Microsoft OneNote – Background disappears when applying highlight.

I had an end user come to me one day with a rather bizarre behavior in Microsoft OneNote. They had dropped an image into a OneNote page and wanted to highlight certain text. When they enabled the highlight tool, as if by magic, the image in the background that they were trying to apply the highlight vanished.

As soon as they released the mouse button, the highlighting they applied remained and the background image reappeared.

The fix was surprisingly straightforward and reminiscent of the old days of Windows Media Player not playing certain content.

  1. Open up Microsoft OneNote;
  2. Go to File > Options;
  3. Select Advanced from the left hand side;
  4. Scroll down to the Display settings section;
  5. Tick the box marked Disable hardware graphics acceleration.

That’s it. The image will now stay visible when applying a highlight.