OneNote app for Windows 11 is getting a design overhaul

A new unified version of OneNote is in the works with an updated UI and new features.

OneNote UI update
OneNote UI update (Source: Microsoft)
  • Microsoft announces a new version of OneNote.
  • The app will combine both available versions into one.
  • OneNote will also introduce a new interface and new features.
  • Some of the changes are available for testing now and more are coming in the future.

Microsoft plans to release a new unified version of OneNote for Windows 11 with a design overhaul to keep it familiar and modern. According to the announcement, some of the features are already available for testing, but more changes are coming.

These new changes are visual improvements to match the design language of Windows 11. For instance, OneNote will incorporate the mica material around the frame, adding blur and using the desktop wallpaper to shine the colors through the interface. You will also see rounded corners, a redesigned ribbon menu with a new simplified view, and new animations.

OneNote mini toolbar
OneNote mini toolbar (Source: Microsoft)

The app will also update the navigation pane, pages, section tabs, notebook drop-down, and full-screen mode, among other elements.

OneNote will also include a redesigned menu for drawing with a digital pen as part of the improvements. You will find new and other existing tools to draw shapes, a ruler, ink to text, and more. Also, ink replay and pen focus view are among the new features coming in future updates.

Support for the Surface Slim Pen 2 is in the works, and support for tactile effects to mimic the feel of drawing on paper.

Similar to the existing light version of OneNote, the unified version will get page sorting to sort pages by date created, date modified, or alphabetically.

Finally, Microsoft is also updating the sharing experience and how users insert pictures from the built-in camera app.

OneNote insert from camera
OneNote insert from camera (Source: Microsoft)

The company currently has two versions of OneNote, the desktop version that comes with the Office suite and the light version of the app originally designed for Windows 10. The plan is to bring both versions together by updating the desktop variant with modern features and key features from the app designed for Windows 10 to create one modern unified app. However, this project will take some time to complete, and the software giant isn’t sharing the timeline or when it will stop supporting the version of the app designed for Windows 10.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 15 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 21 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].