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OneNote: Microsoft reveals key features of the new version

In mid-2021, Microsoft announced it would be making a unified version of the two OneNote versions to date. The first tests for this have recently started and the group from Redmond has now shown a complete overview of the innovations as part of the construction conference.

It’s certainly no longer a secret that Microsoft is merging the previously less-loved UWP app and the initially discontinued and then revived Win32 application into a single version of OneNote. The new edition aims to offer the best of both worlds, but the exact how was only partially known. Although there was the first performance in August 2021, a lot can change in nine months.

Modern look and improved functions

Bring us now Microsoft up to date and shows what the “redesigned” OneNote on Windows will look like and what it will do. In short, Microsoft has set itself four cornerstones:

  • Focus on the content
  • Capture naturally with speech, ink, camera, and AI
  • Organize pages the way you want them
  • Share notes with clarity

The most striking innovation, of course, is modern optics. Building on last year’s ribbon refresh, visual refresh has now been extended to the navigation areas and full-screen mode. The page list, section tabs, and notebook drop-down menu have been visually updated, all in all, OneNote should now look more consistent compared to other modern apps.

According to Microsoft, several subtle tweaks have also been made, such as the “mica” effect, which integrates the Windows 11 theme and desktop background image into the application window. According to Microsoft, it has “obsessively” rounded every corner and implemented animation. But there are also new functional features, especially a new display of unread pages or changes found there. There is also a new simplified ribbon view. This can be activated to get more space in front of the display and still have quick access to the most important functions.

New for Ink & Voice Input

There are also several improvements with regard to the different input methods. After all, OneNote is a note-taking app and is therefore often used with pens and the like. If you own a Surface Slim Pen 2, you now get haptic cues so that writing feels like writing on real paper.

However, in the ink area, according to Microsoft, the work has only just begun and several other innovations will follow in the coming months. The dictation function has also been greatly improved, on the one hand for the accuracy of the recording and punctuation, but on the other hand also for the commands for controlling this (speech) function.