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Microsoft OneNote 2010 : Organizing the Pages and Sections in a Notebook (part 2) - Moving or Copying a Notebook Section, Merging One Notebook Section into Another

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1/30/2015 8:33:08 PM

Moving or Copying a Notebook Section

You can move or copy any existing notebook section to a different notebook. This is useful when you’re ready to split out one or more sections into their own notebook, such as when a brainstorming idea turns into an actual project.

To move or copy a notebook section, do the following:

1.
Right-click the section tab of the section you want to move or copy to another notebook and then click Move or Copy on the shortcut menu.

2.
In the Move or Copy Section dialog box that opens, click the name of the notebook where you want the section to go. (The notebook you’re currently working in will appear with an open book icon; the others will be marked with a closed book icon.)

3.
When you have clicked to select the target notebook you want, click either the Move or the Copy button at the bottom of the dialog box.

Moving or copying a section from one location to another includes all of the pages and subpages that a section contains. If you copied a section and do not want the copied version to include all of the pages, open the copy of the section at its new location and then delete the pages you do not want to keep. Doing this is faster than bringing over the individual pages into a new section.

You can also use the mouse to click and drag section tabs from one location to another. Clicking and dragging a section with your mouse will move it, whereas holding the Ctrl key while dragging a section tab to another location will make a copy of the section and the pages it contains.

If you make a mistake, remember the Undo keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+Z).

Merging One Notebook Section into Another

Another useful organizational tool in OneNote 2010 is the ability to merge one section with another. Doing so will copy all of the pages in the starting section and move them to another section that you specify. When the pages have been successfully merged at their destination, OneNote deletes the original section. Merging sections is faster than copying single pages from a section you plan to delete to a new section that already contains pages.

To merge sections, do the following:

1.
Right-click the section tab of the section you want to merge into another, and then select Merge into Another Section on the shortcut menu.

2.
In the Merge Section dialog box that opens, click the name of the section into which you want to merge the current section. (The notebook you’re currently working in will appear with an open book icon; the others will be marked with a closed book icon.)

3.
To merge the section with one in the current notebook, click its section tab. To merge the section with one in another notebook, click the + symbol next to the notebook you want and then click the target section.

4.
When you have clicked to select the target section you want, click the Merge button at the bottom of the dialog box.

OneNote will warn you that the section merge that you’re about to undertake cannot be undone with the Undo command on the Quick Access Toolbar, nor with the Ctrl+Z shortcut, so you must acknowledge that you’re certain about continuing. In the warning dialog box, click the Merge Sections button to merge the two sections or click Cancel to leave things as they currently are.


Combining Multiple Sections into a Section Group

As your notebook grows more large and complex over time, it might become cumbersome to quickly navigate between a large number of section tabs, especially when certain section tabs are ordered in such a way that makes scrolling between them time consuming.

Although you could split up a large notebook by moving some of its sections to a second notebook, you may prefer to keep all of your notes and information pertaining to a particular subject in a single notebook. You can manage section clutter by organizing at least some of your sections into section groups, which let you group together one or more notebook sections that are then kept visually separate from the main navigation of your notebook.

You can think of section groups much like folders on your hard drive. Each folder can have multiple files in it or store additional folders that, in turn, contain another level of content. You can give a meaningful name to each section group to remind you of that subset of notes that each section contains. Section groups you’ve created can be accessed to the far right of the row of section tabs underneath the ribbon or in the expanded hierarchical view in the navigation bar. When you click a section group icon, the master row of notebook sections near the top of the OneNote program window is hidden from view, and OneNote will display only the sections that the selected section group contains. In such a condensed view, the immediate benefit is that you don’t have to click past or dig through all of the sections in your notebook. By moving a handful of sections into each section group, you’ll have easy access to those section tabs while that section group is displayed.

To create a new section group in your current notebook, do the following:

1.
Right-click any existing section tab and then click New Section Group on the shortcut menu.

2.
While OneNote has the temporary name highlighted, type a new, meaningful name for the new section group and then press Enter.

3.
You can now click and drag sections over a section group icon to place it there, or right-click a section tab and then use the Move or Copy command on the shortcut menu to put a section into one of the section groups that you have created.

To further illustrate the use of section groups, imagine that your notebook is your entire collection of recipes, and each of your notebook sections represents one letter of the alphabet. In each of those sections, you keep all of the recipe pages whose dishes start with that particular letter of the alphabet (the page holding your recipe for apple crisp is in the section labeled A, and so on).

Although such a notebook could be considered to be well organized, 26 sections is a lot of tabs to scroll back and forth among—even on the largest of computer monitors. You might consider putting an even amount of sections into about 4 or 5 section groups each, so that you can easily click between the section group icons and quickly access the smaller group of section tabs that each section group contains. As before, each notebook section would still represent one letter of the alphabet and contain all of its recipe pages, but navigating between the sections would be much easier now because of the reduced tab clutter.

To navigate to a specific section group, find and click its name in the same place where regular section tabs ordinarily appear. When your view has switched to the contents of that section group, you can click the individual section tabs in that group to access the pages in that section. To go back up a level, click the green arrow icon that appears to the far left of the section tab row until you’re back at the top section level.

Using section groups is entirely optional. If splitting huge notebooks into smaller ones makes more sense to you, then use that approach to make your notes more manageable. If you’d prefer to stay in a single notebook, but you want to simplify viewing and navigating between sections that have started to scroll off the screen, consider grouping multiple sections into fewer section groups.

If your notebook contains section groups, you can link to them in the same way you can link to pages, regular sections, and other notebooks. To copy the link to a specific section group, right-click the section group’s name and then click Copy Link to Section Group on the shortcut menu that appears. You can then paste the copied link where you want it to appear in your notes. When you click the link, it will immediately take you to that particular section group.

Similarly, the functionality of sections that have been placed into section groups remains the same. You can move or copy sections out of section groups or merge them with the pages in other sections, regardless of whether those sections are also part of a section group.


Deleting Unwanted Pages or Sections

This last organizational option in OneNote might seem obvious, but I’m including it here for completeness.

To remove notes you no longer care about, do either of the following:

1.
To delete a page you no longer want or need, right-click its page tab and then click Delete on the shortcut menu.

2.
To delete a section or section group you no longer want or need, right-click its section tab and then click Delete on the shortcut menu.

Now that you’ve learned about the various options you have available to organize the content in your notebooks and the structure of your notebooks themselves, let’s continue by learning about what you can do with your content to help prioritize it, categorize it, and help to find it more easily in a notebook search.

 
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