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Create and format notes in OneNote

Create lists and outlines

Managing meeting agendas, work tasks, and school assignments can be much easier if you create lists. It can be tempting to think that you will remember everything you need to do, but new tasks come up frequently, and it’s likely that you will need a list to keep track of it all.

You can use OneNote to create two types of lists: numbered lists and bulleted lists. A numbered list is used for ideas or tasks that have an inherent order, such as a meeting agenda or steps in a process. Bulleted list items aren’t numbered; the tasks or thoughts contained in the list represent distinct tasks or concepts related to the list’s theme, but they don’t have to be addressed in a specific order.

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Use numbered and bulleted lists to organize ideas and processes

When you create a numbered or bulleted list, you can put items on different levels. For example, if you want to discuss the manufacturing process for a specific product, you could define second-level items that relate to the product.

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A numbered list with two second-level items

OneNote also lets you move items within a list and from one list to another. By dragging an item up or down to change its position, or to the left or right to change its level within a list, you can alter your list so it reflects your evolving understanding of a task or subject. You can also drag an item to another list, without the need to cut and paste the item’s text to another list.

After you create a list with differing levels, you can show or hide levels of detail within the outline you created or select every item at a particular level within the outline.

To create a list

  1. Click a blank spot on a page to create an item.
  2. Enter a list item, and then press Enter.
  3. Repeat step 2 until your list is complete.

To create a numbered list

  1. Create a list.
  2. Select the list text.
  3. On the Home tab of the ribbon, in the Basic Text group, click the Numbering button.

Or

  1. Do any of the following to start a numbered list:

    • On the Home tab of the ribbon, in the Basic Text group, click the Numbering button.
    • Type 1., followed by a space.
    • Press Ctrl+/.
  2. Enter a list item, and then press Enter.
  3. Repeat step 2 until your list is complete.

To create a bulleted list

  1. Create a list.
  2. Select the list text.
  3. On the Home tab of the ribbon, in the Basic Text group, click the Bullets button.

Or

  1. Do any of the following to start a bulleted list:

    • On the Home tab of the ribbon, in the Basic Text group, click the Bullets button.
    • Enter * (an asterisk) followed by a space.
    • Enter - (a hyphen) followed by a space to use the dashed bullet style.
    • Press Ctrl+. (period).
  2. Enter a list item, and then press Enter.
  3. Repeat step 2 until your list is complete.

To change the numbering scheme of a numbered list

  1. Select the text in your numbered list.
  2. On the Home tab of the ribbon, in the Basic Text group, click the Numbering arrow, and then click the numbering scheme you want to apply.
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Select from a range of numbering schemes for a numbered list

To change the bullets of a bulleted list

  1. Select the text in your bulleted list.
  2. On the Home tab of the ribbon, in the Basic Text group, click the Bullets arrow, and then click the bulleting scheme you want to apply.

To select a list item

  1. Point to the list item to display its item indicator.

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    Click a list item’s indicator to select it

  2. Click the item indicator.

To select all list items at a specific level

  1. Point to any item in the list.
  2. Right-click the item indicator, point to Select, and then click All at Level #, where # represents the level of the items you want to select (for example, 2). All of the items at that level are now selected.
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Select all items at a specific level within a list

To move an item within a list or to another list

  1. Click anywhere in the text of the item you want to move.
  2. Point to the list item. When the item indicator appears, drag the indicator down or up the list, until the item moves to its new place within the list.

To move an item down one level in a list

  1. Click anywhere in the text of the item you want to move.
  2. Perform any of the following steps:

    • On the Home tab of the ribbon, in the Basic Text group, click the Increase Indent Position button.
    • Point to the list item. When the item indicator appears, drag the indicator to the right until the item moves to its new level within the list.
    • Press Alt+Shift+Right Arrow.

To move an item up one level in a list

  1. Click anywhere in the text of the item you want to move.
  2. Perform any of the following steps:

    • On the Home tab of the ribbon, in the Basic Text group, click the Decrease Indent Position button.
    • Point to the list item. When the item indicator appears, drag the indicator to the left until the item moves to its new level within the list.
    • Press Alt+Shift+Left Arrow.

To hide a level of detail in a list

  1. Double-click the item indicator above the lower-level items you want to hide.

To show a level of detail in a list

  1. Double-click the Show Detail button (a plus symbol in a box) to the left of the item above the hidden lower-level items.