• Engineering OneNote Blog

    Sort Pages powertoy


    Here is another powertoy that I wrote that I wanted to share with you all. What does it do? It will sort any section's pages into alphabetical order, like this:




    1. You need to have OneNote 2007 + the .Net Framework 2.0 installed on your machine
    2. Download the file here:
    3. Install it!
    4. Close and restart OneNote
    5. You will now have a new toolbar button that you can click which will sort the currently viewed section's pages. The button looks like this:


    1. There is NO UNDO! Once you click that button it will sort the pages and you cannot revert the changes so be careful.
    2. You can only sort A-Z, there are no other options.
    3. It sorts by whatever order the .Net Framework believes is correct for your locale. For example sorting in Japanese does not sort by phonetic sounds like it does in Excel (and other Office apps).
    4. For large sections performance isn't the best, just let it finish and it will eventually get there.
    5. There is no prompt before sorting the pages

    As you can see there is still some work that could be done with this but I just didn't have the time. I hope to post the code soon and then anyone can take it, add whatever options they want and make it a whole lot better.

    I wanted to thank Kazuko Hishikawa, a Tester on the OneNote team, for helping me out and finding all of the issues that I just didn't have time to work out : ) Thanks Kazuko!

    Please let me know what you think, I am just excited that I can point this out to my mom since she really wants this feature. If you have problems or questions please let me know in the comments.

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Send to OneNote 2007 powertoy


    Finally a powertoy that I wrote! This is a small application that I blogged about before where I included the source and rest of the application, but here is the final version of this Send to OneNote from Windows Explorer. Here are the steps to get to a machine near you:

    1. Install OneNote 2007 + .Net Framework 2.0
    2. Download the installer from here:
    3. Install it!

    Now when you right-click on a file in Windows Explorer you will see a new option under the "Send To" menu for OneNote 2007 like this:

    Choosing that option will send the file to OneNote as a new page in the Unfiled Notes section, like this:



    1. You can send more than one file all to the same page.
    2. You cannot send folders.
    3. If you select folders + files the files will go into OneNote however the folder will not, you won't get an error about this.
    4. If your Unfiled Notes section is password protected or read only you will get an error message that isn't too pretty.
    5. You cannot change the destination section, it will always go to the Unfiled Notes section

    Download now:

    If you would like to improve anything please go ahead and download the source and modify it as you see fit!

    Also a special thanks to Michelle Wong from the Test team who helped find bugs and test our my powertoy, *tips hat*

    If you have problems/questions please use the comments below to chat with me.

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Export your Outlook notes to OneNote


    What a busy day! I just heard from another Tester John Guin that he has another OneNote powertoy available. This one will export all of your Outlook Notes to OneNote with one click of the button. If you have been wanting to migrate your notes here is the time!

    Download now:


    1. You will need .Net Framework 2.0 installed
    2. Run setup.exe
    3. Close and restart Outlook
    4. You will now see this button when you are in the Outlook Notes module:

      Just click on Export To OneNote

    5. You will then see this:

    6. Now check your Unfiled Notes section and your notes will be there!

    Download now:

    Nice work John! If you have problems/questions please let us know in the comments below.

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    OneNote Search and Replace


    It is Friday evening after a nice long busy week and I got permission to release another powertoy!  This powertoy is the OneNote Search and Replace feature so please check it out.  I know a few people have asked for this on the newsgroup as well as via the comments section.  Perfect for when code names change (think Longhorn-->Vista).  This powertoy was written by an superstar OneNote developer so a big round of applause for Jeffrey; thank you much for coding this and letting me release this.

    How it works

    1. Download the application from here:
    2. Extract the application and run the setup.exe
    3. You will now have a new toolbar button in OneNote which looks like this:
    4. Click the button and you will see a window like this:
    5. Now you can choose your search terms and what scope.
    6. Click Preview and Replace to try it out!

    Remember all powertoys available from this blog are AS IS and are not supported by Microsoft. 

    Please use at your own risk, but please do enjoy!  Have a great weekend all!

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Changing the OneNote Screen Clipping and New Side Note keyboard shortcuts


    I think this is the longest title for a post yet. Have you wanted to change the keyboard shortcut for screen clippings? For new side notes? For a new screen clipping? This is the question that was asked in our internal DL:

    I wanted to get a screen capture of something while I was mouse clicking on something but I could not click the mouse and be able to stretch the fingers on my other hand to reach both the Windows + S key.  Can I assign a different letter than S which is closer to the Windows key?

