How To Link MS Word 2010 To OneNote & Use It For Writing Linked Notes

Saikat Basu 06-07-2011

<firstimage=”//” />word one noteI speak of myself alone when I say that Microsoft OneNote gets treated like a poor cousin while MS Word and MS PowerPoint walk away with the greater share of the attention. MS OneNote isn’t a sideshow at all but a very useful package in its own right. It’s perhaps the only place in the MS Office suite where you can offload everything – from documents to images, and now even audio commentaries. You don’t even need to tell it to save as it does so automatically.


We had seen earlier how MS OneNote 2007’s screen clip How To Take Office 2007 Screenshots With OneNote Read More and OCR 7 Best Free OCR Software Apps to Convert Images Into Text Want OCR software for free? This article collects the seven best programs that turn images into text. Read More tool could be used to collect information. MS Office 2010 adds another by letting you link MS Word 2010, and MS PowerPoint to OneNote 2010.

The Linked Notes Feature and the Uses We Can Put It To

The direct benefit of the Linked Notes feature is that you can take notes in a docked OneNote window on your desktop while you work side-by-side in the other programs. This linking allows you to refer back to either the note or the main document by clicking on the link. Quite simply, you don’t have to copy-paste information manually. You can use the Linked Notes feature to work with MS Word 2010 (or PowerPoint) and OneNote side-by-side. Plus, you can use Tags on OneNote (like, Remember for Later; To-do etc) to flag the notes or even assign an Outlook Task to it.

In fact, the PowerPoint blog has a very nice explanation on the uses to put Linked Notes to.

This free ‘exchange’ of information makes for a great information management and research aid. But how do we set it up? Let’s try out with a demo.

Let’s Make OneNote and MS Word Work Together

Launch MS Word 2010. Please note that the document needs to be saved in Word 2010’s DOCX format. The Linked Notes button can be found on the Review tab of the Ribbon.


word one note

OneNote opens up and displays the Select Location in OneNote dialog box. You can click and expand the notebooks to pick a location to save the linked notes.

connect onenote
With a click on the OK button, you can start your note taking. When you select the note, a small Word icon (or a PowerPoint icon if you are working there) appears to indicate the link with the document in context. Of course, like in the earlier versions too, if you copy-paste any content from places like web pages it appears with the source link as reference.

connect onenote
To show the other side of how these two Office programs work together, close both the linked note and the main Word file. Open OneNote and the saved note. Click on the little Word icon or the little link icon on the upper-left to get to the connected Word document.


Managing the Linked Note Window

One of the easiest ways to take quick notes is by clicking the Dock to Desktop button on the View tab in OneNote 2010. Dock to Desktop allows you to take notes while working from any program on your computer. To reiterate again, if it’s Word or PowerPoint; your notes will be stored in context.

connect onenote

Clicking the Normal View button on the View tab closes the linked note taking session.

If you want to remove any of the linked notes, click on the chain link button on the upper-left and click on Delete Links on This Page.


word one note

The ‘in context’ linking handshake between OneNote and MS Word or PowerPoint is a great help when you are looking to extend your research with extra notes and external resources. It takes away some of the headaches involved in organizing notes and puts it all within the reach of a mouse click.

Do you use this new feature of MS Office 2010? If yes, how useful do you find it?

Image Credit: Shutterstock


Explore more about: Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, Note-Taking Apps.

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  1. Saikat
    February 21, 2015 at 5:00 am

    You take it anyway you want. Just write as usual in the docked OneNote window.

    Notes taken in this mode are automatically linked by OneNote to whatever you're looking at in Internet Explorer, in Word documents, in PowerPoint presentations, or on another OneNote page in any of your notebooks.

    During a Linked Notes session, OneNote stores with each paragraph of notes a link to documents or Web pages that you used, so that you can click that link and easily return to this content again later on. OneNote also stores a thumbnail image of the page and a text excerpt from any Word 2010 or PowerPoint 2010 files you looked at, so that you can easily locate and recognize the correct page or slide again.

    • Anonymous
      June 9, 2015 at 3:51 pm

      One Notes has been recommended as a possible time saver for my job site reporting, but I have a question before I spent a lot of time finding out if it will work for my specific need. As a quick background, I currently visit the site, take my photos, make hand written notes if needed. Get back to the office, download from camera into a date specific file. Pull up my pre-formatted Word doc and begin inserting the pics to specific spots and type the progress notes as well into specific areas on the doc. Can OneNote send the pics and notes directly to those specific places in a Word doc from my ipad?

  2. Kel Mohror
    February 21, 2015 at 1:58 am

    Your mention in a paragraph, "With a click on the OK button, you can start your note taking. " How does one "take" a note" Select the text, image or other? What is the next command(s) to put the selected data into OneNote? Its capabilities are mind-boggling!

  3. Saikat Basu
    July 7, 2011 at 2:51 am

    Perhaps I was a bit unclear. Linked notes as you might have understood allows me to open OneNote in context of the Word Doc I am working on. Notes taken in the Linked Note mode are automatically linked by OneNote to whatever
    you're looking at in Internet Explorer, in Word documents, and in PowerPoint

    If you only have the word doc open, then you have to click the Review Tab - Linked Notes button and browse to the note for the doc. From the OneNote page, opening up the connected Word/PPT file is a one-click process as explained.

  4. Michelbasilieres
    July 6, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    I don't understand this:

    "Quite simply, you don’t have to copy-paste information manually."

    you didn't explain it. What do notes on the side have to do with copy/pasting? Another thing, if I have only a Word doc open, how do I know anything about the linked notes?

    Finally, in your first paragraph, you're not speaking "of" yourself at all.