Box Notes: Overview and FAQs



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Box Notes is an easy-to-use document creation tool built natively in Box and available to all Box users (free, paid, business, enterprise, elite, ect.). With Box Notes, you can quickly take notes, share ideas and collaborate in real-time with your team—all without leaving Box. The notes are web-based documents and do not require any other software in order to create, view or edit.   



Creating Box Notes

Create new Box Notes from the Box web application. Just like any other type of document on Box, you’ll find your Box Notes in the folders were you added the new Box Note.

To create a new Box Note, follow this procedure:

  1. Navigate to the folder where you want to create the new Box Note.
  2. You can add a new Box Note using one of two options:
    • Click the New Note icon

    • Click New... > New Box Note.

      3.  Enter the name for this Box Note and add a description as required:


Your Box Note opens in a new tab or window in your browser.

   4.  Start entering details in your new Box Note.   5.  Make your additions or updates without worrying about hitting the save button, we’re autosaving for you.


Editing Box Notes

Open existing Box Notes from the Box web application to make edits. Just like any other type of document on Box, you’ll find your Box Notes in the folders where they were created. Clicking on the filename will open any of your Box Notes in a new tab or window in your browser. Make your edits without worrying about hitting the save button, we’re autosaving for you.

Formatting text in Box Notes

To change the way text is formatted in Box Notes, use the toolbar at the top. You can apply changes to existing text by selecting it before you use any of the tools or just start typing in the new style once you’ve selected your formatting options. Refer to the following diagram for specific formatting tools:


  1. Font Size: Select the size (small, medium, or large) from the dropdown list.
  2. Font Color: Select the required color block from the dropdown list.
  3. Font Style: Apply bold, italic, or underline styles.
    • Bold: Click the B icon to apply the bold style or use the Control (Command on Mac) and b keyboard shortcut.
    • Italic: Click the I icon to apply the italic style or use the Control/Command and i keyboard shortcut.
    • Underline: Click the U icon to apply the underline style or use the Control/Command and u keyboard shortcut.
  4. Bulleted Lists, Numbered Lists, or Check Lists: Click the bulleted icon to add a bulleted list; the numbered icon to add a numbered list; the checklist icon to add a check list to your note. Use the Tab key to further indent a list. 
  5. Text Alignment: Click the arrow to see options to align your text to the left, center, or right of the note.
  6. Insert Image: See: Inserting Images in Box Notes
  7. Insert Table: See: Using Tables in Box Notes


Printing Box Notes

To print using Box Notes, go to the Box Notes menu (this is the dropdown menu in the upper-left of the editor under the Box Notes logo) and choose Print from the menu.
Note: Printing using your operating system's File menu will not work correctly. This is because most browsers have difficulty determining the location of content within the Box Notes webpage.


5 Ways to Use Box Notes

Not sure where to start with Box Notes? See 5 ways to use a Box Note in action! Then, give each of them a try yourself and decide which one you like best.



Sharing Box Notes

Click the Share button in the upper-right corner to get a shared link to the Box Note. This provides the default access level of new shared links for your account, which for free users is Open and for business users has been set by your administrator.

You can share Box Notes with people who are collaborating in the folder where you’ve created a note. Send a shared link to give someone quick, read-only access or add collaborators to the folder where you’ve created Box Notes so they can edit Box Notes and leave comments or annotations. 

Multiple collaborators can make changes to Box Notes, simultaneously, without worrying about version control or overwritten content. Identifier icons follow each collaborator as he/she makes changes or selects text to annotate throughout the document. Identifier icons are usually a user’s profile picture, but, in the absence of profile pictures, a user’s initials are represented graphically.



Adding Links to Box Notes

Select the block of text you’d like to hyperlink and click the link icon from the toolbar that pops up under the selected line of text.

You can edit the link URL by hovering over the link and selecting either the edit icon on the left or the disable link icon on the right from the link toolbar.



Comments and Annotations in Box Notes

Comments can be applied to lines of text in the document, specifically, as annotations. Select the text you’d like to annotate and then click the annotation icon, on the left.

