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Enhanced Pen & Ink experience in Quick Notes in OneNote on Windows

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Hi, Office Insiders, my name is Katie Sullivan and I’m a Product Manager on the Office Natural User Interface team. I’m excited to share that we are rolling out improvements to the Pen & Ink experience when creating or editing Quick Notes in OneNote on Windows!

Quick Notes

The need to capture an idea or a thought can come at any moment. Quick Notes enable you to jot down a reminder or note, sketch a quick concept with ink, or annotate a note or image. Think of them as the electronic equivalent of little yellow sticky notes, except better because they are instantly saved to your OneNote notebook, and can be searched and organized.

Today, you can already create a Quick Note by pressing the Windows key + Alt + N or clicking the OneNote icon on the system tray. Starting with the Windows 11 2022 Update, you now have another way to create a Quick Note directly from your pen!

How it works

  1. To create a Quick Note, just click the back of your pen and start writing.

Using a Surface Pen with OneNote screen

  1. To display or hide the new pen toolbar, click the pen icon in the Quick Note.

Pen icon used to show or hide the toolbar

  1. Use the pen toolbar to choose between ink tools (Select, Eraser, and Pens), and to add to and edit the contents of your Quick Note.

A Quick Note with ink and showing the pen toolbar


And the pen toolbar is not just for pen users – Mouse and touch users can access it for easy and fast inking in Quick Notes as well!  

Scenarios to try

  • Jot down a quick reminder or note with your pen.
  • Sketch a quick concept with ink.
  • Paste a screenshot and use ink to annotate it.

Known Issues

  • While using the pen in Select mode, the cursor may switch back to the Pen tool if you try to tap on ink.


  • Windows 11 2022 update and OneNote on Windows installed in order to click the back of the pen to create a Quick Note.
  • Pen must be a Surface pen with a shortcut button.


The pen toolbar is available to Beta Channel users running Version 2211 (Build 15729.20002) or later. Note that this feature is not available on OneNote for Windows 10.

Don’t have it yet? It’s probably us, not you.  

Features are released over some time to ensure things are working smoothly. We highlight features that you may not have because they’re slowly releasing to larger numbers of Insiders. Sometimes we remove elements to further improve them based on your feedback. Though this is rare, we also reserve the option to pull a feature entirely out of the product, even if you, as an Insider, have had the opportunity to try it.  


We want to hear from you! Please click Help > Feedback to submit your thoughts about this feature. 

Learn what other information you should include in your feedback to ensure it’s actionable and reaches the right people. We’re excited to hear from you!