December, 2006

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    OneNote 2007 Templates


    I have been working with Sheila who works on Office Online to get the OneNote templates up on Office Online. You can see them here:

    OneNote 2007 templates

    These are the same templates that you would see in OneNote when you chose File-->New-->Notebook. But now you can download them off the web or see them in OneNote, either way. Additionally you can create your own notebook templates, just save the file as a .onepkg file and that is your notebook template.

    If you all have questions please let me know!

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Outlook Sidebar Gadgets, should OneNote get one too?


    Over on Melissa's & Ryan's blog they announce the Outlook 2007 Sidebar gadgets for download:

             Outlook Upcoming Appointments – shows you your upcoming appointments.

             Outlook Tasks – shows you your tasks and flagged mail all in one place, plus gives you an easy way to enter tasks, just like the To-Do Bar.

    Go check them out!

    Now I wanted to ask you all in the blogsphere would you like a Sidebar gadget for OneNote? What would you want it to do? We have some ideas and I wanted to get a pulse from you all. The Sidebar is a great technology which allows you to just have some information up on the screen. On my desktop I have the weather for outside (since I am indoors all day!) and the weather back where my family is. I also have a stock ticker and some beta gadgets that will be coming out shortly. I like the Sidebar but do you all use it? Please let me know in the comments or email me!

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Shutdown options in Vista and restarting


    With all of the blog posts about the shutdown options in Vista (Choices = Headaches by Joel Spolsky, The Windows Shutdown crapfest & The Design of the Mac OS X Shutdown Feature) I thought I would add a couple thoughts of my own. First of all I thought all of those options were confusing but more so I hated how hard it was for me to do it with the keyboard. On XP I would hit Win, u and then r (restart) or u (shutdown?). It was pretty quick and easy. Now on Vista I can't type anything because the search box is up (what a great feature btw). So instead I was stuck hitting over arrow and then getting to that little menu like this:

    Then I thought back to my NT days when I would hit Ctrl-Alt-Delete (hey since when did the Control key become Ctrl? All my keyboards say Ctrl, not Control, weird!) When I hit Ctrl-Alt-Del I see something like this:

    To get to that little widget in the bottom right I needed to hit a bunch of keys on the keyboard, down, down, etc. That was a pain too, how come it isn't as easy as it used to be. Well I was talking to a friend of mine on the Windows Shell and he told me to bring up that menu just hit Alt-S. That will bring up that menu so then you can hit 'r' to restart. So now I have it, Ctrl-Alt-Del, alt-s, r. Then I have restarted!

    Seems like a lot to get your machine to restart eh? Well I just learned another way too: Start and then type "shutdown /r" that will restart your machine right away too (in ~30 sec).

    I just wanted to share the Alt-S keyboard shortcut and tell you about the shutdown command (which wasn't on XP by default though I am pretty sure it was in Windows 2003 Server). Thanks Brian for the shell tip!

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Download the trial today! You can get Office 2007


    Today is Dec 1st and that means that you can download the trial of Office 2007 (including OneNote 2007)!

    Download the Office 2007 Trial now

    The trial will work for approximately 60 days so you can download it now and you will be all set to use this until Jan 30th when you can purchase Office in a store. If you want OneNote please install Professional + OneNote (or just OneNote).

    Enjoy! PS Thanks for the link Erik

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Debugging the OneNote API? Enable logging!


    One new feature in the RTM version of OneNote 2007 is the ability to enable logging for the OneNote API such that you can see what is going wrong and get some debug information from OneNote. Some notes:

    1. If you turn on logging make sure to TURN it OFF after you are done debugging your app.
    2. You cannot get any more information other than what you get from the debugging output.
    3. It works for toolbar addins as well as calls via the COM API.

    To enable logging you will need to turn on some registry keys, here is the .reg file:


    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 






    Please copy the text above, open Notepad and paste it in there. Then save the file as EnableOneNoteAPILogging.reg. After you have saved the file run it so that this is added to your registry.

    Whenever you make calls to the API OneNote will append logging information to %temp%\OneNote.log which allows you to see what is going wrong with your code and help you debug. Afterwards open regedit and change the EnableLogging key to 0 which will turn it back off.


    Update for OneNote 2010 @ 2010.03.15:

    If you are trying to do this with OneNote 2010 the values in the registry changed and it should be this:






    I just wanted to let you all know, if you have questions please email or comment.

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    OneNote 2007 Upgrade version


    If you looked on the 2007 Microsoft Office system pricing site you may have noticed that OneNote didn't have an update price : ( It only listed the full price of OneNote so regardless of if you purchased OneNote in the past you wouldn't get a discount for the new version.

