Skip to main content

OneNote for Windows 10 will soon create perfect shapes from your hand-drawn shapes

OneNote lets its users not only take hand-written notes and store them for use later, but it can handle hand-drawn shapes as well. In November, a new OneNote feature that will be added to the Windows 10 version of the app will turn those hand-drawn shapes into perfect versions of themselves.

OneNote Shapes

Microsoft said the upcoming Ink Shape Recognition mode will work with over a dozen shapes, such as circles, squares and triangles, all the way up to quadrilaterals, pentagons and hexagons. It added:

"To turn on Ink Shape Recognition, just tap the new Convert to Shapes button on the Draw tab. Once enabled, simply draw shapes with your pen (or press the button to the left of Convert to Shapes to draw with mouse or touch) and watch as your shapes automatically are converted into better-looking versions of themselves! It's great for everything from basic flowcharts and mind maps to Venn diagrams. We know teachers will be eager to try shape recognition out for Math class!"

In addition to the Windows 10 version, Microsoft will add Ink Shape Recognition as a feature to OneNote for the iPad.

Download OneNote from the Windows Store (opens in new tab)

Source: Office blogs (opens in new tab)

62 Comments
  • Nice
  • So entirely off topic but i had to mention this..today iPhone 6 pre-booking stall was opened right at our office premises and this happened when I tried to talk with the rep:
    Me: Why should I bother buying iphone when wp has interesting features like continuum coming up?
    Rep:what's that?
    Me: Continuum allows you to connect your phone to your pc using just a single dock and your phone is replicated in the pc.
    Rep: Oh that feature has already been there iphone for past 2yrs. There is an app in store that has that feature. Microsoft just recently copied from the app and they are presenting it as their innovation. Remember, all innovations happens at Apple. Rest everyone else copies.
    Me: Roll my eyes and walk out.
  • That person would be definitely Joshua from The Verge.
  • I would like to know which is that app..
  • Oh come on, do you think Apple would just sweep it off like its nothing if it really was a copy?
  • You were supposed to say that continuum makes your phone into a pc like experience whilst you can use your phone normally at the same time. He thought you meant projecting the phone screen onto a monitor. Which has also been available on wp for 2 years lol
  • You said replicated your phone on a PC, that's the thing. Continuum allows your phone to have a PC like experience with just a monitor. BTW the guy sounds like a iSheep ignore those types a guys.
  • Tm Cook already confirmed couple weeks ago that they won't merge iOS and OSX.  So there won't be Continuum on iPhone.  Even they do, they would call it something else and declare that they have invented it.
  • Sweeeeet
  • A badly needed, long overdue feature.
  • We badly need Surface Pen support on L950XL.
  • Can't wait. This is something I will definitely use
  • So if I draw an apple it will change it to a window, right?
  • Ok, that made me LOL
  • It will "reinvent" to a "magical" Window......a.k.a. copy lol
  • Bwahahaha. You made my day man! :)
  • Best comment on here in weeks, thanks for the laugh!
  • Hahaha good one!
  • Finally! So glad.
  • iPad will get this first before Windows PC, next iOS and Android will get this before Windows phone.
  • onenote for ipad already has this feature. MS already showed it at apple event.
  • Right.
  • Yes you're right. The article should have mentioned it though. I'm sure this will result in people preferring the iPad over Surface or any other Windows device seeing that Microsoft takes care of rival platforms and devices more than their own, and this eventually lead to the death of Windows.
  • I've started to take all my notes in university on my Surface Pro 3 with the OneNote app so this will come in extremely handy. Looking forward to it!
  • Hows that working for you? are you handwriting or typing words? Note taking is one of the main reasons I'm getting a surface 4 over any other tablet (theres a handful of other reasons too) I'm hoping that I'm making the right choice.
  • I'm handwriting and it works like a charm. Actually, there are a few minor glitches on the OneNote app sometimes but nothing that isn't always resolved with a simple (and fast) restart of the app. Just takes me five seconds overall to return writing where I was whenever that happens. Hand writing is faster than on paper (due to the reduced friction), without lag, responsive, reliable (a bit less so on the edges of the screen but since you can move the canvas freely it's a non-issue) and looks great, too. I can only imagine it being better on the Surface Pro 4. Frankly I cannot imagine any reason you would regret getting a Surface Pro 4 for note-taking. ^^
  • Awesome, thanks for the reply. I'll probably end up with one in like March, sounds like it's going to be everything I want it to be.
  • No problem. I wish you the best with it. :) I'm almost 100% sure you won't regret it.
  • Plus, the more you use it the better and easier it gets. Seems to improve in recognition of your handwriting. On the SP4 it will be great. I also saw a video on YouTube where the student also recorded the lesson in the OneNote app by video. That's cool and can be stored for future playback. I think you may? be able to search the video recording, but not sure. Would be worth checking out though :)
