How-To Geek

How to Share Notebooks in Microsoft OneNote 2016


Microsoft OneNote 2016 is a great free note-taking tool, not just for yourself, but also if you want to collaborate on notes and projects with others, such as colleagues or family members. We’ll show you a few different ways you can share your OneNote notebooks.

To share your notes and notebooks in OneNote 2016 with others, make sure your notebook is synced to your OneDrive account online, so others have access to it. This will sync it to the internet, but not make it automatically available to others. To do that, you must manually share it with others so they can view it and, if you want, edit it.

To access the various tools for sharing notes and notebooks in OneNote 2016, click the “File” tab.


On the backstage screen, click “Share” in the list of items on the left.


How to Share a Notebook with Someone Through Email

You can invite people to view or edit your notebook by sending them an email uisng the Share with People option on the Share Notebook screen. Only people you specifically invite will be able to access your notebook. The Share with People option is the default, so it’s selected automatically on the Share Notebook screen.


Enter a name or email address in the “Type names or email addresses” box. If you enter a name that’s in your Outlook address book, you’ll be prompted with contacts that match the name or email address you started to type, so you can easily choose the person you want. You can also click the “Search the Address Book for contacts” button to the right of the Type names or email addresses box. To share your notebook with multiple people, put a semicolon between each email address.


When you share a notebook with others, you can choose to allow them to view the notebook or allow them to edit the notebook as well. To specify whether they can edit the notebook, select “Can edit” or “Can view” from the drop-down list to the right of the Type names or email addresses box.

If you want to include a message for the email recipients, enter a note in the box below the email address.

Click “Share” to send a link to the people you chose to share the notebook with.


The person you shared the notebook with is added to the Shared with list at the bottom of the screen.


If you decide to revoke access for someone you shared a notebook with, right click on the person in the Shared with list and select “Remove User” from the popup menu. You can also change the permission for that person on this menu.


The people you sent invitations to will receive an email containing a “View in OneDrive” button.


When they click the View in OneDrive button in the email message, the notebook opens in OneNote Online, where they can view and edit, depending on the permission you set for them.


If you are allowing the people you shared your notebook with to edit it, the “Edit in Browser” button is available in OneNote Online.


How to Share a Notebook Using a Link

Sharing a OneNote notebook using a link is similar to sharing with people through email. The main difference is that when you share a notebook with people through email, and then decide you want to revoke access to the notebook, you must remove each user separately, as discussed in the previous section. But, sharing a notebook using a link allows you to revoke access to everyone you’ve shared the notebook with one click.

To get a sharing link, access the Share Notebook screen as discussed at the beginning of the article. Click “Get a Sharing Link” under Share.


To get a sharing link that will allow users to view the notebook, but not edit it, click “Create Link” to the right of “View Link”.


A link displays in a box under View Link. Select the link text and press Ctrl+C on your keyboard to copy it.


You can email the link to the people you want to share the notebook with. You can also share the link with other using social media, instant messaging software, collaboration software, posting the link on a website, or whatever other methods work for you.


When they click the link in the email message, the notebook opens in OneNote Online, just like when we used the Share with People option in the previous section. Notice that because we shared the notebook with a View Link, there is no Edit in Browser button and the notebook cannot be edited.


If you want to collaborate on a notebook with someone and allow them to make changes to the notebook, click the “Create Link” button to the right of “Edit Link”.


Just like with the View Link, you’ll get a link you can copy and send to someone.


To revoke access to the notebook, simply click the “Disable Link” button next to the type of link you want to stop sharing. Everyone that has that link will not be able to access the notebook.


How to Share a Notebook in PDF Format

In both of the above cases, the people you share the notebook with get access to the entire notebook. Maybe you want to share only a certain section or only some of the notes in the notebook. You can create a PDF file containing notes, sections, or the entire notebook and send that file to anyone you want to share the notebook with. Click that link for instructions on exporting a note to PDF format.


How to Share a Notebook with a Meeting

You don’t have to take notes on your own in meetings anymore. You can share a OneNote notebook with the other meeting attendees and have them take notes also. That way, you can be sure you don’t miss an important action item or a key decision made during the meeting.

If attending an online meeting in Skype or Lync that was scheduled using Outlook, you can share a notebook with the other meeting attendees using the Share with Meeting option on the Share Notebook screen. Once you click the “Share with Meeting” button and select the meeting you’re attending, a link to the notebook is sent to all the meeting attendees. They can access the notebook and everyone can add to the notebook at the same time.

You can also use one of the methods discussed in the previous sections to share a OneNote notebook with others in a meeting.


How to Move a Shared Notebook

If you’ve shared a notebook and now you need to move that notebook to a different location, you can move the notebook, but it’s not as easy as just selecting a new location. You’ll need to notify everyone you’ve shared the notebook with and follow this process to actually move the notebook to a new location.


OneNote is a great program to collect information, brainstorm, share notes with your friends or colleagues, and to access your notes and documents on almost any device. If you’ve been using Evernote and want to switch to OneNote due to the more limited free plan or the more expensive paid plans, Microsoft now provides a free tool for easily migrating from Evernote to OneNote.

Lori Kaufman is a writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.

  • Published 07/21/16
  • Dale Holden

    HI Guys

    This is a very misleading title you CANNOT share a note in OneNote only Notebooks.

    This one function is stopping 1000's over Evernote users moving over to it.

    In, fact it is the biggest voted request on the OneNOte user feedback site see here

    I have been getting on to them and had a personal reply from a Dev at OneNote.

    Your title i believe is very misleading by saying Notes IMHO


  • Whitson Gordon

    Thanks, you're right, I've updated the headline. I'm not quite sure how that slipped through. Sorry about that.

  • Lori Kaufman

    Sorry about the misleading title. There is a way to share certain notes or sections in a notebook, but you can only share notes as read-only. There's a section in the article about sharing notes, sections, and notebooks in PDF format, with a link to our article about how to do it. It's not sharing notes in the standard sense, but it's a way to do it.

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