Page Tab Floatie

We’ve tried to make the act of adding a new page in OneNote simple and easy.  You just click the New Page button at the top of your list of pages and a new page is inserted at the end of the section.  Easy, right?

image image

You can also achieve the same behavior by pressing <Ctrl + N>.  There are several ways to increase/decrease the page level after you’ve inserted it too.  To increase the page level, press <Ctrl + Alt + ]>.  Similarly, to decrease the page level, you can press <Ctrl + Alt + [>.  Or, by clicking the arrow next to the New Page button, you can add a new subpage to the end of the section.

In OneNote 2010, we’ve added a new 3rd page level.  When you add a new page using the button described above, it always gets inserted at the end of the section, and it gets inserted as a 1st level page. 

So, what if you want to add a new 2nd or 3rd level page?  And what if you don’t actually want the page to be added to the end of the section, but instead you want it inserted somewhere in the middle of your list of pages?

image Welcome to OneNote’s newest UI element, affectionately known as the Page Tab Floatie.   This little gem appears whenever you hover your mouse pointer over your list of pages.  It remains visible and follows your mouse movement as long as your mouse pointer remains on the page tabs.  Then,
image once you move your mouse pointer over it, it displays a bar in your list of page tabs indicating where a new page will be inserted when you click on it. 

We tried to make it smart enough to know whether to add a 1st, 2nd or 3rd level page, based upon what page level appears above/below the new page location.  For example, in the picture to the left, the bar appears between a 3rd level and 2nd level page.  Clicking on the Page Tab floatie, will insert a new 3rd level page in the location indicated by the bar.

I think the designed logic is pretty good at getting it right most of the time, but it’s not fool-proof.  Occasionally, it’s just going to get it wrong.  So, we’ve added the ability to recover by dragging the page horizontally, left/right, to adjust page levels.  You can also drag the page vertically, up/down, to move the page to a different location.  Once you drop the page, the designed logic kicks in to determine what level to drop the page at.


  • You can use the keyboard to mimic the same behavior by pressing <Ctrl + Alt + N>.  A new page gets inserted immediately following the current page.
  • If you want to insert a new subpage beneath the current page, just press <Ctrl + Shift + Alt + N>
  • To disable the Page Tab Floatie click File –> Options –> Display –> uncheck the box ‘Show the floating New Page button near page tabs

Comments (7)

  1. Richard Young says:


    just click the New Page button at the top of your list of pages and a new page is inserted at the end of the section.

    Can a setting be changed so that a new page is inserted at teh BEGINNING of a section

  2. jeffcardon says:

    No, there is not a setting to control the insertion location of a page.  However, with the Page Tab Floatie, you can easily insert a page at the beginning of a section.  You can also right-click on a page tab to insert a new page beneath the current one.


  3. Jeff – I want to write about this for Monday's (9/13/10) tip of the day on the blog (…/default.aspx) but I can't get the page tab floatie to appear. I'm hovering…hovering…but nope, no floatie. All; I get is the name of the page tab I'm hovering over. (I do have the latest version installed.)

    I can insert a page where I want using the KB shortcut (Ctrol + Alt + N) but no floatie. Also, I checked File > Options > Display and it's selected.

    I want my floatie! Where can I get it?

    – Crabby

  4. jeffcardon says:

    Are you using OneNote 2010?  The Page Tab Floatie only appears in OneNote 2010.  If that's the version you're using, it's possible that the Page Tab Floatie has been disabled.  You can enable it by clicking File -> Options -> Display -> Show the floating new page button near page tabs.

  5. Jake London says:

    Why only 3 page levels?

    Dear Jeff.

                    OneNote 2010 is my favourite app in my PC.  But something I thought the Office Team can change the app. You know, In OneNote 2010, Only 3page levels. Why only 3 page levels? Why doesn't add more levels Or Let's the user choose the numbers of page level?

    Hope your Team can change it.

    Could you reply me?

  6. Jon Evans says:

    "We’ve tried to make the act of adding a new page in OneNote simple and easy"

    You failed 🙁 For example, create a workbook for "research". There are two tab pages of type Paper ; want a third tab page ? Tough ! You can't (or else the UI to achieve it is too well hidden). "New Page" creates a new page without the look of the existing pages e.g. page header.

  7. JJ says:

    can i swith page view from a keyboard shortcut?

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