  • I didn't even think abou tthe handwriting recognition. I might have the worst handwriting in the world so it was always an after thought for me hahaha. Can't wait to try it out, gotta wait for taxes to be done first. Gonna be awesome for meetings and having everything right at my fingertips.
  • When I was trying the new Surface devices in the store, I ran into this problem where the OneNote app will not launch by the click of the pen/eraser (new pens). It happened on both SP4 and Surface Book. Not sure if it's HW or OS/driver issue. Also the tablet went into not responding to touch at all. Have you experienced this?
  • No issues with the pen on my SP3.
  • Yay! I also take university notes on my sp3! It's nice to not carry a paper pad roind anymore :)
  • It's fantastic. :) You're also much more flexible writing on a digital canvas than on paper. I can recommend it to anyone.
  • Agreed
  • It's worth it for the money, the amount you can get out of a surface, it should cost the price of a mac book and iPad pro combined... Because it does all of those things... And does them better ;)
  • Look into switching to the OneNote 2016 desktop app.  I've got nothing against WinRT/ W10 apps in general, but the OneNote app is so limited that it seriously just doesn't make any sense to use. As an example of something relevant to a student that you might want to do - in the desktop version, you can record your professor's lecture and take notes simultaneously... and the two remain connected.  If you want to hear the part of the lecture around where you wrote your third line?  Press the play button there and it'll jump to that point in the audio.  Or if you want to follow along with your notes while you listen to the lecture?  Just hit play and it'll highlight which things you wrote/drew when.
  • You said replicated your phone on a PC, that's the thing. Continuum allows your phone to have a PC like experience with just a monitor. BTW the guy sounds like a iSheep ignore those types a guys.
  • I just wish OneNote in Windows 10 mobile is as fluid as the one in Windows 10. Then I could finally enjoy all these new features.
  • It just got updated today... It's getting much better... Remember, MS has time because WM isn't yet official.. Only a minuscule amount of people in the world use WM10 right now, so it's no big deal.. It'll work fine upon "completion".
  • Don't count on it. To Microsoft W10M is an option, not a priority.
  • onenote for ipad already has this feature. MS already showed it at apple event.
  • Can you have handwriting in the WP app, or is it just typed text?
  • Just typed text so far.
  • Thought so. Needs to change!
  • Now, *this* is cool!
  • Don't listen to them, hand-drawn shapes. You don't need to be perfect to be happy. Your imperfections make you beautiful.
  • What about the desktop program?
  • do you know about any solution for creating wireframes by hand (with object recognition) on Windows? like mac omnigraffle. I need it desparately, it is actualy the reason why i have bought the windows surface 3 pro with pen, but there is no tool, that can do you can easiyl do in omnigraffle - so this object resolution, but with all object that are relevant to wireframing and with other needed features (layers, links, grouping, projects ...)
  • Ipad
  • It's the radial menu they should bring back to OneNote, not shape recognition !!
  • Cool new addition as long as they also bring new functionality like these to Office Mobile (modern UWP) apps.
  • cool. It's not a new technology/feature in windows programs. But good its coming to OneNote mobile finally. Another feature crossed out my wish list for OneNote and windows 10. Awesome!
  • I find OneNote very hard to use. When I make a screenshot with OneNote on the desktop and then draw comments on them, and then insert text or other stuff above the image or between images everything goes to hell. Comments don't stick to the underlying pictures which is very bad. Arrows suddenly point to wrong things and so on.. You have to be so careful not to fuck op your notes in OneNote. Very cumbersome.
  • So it's little bit like illustrator. Hmm interesting :D
  • I want hand drawing mode in ON mobile. Even if manual activation will be required
  • Instead of jerking around with useless gimmicks.. fix the fact that scanning directly into one note, one of its most important features for people that use it for seroius woek... is missing from the 2016 vesrions....
  • Just for the app??? Why not for the full OneNote 2016 application?????
  • scanning in onenote is missing from the full onenote 2016 desktop program.... digitazing a document to one note is a lot more work without the function.
  • When will this be brought to PowerPoint Mobile? They showed it off on the iPad Pro, let's see it on the Surface Pro as well. :)
  • One of the biggest problems with OneNote is that it doesn't sync in the background, it only syncs when it is opened. Sure syncing in background will eat up the battery but at least there should be an option.
  • My old Note 10.1 has this feature in S-Notes.  Microsoft, step up your game and bring these things to the party sooner.  Maybe when you see Marty McFly today, tell him to visit MS HQ when he gets back to the 80s and get them rolling on this earlier.  Does anyone know how S-Note for windows is on Surface?  If it's not as good as on Android, I'm going to have to stick with my Notes