    We heard some complaints from you all and David took care of this so that now OneNote 2007 will have an upgrade pricing available as well! It will not be available on the worldwide consumer launch of Office 2007 + Windows Vista on January 30th 2007 but some time later in '07. So if you have OneNote 2003 and want to get 2007 at an discount (upgrade pricing) please hold out for a couple months. Thanks David!

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Using HTTPS to sync with SharePoint on Vista


    Consider this: on Windows XP you could sync to a SharePoint server in the cloud such as Office Live using just HTTP. Now when you upgrade to Windows Vista if you try and do this exact same thing you will get an error. That is due to changes in the Vista security model. From one of the developers on the team:

    Vista does not allow access to an authenticated server that is using basic authentication over HTTP. The basic authentication scheme transmits passwords in the clear. Hence for security reasons, one must now use HTTPS thereby encrypting the contents including the password.

    So if you are using SharePoint in the cloud make sure to connect via HTTPS.

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Trial install – Don’t uninstall and reinstall - UPDATED


    We have gotten some reports from people having problems with the trial. Here are the repro steps:

    1. Down the OneNote 2007 trial
    2. Activate their product and see encounter a problem
    3. Uninstall OneNote
    4. Fix their problem
    5. Install trial again
    6. The trial says that it has expired : (

    At this point customers can't do anything other than wait for the full product to come out in 2 months and purchase it then. You can only install the trial ONCE per machine. Please don't uninstall and reinstall as this will break your trial experience.

    As Irina writes on the OneNote newsgroup:

    To prevent fraud and misuse of trials it was decided to limit trial installs
    to just single attempt per machine. If you uninstall your trial and then
    install it again it'll tell you it's expired. There is no workaround to
    enable the trial back on this machine apart from converting it to full build
    (which isn't available yet to public).

    Issues that people often try to solve by re-installing but which can be
    solved without doing it:
    - broken ink registration (get the prompt about Tablet SP2)
    - missing Outlook or IE addins
    - synchronization problems (e.g. some sections missing)
    - on first boot after activation the trial doesn't allow editing (you need
    to reboot OneNote)
    - etc...

    So just a word of caution to all of your trial users. Thank you to Irina for digging into this and posting the information to the newsgroup.

    Update @ 12/7/2006 3:55 PM: I just heard that if you use the same key then you won't have a problem. Make sure to enter the same key you used the first time you downloaded and installed OneNote. So don't do a new key just because you redownloaded use the first key over. I hear that should work.

    UPDATED @ 12/12/2006 5:05 PM: Here is some more info from Irina that she just posted on the newsgroup:

    After additional investigation we found that the things aren't as bad as they seemed. The trial can be successfully reinstalled if you stick to the original product key you've installed it with.

    So if you had to uninstall the trial and now need to download it from Office site again, please do so. After you fill in the registration page the site will issue you a new product key - discard it, start install of OneNote and enter your very first trial key you've got from the site (it should have been emailed to you).

    Then your re-installed trial build will pick up the same expiration date as you had before uninstalling it.

    Hope this helps!

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Bridging the gap, getting others to love OneNote too


    The other day I got an email from an old high school friend, Rob who uses OneNote and reads this blog (hi Rob). It was pretty cool to get in touch with someone I knew because of OneNote and to hear that they liked it was even better! It got me thinking about something that we are thinking about on the OneNote team: bridging the gap. Let's look at the current OneNote users:

    #1 Avid Fans – people who grok OneNote

    One great think about working on this team is that we have a large amount of users who are in love with OneNote and use it all of the time. We know based on the customer improvement program that OneNote is open longer than all Office apps except for Outlook. Just think about it from my own usage as well as talking with customers they leave Outlook and OneNote open all day long! I can't live without those apps open, whereas I only open Excel or Word occasionally (though I tend to keep Word open for a while as I write specs and such).

    The avid fans already love OneNote and know what it is all about. They can see the value in keeping track of things, using tags, taking meeting notes and more (heck people use OneNote in so many different ways).

    #2 People who use OneNote because they have to

    Then there is a second class of people out there, albeit much smaller who are 'forced' to use OneNote. These are people who are using OneNote because they have to so that they can be part of a community or share with others. Some people on their team are using OneNote and they too do because they need to use it. For these people we have found that they only use OneNote occasionally and don't really use it much for their own personal information or research.

    #3 People who used OneNote and rejected it

    These are the people who knew about OneNote, installed it and still didn't like it. Maybe they evaluated OneNote for a collaboration project on their team or maybe they just wanted to see what this OneNote program actually was installed on their computer. They ran the application took a look around and said to themselves, "This isn't right for me." They closed the program and never used it again. More on these people later…

    #4 People who have never used OneNote

    Then the final classification of people out there who have never used OneNote before and maybe they haven't even heard of it before. I guess when you think about the world population as a whole this bucket #4 is pretty big, eh? But there are a large amount of computer users who just haven't heard about OneNote before and therefore they haven't used it even though they may or may not have a need to use OneNote.


