How to Draw on OneNote [Complete Drawing Guide]

How to Draw on OneNote [Complete Drawing Guide]
Key Takeaways: How to Draw on OneNote

To Draw on OneNote

  1. Click on the “Draw” tab.
  2. Use “Selection” tools.
  3. Choose pens and highlighters.
  4. Use “Ruler” for straight lines.
  5. Add space with the “Insert Space” tool.
  6. Access basic shapes in the “Shape” dropdown.
  7. Utilize “Automatic Shapes” for identified shapes.
  8. Explore more options like “Ink to Math“.

Hello and welcome back to another OneNote guide. Today, we will learn a very interesting topic, how to draw on OneNote. There is a fully-fledged drawing tab in OneNote for creating designs and illustrations right on your OneNote pages. This is going to be an interesting guide. I will teach you all the pointers, markers, pencils, and highlights, and how we can use them best way. We will also see colors, and different tricks to make good drawings. We will learn this on the App versions, on the web the features can be a little bit different, but it’s good if you learn them on the app version. So, make sure you stay tuned till the end to get a complete understanding of this feature of OneNote. Let’s dive into it and learn to draw on OneNote.

Benefits of Drawing on OneNote

Drawing on OneNote brings a human touch to digital notes, offering practical advantages. For instance, during a collaborative project, sketching out ideas directly on OneNote fosters understanding among team members. It’s not just about visual learning; drawing diagrams for complex subjects, like anatomy, makes studying more engaging and memorable. In business meetings, the ability to draw live during presentations adds an interactive element, making complex concepts clearer. For personal use, OneNote becomes a versatile tool; whether planning a home renovation or expressing emotions through doodles in a digital journal. The mobile accessibility of OneNote ensures that you can draw and capture ideas on the go, making it an adaptable and personalized tool for various aspects of work and life. I hope you got an understanding of how beneficial this drawing feature can be for all the OneNote users.

Step-by-Step Procedure to Learn – How to Draw on OneNote

Fortunately, we have the drawing feature available on both the web and the app versions of OneNote. We can work on both platforms, but of course, we have some slight differences between both versions, we will learn them on the App version.

How to Draw on OneNote – Desktop App

In this section, we will learn how to draw on OneNote in the Desktop App, it works mostly on the full screen so we will also be working on the full screen you can press F11 to get into the full-screen view of the OneNote. Ok, now let’s move to a step-by-step procedure where we will learn to draw from start to end.

Step 1

Open the App and go to the main menu on the top.

How to Draw on OneNote 1

Step 2

Look for the “Draw” tab in the main menu and click on it.

How to Draw on OneNote 2

Step 3

Inside Draw, you have so many options, one option we have is the “Selection tool“, which is a simple selection tool shown with a cursor arrow, you can select objects, and text with this tool on your page.

How to Draw on OneNote 3

Step 4

Then we have another selection tool, but it’s a little different, It is called the “Lasso Select” tool, and its purpose is also the same, selecting objects, and texts, but it works in an area, you can circle an area and everything comes under it will be selected.

How to Draw on OneNote 4

Step 5

Now we have different types of pens, highlighters, pointers, and an eraser as well.

Below you can see how they work:


How to Draw on OneNote 5a


How to Draw on OneNote 5b

Stroke Eraser:

How to Draw on OneNote 5c

Step 6

Now, next, we have an “Add Pen” dropdown, here we can select any of the Pens and highlighters, customize them by nip size, and also change the color.

How to Draw on OneNote 6

Step 7

Now, we have another useful option called “Panning Hand”, as the name suggests, we can easily pan over the canvas using this tool.

How to Draw on OneNote 7

Step 8

Next, we have the “Ruler” tool, it’s an amazing addition to the drawing tool. Like a real-world ruler, which we use when drawing different things to keep our pointers, and markers straight on the path, by placing this ruler we can easily draw a straight line, and we can also adjust its placement.

How to Draw on OneNote 8

Step 9

In this step, we have a new tool, its “Insert Space” tool, which helps us to add some extra space on our canvas.

How to Draw on OneNote 9

Step 10

Next, we have a “Shape” dropdown” and inside it, we have a few basic shapes that we may need in our drawing project.

How to Draw on OneNote 10

Step 11

Another amazing addition is its “Automatic Shapes” feature, it helps us to draw randomly like a shape, and it will auto-identify it and make it a perfect shape automatically and immediately, this is going to be a very useful feature.

How to Draw on OneNote 11

Step 12

Next, we have a simple “Full Screen” button, clicking on it will take you to the full screen, or you can press F11 as well.

How to Draw on OneNote 12

Step 13

Next, if we click on the three dots, we can have more options, here the first option is “Format Background” Using this we can change the background, and we can add guides and gridlines.

How to Draw on OneNote 13

Step 14

The next very important feature is “Ink to Math“, it allows us to write Mathematical content by mouse drag using any pen, and then it automatically identifies it and converts it into properly machine-written math within a second. Thai feature will help a lot to those who use Math content in their work.

How to Draw on OneNote 14

Step 15

Last, but not least “Ink Replay”, feature is not very useful but users can benefit from it if they want to automatically replay the creation of visible ink strokes.

How to Draw on OneNote 15

So thats all about all the essentials of the Draw tab in OneNote. I have deeply covered and defined all the options that come under the Draw tab, I also show multiple images and GIFs to show you how each feature works, and what the benefit of using each feature in the Draw tab of OneNote

Notes / Tips

  1. Experiment with pen colors and thicknesses for customization.
  2. If using a stylus, take care of its precision for accurate drawings.
  3. Keep drawings organized by utilizing layers.
  4. Take advantage of OneNote’s ability to convert handwriting to text.
  5. Create neat shapes by holding down the Shift key while drawing.
  6. Zoom in for finer details and precise sketching.
  7. Use ruler and grid tools for straight lines and alignment
  8. The eraser tool is handy for corrections, whether small details or entire sections.
  9. Easily export drawings as images or PDFs for sharing or inclusion in other documents.


Can I draw on OneNote with a mouse, or is a stylus necessary?

Yes, you can draw with a mouse, but a stylus or touch input provides a more natural and precise drawing experience.

How to change the color and thickness of my drawing tools in OneNote?

You can customize pen colors and thicknesses from the toolbar in the Draw tab. Experiment with different options to find your preferred settings.

Can I convert my hand-drawn sketches into text on OneNote?

Yes, OneNote has a feature that can convert handwritten notes to text, making it a versatile tool for both drawing and writing.

Is there a way to maintain straight lines and alignment while drawing in OneNote?

Absolutely. Utilize the ruler and grid tools provided in OneNote to achieve straight lines and precise alignment in your drawings.

Can I export my drawings from OneNote for use in other documents?

Yes, you can export your drawings as images or PDFs, making it easy to share or include them in other documents.

Are there any shortcuts for creating shapes in OneNote?

Yes, you can easily create shapes by holding down the Shift key while drawing, helping you maintain a neat and structured appearance in your diagrams.


Thats all about how to Draw on OneNote. I hope you find this article helpful and now you have a clear idea of how to Draw on OneNote in the desktop App. Thanks for reading Office Demy Tutorials.

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M. Shaiq Ansari

Hi, I am Shaiq, I am a highly skilled technical writer working full-time for Office Demy. I am specialized in Google Workspace and Microsoft Office applications. With a background in Software Engineering, I possess a deep understanding of the intricate functionalities and features of these productivity tools. Connect me on Linkedin
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