OneNote grouping objects : poor workaround for an essential missing feature

27.11.2011 Added workaround “Grouping objects in one image”

Microsoft OneNote is a great application to gather information across other apps.
Its also great because often it does things different and better than other Microsoft apps (example: no saving required).
But unlike PowerPoint it has no functionality to group objects.

That is a missing feature that makes things sometimes hard.

Two workarounds can help in some cases:

1) Grouping objects with tables

  • Insert a table and put objects into the table. This way the table is becoming a “group of objects”.


2) Grouping  objects as one image

  • Select all objects that belong to group with the Lasso (or whatever else)

  • Right click and copy the selected objects

  • Important: Paste as “Picture” as shown in the screenshot below. Onenote will create out of all copied objects one image.

Closing comment

Those workarounds are no great? If you have a better solution let us know.  Or let the product manager of OneNote know that you would like to get a proper solution in the next release of OneNote 2012! Others did before you.

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November 23rd, 2010 at 9:30 pm and is filed under AcrossApps, Good Ideas, Issues explained, Recommended Products. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “OneNote grouping objects : poor workaround for an essential missing feature”

  1. Our Garden Blog » Blog Archive » So You’d Like To Learn More About Quick And Easy Room Makeovers, Huh? Says:
    Dezember 3rd, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    [...] OneNote grouping objects : poor workaround for an essential missing feature | Scharnetzki`s – … [...]

  2. Matt Says:
    Dezember 14th, 2011 at 12:42 am

    It’s not ideal, but if you go to the Draw tab and then select the Insert Space function on the Edit panel, OneNote will allow you to move all notes up or down on the page as a group without having to manually select them all.

  3. Student Says:
    Dezember 16th, 2011 at 6:24 am

    Completely agree. The second method is easiest to me, but as soon as you paste it, you can no longer select those individual objects for later editing, unless you for some reason saved the original ones and didn’t simply replace them.

    A simple RightClick>Group Select Objects would go a long way to improving this program. Hopefully Office 2012 has this.

  4. Brendan Says:
    März 6th, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Very simple work around:
    1. select File (from OneNote Menu)
    2. select Publish as PDF.
    3. Copy your new PDF into OneNote.
    Of course, you can no longer edit the individual items, so keep a copy of the original OneNote page (as a subpage perhaps)for future editing.

  5. This is Jim Says:
    November 13th, 2012 at 4:55 am

    This is why Apple will always be ahead of Microsoft in updates. Microsoft waits and does it all at once and changes you for an update and Apple iOS does it everyday for free. I hope the product manager for OneNote reads these and does incorporate a group function. Microsoft is famous for waiting for several revisions before making updates. Table of Contents in Word is a famous one.e

  6. peter Says:
    August 28th, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Just got the new surface pro 3 mostly for the onenote reason – do whiteboard diagrams. That stylus is super but that lack of grouping makes it a kind of short ladder. $2k for a half measure? no – back to the store.

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