OneNote 2016 Searching

Learn how to fully utilize OneNote 2016 Searching capabilities, including adding and searching for tags.

One of the great features of OneNote 2016 is it’s searching capabilities.  You can search through all your notes, whether they’re typed in, hand written or audio or video files.  Below are the step-by-step instructions for OneNote 2016 Searching.

Search for text

Below are the steps for searching for words or phrases within your notes in a single notebook or across multiple notebooks.

  1. Click on the down arrow to the left of the search box in the upper-right corner. OneNote Searches Image 1
  2. Select the location you wish to search from the dropdown list:
    • Find on This Page
    • This Section
    • This Section Group
    • This Notebook
    • All Notebooks
  3. In the search box, type in a word or phrase to search for.  You’ll notice as you are typing your word or phrase, OneNote begins returning results that match your criteria. OneNote Searches Image 2
  4. Choose a search result to access the matching note.
  5. Press ESC once you’ve finished your search and found the results you are looking for.
Searching Tips:
  • To narrow your search results, click the down arrow to the right of your search criteria and change your search location.
  • Modify your search criteria.
  • You can pin the search results pane to the side bar by pressing ALT + O or clicking the pushpin in the lower left corner of the search results screen. OneNote Searches Image 3
Searching for words within audio and video clips

OneNote is able to recognize spoken words within audio and video records if the Audio Search is turned on.  NOTE:  This option is turned off by default as it slows down searching.

Turning on Audio and Video Searching
  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Select Options.
  3. Click Audio & Video. OneNote Searches Image 4
  4. Under the Audio Search Section, click the Enable searching audio and video recordings for words check box.OneNote Searches Image 5
  5. Click OK.
Tagged Notes

OneNote gives you the ability to tag any type of notes, whether they’re typed or handwritten.

Tagging Notes

Tags allow you to organize and prioritize your notes.  They let you to quickly return to important notes and remind yourself about items you need to act upon.

  1. Click at the beginning of the line you wish to tag.
  2. Click the Home tab.
  3. Navigate to the Tags group. OneNote Searches Image 6
  4. Click the down arrow to choose the desired tag.OneNote Searches Image 7
  5. Once you select the tag, it will be added to the beginning of the line you selected. OneNote Searches Image 8
Searching for Tagged Notes
  1. Click the Home tab.
  2. Click Find tags in the Tags group. OneNote Searches Image 9
  3. The Tags Summary Side bar will appear once the search is completed. OneNote Searches Image 10
  4. Use the scroll bar to the right to scroll through the results.
  5. Click the down arrow for Group tags by: to group the tags by Tag name, Section, Title, Date or Note text.
  6. Click the down arrow for Search: to narrow the search. OneNote Searches Image 11
  7. Click on a tag hyperlink within the Tags Summary to access that specific note.

To learn more about Office applications, please check out my courses at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *