How do I create custom tags in OneNote?

There are many videos and websites seeming to show how to create custom tags, but none seem to correspond to the version I have either on desktop or on the browser. Perhaps that feature has been updated out of OneNote?

Heres apartial screenshot from my Windows 10 desktop. If its possible to make custom tags, where do I click?

Looks like youre using the UWP OneNote app. I try not to say mean things but I dont honestly know of any reason it could be considered better than the desktop app.

The UWP version appears to only offer one tag, and thats the check box. No other built in tags and zero custom tags. Youll want to download the desktop version. Best of luck!

What is the UWP OneNote app?

And the OneNote that Im using – and that the screenshot came from – is on my desktop. How is this not the desktop version?

When I go to theMicrosoft Store and look up OneNote, it tells me that Ive already installed it.

NVM, I just found the actual OneNote… yeesh this is pointlessly confusing.

But now I have both OneNote (came with computer) and OneNote 2016 (just installed, seems to have all features).

How do I uninstall the one that came with the computer? I never want to use it again. Neither theStart Menu nor Revo nor Add/Remove Programsgive an option to uninstall.

Further issue: If Im using the browser version, is there no way for that to have all the features of OneNote 2016 desktop version that I had to download manually? Or is it stuck in the OneNote feature set that came with my desktop?

Gah, perhaps I should stick to Evernote…

Very much pointlessly confusing. Its hard to tell exactly what Microsoft is going for here but part of it is that the UWP (Universal) app can run on phones, tablets, desktops, servers, anywhere, all with the same code, so starting to move people over to it is a good idea in that regard.

Of course, until it reaches feature parity, its like throwing hurtles in front of users.

This article talks about how to uninstall built in apps. OneNote is in the list. They arent supposed to be uninstalled but at least there is a way to do it cleanly if you really want to (and I do!):

The browser version is always going to be more limited than the full program, but at least its available from any internet connected device anywhere. Its more like an accessible stop gap for when youre in a pinch. In that regard, it works pretty well.

Funny, I used to love Evernote but the incredible feature disparity between different platforms drove me nuts. The Windows client never got any attention and it was painful to work with images. A new release last year fixed my particular issues but Ive settled on OneNote Desktop everywhere except my phone, and Im OK with that.

I feel like the only thing worse than the inanity of OneNote is the smug inanity of Evernote :-$

First, thank you for that link! Im very happy that the UWP version of OneNote is gone. 🙂

But I guess this means that the browser version is not likely to catch up to the desktop version any time soon… *sigh.

All of the features I need for Evernote have, so far, worked just fine across all platforms that Ive used.

OneNote has the advantage of being able to ink and type in the same note, but only Evernote works on all platforms… Maybe Ill need to use both?

You dont really need to choose between the universal OneNote apps and desktop. You can use both depending on your situation and they sync nicely. The non-desktop apps are good for viewing and light editing (like referring to a shopping list in the store). I use desktop and android versions every day. Only use Id have for the UWP Windows version is if I had a tablet PC like a Surface. That version is optimized for that sort of input. The point is that any edit you make from any of the interfaces will show up instantly in the other versions. No reason to purposely avoid one, just pick which one to use for each use situation.

Please dont interpret this as defending the huge functionality gap between the different OneNotes, it drives me nuts.

As for your tags inquiry, custom tags for desktop will sync and therefore tag-summaries will always show them. Though all youll see in the universal versions is that name and symbol and you cant do anything with them. Also if you customize your tag menu in desktop and sync to another desktop, the tags will revert to the default set. The custom tags as they are now are a legacy function from the days when OneNote was intended only for desktop on a single PC. To work around this I take a screenshot of my custom tag list if I ever change it so when I inevitably have to re-enter them I keep the same tags.

IMHO, OneNote tagging isnt real tagging (except for maybe the to-do check/box, which actually syncs). Its more accurate to describe it as keywords. Good for describing information within pages like highlighting does. But its not good for helping you organize your information in different ways like Evernotes tags do. Also notice that OneNotes tags are at the paragraph level, so you can add all sorts of descriptive tags to lots of various things within a page. Evernote tagging is at the note level itself, not the content within the note. These are two different philosophies about how to organize digital notes. It means Evernote is better with many short notes when you want to add a bunch of categorizing metadata at the note-container level and OneNote works better with much more information per page because you can arrange and describe your information better at the floating paragraph level.

So when trying to compare OneNote vs Evernote, I think its a mistake to just clone the organizing structure between them because of the different organizing philosophies.

Another legacy desktop function is the Outlook (desktop) integration with tasks/calendar which works amazingly well but doesnt sync.

Custom tags will no longer be supported as theyre a legacy feature.

Custom tags I make will justdisappeardepending on the platform I use.

Integration with tasks and calendars do not include synchronization. What kind of integration is this?

Im just a user so obviously its all educated guesses. But the custom tag interface or the Outlook integration hasnt changed since the 2007 version. If Microsoft proves me wrong Ill be a very happy camper.

The tag thing isnt that huge a loss though since there never was a central tag system. Meaning if you tagged a book as to-read there was never a tag menu where you could see the count of how many to-read things you tagged let alone clicking that tag to just show you a filtered list of all to-read tagged items. It sort of does this with the tag summary interface but really thats just a search that finds all the tags in that targeted notebook or section. Thats useful, but completely independent of your actual apply tag menu. Thats why I think of it as fancy keywording.

You could add the custom tag yuge and tag an item in a page, then remove the custom tag from your menu. That little yuge tag will still show up the tag search years from now (on desktop anyway) and its little custom icon will even show on mobile if you happen to be looking at that page. But you never could, nor ever will be able to do rename that tag title from yuge to huge and have that update all the existing things tagged with yuge. So really its like adding flair to your notes that you can filter by in the same way youd filter by keywords.

So its not necessarily a waste of time to use custom tags. That info wont go away. Just know that its only good for describing content inline, its not a good idea to use it to help with note organization or other metadata.

You can use tag summary, to the right of the tags, to see all the different tags youve made across your OneNote notebooks. Then sort by type of to do

Sure you can do that on desktop and this feature has existed and has been exactly the same since 2007 (maybe even 2003, I didnt use that one). That function mimics some of what a true tagging system does but its really closer to keywords than tags.

Problem is the word tag is so generic these days that it can imply anything from keyword to connected metadata.

Like on facebook you can tag your name on a photo to enable views based on whos in the picture that is independent of what album the pic is in. Its a managed classification tool. Two years from now if a woman changes her maiden name then all those tagged pics would follow. The tags are all connected on the database.

On twitter, a hashtag is just a loose way of describing a topic and is more open ended. Like if you typed in Kony2012 in a few posts and decided to change the tag to KonyForever youd have to go through and change every one of them because they arent truly connected to each other. Essentially they are unconnected keywords meant to be pulled together by search summaries.

Evernotes tagging system is more like facebooks photo tags and OneNotes tagging is more like twitters hashtags (keywords).

Many people dont care about the difference and might not even notice. For others, the difference is night and day and completely changes how we can go about making sense of our digital stuff.

Youll want to download the desktop version.

Seems somebody doesnt like OneTastic though as my last comment has been downvoted. Very strange.

I put it back to positive for you. Have never seen a negative OneTastic opinion (which is unusual, now that I think about it). Dont see how it didnt add to the discussion.

Its Reddit. Enough said I think 🙂 Thanks for the upvote!