OneNote Service Pack 1


Service Pack 1 (SP1) of OneNote is available in preview form starting today. This is not your typical service pack, as you have no doubt read already. I’ve already blogged a bunch about what making a version 1 product is like. We’re pretty happy that our first release was received so well (and the awards were nice too, thanks!). But we got a lot of feedback on the first release, usually of the form “I love it but there’s this one thing…”



Well, you add up all those “one things”, and you get an interesting list. Mostly what people asked for were usability tweaks. Things like being able to have labels on sub page tabs, resizable page tabs, more note flag types and icons, a hotkey to insert date and time on a page, or simply an easy way to change the creation date and time for the page. We tallied all the feedback, made a list (in OneNote of course, projected on a screen for the whole team to see), and rearranged the list several times by frequency of request, difficulty for us to do it (dev cost, test cost), likelihood that the request would really solve a problem, etc. We netted out a list of what we could do to optimize the customer happiness with our small budget for doing stuff in the service pack. We couldn’t do everything of course, since relative to others that would provide more benefit, some things were just too expensive for us (“Alas, poor Drag and Drop of Sections, I knew him well”).



We also added several features to OneNote in SP1. Normally, adding features to an SP is a no-no, since large corporate customers do not want to have to deal with extra features in what is supposed to be a bug-fix release. Fortunately, we’re so new we hardly have any corp customers who have deployed code broadly yet (we’re in evaluation at lots of firms), so there was a small window where we could create a new “baseline” – essentially, SP1 will become the new OneNote from now on – as if we had released it this way in the first place. For the few corps that have deployed us broadly, we are also offering the option to disable all the new features and just take the bug fixes, but we don’t expect that to be used much if at all.



So what are these new features? Well, you can read about them here. There’s also an interview with me here. But I’ll tell you a bit more about them right now.



My favorite new feature is real-time shared note-taking. You simply use File/Share with others, then in the task pane that appears, choose to take notes with other people by Starting a Session. This set sup a real-time session using the DirectPlay protocol (same as used for net gaming). Now you can invite others via email (they just click an attachment to join), or just tell them the name of your machine, or IP address (there’s a button for that). Now you’re all set. You can invite 20+ people to a “netOneNote” session. Everyone can edit at the same time or only the “owner” – you control how you want it to work. We use this already at our OneNote team meetings. Someone pulls up the stationery we made for team meetings that has status report areas for each function (dev, test, PM, loc, etc). We start the meeting by having that person invite everyone else to a shared session. We then all type our status into the shared page, and in about 2 min the meeting minutes are done, and people can just read them and ask questions. This shortens status meetings to about 20 min instead of an hour. And, people can attend remotely. They could always call in before, but now they can also join via OneNote, see what is being written, add their thoughts, communicate using diagrams, etc. If there’s a question that can’t be squeaked in due to a lot of talk, you can just type it on the shared page and someone will answer, without even interrupting the meeting. You can see how this can be useful as an addition to any teleconference. It is peer-to-peer, so no charge, no sign up.



Another one we got asked for a lot was PocketPC and SmartPhone integration. We had plans for this for the first release but the feature didn’t make it in. We wanted to get this right, so having the chance to get feedback on the shipping product was very useful. It turned out that about 75-80% of users simply wanted to scribble or speak notes on their device and have them appear on their desktop later. We had been worried that they might want to see their desktop notes on the device, or worse, edit them there, but this was only requested by about 20% of the users. Since writing code for the device was far more work than we could manage in the short time we had, we lucked out in that most people wanted the cheaper thing.



We got quite a few requests from our users with tablet PCs to do more there, so we did. We couldn’t do the full overhaul of ink that we want to do, but we did a lot of the top things: new erasers to act more like pencils, customizable pens (colors, nib size), drawings can be edited by selecting parts of them, support for double-spaced notes and lots of bug and performance fixes.



A big thing that tablet users wanted and others too was a way to “print” documents into your notebook. Using the new “Insert/Document a Pictures” feature you get a picture of each page that you can write on or type next to, plus a link to the original. For file types we couldn’t support directly like PDF or web pages, you can print the file to the Microsoft Office Document Image Writer (MODI). Set the output to be TIFF in the Properties/Advanced tab. Insert the resulting file using the “Insert/Document as pictures” command.



