How To Make Writing in OneNote MX Easier

Of the apps that Microsoft needed to bring to Windows tablets, OneNote was always the app that made the most sense. Since debuting early last decade in Office, OneNote has become a great way to take notes with a mouse and keyboard and sync them effortlessly between devices.

Where OneNote really shines is letting students and professionals take handwritten notes. Here’s how to make writing in OneNote MX, the Windows Store version of OneNote, easier.

Turn on Lined Notes

Just as it is with a real notebook, taking notes with ruled notebook paper is easier on the eyes and hands than if you attempted to take long form notes on a blank piece of paper. Here’s how to add ruled lines to pages in your OneNote notes for faster note taking and better readability.

Go to the Start Screen

How Pre-installed Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 Apps Back (1)

If OneNote is already installed on your touchscreen equipped Windows 8 laptop or 2-in-1 click or tap the arrow in the bottom left corner of the Start Screen. If it isn’t already installed, Install OneNote for free from the Windows Store.

How Pre-installed Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 Apps Back (2)

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Read: How to Install Apps in Windows 8.1

Tap or click on OneNote from your device’s list of installed apps.

Once in OneNote is open go to the page you’d like to add lines to by tapping or clicking on the name of the notebook on the right, then the page’s section and finally the page’s name. In our example we’ve selected the My First Note page.

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Swipe up from the bottom edge of your tablet or 2-in-1 to reveal an app bar at the bottom of your screen. You can also right-click with your mouse anywhere on the page to bring up this same app bar.

Tap or click on the Paper button on the right side of the app bar.

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Now tap or click on what type of lines you would like to have on that page.

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By default the OneNote MX gives users a blank page. However, users can choose to add ruled lines like those from a sheet of notebook paper or grid lines like those from a notebook full of graph paper. Users can switch the paper type at any time.

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Zooming In

Adding grids and lines to OneNote is just the first step in making it easier to write on. Microsoft’s Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 tablets include pens and screen technology that are very precise too. The problem is that most Windows devices have screens that are so detailed that users can’t simply add grids or lines and write since the lines are too small. Instead, they need to first zoom in so that they can actually fit entire words on one line. Here’s how to enable zoom in OneNote MX.

Open the OneNote app by taping or clicking on its icon.

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Once in OneNote swipe from the right edge of your screen to the left to reveal the Charms Bar. Then tap Settings.

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Tap or click on Options in the Settings menu.

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In the options menu enable Zoom by tapping or click on the toggle labeled Zoom.

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Now on your OneNote page, place two fingers on your device’s touchscreen display. Slowly move them away from each as if you were zooming in on a picture you’d taken with your smartphone.

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Now that you’ve enabled Zoom you should find that writing between ruled lines or sketching something out is easier. It’s important to remember that having this enabled may sometimes trigger accidental zooming when you’re trying to write.

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Happy writing in OneNote MX.

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