July, 2006

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    YES.com - Find out what you heard on the radio this morning


    I just read about YES.com which is a great tool to help you find out what you may have heard on the radio this morning.  Just some thoughts on this:

    1. I love it!  This reminds me of the Sprint service where you could do this before.  I even remember there was a place where you could hold the phone up to the speaker and it would figure it out.  This is all very cool.
    2. I love the UI on the site (see below). It is all very pretty and it just works pretty easily, zip then click on the station.  Then it ends up going to showing you minute by minute what was on the radio.  Plus the UI is just fun, I enjoy being @ this site.
    3. I don't like that is only works with iTunes.  It would be cool if there was a musicservice:// and then you could have more than one app use this instead of just iTunes and instead you could shop around.  Heck maybe Zune will be doing cool stuff like this, I don't know but I read Gizmodo waiting to find out!

    I really want them to do more mashups and show what is playing across the country and where.  I just wish there was more of this information out there, is this top 40 song more popular in one region compared to another?  How does the music spread?  I am afraid some of this information may not be as interesting any more as the music industry (ClearChannel) has consolidated and they are all together in one company and they broadcast in many markets.  Maybe they could should this 'spread' of music for smaller stations and public radio.  Who knows.

    Finally the UI which I love...

    See the stations overlaid over the zip-code (98052 for Redmond, WA)...and then here is what it looks like for your radio station:

    Just a shot out to my favourite radio station: C89.5 (Seattle's best radio station imho). 


    A final note on this post, they are getting their info from: MediaGuide.  I guess they are a provider of this information which is pretty interesting, I think even Windows Media Player uses them, quite interesting.

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Closing OneNote programmatically / OneNote Close API


    The other day I was in a conference call and someone asked if you could close OneNote via the API.  In fact you cannot do this via the API but when I was talking to some of the developers for the team they said that you could just send Windows messages to OneNote telling it to close.  Well I thought that sounded like a good idea.  I am no expert on how to program this so I set out this evening to learn how to do this and do it with C# since I think that is what most developers will be using to program with OneNote.


    I knew to start off looking for stuff about FindWindow which was in the user32.dll library and I knew about SendMessage as well but I wasn't sure how I was going to get this.  I first landed on this page: Kill any application with system menu using C# - The Code Project - C# Programming.  However this was if you knew the name of your application and the problem is that OneNote might have a few of them open so I had to keep searching.  I then went to MSDN: EnumWindows Function which looked promising since I wanted to use this.  However MSDN didn't have any code samples for this : (

    Then I ended up here Enumerating Windows which had some good information but not quite what I was looking for.  Then I found this page:Capturing the Running IE Instances in C#.  This had some great information.

    So I ended up with the following code, okay well I just found out that you can't easily post code on a blog...grrr this sucks.  Please get the file here: KillOneNote.

    If you have questions please let me know and I hope this works for you!

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    OneNote SimpleImporter with OneNote 2007


    I wanted to take a minute today and write about a change that will happen with the OneNote 2003 SimpleImporter in OneNote 2007. First of all we will be fully supporting the same API in the next release of OneNote so we will accept the OneNote 2003 XML as well as the OneNote 2007 XML. This also means that existing powertoys will work with OneNote 2007. These are all great things for our customers and if you are seeing any problems with this please let us know ASAP and log a bug on the OneNote Connect site.

    So what is the change you ask? As you might have noticed we changed the design of a OneNote page. We no longer have a page header and instead the page title is directly on the page in OneNote. This caused a small problem with the SimpleImporter from OneNote 2003 because by default it thought the best place to start the first outline was at 36, 36. This puts the outline right in the middle of the date & time on the page title in OneNote 2007. Instead we will be modifying the page offset in OneNote 2007 by a little bit (actually 72 now).

    This means that whenever you send something to OneNote using the SimpleImporter we will push the content down far enough so that it doesn't collide with the page title that is now on the page. We didn't have a default value but if any of you read Andrew May's blog posts you saw that it said 36, 36 and Donovan's DataImport used that value as well. I know people complained because it was hard to determine what to do correctly (find which version of OneNote was installed and then have two different code paths) and they said that OneNote should handle this correctly. I agreed with this feedback and made the change (with Dev & Test's help!).

