Surface Pro + OneNote

Other Surface Pro reviews spend precious little time discussing the (amazing!) pen that comes with the product, and the quality of its use in OneNote. The premise of my video is something like: OneNote is a powerful genie, trapped in an impenetrable bottle of weak handwriting quality on prohibitively large laptops. Surface Pro opens the bottle, and allows you to use OneNote as it was meant to be used.

In this video, I review the use of OneNote on the Microsoft Surface Pro from the perspective of a graduate student and TA in mathematics. It serves as a complete paper-replacement for me, allowing me to do away with a library of textbooks, stacks of research papers, all manner of paper notebook (and the pens, pencils, highliters, etc. that go along with them).

Use HD setting to see the clearest quality video.

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Автор dsrow84 ( назад)
thank you for this great explanation of this software!

Автор Rachelle L. R. Barr ( назад)
What program were you using to make the flow chart diagrams with?

Автор nicofiro ( назад)
I'm studying for my state exam in law for which I will accumulate at least
3 000-6 000 DIN A4 pages of text (germans are crazy), not counting eBooks
and other accesorial ressources (for example a 2000pages pdf on civil law).
For this quest I'm considering buying the Surface Pro 3 to go paperless.
Today I imported one of the scanned scripts, 100 pages resulted in a
notebook of 200 mb. Is this normal? Is there a way out of it? I've read
that Onenote does PrintOut the pdfs as bitmaps and that this causes this
file size inflation. How much space does your library take? As my budget
only allows for the 64gb version I fear this filesize inflation could get
me into trouble pretty fast.

Another question, is there an option to get stright horizontal lines when
highlighting and underlying? Or would I have to use a ruler?

And probably the biggest issue: can you sit down and read and learn for
hours? Day after day during months? That's what I have to do and I fear
that with the surface my eyes might start bleeding pretty fast... so paper
would still be the only way.


Автор ScienceEng Tum ( назад)
How can I record my desktop while I write on take note like you did ?

Автор kuhske ( назад)
Thank for sharing your tutorial using the digital pen. I am on a
touch-type cover, so typing is not efficient. I prefer to write with the
pen. It's faster.

Автор General Solstice ( назад)
Can something that has been scribbled using the Surface Pen be selected,
cut and pasted somewhere else on the same page (as well as on a different

Thanks for this great video Fadi E.

Автор Thijs Brilleman ( назад)
Thanks for the great tutorial!

Автор Bill Shaw ( назад)
Excellent tutorial on the Surface Pro. Best I've found.

Автор p4ndasr0ck ( назад)
Which processor option did you get? I see there are more than one process
and wonder if i3 64gb would be good or not.

Автор Rebecca Rowe ( назад)
i just got the surface pro 3. my onenote does not have the ribbon. how do i
get the ribbon?

Автор Experiment Eks ( назад)
I just had to show this in-depth review to my friend who is also a Math
grad and teacher. Thank you for creating this video. It's one of those
reviews that really focused on the functions and capabilities of this
tablet for productivity.

Автор Undergoing Changes ( назад)
Thanks for the tips. Written from surface pro 3 :D

Автор Bruce @ Enterprise Risk Services ( назад)
Great video. Thanks!

The more I use and learn about OneNote 2013, the more I like it. At work, I
use it with a Surface Pro.

One thing you did not mention is OneNote's feature where you can "see" the
playback of an audio recording where you were also taking notes. It works
sort of like a smart pen. As the audio is played back, the screen greys out
the notes that were written at that point. This is fantastic for students
listening to a detailed lecture and wanting to check back the accuracy of
the notes they took.

I find that an external mic works best.

Автор Remco32 ( назад)
5 hours of battery life? Really? How?

Автор carpediem ( назад)
Great video! I just got myself a Surface pro & I like it so far. However, I
don't know how to use OneNote so this helped. Thanks!

