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Using Tags in Microsoft OneNote 2010

Microsoft OneNote is a great pro

Microsoft OneNote is a great program for collecting and organizing data, ideas, websites and much, much, more! Once the information is in OneNote the real task becomes finding and keeping track of the information across multiple notebooks and pages. One method to help keep information organized and easy to find is to assign tags to the data.

A tag is piece of information that is applied to the content to specify an action, task or follow-up associated with the content. Some standard tags include To Do, Contact, Phone Number, Question and Critical. By using these tags in OneNote content can be organized into action lists, to-do lists and general information lists. Below are the instructions for using and customizing tags in OneNote.

To Tag Content:

  1. Select content to be tagged this can be notes, pictures, videos

  2. Right-click then hover over Tag to display a list of pre-defined and custom tags

  3. Select the Tag to be applied to the content

Once the content has been tagged an icon will appear next to the content indicating that content has been tagged and the type of tag.

Content can have multiple tags applied. Repeat the tagging procedure to add additional tags to the content.

Customize Tags

Though OneNote comes with a fairly detailed list of tags the may be instances where new tags need to be created or existing tags need to be modified.

Create a New Tag or Modify Existing Tag:

  1. Bring up the context menu by right-clicking on a page

  2. Hover over Tag to bring up list of Tags

  3. Select Customize Tag from menu

At this point the Customize Tags dialog box appears. From here tags can be created, modified, moved in the list or deleted.

To Create a New Tag:

  1. Click on New Tag

  2. Type in a Display Name (name that will appear in the tag list)

  3. Select the Symbol, Font Color and Highlight Color for the Tag

  4. Once the Tag is formatted as desired click on OK

To Modify Existing Tag:

  1. Select the Tag to be modified

  2. Click on Modify Tag

  3. Make desired changes to the Tag display name, font, symbol or highlight color

  4. Once finished modifying the Tag click on OK

Note: Any changes to an existing Tag will not be reflected in data that has already been tagged the data will need be re-tagged.

To Delete a Tag:

  1. In the Customize Tags dialog box, highlight Tag to be deleted

  2. Click on the X icon

  3. Click on OK

Note: The Tag is deleted immediately there is no undo to the delete action be careful not to delete a Tag that is used or needed.

Move Tags:

Tags can be moved around in the list allowing the Tags that are used the most to be moved to the top of the list for easy access.

To Move a Tag:

  1. Select the Tag to be moved in the Customize Tags dialog box

  2. Click on the Up or Down arrow to move the Tag to desired location

  3. Click on OK when done

Use Tags to Find Content

Once content has been tagged using Tags the Tags can be used to find content. Searching by tags can be done in a notebook, across notebooks, sections, pages and other locations.

  1. Click on Home then Find Tags

  2. The Tags Summary pane will open in the right sidebar

From the Tags Summary pane search options can be set which include how the results are grouped and where to search. To make viewing the search results easier click on the Create Summary Page button to have the results displayed in Summary Page in the main OneNote window.


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