Ipad Pro Notes Formatting HeroSource: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore

While using the Notes app for iPhone and iPad to get down a quick thought or two is great, the formatting options for the app help make it a more versatile text editing app. You can bold, italicize, and underline your text, sure, but you can also create lists of items, checklists, and even add tables to your notes.

Here's how you can use the formatting options to spice up your notes.

How to create titles and headings in Notes

You can easily add titles and headings to your notes to give them a more formal style and make everything easier to organize.

  1. Launch Notes on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap the New Note button in the bottom right corner.
  3. Tap the Aa icon, which opens the text formatting menu.

    Create titles and headings in Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing steps: Launch Notes, tap New Note, tap the Aa button for formattingSource: iMore

  4. Tap Title for the next text you type will be formatted as a title.
  5. Tap Heading for the next text you type will be formatted as a heading.
  6. Double-tap a single word or triple-tap to select all text that you want to reformat as a title or heading, then follow steps 4-5 to reformat it.

    Create titles and headings in Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing steps: Tap Title, Tap Heading, select text you want to make either title or heading and apply formattingSource: iMore

If you use a title or heading in a note, pressing the return key on your iPhone or iPad's keyboard will automatically format new text after that point as "body" text. So, if you want to go from, for instance, a title to a heading, remember that you'll need to choose the Heading format from the formatting menu.

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How to automatically start new notes with a title or heading

Of course, you can automatically begin each new note with a title or heading if you wish.

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Notes.

    Automatically start new notes with a title or heading on Notes on iPhone or iPad by showing steps: Launch Settings, tap NotesSource: iMore

  3. Tap New Notes Start With.
  4. Choose between Title, Heading, Subheading, or Body.

    Automatically start new notes with a title or heading in Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing steps: Tap New Notes Start With, and then tap Title, Heading, or BodySource: iMore

How to format lists in notes

In Notes, you can choose from three different types of lists to keep everything in order.

  1. Launch Notes on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap the New Note button in the bottom right corner.
  3. Tap the Aa icon, which opens the text formatting menu.

    Format lists in Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing steps: Launch Notes, tap New Note, tap the Aa button for formattingSource: iMore

  4. Tap on the list format you'd like to use. Choose from either dashed, numbered, or bulleted.
  5. Type out your list.

    Format lists in Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing steps: Choose from dashed list, numbered list, or bullet point listSource: iMore

How to bold, italicize, underline, and apply strikethrough in Notes

Emphasize the text of your notes by bolding, italicizing, or underlining it.

  1. Launch Notes on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap an existing note, or Create New Note.

    Apply formatting to text in Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing steps: Launch Notes, tap New Note or select existing noteSource: iMore

  3. Tap on the empty space or select text that you wish to change by double-tapping or tapping and holding.
  4. Tap the right arrow in the pop-up menu.
  5. Tap the B I U icon in the pop-up.
  6. Tap either Bold, Italic, Underline, or Strikethrough to format your text the way you want.

    Apply bold, italics, underline, or strikethrough in Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing steps: Select text, tap right arrow on pop-up, tap BIU button, tap preferred formattingSource: iMore

  7. If you're starting new text but want it emphasize what you're about to type from that point forward, just tap the Aa button above the keyboard.
  8. Tap your preferred format style.

    Apply bold, italics, underline, and strikethrough to text in Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing steps: Tap the Aa button while typing, then choose your format preferenceSource: iMore

How to create a checklist in Notes

Create a quick shopping or to-do list with the checklist format.

  1. Launch Notes on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap the New Note button in the bottom right corner.

    Create a checklist in Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing steps: Launch Notes, tap New Note or select existing noteSource: iMore

  3. Tap the checklist icon to create a checklist entry.
  4. Tap return once to create another entry.
  5. Double-tap return when you're done making your checklist to start using standard body text.
  6. Tap the checklist bullet point to check it off. Tap it again to uncheck the item.

    Create a checklist in Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing steps: Tap the checkmark button, type in text, tap return on keyboard to add another line to the checklist or tap return twice to exit, tap circle to check item offSource: iMore

How to add a table to a note

Tables are a more recent feature, and they let you lay your data out so that it's easier to read.

  1. Launch Notes on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap the New Note button in the bottom right corner or enter an existing note.

    Add a table to a note in Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing steps: Launch Notes, tap New Note or select existing noteSource: iMore

  3. Tap the table button in the formatting bar.
  4. Tap the More buttons on either the top or the side of one of the left-most cells (buttons look like three dots). The top More button controls columns, while the side More button controls rows.

    Add a table to Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing steps: Tap Table, then tap the "More" dots on the top or left of the tableSource: iMore

  5. Choose Add Column or Delete Column from the top More button to add or delete a column.
  6. Choose Add Row or Delete Row from the side More button to add or delete a row.

    Add a table to Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing steps: Tap the More dots on columns or rows to add or delete columns or rowsSource: iMore

  7. Enter your data into the table.
  8. Tap the table button again to bring up several options you can take for the table object.

    Add a table to a note in Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing steps: Tap the Tables icon in the toolbar to bring up different actions to take on the tableSource: iMore

You can get more information about tables in our handy guide to using tables in Notes.

Questions

If you've got any more questions about formatting your notes, let us know in the comments.

Update June 2020: Updated for iOS 13.

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