Taking notes on OneNote is fun. Microsoft OneNote is divided into notebooks within which some sections additionally contain pages. One of the key features of all note taking apps is sharing and collaboration. So how do you share OneNote notebooks on desktop and mobile? This is the purpose of this guide. We’ll cover all versions of OneNote across all platforms.
Before we start sharing, we need to clarify the different versions of OneNote a bit.
So there are two versions of OneNote, in typical Microsoft style. There is OneNote (formerly OneNote 2016) and OneNote for Windows 10. The former is now part of the Microsoft 365 plan and is installed automatically when you install the Microsoft 365 suite, including other apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
OneNote for Windows 10 is preinstalled on all Windows 10 computers. Both versions of OneNote can be run simultaneously but differ slightly in their functionality.
Notably, the two separate versions only exist on Windows, while all other platforms only have one version.
To note: You can’t share individual pages in a OneNote notebook. This feature was deprecated for OneNote and OneNote for Windows 10 recently. You can only share a notebook in OneNote.
Let’s find out.
How to share OneNote notebook on Windows
We’ll start with OneNote first.
Step 1: Open OneNote and right-click on the notebook you want to share to select Share this notebook.
2nd step: On the Share with people tab, you can enter the names or email IDs of the people you want to share the notebook with. Right next to it, in the drop-down menu, choose whether those people you share the OneNote notebook with can only view or also edit the notebook. Finally, there is an option to add a personal note just below. When done, click the Share button below.
In the above method, only people invited by email can view or edit the OneNote notebook.
There is another way to invite view / edit notebook via link. Anyone with access to this link will be able to view / edit the notebook, whether or not they are invited.
Step 1: Right-click on the notebook and select Share this notebook.
2nd step: Under the “Get Share Link” tab, click “Create View Link” or “Create Edit Link” to give the OneNote notebook read-only or edit permission, respectively.
Share from the OneNote for Windows app
Now let’s take a look at the OneNote for Windows app. You will find the Share button in the top right corner of the app. Enter the email credentials of the people you want to invite and below, select Can edit or Can view to give edit or read-only permission. Click the Share button to send invitations.
Now, you also can’t share individual pages in OneNote for Windows, but you can send a snapshot or screenshot of the open page. Here’s how to do it.
Step 1: Open the page for which you want to send a screenshot. Click the Share button, then select Send a copy.
2nd step: In the next pop-up window that opens, click on the Mail app to send an email with the screenshot attached.
There is no way to create and send a shareable link in OneNote for Windows like in OneNote.
How to hide author’s initials in OneNote
You can do this in OneNote only, not the OneNote for Windows version.
Just go to the History tab and click on the Hide Authors button.
How to share OneNote notebook on Mac
There’s only one version of OneNote available for Mac users, which makes it easier.
Step 1: Click the Share button in the upper right corner.
2nd step: You will see the sharing options. Click “Invite people to notebook” to send email invitations.
Step 3: Enter the email IDs of the people you want to invite to view / edit the notebook. Check the Can edit button to allow editing, or uncheck it if you only want them to see the notebook.
If you want to share a link to the notebook, you can do that as well, but as stated before, anyone with access to the link will be able to edit / view the notebook.
Step 1: Click the Share button again.
2nd step: Click on “Copy link to notepad”.
Step 3: Click View Only or View and Edit to create a shareable link to the notebook accordingly.
Finally, there is no way to share a page in OneNote on Mac either but you can send a PDF of the opened page. To do this:
Click the Share button but select “Send a copy of the page”. You can now attach a PDF of the page to an email and send it to anyone.
How to share OneNote notebook on the web
Sharing on the OneNote web app works pretty much the same on Windows and macOS versions. However, there are a few notable differences.
Clicking the Share button will open a familiar share menu with options to copy a link or send email invitations with read-only or edit permissions.
Click the drop-down menu to select Link Settings.
You can set an expiration date, after which the link will stop working, and a password to add an extra layer of protection. Thus, only people who have the password can access the notepad.
So why the special treatment for the OneNote web app? This is not a OneNote feature but rather a OneDrive feature. OneDrive allows users to share any file with a temporary link and password, and since OneNote files are saved in OneDrive, that works there, too. If you save them locally, it won’t work.
Can you share OneNote notebook on mobile
Unfortunately, there is no way to share notes or notebooks on OneNote’s Android or iOS apps. This is a serious flaw when comparing OneNote with other notable note-taking apps like Notion, Evernote, and Apple Notes.
Hopefully Microsoft will correct this drawback in a future update. Until then, you have no other way but to share it using desktop or web apps.
Also on Guiding Tech
Sharing is easy on OneNote as long as you’re using the desktop or web app. OneDrive integration brings additional and useful features such as the ability to create temporary links and password protect them. Sadly, mobile apps have been left in the wind to dry out. Those who travel a lot and need to collaborate on the go would be better off using another note-taking app.
Looking for a better way to organize notes in OneNote? Here’s a compilation of the best ways to organize OneNote notes.
Last updated on July 23, 2021
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