    Now @ first glance you might think that S and the Windows key are close together, but if you have Toshiba laptop they decided to put the Windows key on the top right of the keyboard (which totally pissed me off for the first month of use). So actually in OneNote you can change this via the registry, here are the steps. Note: you can only do this with OneNote 2007.


    By default OneNote uses "s" for screen clipping and "n" for new side note. You can change that by changing the following reg keys under this path:



    There are two DWORD values ScreenClippingShortcutKey & NewNoteShortcutKey. The default values are:







    Now this might not make sense but those are hex values for the keyboard keys, here is an entire mapping:




















































































    Say for example you wanted the screen clipping command to be Win+P instead of Win+S, just create a new DWORD called ScreenClippingShortcutKey and give it the value of 0x50. Now just log off/log on and you should be all set!


    I hope this helps you all if you questions please let me know. Also if someone wants to make a nice GUI app that does this that would be awesome too J Maybe I should but just not enough time.

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Navigation in OneNote 2013


    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


    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.



    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

    How to fix missing printer icon


    We have reports of the "Send To OneNote 2007" printer disappearing or stop working. We're looking into the causes and possible fixes. In the meantime, here are some fixes that have been shown to work. If you run into this problem and one of these steps fix it, please let us know (by leaving a comment below or email me directly). That will help us track down the cause(s).

    1. Open up the Add/Remove Programs Control Panel applet, and run Repair on the Office/OneNote install
    2. Disable the Send To OneNote IE add-on
      • Boot Ie and go to Tools | Manage Add-ons | Enable or Disable Add-ons
      • Find the entry for a "Send to OneNote" add-on. Click the radio button to disabled it
      • Restart IE as requested
      • Open up the Add/Remove Programs Control Panel applet, and run Repair on the Office/OneNote install
    3. Remove an conflicting print driver
      • Go to Control Panel - Printers
      • Identify the printer (sometimes a pdf printer) installed after OneNote.
      • Right click mouse and open properties.
      • Go to Ports tab and check the entries.
      • Check if the box next to "Send to Microsoft OneNote Port:" is ticked.
      • If ticked this appears to be the source of the conflict.
      • Delete the offending printer driver.
      • Perform a repair install of Office/OneNote.


    I hope this works and also do this if you are comfortable messing with installations; this is a working theory and might not fix everyone's problems.  Thanks a bunch and I hope this post is useful to those people who are facing this problem and they search online for a solution.  Take care

    Update on 2009-05-05: If you are seeing this and you are on Windows 64bit (x64) then you might want to read this: OneNote Print Driver – A 64 Bit Solution, check it out!

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Do you miss tab in OneNote?


    One of my favourite features in OneNote 2007 is that when you hit tab it auto inserts a table for you, I have found this to be the best way to start making tables.  I have only once wanted to enter an old fashion tab in OneNote and I did it by copying and pasting from Notebook/Windows Run dialog.  Anyhow it looks like Olya Veselova, OneNote PM, has blogged something new: Workaround for "turning off" the TAB key creating a table instead of a regular TAB in OneNote.  Here is her tip:

    Create an Auto-correct rule that turns your chosen character sequence (e.g. "\t") into a regular TAB:

    1. Open Notepad and type one TAB. Select it and copy it.
    2. Go to OneNote and click Tools > Auto-correct Options...
    3. In the dialog, put your desired sequence of characters (e.g. \t, or \tab, or TAB, or <t>, or whatever you like) into the "Replace:" field.
    4. Paste the TAB that you copied from Notepad into the "With:" filed. Click Add.

    Now, any \t followed by a SPACE will be replaced by a regular TAB.

    Check out the full post here: Workaround for "turning off" the TAB key creating a table instead of a regular TAB in OneNote. Nice post Olya!

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    OneNote for iPad & iPhone connecting to SharePoint, Office 365 & SkyDrive Pro


    I have seen a few people comment about connecting to SharePoint notebooks in OneNote for iPad & iPhone (iOS).  The app fully supports on-prem SharePoint 2010 & higher, Office 365 notebooks and SkyDrive Pro notebooks and I wanted to spend sometime explaining how you can get those notebooks open in OneNote.  Now you need to make sure that you have a connection to your server and for on-prem that means you would need to VPN first.  Additionally if you have some complex form of auth on your server then this might not work with the mobile client put in a comment below if you are facing issues!


