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The best OneNote 2016 tips: 10 ways anyone can get organised

Lincoln Spector | Dec. 15, 2016
Make the most of this versatile tool by setting up pages, notebooks, and sections.

You may, of course, move it elsewhere. Drag-and-drop will work. You can also move a page via the Move or Copy Pages dialog box, which you can access by right-clicking and selecting Move or Copy, or by pressing Ctrl-Alt-M.

Internal and external links

We all know about links. You click one and another webpage pops up. You can put a link to a webpage in OneNote just as you can in almost any other application program.

But you can also link to another page in your notebook. Or even to another page in another notebook.

Here’s a quick and simple way to link to another page in the current notebook: In the page where you want the link, type the page’s title, surrounded by double square brackets. For instance, if you have a page named Harold Lloyd about silent-film star, you can link to it by typing [[Harold Lloyd]]. As soon as you type the second ], the brackets disappear and the name becomes a link.

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The Link dialog box

That trick won’t work across multiple notebooks, so here’s a more versatile option: Select your desired link text, then press Ctrl-K—or right-click the selected text and select Link. This brings you to the Link dialog box, where you can find a page in the ‘Or pick a location in OneNote’ section.

You can also link to a file—any kind of file—on your PC. Select your text and bring up the Link dialog box as described above. Then click the folder icon and find the file.

You can also use the Link dialog box to add an Internet link.


You can password-protect a OneNote section (not a notebook, a section group, or a page; just a section) with 128-bit AES encryption.

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Click the Password button to encrypt a section.

To do so, right-click the section’s tab and select Password Protect This Section. Click Set Password and enter a password.

As always, you should use a long, strong, and complex password—one that you’re not going to forget. Lose the password, and you’ll lose everything in that section.

You should also be aware of these issues:

  • A protected section that you’ve opened with the password may stay open for more time than you'd wish. You can manually lock all password-protected sections by pressing Ctrl-Alt-L.
  • Search can’t read password-protected content unless the section is unprotected.
  • Some devices (including my Android phone) may not be able to open protected content even with the password.

If you really want to encrypt an entire notebook, you can use third-party encryption software, or encrypt your drive. But that’s another story.


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