macOS High Sierra

Write and format notes

You can write notes and change the formatting in a note—for example, change the font size or alignment, or make text bold. If you’re using upgraded iCloud notes, or your notes are stored on your Mac, you can also apply paragraph styles, add checklists, and specify the paragraph style that’s used when you start typing a new note.

Open Notes for me

Write a new note

  1. In the sidebar, click the folder where you want to put the note.

  2. Click the New Note button in the toolbar (or use the Touch Bar).

  3. Type your note. You can use typing suggestions, if available.

    The first line of the note becomes the note’s title. You can change how the first line is formatted in Notes preferences.

Ask Siri. Say something like: “Create a note.” Learn more about Siri.

Edit a note

  1. Click a note in the notes list. To find it quickly, search for notes.

  2. In the note text, select the text you want to edit, or click where you want to add text, then make your changes.

Ask Siri. Say something like: “Add ‘milk’ to my note.”  Learn more about Siri.

Copy and paste text

  • Copy all the text in a note: Click anywhere in the note text, choose Edit > Select All (or Command-A), then choose Edit > Copy (or Command-C).

  • Paste text: Choose Edit > Paste (or Command-V).

    While some formatting is retained when you paste, the original font and color may not be retained.

  • Paste text using the surrounding style: Choose Edit > Paste and Match Style.

    The style information is ignored from the clipboard and the text is pasted with the surrounding styles applied.

  • Paste text using the original style: Choose Edit > Paste and Retain Style.

    The style information stays with the copied text and the text is pasted with the original style applied.

You can also use Universal Clipboard to copy text, images, photos, and video on one Apple device, then paste the content on another Apple device.

Add or change a list

You can add bulleted, dashed, and numbered lists to notes. If you’re using upgraded iCloud notes or notes stored on your Mac, you can also turn existing lines of text into a list.

  • Add a list: Click at the beginning of a line, then do one of the following:

    • Type an asterisk followed by a space.

    • Type a hyphen followed by a space.

    • Type a number and period followed by a space.

    • Click the Format button , then choose Bulleted List, Dashed List, or Numbered List. (You can also use the Touch Bar.)

  • Add to a list: Click at the end of a list item, then press Return.

  • End a list (and add a new paragraph): Click at the end of the last line item, then press Return twice.

  • Increase list level: Click a line in the list, then press Tab.

  • Decrease list level: Click a line in the list, then press Shift-Tab.

    Tip: If you want to insert a tab character in a list item, click where you want to insert the tab, then press Option-Tab.

  • Add a line break (soft return) to a list item: Press Control-Return at the end of a list item to start a new line without starting a new list item.

Add or change a checklist

Note: To add a checklist or turn existing lines into a checklist, you must be using upgraded iCloud notes or notes stored on your Mac.

  • Add a checklist: Click at the beginning of a line, then click the Checklist button (or use the Touch Bar).

    After you make a checklist, click the circles to mark items as complete.

  • Convert paragraphs into a checklist: Select the lines you want to turn into a checklist, then click the Checklist button .

  • Add to a checklist: Click at the end of checklist item, then press Return.

  • End a checklist (and add a new paragraph): Click at the end of the last checklist item, then press Return twice.

  • Add a line break (soft return) to a checklist: Press Control-Return at the end of a checklist to start a new line without starting a new checklist.

Format text

In addition to making specific formatting changes to text, you can also apply a style—such as heading or body—to quickly format a paragraph.

Note: To use paragraph styles, you must be using upgraded iCloud notes or notes stored on your Mac.

  • Change the formatting of selected text (such as changing a phrase to bold): Select some text, choose Format > Font, then choose an option (or use the Touch Bar).

  • Change text alignment: Click anywhere in the text you want to change, choose Format > Text, then choose an option.

  • Change text font, strikethrough, size, and more: Select some text, Control-click the text and choose Font > Show Fonts, then use the Fonts window to make changes.

  • Apply a paragraph style to a paragraph: Click anywhere in the text you want to format, click the Format button , then choose a style.

  • Change the default title paragraph style: Choose Notes > Preferences, click the “New notes start with” pop-up menu, then choose an option.

Create or update web links

  • Create a link: Type a URL, and it becomes a link automatically. (If it doesn’t, make sure smart links is turned on: Choose Edit > Substitutions > Smart Links.)

    If you don’t want to use the URL as the link text, select the text that you do want to use, choose Edit > Add Link, then type or paste the URL.

  • Edit a link: Control-click the link, choose Edit Link, then change the URL.

  • Remove a link: Control-click the link, then choose Remove Link. The text remains, but is no longer an active link.

  • Verify a link: Click the link.

You can see suggested spellings for words, add frequently used words or terms to a dictionary, or choose dictionaries for specific languages. For more information, see Check spelling and grammar.