    OneNote hyperlinks - just click on the link

    People often will send links to notebooks & content in notebook with a OneNote hyperlink (onenote:) which will call OneNote and then it will open your notebook.  This is how you do this:

    1. Go to OneNote
    2. Right-click on the notebook and choose copy hyperlink to this notebook
    3. Paste this into an email to yourself  or paste it into a notebook which you have open in OneNote on your device
    4. Go to your device to where you had that hyperlink
    5. Tap on the hyperlink (make sure it isn't the web link)
    6. OneNote will open and then maybe ask you for a password
    7. Notebook should open just fine

    This is the preferred way and I think the easiest so if you can send yourself a hyperlink I highly suggest that you do this.


    iPad: Opening from OneNote

    If you are running OneNote on and iPad you can also open a notebook directly from SharePoint by adding your SharePoint to OneNote, just follow these steps:

    1. Open OneNote
    2. Tap on the back arrow in the top left
    3. Tap on Open
    4. Tap on Add a Place
    5. Then choose SharePoint URL and type the name of your SharePoint site and subsite if you know it.
    6. Enter your username & password
    7. Then your SharePoint sites will show up under a SharePoint place, and then you can navigate through the site to find your notebook


    Opening from Office Mobile for iPhone

    If you are on an iPhone and an Office 365 subscriber you can navigate to your SharePoint site from there and tap on a notebook to launch OneNote.


    Opening directly from SharePoint/Office 365

    If you are running SharePoint 2013 or higher you can navigate to the SharePoint site in the browser and from the mobile site you can directly click on the notebook and it will launch OneNote.

    If you are on an iPad you can go into the OneNote Web App and click on "Open in OneNote" and it will launch OneNote, note that this requires the most recent version of the web apps and I believe this is only available on Office 365 at the current time. 

    If you are on SharePoint 2010 you would not be able to do this : (

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    OneNote Mobile for iPhone - RE: "Login failed, error: 400" Error


    First of all thank you very much for your interest in OneNote Mobile for the iPhone, there has been a tremendous response thus far.

    We have received reports from customers who are hitting an error on initial login, with the following message: "Login failed, error: 400".


    The team has been investigating the issue and believe we have identified the cause. We are working on an update. However the underlying cause is an intermittent issue, due to overwhelming interest in the app. The workaround is to keep trying to sign in, once you get past this error then OneNote will sync without any problem.

    Thank you for your patience and interest in OneNote, we all apologize for the inconvenience.

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Sort Sections powertoy


    How could we have guessed that people had so many sections that they would want to organize them with just a click of a button? With that being said I finally finished up my sort sections powertoy. Pretty much I took the same code for the sort pages and changed it to work for sections, it was pretty easy. I had a harder time with Visual Studio & getting my setup project to work correctly (oh and the icon that was a pain too).





    1. Make sure you have OneNote 2007 Installed & the Microsoft .Net Framework 2.0
    2. Download the file from here:
    3. Install
    4. Close and restart OneNote
    5. Click on the new button you have:


    Now you are all set!

    CAUTION: I didn't do any real testing other than a quick sanity tests, buyer beware! Oh and if you try it with a blank notebook you will just get a bunch of errors.

    If you have problems/questions please let me know, otherwise I hope this helps you all out.

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Send to OneNote Print Driver disappears after installing Sept update


    We have gotten reports from some users that their Send to OneNote Print Driver disappeared after installing the September 2008 (9-Sept-2008) update.  We have been able to reproduce this ourselves and we have some guidance for you all:

    If you haven't installed the update yet

    If you haven't installed the security update please reboot your machine and then immediately install the update.  By doing this you should ensure that the print driver continues to stay on your system.

    If you have already installed the update and your print driver is missing

    If you are missing the print driver you should be able to restore it by running a repair of your Office installation.  You can do this on XP by going to Control Panel, choosing Add/Remove Programs and then find Microsoft Office, right-click on it and choose to Repair.  For Vista go to Programs & Features (from Start menu or Control Panel) and right-click on Microsoft Office and choose Repair.

    If you have already installed the update and your print driver is NOT missing

    You don't need to do anything!

    What caused this?

    We found that the print driver will be removed if you have printed to OneNote during the same Windows session where you installed the update.  So if you printed to OneNote and then a day later, without rebooting, you installed the update then the print driver would be removed.  However if you haven't printed to OneNote in awhile you can safely install the update without any problem, that is also why I recommend that you reboot before installing this update.

