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How to create audio, video and scanned notes in Microsoft OneNote 2010

One feature that makes OneNote 2010 such an effective electronic notebook is the ability to insert all kinds of information including videos and scanner printouts. OneNote is more than just note taking and drawing, it's the ultimate tool for creating notes and work that can be used across an organisation.

There are several types of objects that you can insert into the pages of a notebook, which can all be found on the Insert tab of the ribbon. These objects include:

  • Pictures
  • Tables
  • Screen Clips
  • Links
  • Video/Audio Recordings
  • File print outs
  • Scanner prints outs

In this article we will guide you through the less well known Insert ribbon commands to help you get the most out of OneNote 2010.

How to insert screen Clips

A screen clip is a lot like Print Screen. The difference is that when you take a screen clip, you can choose which part of the screen you want to clip whereas with Print Screen you get the entire screen.

The Screen Clipping tool can be very useful. You may need to clip a section of an article you are making notes on to write your notes around, or you maybe want to clip a diagram from a webpage to insert into your page. To activate the Screen Clipping tool go the Insert tab of the Ribbon and click the Screen Clipping command button.

Activating the Screen Clipping tool minimises the OneNote window. This means that you must have the window that you are clipping from open and ready to be clipped before you select the Screen Clipping tool.

Tip: You can press the ESC key at any time while the Screen Clipping tool is active to cancel your actions. While the Screen Clipping tool is active, your screen will appear washed out and the mouse cursor will change to your pre-set Precision Select cursor.

Use the mouse to left-click and drag over the area you want to clip. This area should appear normal so you can see what you are clipping.

Once you have finished selecting the area, let go of the mouse button and the selected portion will then appear in your OneNote notebook with the date the screen clip was taken.

Tip: Before using the Screen Clipping tool, ensure that you are in the section of your notebook where you wish the picture to appear.

Working with links

Links are another useful component that you can use with OneNote. There are three types of links you can insert into a OneNote page; Web links, File links and links to other sections of your notebook. A Web Link is a link to a web page and a File Link is a link to a file in your documents. Both these links are set up using the Link command in the Insert tab of the Ribbon.

When you click on the Link command button, a Link dialogue box will appear. The first field you need to populate is the Text to display field. This is text that you will click on the notebook page to open up your link.

Next, use either the Web Link icon or the File Link icon to select the address for your link (illustrated above) Or if you are creating a link to another section in OneNote, use the bottom box to pick the section or page you want to create a link to. Once you have populated all the required fields, Click the OK button at the bottom of the dialog box.

Video and Audio Recordings

To be able to create Video and Audio recordings you will need to have the required equipment already installed on your PC, otherwise you will get an error message dialogue box pop up when you click on the Record Video and Record Audio buttons.

To record video on your page, click the Record Video command. When you click on the Record Video button the Recording tab of the ribbon will appear and automatically start recording. In addition an open Video window will appear to show you what is currently being recorded.

Record what you need, and then click the Stop button to end recording or the Pause button should you need a quick break before continuing the video recording. When you click the Stop button the recording will finish and a WMV file, which is your recorded video will appear in the page.

Recording audio is very similar to recording video. Click the Record Audio command from the Insert tab of the ribbon, this will take you to the Recording tab. Click Pause at any time to pause the recording and click the Pause button again when you wish to continue recording. Click the Stop button to end the recording. Once you have finished a WMA file containing your audio recording will appear in the page.

Working with File and Scan printouts

Using the Link command is a good way to link an entire file in your notebook, but using the Link command only lets you open your linked files. You may want to insert a File Printout onto a page so that you can annotate around it, or highlight important sections. You can use the File Printout command to do this.

The File Printout command is located on the Insert tab of the Ribbon. To use the File Printout command, click on its button in the Ribbon, this will open an Insert box. Use the Insert box to browse to the file you want to print into your page. Once you have clicked on the file you require, click the Insert button at the bottom of the Insert box. A loading box will appear and once it's completed, your file will be printed onto your page as a picture.

If you don't have an electronic version of the file you want to print onto your notebook, then you can use the Scanner Printout command to scan a document into your notebook.

Tip: To use the Scanner Printout command you must already have a scanner connected and installed on your computer.

To use the Scanner Printout command, click on the Scanner Printout button in the Insert tab of the Ribbon. Microsoft OneNote 2010 will then connect with your installed scanner. You can then use your scanner to scan the document into your notebook as a picture.

In this article we have looked at the basics of using some of the less common Insert Commands to insert more varied information into your notebooks. We have gone through Links, Screen Clips, Audio and Video Recordings, File Printouts and Scanner Printouts. If you have enjoyed reading this article, you may like to read our OneNote drawing and QAT step by step guide on how to use OneNote's advanced drawing features and configure your QAT tool bar to include your favourite command buttons.