10 Cool Things You Can Do With OneNote 2013 - dummies

10 Cool Things You Can Do With OneNote 2013

By James H. Russell

There are a lot of cool tips for things you can do with OneNote 2013. The app can be very useful in simplifying even the smallest tasks in your life.

Back up important data

Here are a few examples of how OneNote backups can save your rear:

  • You leave on a trip across the country, and magically your carry-on bag goes missing. Luckily, you still have your phone — and your itinerary. You find your plane with just a few minutes to spare — but you find it and are on it. Solid.

  • Left your report — due today — on the counter at home when you decided to grab that health-nut bar for breakfast. Home is at least an hour away, and there’s no way to get the printed copy to your teacher in time. Got it in OneNote? Print it in the school lab, and you’re square.

Access entire Office documents on iOS or Android

Currently, OneNote is the only Office app on Android. Although you may not be able to work much with other Office apps in OneNote on Android or iOS, you can at the very least access and view them. Have important data in Excel you need on the run, and your laptop isn’t accessible? View it on your Android or iOS tablet.

If you want the document in perfect visual form, simply include it as a printout instead of pasting the document in, and it will look just like the document in its native app in OneNote. It won’t be editable, but you will be able to see it just fine.

If the Office file is Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, you can also upload it to your SkyDrive and access it via the appropriate web app using SkyDrive in a web browser on your device and actually be able to edit it.

Dictate notes straight to text

The Android version of OneNote doesn’t allow you to record voice notes, but you can tap the Android microphone button on the keyboard and talk to OneNote, translating your speech straight into text. If this is what you want in the first place, you can look at this as a feature instead of a missing option!

Hopefully, Android’s version of OneNote Mobile will support taking audio and/or video notes in the future, but also hopefully this particular “feature” won’t go away because frankly it can be pretty useful.

Retrieve text from images

This is a killer feature. Simply right-click a photo or image in OneNote 2013 and choose Copy Text from Picture, and you’ve got the text from the image on your clipboard.

Make your screenshot as high-quality as possible to ensure that you get the actual text from the image. The feature also doesn’t work as well if your image is too dark or if the text is in a funky font.

Grab a screen clipping and mark it up

You can snap screenshots using the OneNote 2013 Clipping Tool. After dropping the screenshot into OneNote, using your pen you can use Office’s ink features to mark up the image. This can be useful in any situation where you want to add notes to an image and share it; say you’re developing a website and want to show your collaborators what you feel needs to change with the current site.

Of course, you can use actual text if you don’t have access to a PC capable of digital pen technology like Surface Pro.

Mark up documents with a pen

If you have access to a digital pen-capable PC like Microsoft’s Surface Pro, marking up documents in OneNote is simple. However, if you want to retain some semblance of the formatting, it’s best done by including a printout of the document rather than pasting the content of a document into the note page.

If you have access on the digital pen-capable PC to other Office 2013 apps, in some cases, you can use the pen to mark up the documents in that app, as is the case with Word 2013. Other apps are pickier; for example you can write a new e-mail using the pen and ink, but you can’t reply to a non-ink message using the pen.

Copy links to specific paragraphs

If you want to link people to a specific part of a OneNote page, simply right-click or press and hold on the paragraph or note container that you want to link to and choose the Copy Link to Paragraph option to copy a link to that note and paragraph to your PC’s clipboard. You can then paste the link wherever you want.

Search text in images

If you drop an image into OneNote and want the text in it to be searchable later, right-click or press and hold on the image and choose Make Text in Image Searchable and choose the appropriate language from the list.

Dock OneNote to the desktop

If you’re using OneNote quite a bit and want it to effectively sit beneath all other windows open on your screen, you can. Simply select the View tab and click or tap the Dock to Desktop button, and OneNote will dock itself onto your desktop, sitting beneath all open windows. Other windows will move a bit, so you can always see OneNote on the right side of your screen.

Create Outlook 2013 Tasks from OneNote

The Home tab in OneNote 2013 includes an Outlook Tasks drop-down list that you can access to create tasks for various time frames. The list includes options to delete or open a task in Outlook. The task automatically adds itself to the bottom of your list of tasks in Outlook as long as you have Outlook 2013 set up and configured on the same PC you’re using OneNote 2013 on.

Simply select an existing item and then choose from the drop-down list to immediately make that item a task.