One of the best features in Microsoft OneNote is Tags. Tags are searchable symbols you put next to items in OneNote (words or images). They are used to identify and categorize information within OneNote, making it easier to locate and prioritize your notes.
OneNote comes with a large variety of pre-defined tags, but you can also create your own.
Apply a Tag
To apply a tag, place the cursor at the beginning of a word, line of text, or picture that you want to tag. Click on the Home tab, and go to the Tags section. Click on the down arrow to expand the Tag list. Select the tag icon you want to apply.
To get rid of the tag, place the cursor in front of the text that has the tag, and click on the same tag again. For check boxes, you will have to click twice on it, since clicking on it once puts a check mark in the box. You can also place your cursor in front of the text with the tag, and hit your Back Space key on your keyboard.
Keyboard Shortcuts for Tags
CTRL+1 will apply or clear the tag in the first position (usually the To-Do tag)
CTRL+2 will apply or clear the tag in the second position
CTRL+3 through CTRL+9 will apply or clear the tag in the matching numeric position
CTRL + 0 removes all tags from selection
Create a Custom Tag
To create your own custom tag, click on the drop-down arrow in the Tag section to expand the Tag list. Click on Customize Tags near the bottom of the list. Click on New Tag.
Enter a name for your tag (type over Undefined). You can then select a Symbol, a Font Color, and a Highlight Color from the drop down menus.
The font and highlight color will be applied to the selected text, along with adding the tag. For example, in the following text, I applied my custom “Newsletter or Blog Item” tag, and it highlighted my selection with yellow as I had indicated in my custom tag.
You can also modify an existing tag using the Modify Tag button on the same drop-down.
Now that you have created and applied some tags, you’ll want to Search for them in your OneNote notebooks.
Search for Tags
You can search for tags in pages, sections and notebooks. You can also group your tag search.
To start, click on Find Tags in the Tags section on the Home Tab ribbon. A window will appear on the right side of your notebook.
From here you can select how your want to group the tag results, and where you want OneNote to search for your tags.
So, to search for all my Newsletter or Blog Item tags, I would group by Tag Name, and search this notebook. The results will include ALL tags, but you can click on the tiny up arrow to collapse the ones you don’t need to see.
OneNote tags can help you sort and organize your OneNote notebooks. Keyboard shortcuts to apply and remove the tags will save you time.