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How to use Google Cursive and can it replace Microsoft One Note?

Google Cursive is like a basic version of Microsoft OneNote. It was introduced as a Progressive Web Application (PWA) in 2021, debuting alongside the HP Chromebook x2 11. This app is already installed on the best Google Chromebooks that have touchscreen capabilities. In its most straightforward form, Cursive lets you use your Chromebook’s stylus for jotting down handwritten notes. But it doesn’t stop there; it offers some cool extras like the ability to highlight and erase text, sync your notes with your Google account, and even export them as PDFs, among other nifty features.

Cursive is exclusively designed for Chromebooks, so if you’re on a PC or Mac, you’re out of luck. But don’t fret! If you don’t have a Chromebook, you can still enjoy similar and powerful note-taking features with Google Keep. If you’re looking for a quicker and more convenient way to make, tweak, and manage your notes, here’s how you can do it with Google Cursive.

Is Google Cursive similar to Microsoft One Note?

Google Cursive operates in a similar way to Microsoft OneNote, but it keeps things simple, and its interface is more user-friendly. One significant contrast is that Cursive is exclusively for Chromebooks. If you don’t have one, you’re out of luck with this app. In contrast, OneNote is accessible on a wide range of devices, including Android, iOS, and computers.

From Cursive’s Home menu, you have the freedom to create multiple notebooks and neatly arrange your notes within them. When you start a new note, you can choose to use the pen tool for writing on your screen using a stylus. But don’t worry, you can always switch to using your fingers if that’s your preference or you don’t have a stylus handy.

The note app also supports some handy gestures, like circling text to move it around, drawing horizontal lines to adjust line spacing, and scribbling over text to delete it. If you make a mistake, you can easily rectify it by either using the eraser or simply tapping the undo and redo buttons for a quicker fix.

Also read: How to remove an image from Google Photos? Yes, it’s possible!

How to install Cursive app on Chromebook

Google Cursive is exclusively for folks using Chromebooks – you won’t find it on any other gadgets. If you’ve got a compatible Chromebook, lucky you! It probably already comes with Cursive ready to roll. But if it’s not there, no worries, you can grab it from the web. Now, if you’re not too keen on installing the app, just open up the Chrome browser, and you can access Cursive online.
But here’s the catch: if you try to use Cursive on a different device, Google will politely suggest you switch to a Chromebook for the best experience, and it’ll let you peek at the web app, but just in read-only mode.

Also, to keep your notes in sync with your Google account, Cursive needs you to be connected to the internet. However, you can still use it on your Chromebook even when you’re offline, which can help save your data. And as soon as you switch your mobile data back on, Cursive will automatically hook back up to your account. Easy peasy!

  • Launch Google Chrome and navigate to
  • Locate the Install icon in the upper-right corner, right next to the address bar.
  • Simply click on Install to confirm and proceed.

Steps to use Google Cursive on Chromebook

Once you’ve got Google Cursive all set up, just fire it up, and you’re ready to put your stylus to work for handwriting, editing, and sorting your notes. The cool thing is, you can use gestures, which means you don’t have to keep clicking tools to edit text. However, remember that gestures are linked to the mode you’re in. If you’re using Stylus mode, gestures won’t respond if you try to use your fingers for them.

  • Tap the Launcher icon located at the lower-left corner of your home screen.
  • Choose Cursive from your list of Apps.
  • Inside the app’s Home menu, click on “New note.”
  • Put your stylus to work and start handwriting on your screen.
  • To create a new note later on, simply click the stylus icon found at the lower-right corner of your home screen, and then select “Create note.”

How to organize notes with Google Cursive

  • Within the Home menu of Google Cursive, tap on “New notebook.”
  • Enter a name for your notebook and choose a color.
  • Click “Create Notebook.”
  • Under the note, click the three-dot icon.
  • Choose “Add to notebook.”
  • Pick a notebook to relocate the note into.

Also read: Want to change or remove photo metadata? Here’s how to do it

Can Google Cursive be used on other devices?

While Google Cursive is designed specifically for Chromebooks, you can play a little trick on the Chrome browser to make it think you’re using one. By doing this, you get full access to all the note-taking goodies and features. Just keep in mind that this workaround involves some tinkering in Chrome’s Developer Tools, and it’s not an option for mobile devices.

To enjoy all of Cursive’s awesome features, make sure to leave the Developer menu open. If you happen to close it, Chrome will switch the website to read-only mode. If the menu is taking up too much space on your screen, you can tweak its size. Just remember, this setting doesn’t stick around forever, so you’ll need to redo it every time you want to use Cursive on a non-Chromebook computer.

  • Open Chrome on any computer and head to
  • To access Chrome’s menu, click the three-dot icon located in the upper-right corner.
  • From the menu, navigate to More Tools > Developer Tools.
  • The Developer Tools panel will pop up on the right side of your Chrome window. In the Network section, click the Wi-Fi symbol with a gear icon to access additional network conditions.
  • In the User Agent section, unmark the checkbox next to “Use browser default” and select “Chrome – Chrome OS” from the dropdown menu.
  • Refresh the page to reload the app in Chrome.