Using OneNote on Surface

Keep all your notes, clippings, sketches, photos, and more in one place that’s everyplace with OneNote.

OneNote syncs to your OneDrive and saves everything automatically, so you can view, update and organise your notes from anywhere.
Your Surface comes with OneNote pre-installed, and you can install OneNote on your other devices for free.

Operating system:
Surface Pro 3 with Surface Pen and Type Cover
Surface Pen icon

Take a quick note

Using Surface Pen with Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3 makes it easier than ever to capture your ideas in OneNote.

Click – Write – Done

When you’re signed in to your Surface Pro 3 or Surface 3, you can use Surface Pen to open OneNote quickly, even from the lock screen.

Click to open OneNote

When Surface is locked:

Click the top button on your Surface Pen to open OneNote and quickly write a note. Press the power button to put your Surface back to sleep, and OneNote saves your work.

When you’re using Surface:

Click the top button on your Surface Pen, and OneNote opens to your latest notes. You can switch between OneNote and other apps you’re using.

No Surface Pen? No problem.

Open OneNote from Start

Even without Surface Pen, OneNote is at your fingertips. Tap or click the OneNote tile, open a new page in Recent Notes and capture that thought.

OneDrive cloud icon

Write once, read anywhere

You can install and use OneNote for free on PCs, Macs, iPads and smartphones like Windows Phone, iPhone and Android. OneNote keeps everything synchronised. See OneNote.com for more details.

For even more OneNote features, install or activate OneNote 2013. Check it out at OneNote.com/Download. With OneNote 2013, you can do things like record audio, create custom tags, work on notebooks in a group, and more.

Once you’ve used these features in OneNote 2013, your recordings, tags and collaborations are saved in your synced notebooks, too. Check out the OneNote 2013 training videos to learn more about using OneNote 2013.

Radial menu icon Touch-friendly radial menus

While you’re working in the OneNote app, you’ll notice small round icons appearing near your notes, like these: Round icon (page), Round icon (table), or Round icon (pen).
These icons show up whenever you tap notes or objects on a page, select text or pictures, or do other things in your notebook. When you tap these icons, a radial menu appears showing you a wheel of commands, based on what you have selected.

To open the radial menu, select the small round icon. What’s inside the circle depends on what you’re doing at the time.

The circle icon becomes the centre of a radial menu, with commands that relate to what you're doing. Here’s the radial menu for working in a table.

Inside the radial menu, tab or click a command, like Draw to switch to inking or Table to insert a table. Tap or click an arrow on the outer ring to choose more commands for things like a tag style.

If the centre icon is a back arrow, you can click it to return to the earlier menu.

For more info, see Use radial menus to display OneNote commands.

Use the Ribbon in OneNote 2013

In OneNote 2013, use the Ribbon to find commands and settings quickly.

Search icon Find your notes when you need them

Open your latest notes

OneNote saves your Quick Notes to your notebook, ready for you to review and organise later.

In OneNote

Tap or click the Grabber (the three horizontal lines) to open your list of notebooks. Recent Notes are at the top of the list.

In OneNote 2013

Quick Notes are at the bottom of the list of notebooks. If your list of notebooks isn’t pinned open, tap or click the arrow next to the name of the current notebook to open the list.

With Surface Pro 3 or Surface 3

To see your most recent note, click the top button on the pen when your Surface is unlocked.

Search your notes

Use the search box in the left menu to search OneNote

In OneNote

Use the Search charm to find text in any of your notes. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap or click Search. Tap or click the down arrow above the search box, select OneNote, and enter the text you want to find.

Use the search box in the left menu to search OneNote

In OneNote 2013

Use the search box on the right side of the screen to search for your notes.

Notes icon Many notebooks, all in OneNote

Create as many notebooks as you need. Use sections, pages and tags to make things easier to find.

Your OneNote notebooks…

…are also in OneNote 2013.


Each Quick Note is its own page. You can drag any page into the notebook and section where it belongs. Watch this video to see how.

Email a page

Use the Share charm to share a page

Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap or click Share to email the notebook page you’re viewing.

