August, 2012

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  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Navigation in OneNote 2013

    • 45 Comments

    This post was authored by Olya Veselova, Senior PM Lead on OneNote


    Organizing and finding content is an important part of your note taking experience, and we've spent a lot of time this release thinking about how to improve navigation in OneNote 2013. We've also been working on making OneNote better for touch based devices, which have an entirely different set of constraints. It's also important for the UI to scale well  for casual and power users - we wanted to make it easy to get around your content whether you have a single notebook or dozens of them.

     As David touched upon in his earlier post, we now have two modes in OneNote:

    • Normal  View, an updated version of the layout from 2010 designed for mouse and keyboard use
    • Full Page View, a completely new style of navigation designed specifically for touch

     

    Normal View

    Normal View is an updated version of the OneNote layout you've always known - pages are on the right side, sections are on top and a list of notebooks on the left.

    Notebook Dropdown

    In OneNote 2010 the notebooks were shown collapsed in a bar along the left side of the screen , and we realized that there were some shortcomings to that approach: sideways text was harder to read, and the visual layout didn't make the relationship between notebooks and sections entirely clear.  It also wasn't very obvious which notebook was current and the UI didn't scale very well when you had many notebooks.

    The dropdown in Normal View will be the default view for most mouse and keyboard users, and the name of the current notebook is displayed prominently next to your sections, so you're never in doubt about which notebook you're in. To navigate to another notebook, you click on the notebook name which brings up the dropdown. The layout also scales well - if you add several notebooks, the icons will be shrunk so that you'll almost never have to scroll.

    If you have only one notebook, we don't take up the extra space on the side of your screen - this view is good to use if you spend a good amount of time in each of your notebooks, rather than constantly switching between notebooks.  It is also best suited for notebooks of medium size - without section groups or too many sections - such that your most used sections can fit across the top.

     

    Notebook Pane

    Now, if you're more the power user type and you like to switch between your notebooks frequently, fret not - we've updated the old Notebook pane view from OneNote 2010. You can get to this view by clicking on the pin button in the notebook dropdown (pictured below)

    When you turn on the notebook pane, we display a list of all your open notebooks and highlight the notebook you're looking at. The pane takes up less space, and wraps your notebook names if they are too long.  This view is great for large notebooks with many section groups and sections.

    If you have several sections in your notebook, the bar on top can get filled quite easily and then you have to click twice to get to your section. To make this simpler, the notebook pane also displays a vertical list of sections so that you can get anywhere with a single click.

     

    Full Page View

    Full Page View is our minimalist, touch friendly mode that you can get to by clicking on the button in the top right corner of any page. Full page view gets rid of both the ribbon and our navigational chrome, and keeps you content in focus. 

    As you can see the layout is very clean, keeping your content front and center while removing all but the most necessary UI elements. The extra whitespace  is really useful for working with wide tables or taking notes next to inserted documents.  It's great for a tablet when you're writing with a stylus, and you won't accidentally go to a different page when your rest your palms on the screen. In fact, if you rotate your tablet to portrait mode, OneNote goes into Full Page View to provide a better experience.


    Notebook Dropdown

    In this mode, you tap the notebook name in the top right corner to bring down your notebook dropdown.  If you're using a slate, this button will be within easy reach of your thumb so that you can jump between pages easily.

    To make our navigation more touch friendly, we brought notebooks, sections and pages into a single 3 column layout. You can tap on a notebook, section or page to preview it instantly in the background and then tap on the page to dismiss the dropdown.  You can also double click or tap or navigate instantly to a particular page,

    You can right click any item in here for context menus and drag and drop to reorganize. There's also a shortcut to the search box, and if you're using a mouse, you can take advantage of our new floating page button to insert a new page exactly where you want it:


    Editing Notes in Full Page View

    You probably also noticed that the ribbon is hidden by default in full page view in addition to our navigation. Users can still edit and interact with content through the context menus, which can be brought up by : 

    • Right clicking with a mouse
    • Selecting and tapping with touch

     

    The layout changes depending on whether you're using touch (pictured above) or a mouse and keyboard. Of course, You can always bring back the ribbon temporary by clicking the '…'  bar at the top of the screen or you can pin the ribbon to have it always appear. 

     

    If you have feedback on any of the changes we've made to navigation in OneNote 2013, please let us know in the comments below. 

    Olya Veselova
    Senior PM Lead, OneNote 

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Sharing in OneNote 2013

    • 35 Comments

    This post was authored by Nicole Steinbok, Senior PM  on OneNote


    I love using OneNote to keep track of stuff that I need to do and have it available on my laptop, iPad, Windows Phone and PCs at work. What I love even more is using OneNote to add to the list of things I want my husband to do in our shared home notebook.

