OneNote tip: Jumping to Frequently Used Pages

Steve Hollasch is an avid OneNote user here at Microsoft and, with Dan's help, came up with a pretty slick system to use keyboard shortcuts to navigate to specific pages he uses all the time. He sent this in email to a group of OneNote power users we have here and gave me permission to share this with everyone. Enjoy!


[Thought I’d share this tip I learned a few weeks ago, since it’s so handy.]

Because you can access items in your Quick Access Toolbar with keyboard shortcuts, you can create a simple keyboard shortcut to bring up a list of your recently visited pages for quick navigation.

The first step is to add the Back with history icon to your Quick Access Toolbar. To do this, open the Quick Access Toolbar customization menu at the very top left of the OneNote title bar. Select “More Commands…”.


In the “Choose commands from:” pull down, select “All Commands”. You’ll notice two entries for “Back”: one with a context arrow on the right, and one without a context arrow. Double click the one with the context arrow.


Because the keyboard shortcuts for the Quick Access Toolbar are Alt-1, Alt-2, Alt-3, … from left-to-right, you can now access this command with a simple keyboard shortcut. I moved mine at the very top (on the right pane), so the keyboard shortcut for my setup is Alt-1.

Now I can just hit Alt-1 to bring up a list of my recent pages in reverse chronological order, use the arrow keys to select and hit enter to jump directly to that page.


Thanks a bunch, Steve!

Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms always welcome,


Comments (7)

  1. YT says:

    I find that Ctrl-E (search) will bring up recently used pages list too.

    What I *really* want is a RANDOM button like in Wikipedia. It would be really useful for generating new ideas, discovering old thoughts. If anyone is interested in the idea… twitter me @yt8019 !

  2. potyi says:

    Search funcionality in OneNote is very poor – it can't find phrase in the middle of the word :-(, just at the beginning. This is a very large drawback for me.

  3. JohnGuin says:

    I'll send this comment over to the search folks.  Thanks!

  4. Dynsh says:

    More regarding the search functionality: I would like to be able to search for multibple word phrases, without OneNote also searching for each word individually.

    ie:  I want to search for "mind over matter", but OneNote searches for "mind", "over", and "matter"; which can bring back a very high number of extraneous results.

    Also, when I use the Ctrl-e function, if I go to a search result, there is no way to "Find Next" within the page without losing the Ctrl-E search.  

  5. JohnGuin says:

    Dynsh – good feedback which I am passing along.  thanks!

  6. Trig says:

    John your post helps me immensely, thanks.

  7. Sean W says:

    This is a huge time-saving hack! Thank you so much!

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