Microsoft OneNote embraces Mac and iOS users with a raft of new features

OneNote for Mac iOS notebook

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Microsoft said late Tuesday that it has added several new capabilities for OneNote for the Mac and iOS, including imported files from email and OneDrive for Business storage.

All of the improvements are aimed at continuing to make OneNote the digital framework for storing notes and other reference materials—and, not coincidentally, to do so as students begin thinking about back-to-school purchases of laptops and tablets.

OneNote users can use the software in a variety of ways, from crafting to-do lists to storing personal notes and files. In an academic environment, however, storing files digitally “handed out” by professors and aides could be a common use case.

OneNote for iPad Microsoft

Notes can be dynamically reorganized with the new OneNote apps for Mac and iOS.

Instead of simply dumping the attachments into a folder, OneNote for Mac allows a PowerPoint deck to be dragged into the note itself, to be collated along with supplementary materials. Users can then open the deck in the OneNote app itself or in PowerPoint.

PDF files can be saved as a “printout” and annotated, as well. In addition, notes themselves can be saved in an email as a PDF—or, using a new feature for OneNote for Mac, they can actually be inserted into the message body itself.

For iPhone or iPad owners, another new feature is the ability to take a file attachment that’s been emailed to them and open it in the OneNote app.

Both Mac and iOS owners can now pull formatted text from other sources and preserve the formatting in their own notes--a capability that can already be found in OneNote for the Windows platform. Both platforms can also access password-protected notes, which will “lock down” with the password re-enabled after moving to another app.

Mac and iOS users can also rearrange their notes on the fly. And, when they’re all done, they can save their work to either their personal OneDrive or their OneDrive for Business.

A few days ago, Microsoft launched OneNote for the Kindle Fire, evidence that Microsoft is holding to CEO Satya Nadella’s pledge to migrate its service across as many platforms as possible—even its historical rival, the Mac. But as Microsoft adopts a “challenger mentality,” each and every third-party platform becomes important.

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