How to Draw a Straight Line in OneNote

I wanted to annotate a PDF to clearly point out the required revisions to a colleague. I usually use Snagit Editor as it has powerful annotation tools – there are varied options and the result is polished and precise.

I find that my attempts to use the drawing tool in OneNote end up sloppy. It’s not OneNote’s fault – I do not have a stylus so I am relying on my mouse or finger and the result ends up shaky. This is because I can’t anchor my hand on the device like I would with a pen and paper or a stylus and tablet.

Yes, yes, I can hear many of you starting to type frantically into the Comment section – “stop complaining and just buy a Surface Pro 3 already!” One day, my friends, one day, but not today so let’s treat this post as a “Dr. Evil is going to sic his sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads on me unless I draw a straight line RIGHT FREAKIN’ NOW” scenario.


Head over to your Draw Tab in the Ribbon and skip over the Drawing Tools completely. Open up Color & Thickness menu to make your selections. Then select the Line from the Shapes menu.


Now simply drawing a line with your mouse can lead to these messy jagged lines like these bad boys:


Before you begin to use your mouse to draw the line, hold down the shift key and you’re get a line as straight as the backbone of a herring. (The Shift key is a well known trick for those familiar with Adobe Photoshop and other programs.)


Ta da! Happy annotating!

6 responses to “How to Draw a Straight Line in OneNote

  1. I tried doing this before I read this is and it did not work for me, but after trying it again, it works like a charm. Thank you for the article!

  2. But how to draw that stright line shapes on your phone!!!! I have note 9 and there is no option or a way to draw stright line even with s pen etc.

Comments are closed.