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Microsoft OneNote 2010 : Searching Notes (part 2) - Searching for Text on the Current Page, Searching for Text with Instant Search

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1/30/2015 8:39:35 PM

Searching for Text on the Current Page

First, if the Tag Summary task pane is still shown on the right side of the OneNote program window, close it by clicking the X in the upper-right corner of the task pane. Although you can search your notes with this pane visible, you’ll see that one of the search features has its own task pane. To avoid confusion between the two and save some screen real estate, closing the Tag Summary task pane is a good idea.

Whenever you don’t need a full-blown search because you know for certain that what you’re looking for is on the current page you’re on, you can use OneNote’s quick Find on Page feature.

To search for text on the current page, do the following:

1.
If necessary, open or navigate to the page that you want to search.

2.
On your keyboard, press Ctrl+F (for Find).

3.
Near the right side of the OneNote program window just below the ribbon, look for the yellow Find on Page prompt (see Figure 2) and then type the word or phrase for which you want to search. For example, to find all occurrences of the word meeting, type meeting into the Search box (without quotes or punctuation).

Figure 2. Pressing Ctrl+F opens the Find on Page interface near the upper-right side of the OneNote program window. When you type a search term in the box, OneNote instantly counts and displays the number of matches. You can use the blue arrow keys to navigate up and down the occurrences that OneNote found in your notes.


4.
As you type the search text, OneNote highlights all instances of it on the current page. If the page has a large amount of text on it and it would take a while to scroll through the results, click the blue arrows that are displayed in the Search box to step through the number of matches OneNote has found in the text. Click the blue down arrow in the Search box to go to the next match or click the up arrow to return to a previous match.

5.
When you’re done, press Esc.

If your practice notebook doesn’t yet have enough sample notes content to try out the search features, you can either switch to the Guide notebook that OneNote created when you started OneNote for the first time and search for text there, or you can paste a few paragraphs of text from another document or web page onto your current notes page and then search for words that you know have at least one or two matches. That way, you can see how search results show up in a single page search.


Searching for Text with Instant Search

The second level of searching in OneNote is called Instant Search. It is not limited to a single page but instead searches through all of the notes in all of your notebooks. As the name suggests, it does this instantly.

To start an Instant Search, do the following:

1.
On your keyboard, press Ctrl+E.

2.
OneNote activates the Search box near the right side of the OneNote program window and displays a pop-up window that represents a partial view of all of the notebooks and sections you have available (see Figure 3). Any notes that contain the text you’re searching for will be highlighted in this list of notes.

Figure 3. Pressing Ctrl+E opens the main search window, which displays highlighted search results within your notebook structure, provides access to change the search scope, and lets you open the Search Results pane.


3.
In the Search box where the cursor is blinking, type a word or phrase to search for. Note that, just below the Search box, the blue text indicates that you’re currently searching for your text in all notebooks. (If you want, you can click Change to change your search scope by telling OneNote where to search.)

4.
As with the single page search in the previous procedure, OneNote instantly finds results based on every letter you type into the Search box. Finish typing the search text until you find what you’re looking for.

5.
When OneNote has highlighted the result you want in the pop-up window, click the result in the list, and OneNote will fetch the note containing the matching search result.

6.
To open the page containing one of the other matches, click its highlighted search result in the list. When you’re done searching, press Esc to dismiss the search interface.

You can initiate a new Instant Search at any time by pressing Ctrl+E or by typing something into the Search box. Note that every time you initiate a new search by pressing Ctrl+E, OneNote automatically reverts to searching all available notebooks, even if you changed the search scope in a previous search. If you want OneNote to remember your preferred search scope selection, first click the word change in the blue link under the Search box and narrow your search. For example, to only search for results in the current section, you can click This Section on the shortcut menu. Once you have selected a new search scope, you can make it permanent by clicking the word change in the blue link under the Search box once again and this time clicking Set this Scope as Default on the shortcut menu. When you do this, OneNote will remember your preference across sessions, which means that if you shut down OneNote and run it again later, your first search initiated with Ctrl+E or by typing into the Search box will be limited to your previously selected search scope. You can change it back to All Notebooks when you’re done limiting your searches to specific places.

The functionality in the Search pop-up window isn’t limited to just displaying your notebook structure or your matching search results. You can click any item in the list to quickly navigate to that location and review your notes there. However, only pages with occurrences of matching search text will be highlighted in the pop-up window.

 
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