Автор teufelhunt ( назад)
I watched like 23 OneNote videos and kept quitting because either they a.
wasted the first 4 minutes, or b. didn't really teach you anything. Then
this video! Yay! Finally, an actually useful OneNote video. Learned more
in this one then all the rest combined. Thanks for getting to the point
and being concise.

Автор Marcos Kalil Filho ( назад)
Best video! 

Автор DeepBlueSpirit ( назад)
Thanks for the really great review of all features onenote comes with (:

I already got me a surface pro 3 and im really happy with it!!
Sure it is expensive but worth it (:

Автор Adam Baum ( назад)
This was just the video I needed to convince me to buy one. Thank you.

Автор anzatzi ( назад)
Hi--great video and its exciting to see the user base evnagelize about one
note and surface pro, especially since microsoft has not done a great job
of marketing either one note or SP. My comment is that i find the infinate
page paradigm a mixed
blessing and i wish MS provided some sort of page boundary. I tend to end
up with great expanses of notes instead of pages of notes. Small

Автор Javier Canal Quijano ( назад)
I got me a Surface Pro 3; just ditched my office and home laptops and
couldn't be happier. Al little pricey but it has great performance,
usability and portability. On the OneNote side, I've been using it for 6
years and I love it.

Great OneNote review BTW.

Автор Paul Navrozidis ( назад)
00:01 - 30:14

Автор Jonathan Ramsay ( назад)
You are using the original Surface Pro, not the Surface Pro 2 correct?

Автор ZopteY ( назад)
Great video.

Автор Nabeel Mohammed ( назад)
This is an excellent demonstration. Thanks for taking the time to do this
video. Much appreciated

Автор Joe Blo ( назад)
Makes iPad look like the toy-fad it is ; )

Автор Luca Ruzzola ( назад)
First of all thanks for the video! I just got a surface pro and installed
onenote together with the mathematics add-in but the latter doesn't seem to
wprk, it just crashes onenote when i try to insert a graph. Did this ever
happen to you?

Автор Jinx Facade ( назад)
Very thorough. Thank you so much. Looking forward to this semester with my
surface and math 99 class. Math is the only subject I struggle in. I have
all A's in my other classes. This active learning combination should be a
winning solution.

Since this was posted over a year ago, if you have any updates (tips &
tricks) please post. Thank you.

Автор yztyzt1 ( назад)
Hey major problem. . . how do you do a partial search?

Say you only remember part of an phrase: xxxabcxxx

If you search ABC, you won't get that phrase.

Why is onenote so limited?

Ugh! I am so frustrated

Such a fundamentally rudimentary basic function

Do u have a solution?

Автор yztyzt1 ( назад)
Can u talk about the scanning paperless option?

I want to go paperless. I want to see you talk about that.

Paperless home and office and work is good.

Do you do it? Are you moving toward that direction?

Автор yztyzt1 ( назад)
I am getting the pro 3

I already have the Samsung note 3 :)

I love taking notes with digital pen

I am using surface 2 (non-pro) I am selling it.

I am moving to pro 3 :)

Автор Michael Abramovitch ( назад)
Great video! I'm trying to decide on what laptop to get before I go off to
college and I'm now seriously considering the Surface Pro 3. My mom just
got one, so I've been trying hers out, and I now have some questions I'll
need answered before making my decision. Firstly, what's the learning
curve like for note taking with the pen, and Windows 8 in general? I've
been having some issues, but it is just my first day trying it. Any tips
for beginners? Second, do you think having the pen is a must for OneNote?
I think I'd use OneNote even on a regular laptop without a pen, so how
much more limited would that be? Thanks.

