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How to Insert Excel into OneNote 365

OneNote 365 is a great place to keep your life and your work organized and easy to find. Instead of needing to remember the file path where your Excel spreadsheet is located, you might want to have access to your spreadsheet right in your notes. The good news for us is OneNote made this super easy and gave us multiple options for doing so in both Windows 10 and 11! You could even incorporate this into your OneNote templates!

So, how do you insert Excel into OneNote 365? You can easily find this option in OneNote by on the "Insert" tab and then clicking on "Spreadsheet". From here you will be given the option to choose "Existing Excel Spreadsheet" or "New Excel Spreadsheet".

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to insert or create an Excel spreadsheet in OneNote 365 and what to do if your spreadsheet is not updating in OneNote on Windows 10 and Windows 11.


It's important to note that while you can attach an XSLS file on the OneNote web app version, you cannot insert a visual spreadsheet like you can on the desktop version.


Find out how to insert an Excel Spreadsheet to OneNote on Windows 10!

How to Add an Existing Excel Spreadsheet to OneNote

If you choose Existing Excel Spreadsheet from the drop down list, your file explorer will open to select the spreadsheet you would like to insert into the page.

Once you have selected the file, you will see a popup box that asks if you want to do one of the following:

  • Attach File

  • Insert Spreadsheet

  • Insert a Chart or Table

If you select Attach File, you will see a simple thumbnail of your excel file.

As a side note, if you right-click on the thumbnail, you can rename the file. Additionally, double-clicking the thumbnail will open the file in Excel.

If you select Insert Spreadsheet, you will see a thumbnail to open your spreadsheet directly and the visual output of your actual spreadsheet right on the page.

If you click on the visual output of the spreadsheet, you will see an edit button. Clicking Edit will open the spreadsheet in Excel so you can work on it there. Currently, OneNote does not allow you to edit the spreadsheet directly on OneNote.

Last but not least, what you you want to insert only the table or only the chart into your spreadsheet? No worries!

There are two ways to do this. If you added your spreadsheet using the Insert Spreadsheet (which means the entire sheet displays like the screenshot above), simply right click on the spreadsheet and click on Select What to Display. On the popup window, you can select exactly which sheet and which tables or charts you would like to display.

However, if from the Insert Tab > Spreadsheet > Existing Excel Spreadsheet option you selected Insert a Chart or Table you will immediately see the popup box that allows you to select from which sheet and which tables or charts you would like to display.

If I decide that I only want to display the chart in the example above, I would select Chart 2 (Votes) and my chart would be inserted by itself into the OneNote page (along with the file thumbnail for easy access to the Excel spreadsheet).

How to Create an Excel Spreadsheet in OneNote

This is a really neat feature that OneNote has added! Let's say you're writing your notes out on the OneNote page and then decide that this would really be much better organized on a sheet.

While this won't add your content to the sheet automatically, it will create a sheet using the name of your page in OneNote so that you can organize your data and display the sheet in your notes

To do this, simply go to the Insert Tab and click on Spreadsheet. From the dropdown menu, click on New Excel Spreadsheet.

Once the new blank sheet is added to your page, you can open the file by double-clicking on the thumbnail.

You can also open the spreadsheet in Excel by clicking on the table and then clicking Edit.

What to do if OneNote Excel Spreadsheet is Not Updating

Occasionally, you might notice that after making changes to your spreadsheet in Excel, the visual of your sheet on OneNote is outdated.

If the spreadsheet on OneNote is not updating, make sure to first save your file in Excel so that the file is saved with the most current version.

Next, on the spreadsheet on OneNote, right-click to see the menu and then click Refresh. This should update your spreadsheet on OneNote so that it is displaying the most current information.


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