyboard shortcut pro. Happy note-taking!


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