Keep OneNote To Do Lists Tidy Using the Subscript Keyboard Shortcut

There are hundreds of keyboard shortcuts to explore. I recently happened upon one by accident that has changed how I work with To Do lists in Microsoft OneNote. I use the To Do tag to place a checkbox beside each item in my list so I can mark a task complete when I’m done.


Next I hold down the Ctrl button and press the dash (-) key to cross out the item. It gives me the same satisfaction I experienced from crossing off a finished task back when I used paper and a pen.


The challenge begins when the ratio of completed tasks starts to exceed the remaining items. Lots of clutter makes it hard to keep things tidy. A simple solution is to use hold down the Ctrl key and press the equal sign key (=). This is the keyboard shortcut to convert text to subscript. The effect is akin to reducing the font size to size 8 -but without all the extra clicks! The list shrinks, taking up less space. The key benefit is it allows the eye to focus on the remaining tasks.




8 responses to “Keep OneNote To Do Lists Tidy Using the Subscript Keyboard Shortcut

  1. I’m so glad I found this on Google! What I wish OneNote had is a way to take your To-Do tagged items that are checked off as completed, and move them to another page or Tab. Even cooler would be marking things with a date stamp for when you checked it off as completed. I wonder if there’s some kind of a script for that?

    1. Thanks for the comment and question, Susan!

      Checked Off To-Do Tags:
      I agree that a feature to auto-move completed to do items would be neat.
      I prefer to see my list of completed accomplishments for a couple days before I manually cut and paste the text onto another page that I’ve titled “Complete”.

      You’re asking for an automatic feature, not a manual process, so I will go explore the Macros available at Onetastic ( to see if someone’s built a macro script for either of those requests.

      Date Stamp:
      There is a date stamp tool in OneNote: Insert Tab > Time Stamp Group > three options – Date, Time, Date & Time. Again, it’s manual, so a built-in feature that auto-inserts a date stamp would be helpful. Personally, I’d prefer to have the “completed date” pop up when you hovered your cursor over the to do checkbox.

      I highly recommend that you post both your suggestions in the OneNote User Voice forum –
      The OneNote team watches it closely to guide their roadmap for new and improved features.

      Question – were the features you mentioned available in Evernote?

      1. And I think I just found one that’s even better!

        “Un/Complete Tasks” –
        Strikes through all tasks set as done (in entire page) and adds current date & time (greyed) to their end to signify when they were completed. Does the reverse on tasks that aren’t done, to automatically reset a task and remove strike/date.

        I will also give this one a try in the next few weeks and report back.

  2. Did you ever get to test these solutions? Did any one work particularly better than others for you?

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