I do love OneNote, I have been using it consistently since 2003 with the early pen based laptops, which were great.  And over the past 10 years I have seen many student projects that used Visual Studio to implement customization with OneNote.  None of them were as cool as the games that you can create in Excel, but some of them really helped people improve their lives.

But now, C++ is back from where ever it went for the past 10 years, and it needs your attention.  Really.  The world runs on C++, and it isn’t that much more difficult to write exciting code using C++ to build tools that others will pay you to have the opportunity to use.

If this is the case, can I use C++ to build OneNote apps and why should I care?

Let’s skip the part about caring for now.

Programming OneNote:

As with much of Office products which include the infrequently used Publisher, the popular MS Project and the misunderstood but awesome Visio, you usually use VBA to implement the programs.  For OneNote 2010 this search will yield code samples: OneNote Code Samples .

But wait, in OneNote you can use Com-Addins, which are added through the OneNote Options.  I think this would be a cool way to include training or even documentation of your game progress for instance.  Then your customers would have another way to share what they did in the game with other interested parties who share the notebook with them.  Then they wouldn’t pollute facebook pages with game updates.  Or they could do both.

More on how to write reusable com objects over time.

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