    We apologise for this and we are looking into why this happened to ensure it doesn't happen in the future.

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Taking Meeting Notes in OneNote 2013


    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


  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    OneNote 2007 Word Count


    Here is another powertoy from the OneNote team, think of it as some love from the OneNote team on Valentine's Day. Jeff Cardon from the OneNote Test team wrote this powertoy which will count the number of words you have on a page, just by the click of the button. Here is what you should do:

    1. You need to have the .Net 2.0 Framework installed
    2. Download the application from here:
    3. Run setup
    4. Close and restart OneNote
    5. Look for this in the toolbar:

    1. Click the button!

    This will launch the following app which counts the number of words on the page, title, ink and more! Just like this:

    Download now:

    Now you can get a word count in OneNote, nice work Jeff! If any of you have problems or questions please let us know by leaving feedback below.

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Overview of OneNote 2010 – What’s new for you


    David Rasmussen, the OneNote Group Program Manager also know as my boss, has posted a great overview of what’s new in OneNote 2010:

    David did an excellent job outlining what we have been working on since 2007 and it is just so exciting to be able to unveil these new features for you (our customers).

    I have pasted it below but I would also subscribe to David’s blog as he will be blogging about OneNote 2010. Without further ado:

    OneNote 2010 Investments Overview

    1. Universal Access

    We repeatedly hear that access to your notes and the ability to take them anywhere is very important, whether you’re at work, home or on the go. OneNote 2007 already provides offline availability and seamless sync, and a basic OneNote application for Windows Mobile. But we knew that was just the beginning. With OneNote 2010 we’ve added:

    • Sync to Cloud (Windows Live): Your notebooks sync and are available anywhere from any machine. Of course this is in addition to all the existing ways you can sync notebooks (file shares, SharePoint, USB drives etc.)
    • OneNote Web App: You can access and edit your entire notebook from a browser. Even on a machine that doesn’t have OneNote installed.
    • OneNote Mobile: A more complete OneNote version for Windows Mobile phones. Syncs whole notebooks. Syncs directly to the cloud. No need to tether your device. Richer editing support.

    Note: The above are not yet available in the Tech Preview unfortunately. We’re still finishing some integration work for sync to Windows Live.

    2. Sharing and Collaboration

    With OneNote 2007 we pioneered simultaneous multi-user editing of notebooks. OneNote 2007 auto-magically merges the edits, even simultaneous edits on the same page. This is valuable for single users (you can edit on desktop and laptop and not have one machine lock the file), but it’s even more valuable for  teams sharing a notebook for plans, ideas, meetings and so on. Or perhaps a family notebook shared with your significant other. We’ve heard lots of positive feedback about this, and  it has completely transformed the way many teams work and collaborate. We’ve also heard about many families that use it for sharing home renovation plans, gardening info, recipes, wedding planning and so on.

    In OneNote 2010 we’ve added a number of features to make the experience of sharing with others more productive and intuitive. These include:

    • What’s new (aka Unread) highlighting: New content that someone else added or changed since you last looked at a page is highlighted so you can see what’s new on that page. Also, the notebook name, section tabs and page tabs are shown in bold so you can quickly navigate to pages with new content.
    • Author indicator: Content written by anyone other than you has a small color coded bar to the right with their initials. At a glance you can tell who wrote something.
    • Versioning: Quickly show past versions of any given page, who wrote it and when, with changes relative to previous versions highlighted.
    • Fast sync on same page: When multiple people are working on the same page we speed up the sync of that page so you can see other peoples edits in near real time.
    • We also added capabilities to be able to quickly search for recently added content (last day, week, month etc.) or get an overview of what given people changed on what days.
    • Merge two sections: This feature is more of a detail but it fits here. Sometimes people share notebooks using Live Mesh or Dropbox or other file sharing solutions. And you can end up with two forked copies of a section if you happened to make changes on two machines at once (you can read earlier posts for context, but OneNote cannot auto-magically merge simultaneous edits when working on these systems that copy files around underneath OneNote). So we’ve added the ability to manually merge any two sections if you ever get into this situation. Just tell OneNote which two sections you want merged and OneNote will take care of it.

    3. Better ways to Organize and Find your Notes

    Capturing, organizing and finding your information has always been at the heart of what OneNote does. We’ve made several enhancements in this core area. Some of these will be more understandable once we have detailed blog posts with screenshots.