Автор Olivia Miller ( назад)
I'm going to be a freshman in college this fall and I was thinking about
getting a tablet to take to class, hook up a keyboard and take notes on,
then just retype or transfer the notes onto my big laptop when I get back
to my room. Do you think the surface pro 2's screen is large enough and I
could get a good enough keyboard that this would be not only possible, but
also easy and stress free? I didn't like the keyboard that I saw with it at
Best Buy, but I loved the keyboard that came with the pro 3. Is there any
way to hook the 3's keyboard up to the 2? I don't know if that's a stupid
question, but it's worth a try! I fell in love with the pro 3, but if I'm
also getting a new laptop I don't have a big budget for the tablet.

Автор gondoli ( назад)
thanks alot for this video.
after that I watched this video I decided to buy surface pro 3.
thanks again for your helping.

Автор Leo Ix ( назад)
Question does this only work on the pro and pro 2? Or can the other
surfaces or RT able to write this well?

Автор Al Niemi ( назад)
Very informative video. One question: How do you get the pen point on the
screen to show the shaded yellow circle around it. On my windows 8 tablet
the pen "cursor" is just a small dot - hard to see and impossible to use as
a pointer when projecting or recording.

Автор Nick Bourgeois ( назад)
Watching this video was the final thing that convinced me to buy a surface
pro 2 and Office 365. I'm a grad student in engineering and want to use it
for similar things as you show in the video, especially annotating PDFs
because I go through so much paper otherwise.

Автор TheCruncheyBomb ( назад)
I know that he says it alot but I did try one note with the pen and it
does indeed feel like a gel pen slinding across, super smooth

Автор Shenglan Jing ( назад)
Very good review!One-note may be the greatest productivity tools in

Автор Jonathan Lin ( назад)
So all the note taking/pdf annotating is through OneNote? I can just import
the pdfs everything? 

Автор Thomas Ngo ( назад)
Incredibly detailed review! I just bought the surface pro and am really
excited to use One Note now. I had no idea it was so powerful! Thanks so
much for this video!

Автор Tony Bowen ( назад)
I just bought a surface pro because of this video, thanks!

Автор deakayy ( назад)
i was deciding between asus t100 or surface pro for university looks like
i'm sold on the surface :D actually a very good and useful review thank
you!! Also are u able to lean ur palm on the screen as u write? or does it
interfere with the touch sensor ?? 

Автор Jeremiah Gammond ( назад)
Thanks for the great video! hard to find a good review like this that shows
how someone uses OneNote for everyday usage.

Автор siksniper1996 ( назад)
You just convinced me to get one for college, Thank You.

Автор UnPlugged4Good ( назад)
Great video, but quick question. I have a surface pro also and downloaded
the math add-in but for some reason it will not let me insert a graph into
onenote. Did you do anything extra to get this working? I cannot find an
explanation anywhere.

Автор Pitt Weem ( назад)
Thanks for the review (and no ads!). Was confused over which to go tablet
to go for. This is the one for me.

Автор Lawrence Vallandigham ( назад)
Thank you for sharing a well-organized, relevant and articulate review
integrating the features of the Surface Pro and One Note. Your examples -
in the academic setting - were easily transferable for my intended
business-day uses.

Автор darkkniqhtt ( назад)
How do I get Microsoft mathematics for surface pro running windows 8.1?

Автор Pawel Magnowski ( назад)
OneNote is THE #killerapp of tablet world. 

Автор TikTak ( назад)
What version of onenote is this, 2013 or 2010?

Автор diego alcala ( назад)
Thank you for the review/tutorial. This video helped me solidify my
choice. I just bought one, and am very happy with the surface pro (yay
price drop). I'm a graduate student too, so just wanted to say thank you!

Автор Ryan McAllister ( назад)
Wow!! I've been looking for reviews and tutorials about the surface pro,
trying to figure out how to use it and whether I made the right decision in
my purchase. I bought it strictly for note taking in my university math
classes. Now I know I made the right decision and know most of the tricks
I'll need. Thank you so much!!!

Автор Hasan Al-Jawaheri ( назад)
searching for handwritten text is enough to buy this. awesome!

