Page Tabs in OneNote 2010

Here at Microsoft, we’re approaching the tail end of our release cycle.  We’ve been working hard on the new version of OneNote since we released OneNote 2007 and it’s almost ready.  I wanted to give you a taste of some of the OneNote 2010 goodness that will be coming your way in the coming months.

One of the the most noticeable changes is OneNote’s new page organization abilities.  Here’s an example of a set of pages in a OneNote 2007 section:

OneNote 2007 page list

Notice how each page tab is either fully extended, or slightly indented along the right edge.  To learn more about pages in OneNote, click here.  The indented pages are called “subpages”, and really only differ in appearance, (slight indentation along the outside edge).

In OneNote 2010, we’ve changed the appearance of the subpages to be indented on the inside of the page tab rather than on the outside.  We’ve also modified the color gradient of the subpages to be slightly less than their parent pages.  Here’s a look at the same section as portrayed above, opened in OneNote 2010.

OneNote 2010 page list

In addition, we’ve added a new 3rd level subpage and changed its indentation to be greater than it’s parent subpage, as well as a lighter color gradient than their parent pages.  Here’s a sample of what a section with 3rd level subpages might look like in OneNote 2010:

OneNote 2010, 3rd level pages

Notice the indentation of the level 2 pages (Transportation, Lodging and Sightseeing) and the indentation of the level 3 pages (Hotel A and Hotel B).  Also, notice how the level 3 pages have a different color gradient than the level 2 pages.

One final note, we’ve added the ability to collapse a page group in order to reduce the amount of clutter.  Here’s a look at the same section with the Destination A page group collapsed.

OneNote 2010 collapsed page group

Comments (19)

  1. SBv says:

    It would be very handy to be able to color the page tabs with different color to create page groups with same colors!

  2. Graham says:

    Every time I create a new Level 2 sub-page in a series of Level 2 pages, it always adds it at the top of that series. Then I have to drag it down to the bottom of the series, which is where I invariably want it. Small, but a hassle. Level 3 sub-pages are always created at the end of the series.

  3. Crabby says:

    Graham, Take a look at this post about the new (2010) page tab floaties that allow you to add a page or subpage wherever you want:…/page-tab-floatie.aspx

  4. rx2v2x says:

    It doesn't appear that I can just collapse the level 3 pages into the level 2 page that they're dependent on. Why is that? Also, there's nothing in the help that I could find about this.

  5. sp@mh@tr says:

    Why the 3 sub-page limit? More levels would be beneficial.

    I also agree that the ability to color code the subpages would be a great feature to add. The color gradient is still difficult to grasp on a quick glance.

  6. typewriter says:

    What is it with OneNote and pastel colors that make the program look like it was designed for 6-year-old girls?  And my eyes are bloodshot because the "options" for background color are all either white or barely-off-white.  Lets explore the dark side, fellas.

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  8. Tenrai says:


    I couldn't agree more, all that remains is GLITTER!

    Why have just 3 levels for sub pages? Sub pages only collapse into parent page, lvl 3 pages should at least collapse into lvl 2 parent.

    There should be more colours for a pages and sub pages should have the option of colour coding different groups.

  9. Naoto says:

    Not being able to collapse subgroups is really annoying. There needs to be more flexibility.

  10. Don Hodge says:

    Why the 3 sub-page limit? More levels would be beneficial.

  11. Cath says:

    I use my groups for months and subpages for individual days – each time I start the program it expands the months – is there any way to save the way the groups/subpages appear when I exit? Thanks

  12. Anon says:

    I liked the 2007 version better because the groupings were clearly visible. The 2010 version is ugly to me and it is hard to distinguish between the main and subpages. I always wonder why you all feel the need to mess with things that do not need fixing.

  13. Michael says:

    It would be great if you said HOW to make a 3rd-level subpage. When I right click on the 2nd level page I want to make a 3rd level page, the Make Subpage link is greyed out.

  14. Larry says:

    Yes but all the page tabs are still yellow. Why can I not  change the page tab colors?

  15. Peter says:

    Yes, more subpages please.  And, how about you let the page tabs take on the color that you assign to the page (rather than the color of the notebook tab)–the background "beneath" the page tabs would still be the color of the notebook tab.

  16. James says:

    The other option is to add a To Do Tag. Click on the title of the subpage and then click on the To Do Tag (Box). Once the task has been done click to To Do tag and a 'tick' will appear stating that this is completed. Now you can then click on the Find Tags and a new column of all your tags will appear to the right of the subpages, there is another tick box "Show only unchecked items". Only the incomplete subpages will be listed, making this the fastest option when working across multiple sections with multiple pages/subpages… only limitation is if you use this same To Do tag for multiple purposes, i.e. when writing in a subpage and wanting to add a To Do tag to a paragraph, this will also appear!

  17. Schrevens says:

    It would be even more handy if it would be possible to collapse the level 3 pages (Hotel A and Hotel B) without having to collapse all level 2 pages.

  18. Stephen says:

    Agreed.  Allowing for multi-level (just 3-level? meh…) subpages but NOT allowing for independent collapse/expand of the grouped subpages (level 3, as Schrevens describes above) makes this an incomplete implementation of the subpage feature.  The ability to collapse and expand the "grouped" subpage tabs is arguably the most important and useful aspect of the "subpage" feature.  Allowing the slight indentation of subpage titles, i.e. level 3 pages relative to level 2 pages, is simply a partial implementation of the feature – without the ability to collapse/expand (hide/show) those level 3 tabs in to their level 2 parents independently of other level 2 and/or 3 subpage tabs..  It's a departure from the way the subpages work(ed) and a departure from how they SHOULD, intuitively, work.  Hierarchical groupings that collapse/expand is hardly a whizbang new technology – such features are pretty commonplace – so any arguments about complexity or difficulty would be of questionable merit.  No disrespect intended to the DEV team.  It's understood that requirements and target dates are valid constraints.  I would have argued for the intuitive, logical implementation of the level multi-level/3-level subpage feature- but realize that it's possible that such debate took place – only with the unfortunate outcome described above by Schrevens and myself.

  19. Elizabeth says:

    You need to put in a way to change the type size on the section tabs.  Those of us over 40 can't read the default ones — especially against the pastel-color backgrounds.  

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