Some of the not-so good blog posts about OneNote

Some of the not-so good blog posts about OneNote

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Michael Harrison wrote a comment on my last blog post roundup post:

There is definitely a lot of good in ON 2007. Could you comment on some of the not-so good?

I am actually quite happy to see someone blog about the things they don't like about OneNote because at times I find that more interesting than the positive posts, trust me we like reading all feedback.  Okay I will reply on Michael blogs but I will write some comments here:

  1. I think the tag summary pages should link back to the source page.  The feature was unchanged since ON2003 when we didn't have hyperlinks.  I still think that summary pages are very useful and provide users a way to merge todo lists and other set of information (questions for exam, etc).
  2. Search bug isn't officially a 'bug'.  There is only one recognizer in the app and when you write something we display the top hit in the page tab (that is why is says Contact on the page tab) but we also have other high percentage hits which is why you see a search hit for "lon".  Same recognizer providing ranked results.
  3. Good feature idea, we do have crossout but the others would be nice additions.

Please post your pros & cons we like reading everything you all have to say, also thanks again Michael for posting some of your pain-points and thoughts.

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  • I like the new OneNote mobile feature that was added in the 2007 version. But I don't like that it only uses one notebook. I would like to see the ability to mark which notebooks you would like to sync with the mobile version.

  • OneNote is a great tool for me, which is almost always open on my desktop -next to outlook. What I really miss however, is in Word 2007 and in Windows Journal: the panning hand. When reading notes, a panning hand would make navigating long notes so much easier! Especially when using the stylus (or touch I presume), scrollbars just aren’t the easiest way to quickly scan a page.

    BTW, are you already working on the next OneNote version? And are you already open for suggestions for that version?

    (And what about a mobile OneNote version for Symbian phones! :)

  • I've blogged about this before, but the spell checking and auto correct is far too primitive. We need Change All and the right-mouse autocorrect menu - run a spell check on the same text in Word 2and OneNote to see how poor ON is by comparison. And it's ON where I'm bashing out notes in a hurry and most likely to make mistakes. I have to copy my text into Word and spell check it there to be able to create autocorrections without typing the error in by hand - that's the equivalent of Word XP five years ago!

    OneNote Mobile; pleeeeeeease could we have ink as an option on Pocket PC? And it has to sync into a notebook that can sync onto the server with every other notebook I have; why is the mobile notebook the only one I can't see on multiple machines.

    Please make it easier to order and save custom flags. I use 5 custom flags and I switch PCs regularly and I have to add them and move the up the meu by hand each time - but unless I explicitly use File > Exit they're not saved. Please save them as soon as I add them, and how about an option to sort the list by frequency of use - in the menu, I mean, so my most used flags are at the top.

  • The top requests I get from my team are:

    1) Embedded Excel documents (though Sharepoint 2007's server excel may make this a moot point). Would be nice.

    2) Hard links - It's currently far too easy to break links by moving sections and pages. Would be nice for every link in all open notebooks to use hard-links so that moving stuff does not break your links.

    3) Native viewing in a Sharepoint server (Integrate the webber tool into the Sharepoint server software so that notebooks can be browsed directly on the sharepoint server).

  • My problem is really a feature request -- I'm a SideNote junkie and would like to have it open 24/7 on my machine, jotting down notes and tasks as the day wears on...I can do this now, but the SideNote screen, always topped by design (and desire) does get in the way, causing me to constantly be moving it around on the display. What I would LOVE is if there were an option to cause the OneNote screen to become transparent if not selected, or to roll up or iconize itself until I move the cursor over it (which would automatically bring it out of transparent or iconized state). In either case, I want it always on top, just visually out of the way until I move my cursor in its space. That, my friends, would be brilliant!

  • Fix SharePoint integration.  I think I saw a post on someone's blog that the "section cannot be synced because access to the section file is denied" error is a known problem with OneNote and SharePoint, maybe due to the use of tables.  Every work day this frustrates me and I think about switching to file shares, but then when I travel to a site from which I can't use VPN, I realize why I put up with this horrible functionality.  Please, please fix it.

  • My greatest feature request is a bibliography function similar to what is in Word 07.  I am constantly taking notes and having to cite them (Thesis research).

  • sbreck - Fear not we are aware of this problem and working on a fix.  I have seen this enough times in our own shared notebooks on SharePoint that I want this fixed.  When SP1 comes out it should resolve this issue.

    Henry - Thanks for the feedback.

  • Onenote is great; it's changed my life. But here is what frustrates me.

    1. No support for latex. Researchers, students, scientists all need a way to enter equations (quickly!). Onenote touts itself as a great research tool yet it does not natively support mathematics.

    2. Wimpy outline features. Can you believe you can't make an outline like this?

    1.1

    1.1.1

    1.1.2

    3. Onenote mobile is a great step. Just wish it had ink features like PHATPAD. Microsoft should buy them out and incorporate that product into onenote. It would be KILLER!

    4. OLE obviously. As other mentioned, embedding excel would be brilliant. Yeah, I heard the reason why you couldn't (priorities). However, I can think of several really cool features in excel that are not as necessary as ole embedding.

    5. The drawing functions are mediocre. By that I mean try drawing a graph using the graphing tools. You'll find it very difficult to get the line to match up. Again, this is important to scientists and other nerds.

    6. As some other people have mentioned - static link. If you move a page they get broken

    Lastly, as others have said, Onenote is an awesome product. Definitely one of the best and most useful products to come out of M$ in a long time.

    Cheers, Robert

  • Feature request: A calendar with popup messages, OUTSIDE of Outlook. I use Outlook at work, but I use OneNote all the time. I want to be able to select some text in OneNote, enter a control-key sequence, and pop up a dialog with selected text and easy entry of date and time -- so I can turn a to-do item into something that pops up at 8:00 PM Tuesday. When the reminder pops up, I should have the option to enter another date/time, or to simply adjust the reminder to <n> minutes later, like the Outlook event popups. A calendar dialog with all the scheduled items, would be icing on the cake.

    Please!

    I'm a .NET coder, but I haven't looked into coding OneNote at all. Could I create something like this, myself? Does OneNote provide the hooks to capture control-key sequences? I could make it an external app, if I could hook the OneNote text pane and keystrokes. Maybe even post to a calendar on the web. Possible?

  • " I use Outlook at work, but I use OneNote all the time. I want to be able to select some text in OneNote, enter a control-key sequence, and pop up a dialog with selected text and easy entry of date and time -- so I can turn a to-do item into something that pops up at 8:00 PM Tuesday. When the reminder pops up, I should have the option to enter another date/time, or to simply adjust the reminder to <n> minutes later, like the Outlook event popups. A calendar dialog with all the scheduled items, would be icing on the cake."

    YES YES YES YES, I cannot emphasize enough how much this would improve Onenote's functionality for me.

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