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May 19, 2017

Microsoft makes OneNote more consistent across platforms, easier to access

by John_A

Why it matters to you

You will no longer struggle to remember how to use Microsoft OneNote when you switch devices.

Microsoft OneNote is one of the best note-taking apps around, offering the ability to type, speak, or ink notes across a variety of platforms. Whether you’re running Windows 10, MacOS, iOS, or Android, there is a solid OneNote app available that will leverage the strengths of each device.

So far, however, while OneNote has been quite functional on each platform, it has suffered from a distinct look and feel that can make switching devices a bit jarring. Microsoft is fixing that discrepancy, meaning that if you use the app on different platforms then you should feel more at home on each.

The first big change in the latest versions, at least those for Windows 10, MacOS, iOS, and Android, is a much more consistent user interface that provides the same basic notebook, section, and page layout. Navigating through a notebook will now become second nature on most devices, with the desktop version of OneNote included with Office 2016 being the primary outlier.

The navigation is not only more consistent across devices, it has also been simplified. Namely, all navigation controls are now located on the left-hand side of the app, which makes it easier to move between notes and helps with assistive technologies.

Speaking of enhanced usability for people who need assistance, Microsoft has focused on that aspect of OneNote as well. As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella put it, “We will focus on designing and building products that our customers love and that are accessible to everyone and built for each of us.” Microsoft shared a video highlighting the ability for users with disabilities be able to navigate through OneNote using only keyboard shortcuts.

You can get the app for Windows 10, MacOS, iOS, and Android. If you have any suggestions for Microsoft, then visit the OneNote UserVoice, and you can get help at Answers.Microsoft.com.




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