Stationery got a lot of attention too. We added a whole stationery pane, and made a lot of things easier, such as managing your own custom stationery, and making a certain stationery the default for a section. You can also get stationery from our Office online site for OneNote.



Quite a few users asked us for a way to secure their data, beyond what the OS does. In some cases they simply didn’t know you could password protect your screen saver, or encrypt your file system. But many people made a case that they needed more specific protection of their notes, so we added per-section password protection.



With audio notes a big hit in the original release, it was a no-brainer to follow-up with video notes. Plug in a webcam or digital camcorder that supports streaming, and you’re good to go. At about 60MB/hr for basic video (around 100MB/hr for near-VHS quality), you can record video all day, synced with whatever comments you type (or write). Reviewing the video later is no problem of course – just click on the film icon next to what you wrote, and the video jumps to the right spot. Great for interviews, rehearsals, house hunting, etc.



Another nice tidbit is that you can now capture screenshots directly into OneNote – just Insert/Screen Clipping, drag out a rectangle, and get that screenshot in your notebook.



We perked up performance in general and file handling all over the place. Working with SharePoint or keeping some note sections on the web is now much more pleasant. It’s funny how it sounds so unsexy, but performance can make the biggest difference in your experience – it is really the difference between loving and hating a software product. If something takes half a second, it is cool, if it takes 10 seconds, it is lame. Doesn’t matter much what it is, 10 seconds is about 9 seconds more than most people have patience for.



One thing I’ve noticed is that the blog audience is heavily weighted toward developers compared to the normal population of users. So you’ll be glad to hear that we added the very beginning of a hint of extensibility to OneNote for this Sp1. The intent was to enable integration with OneNote by providing a way to push data into OneNote. So through a combination of command-line switches and this little API, you can do some interesting things. Look for some good powertoys built by our user group in the near future (add-ins for IE and Outlook to push web pages and email to OneNote, and even an RSS reader plug-in!). Documentation on the API is coming shortly – it is amazing how hard it is to just stick something out on the web (lawyers, you know). Now, before y’all get your knickers in a twist, I’ll tell you flat out that this is the poor man’s API. It does not represent our intent for the future, and it certainly doesn’t enable all the things we want to enable (it doesn’t even do the “O” in I/O). What it does is allow a few partners to work better with OneNote.



I’ll leave you with this thought: we’re not done yet with SP1, but we felt we should get the code out to our users for feedback now so we can incorporate your experiences. Please install it, run it, and give us feedback. We’re not really adding features at this point to Sp1, but that sort of feedback is always welcome since we’re working on “version 2” right now. And please report any crashes or hangs you experience via the “Watson” dialogs we hope you never see. We watch the crash data closely and hope to fix any nasties that may have slipped by us (we already fixed the top 25 crashes in the original release and several more as well – we’re hoping to get a few more before we ship Sp1). With a small user base like this beta running for a short time, we need you to report every crash – they all count!

Comments (70)

  1. Colin Walker says:

    Everything’s looking pretty good from here except it ALWAYS crashes when I go to insert a meeting.

    Apart from that it’s top notch stuff πŸ™‚

  2. Colin Walker says:

    Don’t worry, I’m submitting the error reports πŸ˜‰

  3. Thanks Chris, excellent post. Very informative.

    The mini-API is a good start.

    -B-

  4. Ole Klette says:

    Chris,

    great post (and product).

    Extremely satisfied with the new features.

    Oh, I wish my company would upgrade to Outlook 2003 so that I can use the full integration!

    Ole

  5. A. Karel says:

    It IS very nice indeed. Good work. Happy with the new stuff.

    The only thing…whilst my autobulleting works fine, the autonumbering (type a 1. and your point…hit enter and voila: 2.) doesn’t work.

    Thanks again for the good new stuff.

