Troubleshoot when you can't insert a PDF Printout in Class Notebook

Here’s what to do if you receive this error message while inserting a PDF in OneNote 2016:

The file you have selected cannot be inserted as a Printout. There may be a problem with the file, or you may not have the right program installed. You must first install a program that can open and print this file type, and then try again.


Tip: Embedding a large printout file is not recommended if many people will be syncing your content.

Solution 1: Set Adobe Acrobat Reader as your default PDF viewer

  1. Install Adobe Acrobat Reader.

  2. Select the Start menu, then Settings.

  3. Select System.

  4. Select Default apps, then Set defaults by app.

  5. Choose Adobe Acrobat Reader from your list of apps, and then select Set this program as default.

  6. Click OK.

Solution 2: Print to OneNote from a PDF in a browser

  1. Open your PDF in Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome.

  2. Select File > Print, then Send to OneNote 2016.

  3. When prompted, select the section or page in OneNote where you’d like to insert the PDF printout.

  4. Click OK.

Learn more

Insert or attach files to notes

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