    Okay now that I have outlined what I feel the main 4 buckets out there I wanted to touch on a couple of them:

    Telling more people

    With regards to bucket #4 I wish that more people knew about OneNote. Often times we hear from customers who say that they wish OneNote was marketed more to them. Interestingly there were marketing campaigns (for example: and it was given to college students across North America during recruiting events as well as partnership with laptop manufactures (such as Toshiba). However there still isn't a lot of awareness about OneNote which I hope is solved now that OneNote is part of a SKU. Still though we need to reach out to more people so that they know what OneNote is and that they have a great tool for their needs.

    Bridging the Gap

    Lastly we need to bridge the gap. How many people out there are in buckets #3 & #2? How many people use OneNote and just reject it? And from our standpoint why are they rejecting OneNote? I am sure there are a large number of people out there who just don't use OneNote because it isn't for them. They don't want to keep meeting notes and maybe they don't keep things and file them away. I get that and I wish them well even though I still think OneNote would make their lives better : )

    There are still people for whom OneNote would be a great solution but they don't use OneNote. Why? Is the question that I want to know! Was it something small like when you typed it didn't act as you wanted? Did you want a save button? Was Word really better for you? How come?

    Call to arms for fans: when you tell people about OneNote, why do they reject it? What is their feedback? "I just don't need that" or was it "I didn't like X feature" or "Y feature was missing so I couldn't use OneNote". Or if you yourself rejected OneNote let us know why (though I wonder why you would be reading a OneNote blog, hehe). If you have feature ideas please submit them to our OneNote Connect site. If you have testimonials about why you don't like OneNote or how your coworkers/friends didn't like OneNote please email those testimonials to me or post a comment below.

    If any of you have read Crossing the Chasm (Amazon) there is a lot of discussion about this from moving from early adopters to mainstream usage. I firmly believe that OneNote is a tool for everyone and we just need to bridge that gap and cross it.

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Hamachi – tunneling and VPN for the masses


    The other day David and I were talking as he was leaving for the evening and he was telling me about Hamachi; their own words:

    LogMeIn Hamachi is a zero-configuration virtual private networking (VPN) application.

    In other words Hamachi is a program that allows you to arrange multiple computers into their own secure network just as if they were connected by a physical network cable.

    Hamachi is fast, secure and simple. Its core version is also free.

    If you don't have your firewall setup or if you don't know your IP address or a bunch of these other barriers Hamachi is here for you. I think this is great for people who don't have Groove to sync their notes and they want to directly access their home computer. Even if you have Groove or FolderShare there are some things that you would like such as: remote desktop without any hassle or sharing your iTunes music library and more. I think they are just lowering all the barriers to doing this which for the übergeek is common practice but still too much work. Anyhow check them out: Hamachi.

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    OneNote Viewer – Try the trial instead


    Chris has a great post: OneNote Viewer, here is a preview:

    I sometimes get asked if there is a "viewer" available for OneNote files. There are viewers available for Word, Excel and PowerPoint (among others) so this is a natural question.

    The answer for OneNote is yes: it is called the trial version. You download it here for free, and it lets anyone view and search and print OneNote files with perfect fidelity. Oh, it also lets you *edit* and create such files for the first 60days. And you can convert this viewer into the full product by purchasing a license and activating it with the code you get when you purchase (no additional download required).

    Check out the rest of the post for more commentary from Chris.

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Betsy Weber’s OneNote screencast


    I am back in the office for a couple days and I saw an interesting email from Kathy Jacobs and she pointed out that she and Betsy Weber (from TechSmith) did a screencast about OneNote 2007. I am watching it now and it is worth checking out! Kathy really knows OneNote inside and out, heck she wrote a book about OneNote! You can get a lot of good information about how to use OneNote from Kathy and Betsy. Please check it out:

    Overdue Screencast with Kathy Jacobs about OneNote.

    Thanks for the pointer Kathy! I just got my mom using OneNote 2007 over Christmas and I think I will send this to her so she can continue learning. My mom's favorite feature: not having to save, find files or open files. Biggest complaint: no page sort.

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Trait of good software: it fails gracefully


    I was just thinking today about what makes good software and what doesn't and something that came to mind was how well does software fail. Think about that for a second, in an ideal world software works just as we designed it and how the coders coded it. Users didn't use it in unexpected ways on different hardware or other configurations. They only clicked where we wanted them to and only entered good data.

