Quick Tip: Screen Clips with OneNote

In the second post in the Quick Tip series I want to show you is the ‘screen clipping’ feature built into OneNote.

Personally I find it the most useful way to take screen grabs – and having it in a powerful and underrated application like OneNote is just a bonus!

If you’ve never used OneNote before, you need to fire it up and make sure the icon is placed in the taskbar.

Go to the OneNote ‘Options’ and select the ‘Display Tab’

Now that the OneNote icon is displayed in the taskbar you can take screen ‘clips’ with the ‘Windows Key + S’ shortcut.

This action greys out the entire screen and allows you to select an active area of the screen to grab. If you require the entire screen, simply start in one of the corners and select the screen as if it were a selection in paint.

The default action is to open the screen clip in OneNote and dump it onto  the clipboard. Personally I prefer to just dump to clipboard and paste where necessary (normally into a word doc or Paint).

To change the default action, go back to ‘Options’ menu and select the ‘Send to OneNote’ tab.

Hope you find that as useful as I do.

More Quick Tips coming up – suggestions welcome!


Quick Tip: Quick and easy OCR (optical character recognition) with OneNote

In a new series of posts I plan to share a range of tips for making life that little bit easier. Generally this falls within the realm of ‘general tips’ or ‘productivity tips’ but it may extend further if they are well received (or if I get enough time to write them down!) .

First up we are going to look at a handy OCR feature in OneNote.

OCR for those not acronym-inclined is optical character recognition – or even better yet, its identifying words within pictures.

Cool technology but why on earth would I need to use something like that? Well if your like me and you’re an obsessive screen clip taker you sometimes find that you actually want the text within the screen grab and not a huge embedded image.

Sure you can often go back to the source, find the content you screen grabbed and select the text, and that might be easier for you, but there are other cases where you simply can’t select the text for one reason or another. Protected PDF’s, screenshots from overs and text within data sources that don’t lend themselves to straight forward text exporting (trust me – there are some).

Well, how do you use such fancy technology? By using the heavily underrated OneNote of course – and its so easy!

Simply do a screen grab with your favourite method (mine also uses OneNote’s screen clipping feature – explained here) and paste your screen grab into OneNote.

Then, all you need to do is paste your clipboard to get the converted text from the image.

Viola! You are done..

Now this technology is obviously not foolproof and non-standard fonts and special characters tend to confuse things a little, but at worst this generally means just tidying up odd words manually, but overall the text is converted correctly.