     In Office 2013 we have simplified the sharing experience for OneNote: you can share directly from OneNote 2013, to any email address, your friend doesn't need to sign-in to view it and they don't even need to install OneNote to edit it. You can also get a Sharing Link and share anyway you want to: email, blog, your favorite social network, etc.

     Bonus: this also all works for Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Visio.

      

    Sharing a Notebook

     I will pretend I don't have a notebook shared with my husband and show you how easy it is.

    1.Create the notebook on SkyDrive

    File -> New -> Enter a notebook name -> Click Create notebook button

     

    2.   Share the notebook

    File -> Share -> enter an email address

    Optional: add a message

    Click Share button, SkyDrive will then send a sharing notification email to my husband

     

     

    Now I will pretend I am my husband…. (good thing I am typing this and I don't have to lower my voice ;)

     

    1. Receive a Sharing notification email, click on the notebook link

     

    2. See the notebook

     

    3. Get to work on that to do list!

     And that is all you need to know to share a notebook. I have included a FAQ  but if you have more questions or feedback please post them below.

     

    FAQ

    I have written all my recipes in a notebook and want to share it with all my Facebook friends, how do I do that?

    Easy as pie!

    1. File ->Share -> Get a Link -> Select the type of Sharing Link you want and click the Create Link button.
    2. Right click on the link and Copy it
    3. Go to Facebook and paste it, post it
    4. Watch the likes come in :)

     

    I have a local notebook, that I would like to get on SkyDrive, how can I do that?

    1. File -> Share
    2. Select a folder for the notebook
    3. Give it a name
    4. Click Move

     

    Yikes! I shared a notebook with someone and now I don't want them to have access, what do I do?

    1. File -> Share
    2. Right click on the person (or Sharing Link), Remove User

    Note: You know that thing that wipes people's mind in Men in Black? Yeah well we don't have one of those. If the person has opened the notebook we don't close it on them but they will not see any new updates and will not be able to edit your notebook.

     

     

    I have another question. How can I ask it?
    Please post it in the comments below. 

    Nicole Steinbok,
    Sr. Program Manager on OneNote

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Taking Meeting Notes in OneNote 2013

    • 10 Comments

    This post was authored by Po-Yan Tsang,  Program Manager on the Meetings Team


    One of the most common scenarios for taking notes at work is during meetings - whether it is about tracking attendees, remembering what was discussed or listing out follow up items. However, meetings are often rushed and busy, and we wanted to make it as easy as possible to start taking notes and collaborating with other attendees. 

     

    Meeting Notes for an Outlook Meeting

    In OneNote 2013, you can start taking notes by going to Home -> Insert -> Meeting Details, which lets you choose from a list of current meetings in Outlook.  This automatically adds details about the meeting to your current page 

    And it’s as easy as that – you now have a page with all the details of your meeting, so you can get right down to taking notes and still have all the context about where the meeting was and who attended the event.

    We’ve also added some extra features to enrich and keep notes relevant: 

    • New Format - the participants list now has checkboxes by default, so you can track attendance
    • Up To Date Meeting Details - if you're you’re the meeting organizer and you make a change to the location or time, your notes will get updated when you send the update from Outlook. If you’re not the organizer, you can right-click on the page tab and select ‘Refresh Meeting Details’ to have it update.

     

    Meeting Notes for a Lync Online Meeting

    Similar to the Outlook meeting notes experience, you can also take meeting notes from Lync. Once you’ve set everything up, we will automatically update your notes page with:

    1. List of attendees
    2. Any files uploaded to the Lync Meeting
    3. Links to any other notebooks shared within this meeting.

     

    Sharing Meeting Notes with Others

    Why take notes on your own when you can get everyone to help out? Get others to help make sure you don’t miss an action item or a key decision in your notes. In OneNote 2013, set up a shared note taking space for everyone in the meeting is a snap. 

    Before a Meeting:
    1. In the Outlook meeting request, go to the Meeting Tab -> Meeting Notes -> Share notes with the meeting
    2. Select the notebook page you want to share with the meeting. Remember, this has to be in a shared location like SkyDrive or SharePoint.
    3. Now you can send out the meeting invite, which will have a link to your Outlook meeting

     

    During a Meeting:
    1. From OneNote, select the page you want to share with the meeting and go to File -> Share -> Share with Meeting
    2. You can choose an existing meeting here or create a new Lync Meeting
    3. Once a meeting is selected, a link to the OneNote page is shared with all the Lync participants

     

     

    We believe that taking notes is a significant part of the meeting experience and we've put a lot of thought into improving this experience and making it effortless in OneNote 2013. If you have feedback on any of the updates and additions to these features, please let us know in the comments below.

     

    Po-Yan Tsang
    Program Manager on the Meetings Team

     

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