    • Section and page tab improvements: making notebook navigation work better with a larger number of sections and pages, easier to create new sections, better page tab hierarchy visualization, collapse sub page groups, just drag left and right to create sub pages and organize your pages, insert new pages directly anywhere in your page tabs.
    • Fast “word wheel” search for navigation: the goal of this is to make search a super fast way to get to your regularly used notes. Historically search has been more of a “last resort” feature when you couldn’t find something. We’ve completely revamped this experience so it is now designed to make it the fastest way to get to any page including pages you visit regularly like your To Do list.
    • Wiki linking: you can easily create a link to an existing page or to a new page for a topic. You can do this by just typing the Wiki link syntax (e.g. just type [[The Page Title I Want]] ), or use our new page search experience from within the link dialog. This enables you to easily create Wiki like notebooks with lots of cross links across pages.
    • Quick filing: there are many ways to send content to OneNote (Print to OneNote, send mails from Outlook, send pages from Internet Explorer and so on). Our new Quick Filing experience pops up to let you pick where in your notebook you want to send it. It remembers the last places you sent things. You can search in Quick Filing to find a specific section or page if you want it somewhere else.

    4. Research and taking notes linked to documents, web pages

    OneNote is often used as a companion while researching topics and collecting information (e.g. a market analysis study, a class paper, a home renovation, a car purchase and so on). This often involves looking at web pages or documents and taking notes. You could also be reviewing a document or class lecture slides and taking notes as you’re looking through them. We’ve enhanced a number of things to make this experience better.

    • Docked OneNote: you can dock OneNote to the side of your screen. It docks alongside other windows (e.g. browser, Word, PowerPoint). OneNote minimizes UI and just shows the notes page alongside your document/browser.
    • Linked Note Taking: while in this mode, OneNote automatically links the notes you take to what you’re looking at – the web page URL, the selection point in Word, the current slide in PowerPoint. Later in OneNote you can hover on that link and you’ll see a thumbnail preview of the original document, you can click on it and it will open and take you back to what you were looking at when you wrote the note.
    • Auto text wrapping: this goes well with Docked OneNote but is useful in other cases too. OneNote now wraps text outlines to fit the windows size if there is only one outline on the page. This makes it easy to see all your notes even when OneNote is docked to a relatively narrow window on the side.
    • IRM protected printouts: this is mainly for enterprise and training scenarios. The idea is that companies can distribute things like product manuals or class notes in OneNote that are protected intellectual property. The recipient can view these in OneNote and take their own personal notes on top of these materials and beside them. If for some reason the materials were viewed by an unauthorized person they would not see any of the protected material.
    • 64 bit print driver: Yes, OneNote 2010 has a new native print driver that fully supports 64 bit. It’s based on the XPS technology from Windows. It also has other virtues like better rendering quality when scaled.

    5. Editing improvements

    There are a number of basic editing improvements in OneNote. Below are some more prominent ones.

    • Basic styles: OneNote 2010 adds very basic styles like Heading 1,2,3. This does not have the power of Words styling features. OneNote is not designed for that level of document formatting. But it does give you a way to quickly have your meeting notes have a little structure.
    • Bullets improvements: this is a simple one but oft requested. First level bullets now indent from previous text.
    • Equations: OneNote 2010 now supports the ability to add math equations. Great for students or people who need to input math into their notebooks. OneNote will also support the ability to recognize hand written math equations and convert them when running on Windows 7.
    • Translation tooltips: OneNote can now show you a tooltip with a translation into your native language when your mouse hovers over a foreign language word. Great for language students, or if you’re working in a bi-lingual situation and need help understanding a word in a shared notebook or that you clipped from the web.

    6. Touch support

    With the rapidly increasing availability of touch enabled PCs and the enhanced touch experience in Windows 7, this was a natural thing for OneNote to support.

    • Finger panning and auto-switch: you can use your finger to scroll and pan around any page in OneNote. OneNote auto switches between pen, pan, and selection depending on your input device. So for example you can pan around a drawing with your left finger and draw with a tablet pen in your right hand. This makes for a very natural two handed interaction model.
    • Pinch zoom: we enabled pinch zooming within OneNote centered on the fingers.
    • Navigation controls improved for touch: we’ve made some small optimizations to make the UI easier to use with touch.

    7. Fluent UI

    OneNote now adopts the Fluent UI along with the other Office applications.