    There might be some of you developers who are out there and are upset because they wanted exact positioning but you have to realize that you can still do this you just need to detect the right version of OneNote installed and then calculate the right offset that you want. We focused on the base case where most people were inserting content into OneNote and they didn't want it to collide with the title area. This was the most common scenario so we wanted to ensure that our shared customers wouldn't be upset from this.

    You won't see this in Beta2 but it will appear in later release of OneNote 2007 and the final version. If you have comments please let me know, but the key take away is that your powertoys for OneNote 2003 will continue to work in OneNote 2007 and you don't need to do anything special (unless you changed the default offset which is pretty uncommon). Thanks!

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Clip to OneNote from Firefox – Easy to create your own powertoy


    I love this Firefox extension for OneNote, I use it all of the time and I think it is great.


    A few notes:

    1. This was very simple to make what the author did was to tell Firefox to copy the selection and then he calls "onenote.exe /paste" which will paste the current clipboard into the current page but he also calls "OneNote.exe /sidenote" which launches a new side note.
    2. I love it because right when I am the middle of something I can right-click and chose to send to OneNote and it is right where my mouse cursor is.
    3. It saves me time


    Why am I writing about this? Well if you use Firefox, like I do, then I would recommend that you check out this tool. On the other hand if you use Internet Explorer I recommend that you use the Send to OneNote from Internet Explorer powertoy or if you are using OneNote 2007 then we will have this right in the box when you install OneNote 2007!


    Why am I blogging about this? Well first of all I wanted to show you just how easy it is to create OneNote powertoys. You can easily have your app send information to OneNote. Also if you know the author of this powertoy you might want to recommend that he/she change the max version tag in the install script so that is installs in Firefox >1.5 (currently we are @ I think the Firefox extension folks might want to have a better way of getting this to work, I have even seen the extension which allows you to open all older extensions, just seems like a vicious circle.

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Word 2007 Blogging: inserting a photo which already exists


    The other day I was blogging and I wanted to insert a photo that already was online and I had the URL for it. I was wondering if in Word I could insert a <img> tag so that I could easily link to the photo. Well I found that you can do this in Word 2007 with their blogging feature!


    Go to Insert-->Picture and then paste in the URL but before you click Insert click the little drop down on the right-hand side and choose "Link to File" just like this:

    Now when you post this you will have a link to the original image! Nice work all!

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Office Communicator Keyboard Shortcut key


    I *love* keyboard shortcut keys, I use them all of the time I actually come from a UNIX/DOS background and I love the command line. Using the mouse is really only that great for web browsing in my opinion. That being said I just wanted to pass on a keyboard shortcut that I just remembered for Office Communicator 2005: Windows Key-Q (Win-Q).

    This will open Office Communicator and take you to the "Find" field so you can type in someone's name or a phone number. I love it because I keep Communicator minimized to the tray all of the time and this just brings it up faster than I could find the button and click it. Try it out!

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Another batch of cool OneNote blog references


    I just got the following from our test manager Mike who is totally hip to the blogs. I am passing this on because:

    • It is great to see that people are saying cool things about our product
    • We are listening to your feedback and doing whatever we can to make the product better.  

    With that being said here is the feedback:


     Thank you all and please keep it coming!






  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    OneNote Riffle one of my favourite mouse features


    One of my favourite mouse features is a thing we have called "riffle" and you would riffle through pages. This is just like you would do with paper you would riffle or quickly flip through the pages in a section (or in the paper metaphor in a notebook).

    How do I riffle you might ask? If you are running OneNote 2003 you can do this just by clicking on a page tab and holding down the mouse button and as you move up and down through the page list it will automatically take your through the page listings. If you are using OneNote 2007 you would want to click and hold the ALT key and use the wheel mouse. The reason for the change was because we now have drag and drop so we wanted to enable you to still do this. I personally love holding down alt and using the mouse wheel to quickly go through all of the pages.

