OneNote tip: setting the width of the default note container

One of our internal OneNote users sent an email last week asking to somehow set the width of a default note container on a new page. He only uses one machine and one monitor and therefore the size of the container can be set to always maximize his real estate. He wanted to know if there was a way to make this subtle change to the default "New Page" command in OneNote.

The "default" container is somewhat small, but resizes automatically when you add content. Be sure you have Options | Display | Show Note Containers on Page checked ON.


And notice how the container grows as you type in it, but it reaches a width that allows for a little room on the right:


And he wanted that little piece of real estate back.

I like little challenges like this since it really forces me to dive into the product to explore how it really can be stretched.

I thought back to making images appear in an outline or on the page surface, and how I used a template to change that behavior. After a little noodling around, here's the reply I sent:

Yes there is a way to do this if you are using OneNote 2010.  Essentially, you can create a template for this.

Follow the directions here:

but add step 3a – after resizing the container to the width you want, hit enter to create a second line, then up arrow to put the IP back to the first line.

Then finish saving the new page as a template.

This was kind of nice to research and answer since I was able to re-use an old blog entry.

If you are running into screen real estate limits, this may be worth a little investigation for you. I hope it helps!

Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms always welcome,


Comments (8)

  1. Cara says:

    Thank you!

  2. Kevin Yang says:

    can u guys get this 'live sharing session' feature back?? if you guys think the share notebook feature is better, u can keep it too. what most users want is just simple real-time live share without any extra server.

  3. John says:

    I'll pass this request along to the design team. Thanks, and feel free to contact me (email link at upper right) with any other suggestions/wishes for OneNote you have.

  4. Dhirendra says:

    I have taken screen shot but where it is saving i am not able to find please suggest to reset into default

  5. JohnGuin says:

    In File | Options there is a tab for "Send to OneNote"  Select it and you can set OneNote to always prompt for where to send screen clippings.

  6. Peter Armstrong says:

    This is a workaround, but doesn't address thereal questio – why doesn't the container resize to the correct useable page width.  The current behaviour means thedisplay is far from being WYSIWYG as it is re-shaped when printing.

    Why is there unused space between the right side of the container when expanded and the page margin – that's just frustrating.

    Peter A

  7. JMClem says:

    This continual, ongoing problem with OneNote never seems to get addressed.  MS keeps me looking elsewhere for the solutions they fail to fix.

  8. M Chez says:

    I agree with Peter A. and JMClem – the unused space, related to the fact that the outline container stops auto-resizes at a certain point, can be frustrating.  If you resize the whole onenote window to a very wide width the wasted white space is even larger!  It seems to be some sort of ratio calculation of onenote window size to white space.  We would love some settings to control this, especially when working on a desktop/widescreen monitors.  Thanks.

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