Enter your feedback and click the Add Annotation button. The text you’ve annotated will be highlighted with a yellow background and will show your annotation whenever another user rolls over the highlighted text. Text with multiple annotations will be highlighted in a brighter, deeper yellow. Annotations can only be left by collaborators with Editor or Co-owner access levels.

You can also leave a comment on the document, by using the comment button from the Files screen.

When hovering over an existing annotation, you can click Add Reply to respond to an existing annotation within the same text range. This action does not send an email notification, it appends additional text to the existing annotation.



Inserting Images in Box Notes

You can insert images into Box Notes by copying and pasting a shared link from an existing image on Box or to external images from any site. You can also choose to upload an image from your computer. Or, you can simply drag and drop an image into your Box Note. (Images from your computer will be uploaded into Box Notes Images > "Note Name" Images in the same folder where you created your Box Note).

To insert an image, follow this procedure:

  1. Open or create a Box Note where you would like to insert an image.
  2. Click the Insert Image button in the toolbar.

  3. Choose to Add image from your computer or to Add image from the web.
  4. Once you have chosen the file or pasted the link, the image appears in your Box Note.

Supported Image Formats

Box Notes supports the following image file types: .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .svg, .bmp, and .ico.

How Permissions are Handled for Images Stored in Box

We recommend placing any images you insert into a note, in the same Box folder as your Box Note. This ensures that the same set of collaborators always have access to both the note and the image. If you insert an image into a note that collaborators on the note do not have access to, then the image will not display for those collaborators.

Inserting an image does not change its permissions. The permissions on the shared link to the image continue to be respected even after it is inserted in a Box Note.



Using Tables in Box Notes

To insert a table into your Box Note, click on the table icon in the toolbar. 

A table will appear in your Box Note. Then, you can enter text into the table or format it to meet your needs. You can choose from the following formatting options: 

  1. Insert row below
  2. Insert row above
  3. Delete row
  4. Delete column
  5. Insert column left
  6. Insert column right

Other features that are available:

  • If you need to resize a column, you can hover over the side of the column you wish to move and drag it right or left as needed.
  • You can copy and paste tables within a note or between notes.



Box Notes Version History

While you're working in Box Notes, we automatically create saved versions roughly every 5 minutes or after 5 minutes of inactivity. You can access past versions by hovering over the word Saved in the toolbar and clicking View versions. A version history panel will open to the right of your Box Note with the current version at the top of the list. For each version, you will be able to see the date and time the version was saved and the editor associated with that version.
You can select any past version to view it, and you can click Restore Version for any of the past versions listed to make that version current. This action will not cause any history to be lost. The restored version will be added on to the existing version history as the current version.



How do Box Notes work in folders that have been synced?
There is currently no desktop version of Box Notes, so Box Sync does not sync notes down to the desktop.

Who can collaborate on my Box Note?
Collaborators and permission settings are determined at the folder level. So, your Box Note will automatically be available to anyone who can view the folder and will be editable by anyone with editor access to the folder.

How do I save a Box Note?
You don’t have to! Box Notes automatically save to Box every few seconds.

How do Box Notes work on Box mobile apps?
Box Notes is available on Box for iPad and iPhone v 3.2. See Box for iOS: Using Box Notes for more information.

We are currently working to build Box Notes into our Android application.

Are tables available on Box mobile apps?
Yes. The content in existing tables is editable, but it is not currently possible to create tables or change the table structure. On Android, tables are currently read-only.

How do I lock a Box Note while working on it?
You actually don’t need to! Box Notes was built so that many people can work in the document at the same time.

Is there a way to manually create a version?
No, not at this time.

What happens to version history if I copy or move a note?
If you move a note the version history is retained. If you copy a note, its version history is not retained.

How is this feature related to version history within the Box webapp?
They are separate features. The regular Box webapp version history has been disabled (hidden) for Box Notes.

Are annotations saved in past versions?

Is there a way to see who made what changes in a version?
Not at this time, although it is a likely future improvement.

Is version history available on mobile?
Not at this time.

What are the known limitations for Box Notes?
See Box Notes: Notices and Known Limitations.

Can I style text with strikethrough?
Yes. You can apply this style using a keyboard shortcut. You can find a list of all keyboard shortcuts by clicking the Box Notes menu (it's our logo) in the upper-left of the editor.

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