    • Ribbon: OneNote now has the Ribbon. We’ve designed this to optimize for the key OneNote scenarios and make them easier to use. This is also what enables us to more easily add features like math equation editing (the common controls for that use the Ribbon), and potential future features.
    • Office Backstage: This is new for Office 2010. OneNote will be taking advantage of it to make tasks like creating new notebooks, and new shared notebooks on the web easier (we’re still doing work on this).
  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    New note flag features for OneNote 2007


    Last release we had a feature called note flags, this feature was very popular and was something that most users used and loved (once they discovered them). They are just little tags you can put on a page to mark something as important, just as if you would star an note from class or mark something as important on real paper. On real people many people would do different things, some people would put stars next to their important notes, other people would highlight, etc. The team converted this into a digital way of doing things, by putting little icons on the page on the left hand margin (or the right hand margin for right to left languages).


    The default set that we shipped with include 5 items: todo, star, question and a couple highlighted items. We saw that people mainly used note flags in one of two ways (with some overlap of the population (I love how Venn diagrams can explain so much)):

    • People who used OneNote to keep track of tasks and todo items. For lots of people they used note flags just to keep track of what is going on and what they needed to do. They would choose the default note flag (which was a todo button) and mark up their pages. Typically these people would roll up (search) their note flags and then create todo pages from there ("Create summary page").
    • Another group of people didn't want to just use OneNote for task management, they wanted to keep track of 'things'. They would use the note flags as descriptors. I always thought about it as the "important exam question", "interesting idea", etc...there are many types of visual clues we leave on paper notes to help us know what is interesting vs what we need to do. You would underline something or put it in a box, etc...those are the notes that you would flag/tag as such. Hang in there I will get to it.


    I fell into the world of #1, I used lists on paper, then Notepad and then OneNote (and now increasingly Outlook). Also many of our customers wanted more with Outlook and tasks sync. The team has done some great work with this release and working better with Outlook, heck even I am using it now. Okay so that is the history behind note flags. Let's talk about what we did this time around!


    #0 We added Outlook task sync

    This is the first and foremost more important feature for this, you can now mark items as an Outlook task and you will have an item appear in Outlook that links back to OneNote. Mark complete in one app and it will be complete in the other. This feature will totally nail things for people who use note flags for the first scenario.


    #1 We added more default note flags:

    The first set of note flags were too limited and there were many more possibilities out there! Just look at that list there are many different types from the todo like items (Todo, Discuss with <Person A>, etc) and also other describers you would put on a note (website to visit, phone number, person, etc). I feel that this list better shows what you might want to do with note flags, we want to plant a seed in your mind so that you can customize your note flags for your own needs!


    #2 We added more customization support!

    First of all we increased the limit from 25 to 100, not everyone needed this but now we allow you to have 4 times as many note flags as before.

    Another requests from users was the ability to remove a note flag, which we did as well (see the buttons on the bottom of the task pane).


    #3 More icon types

    In this release we have updated not only the existing note flags but we also added new icon types, see the new note flag gallery:

    The new icons give you more flexibility of what you can add. No we don't support your own note flag icons yet (the ability to upload an image file and make it a note flag), however that is something worth looking into for the next release.


    #4 Better sharing of note flags with others

    Of course we want more people to be sharing notes in shared notebooks (I know it has made my work life more productive), but we also want to help people share note flags more easily especially in shared environments. In OneNote 2007 whenever you see a note flag that you don't have you can right-click on the note flag and add it to your note flags:

    We feel that this will really help teams work together and share note flags.


    Note flags are great feature that I feel when people start using them it will really make their OneNote note taking more effective. Also make sure you use the keyboard shortcuts (Ctrl+1, 2, 3, etc). Finally I would like to thank the team for their hard work on this especially Maria and Myung who helped make this a possibility.


  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    OneNote included in all Office editions!


    I wanted to pass on some of what Ed Bott said about Office & OneNote 2010 in his blog post: Office 2010 makes a splashy (but incomplete) public debut:

    Speaking of OneNote, it gets elevated to a starring role in this release—and it’s about time. In Office 2007, OneNote was part of the entry-level $150 Home and Student edition and the $680 Ultimate edition but was left out of every edition in between. For 2010, Microsoft is bullish enough on OneNote to make it a part of every edition. As Microsoft’s Bryant told me, “We think people will have OneNote open all the time just like they do with Outlook.”

