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 organize your notes from anywhere.
Your Surface comes with OneNote pre-installed, and you can install OneNote on your other devices for free.

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

When you’re using Surface:

Click the top button on 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 synchronized. See for more details.

For even more OneNote features, install or activate OneNote 2013. Check it out at 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 currently have selected.

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

The circle icon becomes the center 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, tap 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 center 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 organize 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 while Surface is unlocked.

Search your notes

Use the Search charm 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 arrow above the search box, select OneNote, and enter the text you want to find.

Use the Search charm 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

Notebook checked in notebook list

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 tap or click Share to see your options.

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

Organizing a meeting?

Share with Meeting button in

If you’re organizing 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 the Share charm 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.

Use the radial menu to paste what you’ve copied to the clipboard

To paste a picture or text from the web into your notebook, select what you want to paste, tap and hold, and select Copy.

Then, in OneNote open the radial menu and tap Paste.

Use the radial menu to select 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, open the radial menu, and tap or click Picture.

Select the file location, tap or click the pictures you want to copy, and tap or click 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.