Автор Al Torres ( назад)
Thanks for the detailed review. One of the benefits that was not mentioned
is the ability of using OneNote across platforms. I was succesful in
linking my Surface Pro 2 to my work laptop (Windows 7) and my Samsung
Galaxy Note 2. Amazing to do the heavy duty work on the work laptop with
large external monitors, and then make hand written notes while visiting
clients - then to see all the work at any time on my phone is truly a huge

Автор jothain ( назад)
Thanks for the review. I've ordered SP2 myself and I've been wondering how
ie. handwriting recognizing, search on them and so on would work on pen
input style on One Note. I almost was regretting my order as I didn't fully
research through this subject, but thanks to this I'm waiting my SP2 to be
delivered even more. Looks like it's going to be everything I've hoped from

Автор DeVaney Page ( назад)
This video was incredibly helpful & informative so thank you very much!

I was wondering if you could give me your opinion on how comparable taking
handwritten notes on the Surface Pro is to regular pen and paper. I started
law school last semester and really struggled to reconcile the fact that I
seem to only retain information when I handwrite it rather than type it
with the absolutely essential need to have my notes in a digital form so
they can be copied/pasted/edited amongst various document files & types. In
addition, my note taking form has evolved into mind-mapping rather than
just linear outlining, so typing my notes has become even less workable.

After scouring the internet over winter break for a viable compromise, I've
entertained seemingly almost all alternatives - from digital pens
[Evernote] to OCR software to convert my handwriting to text - but they've
all been lacking for what I need in some way or another. But I think the
Surface Pro 2 might actually [fingers crossed] wok.

My only hang-up is that I won't be able to get used to the feeling of
writing on a screen rather than on regular pen & paper - a process that I
absolutely love- as well as not being able to make really neat handwritten
notes which is really important to me.

You mentioned it's a pretty natural process for you - could you expound
just a bit on your experience - for instance, does the sound of the pen
hitting the glass bother you, is there truly no noticeable lag w/ the pen
input, and is the handwriting to conversion feature accurate?

I have an appointment at the Microsoft Store Friday but it would be
incredibly helpful to hear your feedback.

Sorry to be so particular but I can't seem to find the answers to these
questions anywhere.

Thanks in advance! Great video, again.

Автор Bruno Stepanenco ( назад)
Simply the most awesome review i ever seen! I was going to buy a Ipad Mini
to keep using Notes Plus app (theres a bunch of similar stuff to one note,
can you watch it and tell me what you think please?),but after this video
im really thinking about buying a surface pro 2! It is possible to write
regular text from keyboard plus handwriting at the same page? It is easy?
Thank you so much :D

Автор Yep Meagain ( назад)
and which version of onenote is this 2013 or 365 ?

Автор IPenguDesigner ( назад)

Автор Sergio D. ( назад)
The best review of OneNote on Surface tablet I've seen! If not too much to
ask, can you please give us the tablet's tech spec [RAM, SSD]. And which
version of Surface Pro is this ... Original [first version] or newer?
Thanks Fadi!

Автор Andreas Krause ( назад)
Great review, thank you.

Автор Patrick Rodler ( назад)
Hi Fadi, thanks for this very nice demonstration!! It helped me a great
deal in estimating the opportunities of the surface pro and the onenote
application! Well done!! Greetings, Patrick

Автор johnsmith234543 ( назад)
Thank you so much, I couldn't have asked for a better demonstration of

Автор Fillduck ( назад)
This is truly incredible, I'm planning to get the Pro 2 and this hardware +
software combo is going to be awesome for my studies in the University.

Автор DarkSkies33 ( назад)
Nice tutorial, this will come in handy once my Thinkpad Yoga come in.

Автор Bruce Hammond ( назад)
Thank you for your review. Very well done. I already have one, but this was
so helpful in learning how to better use it.

