6 Easy Ways to Customize Your OneNote Notebooks

Recently I was having a conversation with a coworker who had tried OneNote in the past, but had given up because she couldn't customize the look of her notebook in a way that made her productive. Spending a few minutes with her, I showed her how to quickly make the customization she wanted.

My coworker got me thinking. Not everyone wants OneNote to look and operate exactly in the same way. 

There are ways to customize OneNote to make it more enjoyable, and make you more efficient. I cover five different ways in this post.

QUICK TIP: All of these customization options are found in the backstage view by clicking on File, then on Options.

1. Customize the Default Font

OneNote default font is Calibri, size 11 with an automatic black color. But what if you want something different than that? You can customize the font by changing the default font in the General Options. When you change the default font, it will not change existing content or the default font within an existing note container. It will change the default font for any new note container you create, either on an existing page or a new page. 

Customize the default font within the General Options. See the image for the area to change your default font.

2. Hiding Note Containers

My coworker did not like seeing all of the note container box outlines on her page. It was distracting for her, and not similar enough to Microsoft Word to allow for a smooth transition to Microsoft OneNote.

To hide the note containers on your page, uncheck the box within the display option, like I show in the following image. Now, when you click on your notebook pages you will not see the note containers.

3. Change Destination for Send to OneNote

Getting stuff into OneNote is easy, with plenty of options. One of my favorite ways is to send stuff to OneNote.

When Sending to OneNote, you can customize if you want to always send to a specific page or want to be asked each time. For all your sending, you can customize by navigating to the options seen in the Send to OneNote area of the backstage view. In the image below, I have selected to always ask where to send, but you can change any of these by clicking the drop down.

4. Printouts on Multiple Pages or a Single Page

This is something I see a lot of frustration about on the OneNote forums. When you print a PDF to OneNote that is multiple pages, all the PDF pages can be inserted onto one OneNote page, OR each PDF page can be inserted onto a different OneNote page (30 PDF pages equals 30 OneNote pages).

If you are frustrated with a long PDF getting inserted differently than you would like, go to the Advanced Options and check or uncheck the option "Insert long printouts onto multiple pages." When it is unchecked, multiple PDFs will be inserted onto one page in your notebook.

5. Customize the Ribbon

You can get really fancy with customizing your ribbon. If you are just getting started with OneNote, just know that the option is available to you. If you have a lot of experience with Microsoft Office, you may have an idea of a change you use in the other programs that you want to bring to OneNote.

Customizing the ribbon deserves a whole blog post. For now, know that you can do things like change the order of the main tabs along the ribbon, add a completely new main tab, and add all kinds of commands within each of the tabs. 

If you are curious, check out your options on the Customize the Ribbon Option area.

6. Customize the Quick Access Toolbar

Do you find yourself using a specific command often? Add it to the Quick Access Toolbar.

To add an item, select it on the left list and click on Insert in the middle to bring it over to the right list. I have added a few. Add or remove to your liking by using the Quick Access Toolbar Options.

How do you customize OneNote? Let me know (and the other readers) by commenting below.