Creating a New Container Near Another One

Having worked on the OneNote team for some time now, I’ve come to know some of the more basic and useful little tricks that help me get my work done in OneNote.  I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty of taking many of these tricks for granted.

One of those tricks is being able to create a new note container immediately next to or underneath an existing one.  For example, suppose you have an existing note container that looks like this:


Now, let’s say you want to add a new note container immediately beneath it.  If you click anywhere in the immediate vicinity underneath the existing one, you’ll get something that looks like this:


What has happened is that OneNote assumes you want to add a new note to the existing container.  So it’s extended the container to allow you to continue taking notes.  But that’s not what I wanted.  I wanted to add a new container, not extend the existing one.

The solution is simple, but requires a bit of precision to master.  All you have to do is double-click where you want the container to be placed on the page.  However, if your mouse pointer is touching any part of the existing container, a new element will be created instead of a new container.  So this is where the precision comes in to play.  Just make sure your mouse pointer is outside the existing container before you double-click.  It may take a bit of practice, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be glad you know this little trick.


Now a new container will be created when you add your new note.


Thanks to Marie, a blog reader, for posing this question.


  • This also works for adding a new container to the left, right or above an existing container.
  • You can also press the <Down> arrow key on the keyboard to exit the container.

Comments (11)

  1. Ben Justice says:

    Yes, Thanks.  This was one of my questions too.  Simple solution!

  2. Now I really love it.  I was getting so upset when adding new notes to a page.  I like to take random notes on a subject ant then arrange them later. Like storyboarding.  I wanted my new notes in their own container. I then could move them around like sticky-notes.   Now I know how to do it, thank you.

  3. Ape-Inago says:

    If you use the "insert space" command, it will split containers up for you.

  4. Delanor says:

    @Ape-Inago: Where do I find the "insert space" command?

  5. M.Ahrens says:

    @Delanor Insert -> Insert Space (OneNote 2010) / Extra Writing Space (OneNote 2007)


  6. Inge Larsson says:

    Just what I often have had trubble with. Thanks.

  7. Mark Zajac says:

    How do you create a new container using a tablet and a pen? There seems to be no documentation of tablet/pen alternatives for keyboard commands.

  8. Jan says:

    Ok, but this solution does not work for me. I want to do this whitout using my mouse. Any hotkey or something?

  9. Charles says:

    Like Jan, I'd like to be able to start a new container without going to the mouse.  The tip about using the down arrow key doesn't work for me because I have to hit <down> NINE TIMES before it gives up expanding the current container and starts a new one.

  10. Mike says:

    Thanks, nice one! Just what I needed to stop fiddling with new containers.

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