Автор Stephanie Phoa ( назад)
Hi Fadi thanks for the great, in depth review. I'm considering the Surface
Pro 2 as a laptop replacement and still have questions. One reason I'd like
the surface is that I do a lot of research reading and it can act as an
ebook and it would be more comfortable reading while taking notes in
vertical orientation. However I also do a lot of writing and extensive web
surfing. As a graduate student yourself, do you think the small screen size
of the surface pro is comfortable enough to be doing these sort of work as
a full laptop/desktop replacement? 

Автор MrElectrifyer ( назад)
Awesome video! Gonna share this with whichever numbskulls I come across
equating Ever Note as an alternative to OneNote.

Автор Hong Kong Kimdokwan ( назад)
Yes, I can change the fonts from PC, but I couldn't change it from

Please teach me how I can change the fonts from Smartphone.

Thank you.

Автор Hong Kong Kimdokwan ( назад)
Thank you for your introduction.
However, the fonts are too small,when i use it with my smartphone. it
should be at least 12 or adjustable.
If we can choose the fonts size it would be great. 

Автор Andrea Tulimiero ( назад)
The video I was looking for!

Автор theo wirt ( назад)
this is absolutely fantastic! i have used one note before but never to this
extent, thank you very much for the video. very helpful.

if anyone out there sees this comment, the surface pro 2 is the bomb.com if
you are a student that is facing many years of school!!

Автор Michael Judge ( назад)
Thanks so much for putting together this video. I am considering purchasing
a Surface Pro 2 for when I start my Comp Sci classes. Your video answered
all the questions I had regarding note taking on the device. Thanks.

Автор logins ( назад)
When I first read "topology" I was aware of what I would have found, (all
the math shit still scares me a bit) btw great review thats what I was
looking for!!
from an informatics engineering student

Автор dutt way ( назад)
Awesome video man..exactly what I was looking for - a full fledged PC in a
tablet format that has a digitizer for pen input. ^ ^ 

Автор teejmd91 ( назад)
thanks for this video man, really considering this as a uni student
(engineering) !

Автор Cary Davis ( назад)
Great video. Definitely the best demo of OneNote I've seen anywhere. I
was really curious how well the digitizer on the Surface Pro worked with
the app. You laid it all out beautifully, thank you. I'm not sure why
everyone's not using this program, it really is slick.

Автор Tee Guang Ying ( назад)
great review and it convince me to go for SP2! im a undergraduate student
and i find this device will be helpful!

Автор Hannah Walters ( назад)
This video is REALLY handy thank you!!! On a side note, has anyone ever
told you your voice sounds exactly like Hugh Dancy? I kept thinking I was
watching the Hannibal series. 

Автор Joe Kay ( назад)
Would i be able to actually type the notes up and use the pen to add some
extra detail?

Автор theglenlivet12 ( назад)
Hmmm, video looks choppy, but it might be just due to the record in
software and is not necessarily the fault of the surface pro

Автор Fadi E ( назад)
I don't believe Microsoft is planning on making a 4g version of the Surface
Pro. Only the Surface 2 (no pen, no desktop applications, much weaker
processor) will be coming out with a 4g version next year--unless I'm
mistaken. But you can stick a 64 gb sd card in for extra storage space if
you need it. Also, if you're planning on a Surface Pro 2, there is a 256 gb
version (which also has twice the ram). I'm hoping to upgrade to it in

Автор Fadi E ( назад)
I've made some pretty big pages in OneNote, and I've never run out of room
up, down, left, or right. I'm not sure what the theoretical limits are,
though. Also keep in mind that if you export such a massive page to pdf, it
would be broken up into multiple pages.

Автор Conor OKeefe ( назад)
I am a contractor interested in a tablet for sales. I envision creating a
template in onenote to speed up gathering job specs during estimates. The
ability to add pictures of the job and edit photos with the pen would be a
nice plus. I'm trying to figure out if I should wait for the 4g version or
get a wifi version now. If I went with the wifi version only, would I have
to save the onenote files locally first and then backup later to sky drive
when wifi is available? What would you recommend?