    That is all I need sometimes, just to see part of my note and then I know what it was I was looking for. It is amazing how a small visual clue could give you that much but just seeing some of the note will clue you in. Actually there was a research done with Microsoft Research that talks about this: Peripheral Display of Digital Handwritten Notes. Done by Gary Hsieh from CMU & Ken Wood & Abigail Sellen from MSR - Cambridge. Pretty interesting read, hopefully they get something working with OneNote instead of just Journal : )

    Edited @ 7/19/2006 11:59 AM because of a correction, thanks Alberto!

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Sending error reports in Windows Vista :: Watson on Vista


    Awhile ago I blogged about Submitting Watson Crash information and now I wanted to update this for Windows Vista. Here is how a crash goes in Vista and where you can get the Watson Crash information so that we can diagnose your problem and you can submit a bug on OneNote's Connect site.


    The crash!

    This is what it looks like when you get a crash, to send information to Microsoft please click on "check online for a solution". I think my Vista build thought it was offline even though it was since I was connected via remote desktop!


    Then you will see this dialog as Windows prepared the report to send:



    Then please click "Send information" to send the report:


    Now this information will be sent to Microsoft (and the OneNote team). Eventually you can actually get a solution back from Microsoft telling you how to fix the problem so you don't see it again. Since you are beta testing software there aren't any solutions yet : )



    You will need to get the Watson bucket number from Windows. In my earlier post I talked about Event Viewer (eventvwr) and you can still do this in Vista but you will get a UAC prompt and instead you can use this new tool in Vista called Problem Reports and Solutions. To find it just click Start and then type "problem reports":

    Note: this is also in the Control Panel


    Then on the left you will want to select "View problem history":


    You will end up in a window like this:


    And you would open the option for any OneNote crashes:


    Your bucket number is on the bottom there and this is what you would want to send us to submit a OneNote bug on the OneNote Connect site.


    Of course you can still do this with Event Viewer:


    Note that they no longer say source = Microsoft Office 12 instead you can find the two crashes right next to each other.


    So that is how you can get us Watson info off of Vista machines. Please let me know if you have any questions!




  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    10 Ways to Motivate Geeks


    I saw this post Top 10 Ways to Motivate Geeks and I loved it because I think it is very true for all of us. Now as I go down the list:

    1. Curious, yup totally, I love to play with things.
    2. Yes and no for me.
    3. I would have to agree with that, you just need to help spark our imaginations.
    4. Totally!
    5. Hehe
    6. Free stuff where‽ (as I am wearing a free Microsoft t-shirt and I just ate a free lunch that I got)
    7. n/a
    8. That is true, having your name in source or something is pretty cool (a la what Firefox is doing)
    9. Agreed
    10. Someone has to pay the bills

    In any event I thought this was a good list and also check out the retrospector.com site since it is pretty cool.

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Tips for improving camera phone photos


    I just saw this post: 13 Tips for Improving Camera Phone Photos which has some good tips for taking camera phone shots. Here are the top tips:

    • Well lit subjects
    • Get Close
    • Keep it Still
    • Edit images later
    • Don't Throw Away 'mistakes'
    • Avoid Using the Digital Zoom
    • Experiment with White Balance
    • Take loads of Shots and Experiment
    • Follow Rules of Composition and then Break them
    • Keep Your Lens Clean
    • Observe Camera Phone Etiquette
    • Rename your Images
    • User the highest resolution possible on your camera phone


    Some of them are pretty self explanatory, but I really liked the "Rules of Composition" interesting stuff that most people need to learn. That is one of my biggest pet peeves when people take photos, they center everyone and that just looks bad, you should try and do what they mentioned like the Rule of Thirds.

    Why am I writing about this? Well with OneNote Mobile I believe many more people will be using this to keep track of notes and the like. It reminds me of a photo I took in my office with OneNote Mobile:

    I wish there was a way to get a better photo. I know in the future they will have better cameras, and heck you can even get lenses for your camera phones. So if you are out and about with OneNote Mobile remember the 13 Tips for Improving Camera Phone Photos.

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    RSS Send to OneNote :: Omar Shahine’s PowerToy


    I wanted to comment on Omar Shahine's RSS Send to OneNote PowerToy that he released a few weeks ago. I just thought I would spend some time and show some screenshots of this in action. You can download it here. He too was another of the OneNote PowerToy Contest Winner, now that we have blogged about all of the external winners (of those who have written back) I would like to talk about the internal ones like Omar's.


