Can't get OneNote to work

Copper Contributor

The more I try and use OneNote, the more I hate it, what am I doing wrong please?


I am starting an Engineering degree in April and instead of using handwritten notes I recently discovered digital note-taking apps. I trolled hundreds of reviews on YouTube, settled on OneNote because, apparently, it does everything I want it do and more and I installed it.


All excited, I watched the tutorials and almost immediately I got stuck! I can't get it to do anything I want it to do. One tutorial (by a Microsoft Specialist) says to start by creating a "collection section". Go to "File" ... where is File???


My interface looks nothing like it does in any of the tutorials?


One of the things I want to do is to make notes onto pdf books. One tutorial says to first import the pdf and again to click on "File" and then "Import" BUT where is "File"? I have no File button?


I tried drag and drop. It starts loading and then it fails.


OK, so I eventually found "File" but only when I log into my OneNote account. The problem I still can't get it to work. There is still no "Import" command and I still don't know how to create a "Collection section"


When my finance comes through I was thinking to purchase a high spec MS Surface Pro 7 specifically for note taking and also for running some other high intensity apps but now I am not so sure. 


1 Reply

@Jurie67 wanted to see if I could help get you started as I use OneNote on a daily basis.


First item to note is there is OneNote and OneNote 2016 which are two separate applications.  As I don't have the links on the demo you saw wanted to call this out as the layouts of the two applications are different.


In both OneNote applications data is organized into Notebooks.  Within each notebook there are Sections and Pages.  I have pulled an example of "My Notebook" below and highlighted the "Add section" and "Add Page" to address your Collection section question.



I wasn't clear on your next section regarding whether you want to import a PDF and mark it up or write notes and then print the notes as PDF.  To Import a PDF into OneNote you would go to the Insert menu then you can select File and select the PDF file you want to import.  If you want to then Markup that file you could go to the Draw section and modify the PDF.




To Print as PDF you would need to click on the ellipses in the top right hand corner of OneNote select Print and choose the Windows 10 feature to "Microsoft Print to PDF"




Hope this helps you in your OneNote journey.