Customize display

Version : √  OneNote desktop

Getting to know the File/Options/Display menu : an essential menu to customize your workspace, but not that easy to understand !

Options available in the File/Options/Display menu, and their corresponding area.


1. Get the “Send to OneNote tool” icon in the task bar :

Actually, this is not about the OneNote’ icon itself, as stated in the File/Option/Display menu. Rather, it consists in an add-in that comes bundled with OneNote, with shortcut to perform 3 actions quickly :

  • capture screen clipping
  • open OneNote
  • open a Quick note


The description in the bullet explains better what it is about :


and the result is :

a new icon in the task bar


In OneNote 2013, this tool was more prominent, because a window appeared each time OneNote was launched :

Send to OneNote” tool’ window

Note that the middle frame is greyed because none of the application pictured (IE, Word, PowerPoint, Excel) was opened when I took the picture.

As of OneNote 2016, this window don’t show up anymore, and that’s neater ! But the tiny icon remains in the task bar, and still allows to send screen captures to OneNote which is useful when you are in another app.

The shortcut has slightly changed from OneNote 2013 to OneNote 2016, to reflect the vanishing of the “Send to OneNote” window :

You can open the “Send to OneNote” window in OneNote 2013, at any time pressing WIN + N 
This option was removed in OneNote 2016

See §.9 below about screen clipping notification.


2. Create all new pages with rule lines :

By default, the selected rule lines are the one shown in the illustration below (narrow horizontal lines, and a red vertical line) :

Menu View/Page Setup/Rules Lines

As a shortcut, it is possible to activate this feature directly in the above pictured menu (check “Always create Pages with Rule Lines“).

→Then modify the default type of Rule Lines in the same window.


3. Dock new Quick Note windows on the side of the desktop

When this option is checked, new Quick Notes are docked on the (right) side of the screen, which allow to see another note on the main window (the latter automatically get resized accordingly) :

Those Quick Notes work like a docked page (tab & ribbon collapsed, linked notes activated…).

LIRE AUSSI  Docked note + Table of Content = a Powerful workflow !

When the option is unchecked, new Quick Notes open in a new window that behaves like a “normal” window (location, size…) :

For your information, there are many ways to create Quick Notes :

  • OneNote 2016 :
    • Win N
    • Clicking on the icon “New Quick note” in the View menu directly within OneNote
    New Quick Note button, in OneNote 2016…


    …has replaced the button “Send to OneNote” tool in OneNote 2013
  • OneNote 2013 :
    • Win Alt N
    • Clicking on the icon « Send to OneNote » (on the task bar), and then selecting the right option
  • Windows 10
    • Note button in the notification area
Note button in the notification area

Quick notes are stored in the Quick Note section, created in the first Notebook you open, quickly available in the bottom Notebook pane :

Wherever the Quick Notes section is located, it is always conveniently available through the Quick Notes button in the bottom of the Notebook pane.

(things gets complicated if you rename this section, or have multiple devices. But that’s another subject : See this blog post for a solution)

4., 5., 6. Page Tab & Notebook pane

See first illustration at the beginning of this post, and refer to the colour for a visual explanation.

A word on Notebook pane (which is called navigation bar in the options menu…) : Note that the current notebook’ name will always appear on the left even if you uncheck “Navigation bar appears on the left“. Actually, the option only works when the notebook pane is pinned (i.e. showing all open notebooks).

7. Vertical scroll bar appears on the left :

This moves the scroll bar of the writing area.

Note that the page tabs’ scroll bar is on the right if page tabs are on the right, even if the option “vertical scroll bar appear on the left” is checked. Confusing, isn’t it ?!

8. Show note containers on pages :

See my other blog post conteneur de notes (in [French] for the time being).

9. Disable screen clipping notifications :

The table below describes how it works in OneNote 2013 :

1. & 9. refer to the first illustration of this article

In OneNote 2013, both notifications are disabled if you use the Screen Clipping button in OneNote’ Insert tab, but only the first is disabled if you use the “Send to OneNote” tool.


The table below describes how it works in OneNote 2016 :

1. & 9. refer to the illustration at the top of this article

In OneNote 2016, notifications are disabled even if you capture a portion of the screen with the “Send to OneNote” tool.



Updated 06/05/2017 : correction of many minor spelling mistakes, and some editing to better fit reading with smartphone format. Adding an explanation about why the middle frame of the “Send to OneNote” tool is greyed, and corrected the Quick Note section location.

Updated 11/09/2017 : with a link to my Quick Note blog post

Updated 11/11/2017 : after Windows Fall Update removed the “Note” button in the notification area

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *