Fixing Formatting of OneNote Quick Notes

I use Quick Notes in OneNote every single day via the Send to OneNote feature to jot down bits of information that I don’t want to misplace or accidentally close without saving (i.e. the great Notepad disaster of September 2013).

Up until recently I thought there was no way to “convert” a Quick Note to a Page without going through a 4-step process:
1. create a new Page in the actual location I wanted the text to reside,
2. give the Page a title,
3. cut/paste the Note from the Quick Note onto the page, and then
4. delete the Quick Note.

Why did I feel it was necessary to go through all these extra steps?

Because Quick Notes are pink and lack a Page Title.

For some odd reason I assumed that Quick Notes were fundamentally different than Pages – in hind sight I was definitely riding the assumption train to confusion-ville.

I was puzzled why using the “Move or Copy” function to move the Quick Note out of the Quick Notes area would not magically convert the pink title-less Quick Note to a white Page with a visible title.

Silly Kelly!

After taking a few seconds to poke around in the Ribbon, the obvious answer became clear.

Quick Notes are simply Pages that are formatting differently.

The page is only formatted to have a pink page colour and hidden Page title when they are created using the Send to OneNote feature – see:





Now if you add a Page to the Quick Notes section using one of the Add Page buttons, the new page is white with a visible Page Title (see below):



If you want to make your Quick Note look like a “normal” page, follow these steps:

1. Use the View Tab and the Page Colour button to select “No Colour”.





2. Use the View Tab and deselect the Hide Page Title  button.







13 responses to “Fixing Formatting of OneNote Quick Notes

  1. Hi, I saw your post and was hoping it solved my issue. I did know that the quick note that opens using [MS symbol]+N was a onenote page, and that the title needs to be unhidden, but I was hoping that you had found a way to set the formatting for these quick notes so they automatically open with the formatting you like (i.e. with title unhidden, etc.) Did you ever discover a way to do this?

    Otherwise, I absolutely love onenote and use it throughout the day at work. One other issue I run into is printing from a Word, Excel or PP document into Onenote 2010. Simply put, it just doesn’t seem to work. (I select onenote as the printer, but nothing prints). I really like having the docs print out fully in one note so that I can mark them up easily on my phone, tablet etc. They way I get around this is by turning them into pdfs and printing them to onenote from acrobat. Are there any settings changes etc. that could make these print directly?


    1. Jordan – I asked myself the same question!

      There’s a half solution that exists –

      If you go into the Quick Notes area at the bottom of the Notebook pane, and then configure a page to suit your needs (colour, rule lines, page title, etc.) you can then use the View Tab and Paper Size button (in Page Setup group), you can then click on “Save current page as a template” and then check the box for “Set as default tempalte for new pages in the current section”. Every time you click Add Page OR Ctrl + N, it uses the Quick Note template.

      Now, the issue with this solution is that it WON’T change the formatting of Quick Notes you create via Send to OneNote Tool (Windows Key + N + N).
      Others have already submitted it as a proposed customization for future versions.

  2. Why go through all that trouble, just right click on the quick note and move it to the section you want to save it to…

    1. Colphoenix – Because if you don’t change the formatting, the Quick Note stays pink and doesn’t have a Page Title. Moving it doesn’t magically make these appear, at least not in the version of OneNote I am using. It would be awesome if it did! Does it do something different for you?

  3. Hi!

    Last Steps (showing page title) even easier:

    Just right click on the “Untitled Page” in the page navigation list and chose “Rename”. Upon renaming a page this way the title will automatically be displayed again on the page.

    Greetings from Germany

    Stefan Wischner
    OneNote MVP

  4. I wanted to know if it is possible to make notification area icon open “same quick note” every time instead of making “new quick note” every time. I wanted to use it for todo list.

  5. great info.
    but how about changing a ‘normal’ page back to a quicknote/sidenote – so i can use them again like a sticky note. i can remove the page title but still i see the left tab and headers etc.
    onenote appears to turn my stickies (quicknotes) into normal pages too easily and I can’t get them back as they were…. any tips? thanks!

    1. Interesting question Mike. I don’t personally use Quick Notes like Sticky Notes… but after some poking around, this solution should work for you:
      Click on the Full Page View button in the very top right corner of the Note/Page (it looks like a double-ended arrow pointing north-east and north-west)
      You’ll find it right below the Search field. If you click that, you can hide the left tab and headers! Let me know if that solves your issue. 🙂

  6. Hi, there’s an even better solution from micrsoft:

    Goto quicknotes, set the page color to your choice, View tab> Pagesize> You’ll get the column for page size> Select Save current page as template> Provide a name and select the checkbox to use this template as default for the current section.

    Marcus DAlmeida

  7. Wow, Marcus, that works great. Thanks! And thanks to Kelly and everyone for all the great info on this issue. It was driving me nuts!

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