Microsoft releases free OneNote for Mac

Microsoft’s Office Blog states the following, verbatim:

OneNote is your place to jot down your ideas, capture your collection of web clippings and research, plan your trips and events, check your to-dos and shopping lists and share your notes with friends and co-workers. It’s a single place to collect your thoughts and ideas, as well as an easy and fun way to stay organized.

Here are some of the main highlights of why we think you are going to love OneNote for Mac.

Create your notes as you wish

Similar to other Office for Mac applications, OneNote for Mac has the Ribbon user interface with a variety of options for formatting and styling your notes. Your notes can be styled however you like. You can choose that special font and color you like to use for your notes, or emphasize important content with bold, underline or highlights.

Sometimes notes contain lists. Whether it’s an invitees list for a party, or the checklist you use for traveling, you can manage your lists using multiple levels of bullets and numbering, and with quick shortcut keys you can re-order, strikethrough, format and more. In addition, if you want to remember, flag or track specific items, you can choose from over 20 styles of tags, such as a To Do tag to check off completed items.
A picture is worth a thousand words, so we make it easy for you to insert pictures in your notes and place them anywhere on your page. And when your notes are best organized in a table, you can easily do so with a variety of table formatting options, such as cell shading colors.

One of the unique characteristics of a page in OneNote is that it’s an infinite canvas where you can lay out different note containers with different content types anywhere you like on the page.

Familiar notebook experience

Your notes are structured in each OneNote notebook with sections and pages similar to paper notebooks. You can create a separate notebook for each of the different projects or aspects of your life, such as work, family, school and travel notebooks.

For instance, you can set up a travel notebook with a section for each of your upcoming trips. Each section can contain multiple pages for itinerary information, such as hotel research, flight options, sights to see and places to eat.

To help you easily find your notes and stay organized, you can re-arrange your notebook as you like, including dragging the pages and sections to change their order or location. And you can apply a color theme to sections to identify them at a glance.

Rest assured, you don’t have to remember where you placed each note. You can very quickly find any text, page, section or notebook by using search options.

Share your notes with others

Whether you’re working on a school project or planning an event with friends, OneNote for Mac enables you to collaborate with others on the same notebook. It syncs changes to and from OneDrive seamlessly and fast so that you can see everyone else’s edits and they can see yours. We make it easy for you to identify the changes made in your shared notebook by displaying the names of the different authors next to their edits.

Or, if you want to just share a specific page in your notebook you can simply email that page to others.

Your notes on all your favorite devices

We know how important it is for you to access your notes on all of your devices and for your notes to look exactly the same as you created them. Add a recipe to OneNote on your Mac, and you can view it on your iPhone in the grocery store. Research and plan a trip on your Mac at home and then easily access those same notes on your iPad during your trip.

All those notes you create on OneNote for Mac are synced to OneDrive and available to you on all your other OneNote clients, including OneNote for Windows desktop, Windows Store, Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, Android and OneNote Online.

These are only some of the highlights of OneNote for Mac—there’s so much more included in this version that we think you’ll enjoy. OneNote for Mac is compatible with Mac OSX [sic] 10.9 and above and you can download it for free from the app store [sic] [recte Mac App Store] today.

Source: Microsoft Office Blogs

MacDailyNews Take: Nope.


  1. Three reasons why I and hopefully many more will avoid this.

    1. It’s Microsoft
    2: “OneNote for Mac has the Ribbon user interface with a variety of options for formatting and styling your notes.”
    3. It’s Microsoft

    1. Create your notes as you wish
      – Maybe I don’t wish to make any notes with formating

      Familiar notebook experience
      – TextEdit is my experience and it comes on Mac free

      Share your notes with others
      – I already can share my notes with anyone as RTF which btw already works fine on windows

      Your notes on all your favorite devices
      – I believe Apple will include TextEdit in iOS8 so I can wait

      Lastly, yeah its Microsoft and nothing on my Mac or iDevice sees the light of them guys.

    2. Good one… Let me add/modify your original thinking a bit, but it’s still in the spirit of your original note..
      1) It’s Microshaft…
      2) Evernote has a HUGE head start/advantage that is in-surmountable for the Flying Monkey Squad from Redmond…
      3) It’s Microshaft.


    1. You should definitely let Apple know if you’re having connection issues. There isn’t a wide spread issue for Mac Aap Store connection. It’s most likely something blocking the domains or ports needed, firewall, router settings, ISP.

  2. The idea that a “quick” note taking app should have a “ribbon” with all sorts of formatting options and “20 styles of tags” implies that the ideal note taking app must be a complex procedure.

    This is the type of MS thinking that leads to a series of apps in MSO that literally require taking a class to become familiar with all the apps features.

    OmniOutliner from OmniGroup is a heck of a lot simpler and more usable in my simple mind.

  3. People are bashing Microsoft, but I was using Apple’s Note for a couple years, then I started losing notes. They vanished into thin air. So I decided I need to back up my notes with copies in both Evenote and OneNote. I prefer Evernote for simpler tasks like shopping lists, because it loads faster. OneNote has more complexity and is slow to load. But I think it is more reliable. I got Office for Mac and was disappointed it did not have OneNote. I am still struggling with the sub notebook arrangements. For example, I have a “Gear” notebook that contains categories like camera, computer, guns, vehicles. Others are Health with foods, supplements, lab tests, shots, blood pressure. I also have pets, family, finance, houses, troubleshooting checklists, vitamins to buy… I would like to hear what other people use it for (instead of all the bashing drivel).

    1. Same here…been using Evernote extensively. While I just started using OneNote on the news of this release, so far, from what I have been seeing, it’s looking like a worthy competitor. But, I’ll have to reserve further judgment. I’ve been using evernote for several years vice to a few hours of onenote.

  4. Perhaps someone can explain the benefit to using a dedicated Note app, beyond its basic utility. The iPad’s Note app is fully usable for simple notes and lists, while Apple’s free Pages (on new devices) app allows more formal formatting. Why would I need a third app?

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