2. Annotate a PDF in OneNote
Before you can annotate a PDF file, you must add it to OneNote, but in print form. Check the point above to find out how to do this. OneNote will scan the PDF and create an image that you can annotate as you wish. There is also a separate button for printing under Insert.
OneNote will take some time to process depending on the size of the PDF file. Once done, it will create a shortcut to the original PDF file over virtual printing. You can now use all the tools on the Draw tab to annotate.
Draw circles, arrows and even shapes. If you use a Surface Pro or smartphone, you can use the pen or finger to write and draw. Use the Shape Ink button to transform handwritten circles and other shapes to perfection. The conversion was smooth and perfectly made with all images and text both clear and crisp.
3. Export PDF
Well, it's a disappointment. You can import PDF files into OneNote and turn them into images to annotate them. However, there is no way to export them to PDF. You can right-click and select the Save As option to save the image file.
On the plus side, all your annotations will remain intact. Several people have asked Microsoft to develop this feature and may do so. For now, try this PNG online PDF converter that works, but with varying degrees of success.
4. OneNote PDF in text with OCR
The OneNote app comes with a powerful OCR reader capable of reading text from images. You can easily extract this text and paste it separately.
Just click on the image with the right mouse button and select Copy the text from the image. According to the Microsoft support page, there is another option called Copy Text from all pages of the print, but it was not available on my OneNote version. This will copy all the text of the imported PDF file to image format.
5. Find a PDF file in OneNote
You can not search for text directly in PDF files in OneNote. You will need to first import it using the print option. Only then will OneNote be able to search for text in image files.
However, I have seen mixed results. When there is only one occurrence of a sentence, OneNote has found it quickly. But when I looked for the phrase "the S quadrant," OneNote also highlighted many closely related phrases. I could still find the file and note where to look, so it's something.
6. Listen to a PDF file or image in OneNote
The OCR features of OneNote are really powerful, and the Immersive Reader feature shows it as well. Open the note where the image or printout of the PDF is saved and click Immersive Reader under the View tab.
This may take some time depending on the number of pages we are talking about. Once scanning is complete, a new full-screen window opens and allows you to listen to the entire PDF file in distraction-free mode.
Some useful settings are available, such as speed, font type, size and color, and translation.
A note for everything
OneNote is a powerful note-taking application and Microsoft is working on developing new features. The 2020 version will be removed soon and all new features will be included in the new OneNote universal app. So, I recommend you use the same thing to save, scan and annotate PDF files.
Then: Looking for more OneNote features? Click the link below to immediately discover 11 helpful OneNote tips and tricks.