    The main screen looks like this:


    Then you click on the "Sent to OneNote" button and that will open OneNote and import all of those blog posts. Note that the first time you do this you need to specify to which section you want the posts to go. I would recommend your Side Notes section for OneNote 2003 or the Unfiled Notes for OneNote 2007.


    Now you have this in OneNote:



    Now because of this you can easily take your RSS feed with you and browse it in OneNote.


    Nice work Omar! I also wanted to comment that Omar has been a great help to the OneNote team and we really appreciate all of hard work he has done. Thanks again Omar.

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    OneNote 2007 Beta2 Error Code – HRESULTs for OneNote COM API


    I was just looking on the OneNote Developer site and I saw that we haven’t posted the OneNote error code and HRESULTS for the COM API.  This is the HRESULTS that came out with OneNote 2007 Beta2:


    Error Code





























































    NOTE:  These are subject to change as the product is still in beta.  Most likely these will all stay around, we will just append more items.  If you think something is missing please let me know soon!

    Keywords: OneNote API Error code, OneNote COM HRESULT, OneNote error codes, COM Errors

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    New Office 2007 Product Icons!


    I was just reading Digg this evening and I saw this: The new Office 2007 icons!

    Check out the link (Microsoft Design | Office) and here are the images:

    Cool stuff!  Hope you can match up all of the new icons with their products (hint: OneNote is the bottom left icon)

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    OneNote Daily Journal – OneNote PowerToy Contest Winner


    I would like to feature another of the OneNote PowerToy Contest winners: Andy Gray and his OneNote Daily Journal PowerToy.

    I am just taking this from Andy's site:


    The OneNote Daily Journal PowerToy permits a user to quickly jump to date-organized pages in OneNote, creating them as needed.

    Many people like to keep a daily work log, journal, or "Daily Record of Events" (in FranklinCovey parlance).  With its powerful note features, a hierarchical binder metaphor, search capabilities, note flags, and ink support on Tablet PCs, OneNote is ideal for this task in many ways.  However, navigation to a designated journal page can require several mouse clicks, particularly if you have previously navigated to other folders and sections within OneNote.  The Daily Journal PowerToy makes access to a journal page for the current day as effortless as the creation of a new Side Note.

    The OneNote Daily Journal PowerToy facilitates creation and navigation of date-organized pages in OneNote.  When the feature is invoked, it creates (if necessary) and displays a page in OneNote corresponding to today's date.  The first time that the Daily Journal is run on a given date, a new page will be created and displayed; on subsequent invocations on that same date, the previously-created page will be displayed.

    For example, if on August 4, 2005 you press Windows+J on the keyboard, or click the icon in the notification area of the task bar and select Daily Journal, then OneNote will display the corresponding page for that day, e.g.:

    The pages are created at {Notebook path}\Journal\2005\August\2005-08-04; that is, in the OneNote notebook path, there is a root folder (e.g. "Journal"), containing a subfolder named by year (e.g. "2005"), containing a section named by month (e.g. "August.one"), containing a page named by the date (e.g. "2005-08-04").  Since the pages for a month are grouped into a single file, and the files for a year are grouped into a folder, individual months and years can be archived easily as desired. User options are provided for specifying the root folder in which journal pages are created, and naming sections and pages (e.g. user-specified text with date format strings).

    Nice work Andy!

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Word2OneNote – PowerToy Contest Winner


    I would like to announce another winner of the OneNote PowerToy Contest: Word2OneNote by Brad Covelle! Here is the post from Brad:

    Finally, after quite a few months my PowerToy is released to the public. I was hesitant to publish it without approval by Microsoft but that has been given to me and here it is. This PowerToy will work with Word 2003 and OneNote 2003.

    It has not been tested heavilty with the 2007 Microsoft Office versions of these applications. I attempted to get it to work with them but there were problems with the DataImporter library and possibly with the beta versions of the Office products as well. I have provided the source in case you want to take a stab at getting it to work with the beta Office products. Otherwise, once the RTM code becomes available I will update it to work with the 2007 Office products. This version will install on Word 2007 beta 2 but may not import correctly into OneNote 2007 beta 2.