  6. Microsoft released the OneNote 2003 Service Pack 1 Preview today. Chris Pratley is a much better source for the intricacies. SP1 includes an API and SP1 will be the new OneNote baseline. OneNote now has real-time note sharing. It would…

  7. Dang. Rushed out of the office for an end-of-day meeting offsite and forgot to grab my OneNote install disc (you need it and have to uninstall 1.0 before installing the SP1 release). So, no review tonight on the SP1 Preview. However, Chris Pratley has come to the rescue with a dandy post from "behind the curtains" about the what and why bedhind the SP1 release. A great read, as always. Chris_Pratley’s WebLog Service Pack 1 (SP1) of OneNote is available in preview form starting today. This is not your typical service pack, as you have no doubt read already. I’ve already blogged a bunch about what making a version 1 product is like. We’re pretty happy that our first release was received so well (and the awards were nice too, thanks!). But we got a lot of feedback on the first release, usually of the form "I love it but there’s this one thing"…

  8. Colin Walker says:

    Problem solved thanks to Benoit πŸ™‚ Ah the power of blogs πŸ˜‰

  9. Ralph Poole says:

    thanks for the post, chris. I started using SP1 today. I like being able to move things around much more easily. I really want to try the netOneNote shared session during a meeting!

  10. Ralph Poole says:

    thanks for the post, chris. I started using SP1 today. I like being able to move things around much more easily. I really want to try the netOneNote shared session during a meeting!

  11. Man, so much here. Pocket PC and SmartPhone integration, better Office (and SharePoint) integration, shared session features based on online gaming technology, stationery customization, performance improvements, mini-API, password-protection and encrypted sections, new pen styles, inserting pictures from any TWAIN source, inserting screen clippings, recording of video…

    Gah, to fully digest this will take me a few days. I guess never mind, on half my plug-in requests, kinda funny how I was writing that and then the news hit from Europe about the Service Pack, I was whoa, Heavens to Betsy! πŸ™‚ Yeehaw. Impressive, and from a Service Pack no less. OneNote 2 will be monumental.

  12. I love the feature that you now can link to a document on your disk (by drag&drop) without OneNote copying it to it’s own directory.

    Would be even more awesome if these linked documents would be searched when using the OneNote search. This would upscale OneNote to a central knowledge base for me.

    Most of my course notes link to word, excel, powerpoint, pdf files and web pages. Would be cool if that information would be tightly integrated in OneNote. Thanks for the great SP!

  13. johahn says:

    Good stuff. However, whenever I insert a Outlook meeting it gives me a fatal error on a separate dialog box, but still lets me insert.

    Could it be that my .pst file is password locked requires my password everytime?

  14. Mike Walsh Helsinki says:

    The only thing that irritates me is the need for the CDROM from which you installed One Note 1.0.

    Now in my case I’m probably running it on an MSDN license. But was the CD the one that finally came by post or the one that I burnt myself after a download from the MSDN subscriber site (or, horrors, was it an MSDN CDROM that has since been replaced by them with one that includes another product too and thus I no longer have). And will this actually matter?

  15. Todd Adams says:

    I uninstalled it and did not need the CD during the re-install.

  16. RoudyBob says:

    PocketPC/Smartphone integration is "da Bomb!" Way to go Chris and the OneNote team.

  17. Alex says:

    Improvements are great! Thanks a lot!

    The only one thing that I’m suffering from is the case when I have a lot of pages and subpages on one tab and it is VERY hard to find pages. They are different from subpages by the length of their bar.

    If you guys would be able to give us an ability to collapse and expand subpages, that would be a dream of my life πŸ™‚

  18. Balazs Fejes says:

    I am really looking forward to the API…

    I will need to create some simple tool to push memos from my PalmOS-based Clie.

    Even if it’s just one way, it’d be great.

  19. I still can’t fathom why the .one files are not XML. Is there a technical reason? What’s the discussion behind the scenes about using a binary (proprietary format) as opposed to an open and extensible format?

  20. Jessica Northrop says:

    Extremely excited about Pocket PC integration…great job!