Автор reubensugars ( назад)
When you say no limit, do you mean it would mesh multiple pages into one to
make it seem like its endless, thus having no actual limit, or do you mean
it has a limit, just so ridiculously large that nobody using the software
in its indented manner would ever reach it(see:excel)?

Автор Brandon Vivero ( назад)
Man great video you really convinced I am to getting the SP2 the was a
really awesome demonstration just the type of video that I needed thanks

Автор Fadi E ( назад)
I bought the desktop version for $50. The stripped-down metro version is
free to download from the windows 8 store, but it lacks certain
functionality that I needed (like screen clippings). I don't need--so
didn't bother buying--any other Microsoft office product.

Автор ning yaake ( назад)
impressive device, did you buy one note or it came preinstalled and how
much did you pay to buy one note for the tablet and windows office? 

Автор mackncheesiest ( назад)
Thank you for this fantastic video. I don't understand why nobody, not even
Microsoft, ever seems to talk about the killer feature (in my opinion
anyway) of the Surface Pro: the included pen with separate Wacom digitizer.
I wanted to find a good video that demonstrated all the uses of the pen as
it's the one major difference between my current laptop and the Pro, and
I'm so glad I found this video. I can't understand why Microsoft doesn't
advertise this more, but thank you for this video

Автор terrywy28 ( назад)
This is amazing. I'd used onenote a little bit before, haivng heard about
how great it was. Can't wait to explore all the potential with a stylus.
SP2, here I come!

Автор Erick Tavares ( назад)
wow, the only note taking program I new before looking at this whas the
snote from samsung; but the one note seems sooo advanced compared to snote!
it is clearly much much better

Автор Melvynn Fernandez ( назад)
Hi can you try the free trial for camtasia recorder 8? I have it right now
for my windows and it does not lag at all when recording, I use a wacom
tablet input though. 

Автор Godsaw ( назад)
great video! Will you be getting the new SP2? Im debating with myself if i
should get the first or the seconde one. Im kind of on a budget.

Автор ksmith3200 ( назад)
Thank you!!!! I currently own a Samsung note 10.1 and it has some great
features but it also has flaws. However after viewing this video the
surface pro has everything that I was looking for in a tablet that will
assist me as a student. I'm going to return this tablet and wait for the
surface pro 2

Автор Miguel Crespo ( назад)
Microsoft should pay you for this video, this video convince me to buy a
surface pro. Thanks for the great video, I am sure you are a great teacher.

Автор massivmojo ( назад)
Hello, I have a question: When my professor uploaded a pdf made from his
OneNote lecture notes, the text was jumbled up in places, and it cut off
the pages sometimes in the middle of letters. Can you set OneNote on the
Surface Pro (i have no experience with OneNote in general) to create only
fixed sized pages, so that it's easier to archive and print them? Since
handling large Databanks on a machine is very comfortable, but looking
through small amount of pages is more comfortable on paper.

Автор Fadi E ( назад)
I made this recording using BB Express (it's free). You can just google it
and download. You can set it to record a window, a portion of the screen,
or the full screen (it'll also record what's going on the metro start menu
as well as the desktop, if you like).

Автор Yong Deng ( назад)
Your video sold me on Surface Pro 2. I have 2 question: 1) what screen
software would you recommend if I want to make similar video? 2)did you use
any another camera/camcorder to make this video? I ask these questions
because as a teacher of mathematics, I also want to make video for my own
students. Thanks.

Автор Kevin Peters ( назад)
I am a physics student and I am totally sold on OneNote and the Surface Pro
(2) now. Really, I have been look for exactly this video. Till today I was
about to buy the new Galaxy Note 10.1 because I thought the S-Pen and
S-Note was great but now I get to see that this weird program that I never
used before has more power than I'd ever wish from the Note to have. Thank
you very much for this perfect demonstration. It's a little sad that the
regular Surface doesn't come with a digitizer though. 

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