Share a notebook

Copy link to notebook

To share a notebook, paste a link to the notebook into an email. Here’s how:
Right-click the notebook in the list of your notebooks, and tap or click Copy Link to Notebook.

What people will see depends on the OneDrive settings for the folder the notebook is in. For info on setting permissions, see Share files and folders and change permissions.

Collaborate using OneNote 2013

Invite people to your notebook, or share it with a meeting

In OneNote 2013, there are more ways to share. Open the File menu, and select Share to see your options.

When you invite people to a notebook, you choose who can edit and view the notebook.

Organising a meeting?

Share with Meeting button in

If you’re organising a meeting, you can collect everyone’s notes and record audio during the meeting and share it with others. For info, see Take notes in a meeting.

Don’t want to share?

Your notebooks are private until you decide to share them.

Copy in art or text, and get a link back to the source Add pictures, web clippings, and more

You can add pictures, webpages and files to your notebooks. A link back to the source is included automatically. Here’s how:

In OneNote

Use Share to copy from a web page

To paste an entire webpage into your notebook, swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap or click Share, and tap or click Send to OneNote.

You’ll get a chance to preview the page before you send it to OneNote.

Right-click to paste what you’ve copied

To paste a picture or text from the web into your notebook, select what you want to paste, press and hold (or right-click), and select Copy.

Then, in OneNote, press and hold (or right-click) and select Paste.

Select Insert and choose a picture to paste

To copy a picture from your Surface Camera roll or from any location on your Surface or OneDrive: in the free OneNote app, open the page where you want the picture, select Insert and select Picture.

Select the file location, choose the pictures you want to copy, and select Open.

In OneNote 2013

Insert tab in ribbon

Open the Insert tab, choose the kind of thing you want to insert, and follow the prompts.

Clip the web, right to OneNote 2013

Clip to OneNote
If you’re using Internet Explorer and OneNote 2013, you can install OneNote Clipper and use it to paste searchable images of webpages—complete with links—to your Quick Notes.

CameraTake photos straight to OneNote

Use your Surface camera to take pictures and put them on a OneNote page. Capture the whiteboard from a meeting, a design idea for your next event, or an image for your travel notebook.

Open the radial menu and tap or click Camera.

Take one or more pictures, and tap or click Insert all.

Surface Pro 3 with Surface Pen and Type Cover
Surface Pen icon

Take a quick note

Using Surface Pen with Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3 makes it easier than ever to capture your ideas in OneNote.

Click – Write – Done

When you’re signed in to your Surface Pro 3 or Surface 3, you can use Surface Pen to open OneNote quickly, even from the lock screen.

Click to open OneNote

When Surface is locked:

Click the top button on your Surface Pen to open OneNote and quickly write a note. Press the power button to put your Surface back to sleep, and OneNote saves your work.

When you’re using Surface:

Click the top button on your Surface Pen, and OneNote opens to your latest notes. You can switch between OneNote and other apps you’re using.

No Surface Pen? No problem.

Open OneNote from Start

Even without Surface Pen, OneNote is at your fingertips. Select the OneNote tile, open a new page in Recent Notes, and capture that thought.

OneDrive cloud icon

Write once, read anywhere

You can install and use OneNote for free on PCs, Macs, iPads and smartphones like Windows Phone, iPhone and Android. OneNote keeps everything synchronised. See OneNote.com for more details.

For even more OneNote features, install or activate OneNote 2013. Check it out at OneNote.com/Download. With OneNote 2013, you can do things like record audio, create custom tags, work on notebooks in a group, and more.

Once you’ve used these features in OneNote 2013, your recordings, tags and shared work are saved in your synced notebooks, too. Check out the OneNote 2013 training videos to learn more about using OneNote 2013.

Radial menu icon Touch-friendly radial menus

While you’re working in the OneNote app, you’ll notice small round icons appearing near your notes, like these: Round icon (page), Round icon (table), or Round icon (pen).
These icons show up whenever you select notes or objects on a page, select text or pictures, or do other things in your notebook. When you select these icons, a radial menu appears showing you a wheel of commands, based on what you have selected.