    However in the real world that doesn't happen does it? Bad people will send bad information to a web service to get it to send SQL statements or corrupt files will be opened and how does the app handle that? There have been some 0day attacks on Word and I believe those are due to crafted documents which cause Word to crap out and fail badly.

    I also had another example of this last night when I used Google Checkout for the first time. I entered the wrong year for my card's expiration date and it easily handled the error and allowed me to fill it out again. With their 2.0 updatiness it really looked slick and I was quite pleased that they didn't screw up. I sat back thinking how nice they did the right thing and they told me about my error. (Side note: I went to my bank today and I see that I actually got charged twice by Google Checkout so I need to see what happens after they turn from Pending to Charged.)

    When software fails gracefully that is something which is vital, it can't screw up your computer, it can't lose your data and you can't loss trust in the software. I know that on the OneNote team we take data integrity and trust very seriously. We always consider that one of the key tenants that we must uphold so that customers (you all) trust us and know that OneNote will do the right thing. It is interesting I have had problems with this recently when I was using Word to blog, I didn't save my post and when I went to publish Word crashed! I lost my whole post and I was so pissed, I just have totally come to think about autosave as the default in the world. I see it with Outlook and my draft messages, I see it with Google's GMail which does the same autosave and heck OneNote! We were doing this since 2003 and I just can't believe it isn't done everywhere.

    That being said software that fails gracefully is important. If your code is going down the wrong path make sure you don't take out something important, turn your car off now! : )

    Now I will hit Ctrl-S because I click on Publish

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    OneNote 2003 on a UMPC


    If you are using OneNote 2003 on a UMPC make sure that you download and install this update:

    Update for OneNote 2003 (KB917148)

    As the text on the site says:

    Microsoft has released an update for Microsoft Office OneNote 2003. When you write with the pen on some touch screen devices, the pen stroke is only visible as long as the pen is touching the screen. This update resolves that issue.

    Just something I wanted to pass on to you all..if you are running OneNote 2007 on a UMPC this is already fixed in that version.

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    OneNote Blogger Roundup


    Here is the most recent blog update from Mike our test manager.


    1. OneNote has fans in high places: "I needed OneNote, and what do you know? God provided it."
    2. "what, in my humble opinion, is one of the most important new pieces of software of the last decade."
    3. A perfect 10! "Score overall Office 2007 [5], Individual apps: OneNote [10], Outlook [3], Word [5]."
    4. "My First One Note Christmas"
    5. "Eureka! I just found out that OneNote 2007 can post blogs!"
    6. "Google spreadsheets vs. Microsoft OneNote: competing notions on the autosave function"
    7. "And right then, I discovered its utility. It's a definite tool for me"
    8. "One of my favorite features is the ability to link to OneNote meeting notes."
    9. Blogger who likes our Outlook Task-sync feature


    Enjoy! (Thx Mike)

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Cool sharing features – improvements for shared notebooks


    So you and your coworkers have a shared notebook setup to discuss different todo items, meeting notes and project plans. OneNote is a great place for you to share all of this information; it syncs seamlessly and you can take it offline. One thing that you might not have known about is a set of features to help you find what content you haven't read or items that are new. If you go to a shared notebook and click on the View menu you will see this:

    There are a variety of options which help you see different content in a shared notebook. These features will bring you into a new search scope where you can see the pages that you haven't read yet or you can view all of the pages which changes in a certain time period. These features will help you see what has been going on in a shared notebook and where the action is. Check them out!

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Support for OneNote 2007


    With OneNote out the door you all might have questions so I thought I would write about how you can get support.

    1. You can contact Product Support over the phone or through your company. If you are a volume license customer you can go through your own Microsoft support channels to get product support.
    2. You can contact Microsoft support over the phone, look @ for details.

    However for most people the best thing would be to ask the community for help and be part of the community.

    OneNote Newsgroup

    You can connect to the OneNote newsgroup through the following ways:

    1. Open your browser and go here: Discussion Home for OneNote
    2. Open Windows Mail, go to the Microsoft Communities newsgroup and add microsoft.public.onenote or just search for OneNote.
    3. Use Google Groups

    There are a great number of users asking questions and getting help from the OneNote MVPs who provide great service. Also we check the newsgroups as well, we are on the lookout for questions that people have and see what feature suggestions they have for OneNote 14.

    OneNote Connect

    If you have suggestions or ideas for OneNote 14 or if you encounter any bugs please go to the OneNote Connect site and log those issues:

    We are continuing to look at the items coming in from the Connect site however we will respond a bit slower than we did during the beta.

    Here are some resources you can turn to when you have problems with OneNote which hopefully won't happen often. Take care all!

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