    Thanks for the kind words Ed!

    I thought you all would like to know that OneNote is now included in all Office editions! That means no matter what Office box you buy or what you company purchases OneNote will be on the disc!  I remember when I first started on the team OneNote 2003 was a stand alone version of and even though we were a part of Office but wasn’t in the box.  I would tell people what product I worked on and people would ask “is OneNote in standard?” or “I have pro I don’t see OneNote”.  Then when we found that we were included in the Home & Student and Enterprise editions we were overjoyed and excited to be in the box.  But now I can tell people that no matter what version of Office they buy they will have OneNote!  I feel like we have really come along a long way from a standalone app to being a core part of the Office experience.

    FYI here are the Office editions:

    • Office Home and Student edition includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote.
    • Office Home and Business edition replaces the previous Office Small Business edition. It includes all the programs from the Home and Student edition and adds Outlook.
    • Office Standard is the entry-level enterprise edition; it includes the programs from the Home and Business edition and adds Publisher
    • Office Professional continues to be the high-end package for consumers and small businesses. It includes the programs in Standard edition and adds the Access database management program.
    • Office Professional Plus is the high-end enterprise offering, adding SharePoint Workspace (formerly Groove Workspace) and InfoPath.
  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Program Manager (PM) Interview tips


    I still can't believe that I work at Microsoft and I am in a position to help find more talented people to work at Microsoft. As you know I am a Program Manager (PM) and at Microsoft you are typically interviewed by the same discipline for which you are applying. I was recently asked by the UMich recruiter to give some interview tips for PMs so they have an idea of what it is like before they come and interview. I compiled the following list:

    1. Know what a PM is and explain why you want to be a PM

      The first question I ask people is if they are aware of what PM does at Microsoft. I also ask people why they want to be a PM. What was their role in group projects? Do you have opinions when you use software or interfaces?


    2. Ask questions

      When I give you a problem, ask questions! Ask enough questions to understand the problem and what you are solving. Remember that all PMs serve customers so know who the customer is and what they want to do; without understanding customers you cannot make tools which fit their needs and ultimately make them happy. Ask questions.


    3. Talk out load & explain yourself

      When you are given a problem, talk out loud and explain what you are thinking. Which paths are you following in your head? What do you like/dislike? What are you grappling with in your head? Just take some time to explain what you are doing, if you are just standing there silent I don't know how to judge your skills.


    4. Be prepared to talk about your projects

      If I read on your résumé that you worked on some project, be prepared to explain it. I love to learn something from interviews and if you can teach me something new about what you did in a project the better. I want to understand the challenges you had and what you learned from this.


    5. Be prepared to do UI design, flow design

      As PMs we need to design software that fits the users' needs (see #2) and therefore we will expect you to go through and do UI mockups and flow. Explain to me what the user sees, what they click on, what they are thinking and how we help them. What would you do to redesign word processors? What would you do to rethink how email is done today?


    6. Technical Questions are valid

      Just because you are a PM doesn't mean you don't have hard technical questions. Some PMs work on user facing features and others work on backend server stuff (or a combination of each). You need to be well versed in all of the languages of technical problems and the more you write & understand code the better.


    7. Be passionate about software

      I recall doing recruiting events and I would ask people, "What interests you about working at Microsoft?" Or I would ask them, "What do you find interesting in the computer industry today?" I was looking for people who were passionate about software, services, technology and trying new things out. If you don't answer with a strong conviction I don't have as much confidence that you will be a good fit at Microsoft.


    I see that my friend Adam Herscher just posted his list as well: Microsoft Program Manager Interview Questions & Advice. Hope this helps!

  • Engineering OneNote Blog

    Update available for OneNote 2010 - Fixes OCR & Search issues


    Today we released a non-security update for OneNote 2010, here are the details from the Microsoft Office SE blog:

    A non-security update for OneNote 2010 32-bit/64-bit Editions was also released.  This update provides fixes associated with displaying search results, fixes to optical character recognition (OCR), indexing, and displaying of inserted documents.  Additional information can be found in the Microsoft Knowledge Base article Update for Microsoft OneNote 2010 (KB2493983). 

    We heard a bunch of people mentioning this on the OneNote Answers Forum and we were able to figure out the problem and get a fix out for you all.  We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage all users to upgrade today to fix up any issues you might have.  Thank you much and please let us know if you have other concerns/issues! 

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