To open the radial menu, select the small round icon. What’s inside the circle depends on what you’re doing at the time.

The circle icon becomes the centre of a radial menu, with commands that relate to what you're doing. Here’s the radial menu for working in a table.

Inside the radial menu, select a command, like Draw to switch to inking, or Table to insert a table. Select an arrow on the outer ring to choose more commands for things like a tag style.

If the centre icon is a back arrow, you can select it to return to the earlier menu.

For more info, see Use radial menus to display OneNote commands.

Use the Ribbon in OneNote 2013

In OneNote 2013, use the Ribbon to find commands and settings quickly.

Search icon Find your notes when you need them

Open your latest notes

OneNote saves your Quick Notes to your notebook, ready for you to review and organise later.

In OneNote

Select the Grabber Menu icon to open your list of notebooks. Recent Notes are at the top of the list.

In OneNote 2013

Quick Notes are at the bottom of the list of notebooks. If your list of notebooks isn’t pinned open, select the arrow next to the name of the current notebook to open the list.

With Surface Pro 3 or Surface 3

To see your most recent note, click the top button on the pen while Surface is unlocked.

Search your notes

Use the search box in the left menu to search OneNote

In OneNote

Use the Grabber Menu icon to find text in any of your notes. Select the Grabber, and in the search box, enter the text you want to find. You can search for text in all of your notebooks or in a specific notebook.

Use the search box in the left menu to search OneNote

In OneNote 2013

Use the search box on the right side of the screen to search for your notes.

Notes icon Many notebooks, all in OneNote

Create as many notebooks as you need. Use sections, pages and tags to make things easier to find.

Your OneNote notebooks…

…are also in OneNote 2013.


Each Quick Note is its own page. You can drag any page into the notebook and section where it belongs.

Email a page

Use the Share icon to share a page

Select Share Share icon in the top-right corner of the window to email the notebook page you’re viewing.

Share a notebook

Copy link to notebook

To share a notebook, paste a link to the notebook into an email. Here’s how:
Right-click the notebook in the list of your notebooks, and select Copy Link to Notebook.

What people will see depends on the OneDrive settings for the folder the notebook is in. For info on setting permissions, see Share files and folders and change permissions.

Collaborate using OneNote 2013

Invite people to your notebook, or share it with a meeting

In OneNote 2013, there are more ways to share. Open the File menu, and select Share to see your options.

When you invite people to a notebook, you choose who can view and edit the notebook.

Organising a meeting?

Share with Meeting button in

If you’re organising a meeting, you can collect everyone’s notes and record audio during the meeting and share it with others. For info, see Take notes in a meeting.

Don’t want to share?

Your notebooks are private until you decide to share them.

Copy in art or text, and get a link back to the source Add pictures, web clippings, and more

You can add pictures, webpages and files to your notebooks. A link back to the source is included automatically. Here’s how:

In OneNote

Use Share to copy from a web page

To paste an entire webpage into your notebook, swipe in from the right edge of the screen, select Share, and select OneNote.

You’ll get a chance to preview the page before you send it to OneNote.

Right-click to paste what you’ve copied

To paste a picture or text from the web into your notebook, select what you want to paste, press and hold (or right-click), and select Copy.

Then, in OneNote, press and hold (or right-click) and select Paste.

Select Insert and choose a picture to paste

To copy a picture from your Surface Camera roll or from any location on your Surface or OneDrive: in the free OneNote app, open the page where you want the picture, select Insert and select Picture.

Select the file location, choose the pictures you want to copy, and select Open.

In OneNote 2013

Insert tab in ribbon

Open the Insert tab, choose the kind of thing you want to insert, and follow the prompts.

Clip the web, right to OneNote 2013

Clip to OneNote
If you’re using Internet Explorer and OneNote 2013, you can install OneNote Clipper and use it to paste searchable images of webpages—complete with links—to your Quick Notes.

CameraTake photos straight to OneNote

Use your Surface camera to take pictures and put them on a OneNote page. Capture the whiteboard from a meeting, a design idea for your next event, or an image for your travel notebook.

Open the radial menu, and select Camera.

Take one or more pictures, and select Insert all.