OneNote – Embed Office Documents

OneNote 2.0 icon

Microsoft’s OneNote is a great app for capturing, sharing and organizing ideas, thoughts and various snippets. This ultimate electronic scrapbook can sync between your iOS device and your Mac version.

OneNote Screenshot with Handwriting

It takes a little while to wrap your head around the idea of the tabs and pages concept of organizing. But, once you do, it makes sense. Whether you are taking notes in class, working on a project or organizing a trip, this app allows you to store and organize the bits of stuff you need.

There is even a hand writing recognition built into the app. So, for example, you can take a picture of a hand written note, put it into OneNote and then, search or copy your hand written notes.

The experience of using this function has not been the most reliable or consistent.

This is how to use the feature, according to Microsoft:

OneNote supports Optical Character Recognition (OCR), a process that recognizes text shown in pictures. OneNote can extract the text it recognizes in pictures so you can paste it elsewhere in your notes (or into another app), where you can edit and format the text as needed. This offers a convenient way to capture useful and important information that you would otherwise have to manually retype (for example, text on a business card or on a printed purchase receipt).

Suitable pictures for text recognition include photos you’ve taken with a cell phone or other type of camera, screenshots you’ve taken on your Mac, and images you’ve scanned with a flatbed or portable scanner.

Do the following:

  1. Scan or snap a picture of the text you want to capture.
  2. Insert or paste the picture on any page in OneNote.
  3. Control-click the picture, and then click Copy Text from Picture.TIP: Depending on the complexity, legibility, and the amount of text shown in the picture you’ve inserted, this command may not be immediately available on the menu that appears when you Control-click the picture. If OneNote is still reading and converting the text in the image, wait a few moments and then try again.
  4. In your notes (or in any other app), place the cursor where you want to paste the copied text, and then press Command-V.


The success I have had with the feature does not come close to what Evernote can do. However, the ability to store and sync snippets of information as well as share with others is quite good.


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