    Please let me know if you have issues installing or running it.


    Source Files - For Developers

    I just tried to install this on Windows Vista Beta2 and I kept getting errors about the .Net framework not being installed properly, so I think that might be a Vista problem. I did get this working on Windows XP with Office 2003 (Word & OneNote).

    User Guide & installation:

    1. Download the Installer and run it.
    2. Run Word

    You will now have a new toolbar button in Word that looks like this:

    You can then send the selected text or documents over to OneNote, here is an example of sending selected text:

    I would check out Brad's blog and if you have questions you could direct them to him. But what is even better is that you could download the source and try things yourself (as long as you abide by his terms of use/EULA).

    In any even this is a great powertoy, nice work Brad!

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Ink for Word


    I just read the following from Ink for Word

    Write all over your documents

    Ink for Word is an addon to Microsoft Word that brings enhanced annotation support to Word documents. Using a Tablet PC or other writing device, you can mark up your documents by writing comments in the margins and underlining words in the body of the document. As you change the document, all of your marks move with your text.

    Ink for Word also enables you to change documents with the pen. You can mark up a page with standard proof-reading marks, and the marks are instantly understood and applied to the document.

    Let's see it

    See Ink for Word in action in this video demo. The software is an early pre-alpha build.

    Watch the video
    7.75MB 2m 8s
    1264x512, requires sound


    Hopefully they will have something released in the near future!

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    IIONA – Copy from anything into OneNote :: OneNote PowerToy


    I am here to announce the second OneNote PowerToy Contest winner: IIONA by Dmitry Alekseenko. Dmitry created an app that allows you to copy from any application directly into OneNote with just a quick key combination. It is pretty cool and you can download and try it out right away.

    Install directions:

    1. Download IIONA.exe and run it
    2. The self extractor will extract the file where ever you want, by default it goes to your temp folder (%temp%) into an IIONA folder. Extract the files and then run setup.exe
    3. Run IIONA (StartàAll ProgramsàIIONA)

    User Guide:

    The first screen will look like this:

    Change the settings as you want then click OK. And now you have IIONA sitting in the system notification area (the sys tray):

    Now whenever you hit Ctrl-C, C it will cause IIONA to copy the selected text and put it into OneNote and you will see this in the tray:

    Now you have the information in OneNote:


    Nice work Dmitry! And you can contact him on Skype @ Dmitry.Alekseenko.

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Ed Helms @ Microsoft


    I got the following in email today:

    Breaking Video News! Don't miss Ed Helms' on-scene report (ASX/WMPlayer required) to get an inside, non-biased view of life at Microsoft. Also be sure to check out the stories of a few of our most influential technical employees as Behind the Code takes a closer look at the person, the career and what it takes to produce world-class software.

    For more info go here: http://www.microsoft.com/College/default.mspx


  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    OneSnap – PowerToy Contest Winner


    I have been working with Andrew Wheeler over the past few months to test out his OneNote PowerToy and I am proud to announce that is available! Andrew has been working on a program called OneSnap that allows your easily capture information from Internet Explorer and directly import it into OneNote.

    Using OneSnap

    Using Internet Explorer, find a page you'd like to save:

    Click the OneSnap "camera" icon:


    This will pop up the OneSnap's main dialog:


    The most important controls on this dialog are the Folder list and the Section list. Use these lists to select the OneNote section where you want to import the new page. The Folder list represents your notebook's directory structure - for each folder in your notebook there's a corresponding entry in the Folder list.

    When you select a folder, OneSnap populates the Section list with the sections that are in folder's sections.

    For example, if I wanted to import a page into the Cars section of my Shopping folder, I'd first select the Shopping folder:


         And then the Cars section:


    After selecting your folder and section, review the Page Title, and, if you'd like, add a Comment. Finally, when you click OK, OneSnap will import the page. When this happens OneSnap will automatically scroll through the page, taking "screenshots" of the page as it scrolls. OneSnap then stitches all the screenshots together and imports the page - along with the title, comments, and a link to the original page:           


    Nice work Andrew!

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