Last week, Microsoft quietly rolled out a new feature to its OneNote note-taking app on Windows. This new ability improves accessibility and allows users to have a distraction-free experience when creating their notes.
Known as Pen Focused View, the tool provides a way to take notes with a digital pen without any distractions. Essentially, in these situations, Microsoft OneNote will now switch to a full-page view automatically.
In this mode, the app will display important tools that help with pen notes, such as custom pens, colors, and so on. However, users can opt to hide the Pen toolbar when in Pen Focused View. There is a toggle for this in the top right corner.
It is clear this feature has been developed with an eye on Microsoft's own Surface devices, hence the rich support for the Surface Pen. However, Microsoft points out the feature is available across Windows, which means other PCs and stylus/pen products.
Even so, this tool integrates more seamlessly with the Surface Pen. For example, when the pen is undocked, the Surface PC will automatically switch to Pen Focused View without the user needing to evoke it. If you don't want that to happen, it is possible to disable it via File > Options > Advanced and toggling off the “Switch to focused inking when the pen is undocked” option.
It is also worth noting this feature is currently in preview for OneNote users running Office Insider Program Version 2210 (Build 15724.10000) or newer. Microsoft does not say when Pen Focused View will reach all OneNote users on Windows.
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