  21. Tejas Patel says:

    Just one of the suggestions to the team, Microsoft MSN has a feature called ‘White board sharingβ€œ on MSN messenger (which looks primitive OneNote), is there a way that we can integrate OneNote in MSN messenger in the near future, so I can share it online with all the people that I am chatting to.

    http://geekswithblogs.net/tpatel/archive/2004/04/22/4178.aspx

  22. Tejas Patel says:

    Also, I want the capability to draw tables in OneNote. I had a frustrating hour using OneNote as could not draw tables as I can in Word.

  23. Andy Lin says:

    I posted this in TabletPCBuzz.com, and here for anyone else:

    Thanks for the info. Since it seems that OneNote developers are reading this forum (and this is a great thing!), I’d like to provide some more feedback.

    To reiterate a bit, I feel that I speak for a lot of engineering students when I say that the Journal method of inking works best for taking notes in science and engineering. I first started using Journal to take notes, and it worked perfectly. Recently, I switched to OneNote, in hopes that once I learned the nuances of the program, the incredible file organizing abilities would more than pay off for all the work. Unfortunately, it hasn’t yet. I spend too much time worrying about how to layout notes properly, and less time paying attention to the board. At MIT, this is a serious problem that even recording lectures cannot mitigate.

    While note containers are wonderful for notes that include lots of handwritten text, the way they are currently handled doesn’t work well for handwritten text interspersed with drawings. Let me list some issues and scenarios:

    * Say I have a list, detailing the steps of a polymerization reaction, which include two types of reactions. So my first bullet is "Type of polymerization reaction". Then I would have two indented bullets underneath stating "Protonic acid" and "Lewis acid". Under each, I want to do a drawing of the polymerization reaction. Currently, the drawing is separate of the note-container. Since lecture notes are taken chronologically, once I start drawing the for the protonic acid, the note container stops. In order to continue my bulleted list, I have to use the "insert space" tool to carefully insert space in the note-container, hoping it doesn’t move the drawing. Then I can continue my bulleted-list and continue with Lewis acids.

    * Having to alternate between drawing and handwriting "pens" is annoying and as Journal demonstrates, can be avoided. How to make this work with note containers is a problem I leave for the experts. [8D]

    * The improved selection of drawings is wonderful, but still not quite perfect. Something else that irks me is the conversion from handwritten ink to drawing ink, and vice versa. Why are the strokes moved around if I do that, especially when going from handwriting to drawing. I obviously like what I’ve drawn, so why change the position of ink strokes?

    * There are issues with note containers arbitrarily deciding not to continue extending, such that as I write another note container appears to the right, usually overlapping, and just annoys me, let alone wreaks havoc on my note heirarchy.

    * To distinguish between handwriting and drawings, you have to write fairly large. This creates problems not only with screen space, but with the overall look of a note. I like to write small, so I can overview more information at once. What I have had to resort to these days is completely disregarding the structure of my notes, making myself write down, rather than put drawings close together to better associate them.

    * Why exclude search from drawings? Drawings are often labelled. With the current methods, text labels you give to a drawing are either part of it, or separate handwriting note containers. This can create a serious clutter, and the software has trouble distinguishing between text and drawing. You have to switch pens, and then note containers start piling up, reflowing inappropriately, etc.

    * Why reflow when dragging things? Let there be an option to keep things the way they are arranged relative to each other.

    * Why can’t we change the size of rule lines? I’m forced to stick with blank stationery, since that gives me the most flexibility with note containers.

    I feel that there are two possible solutions to this issue at hand. Either "fix" or improve note containers to better handle drawings and handwriting, with reflow as the key issue. The easier fix, and perhaps most flexible, is to allow Journal-style inking as an option. Therefore, when I’m taking lecture notes I can do that in the free-form way. But when I go to organizational meetings, I can use the note-container features.

    To see examples of my notes in both Journal and OneNote, see these links. The dates of the notes can give you some incite on the improvement and adjustment I’ve made with time to using digital ink. That is why I’ve included multiple lecture notes.

    [url]http://web.mit.edu/andylin/www/school/3.062/lectures/0407L_LivingPolymers.jnt[/url]

    [url]http://web.mit.edu/andylin/www/school/3.062/lectures/0409L_IonicChainGrowth.jnt[/url]

    [url]http://web.mit.edu/andylin/www/school/3.062/lectures/0412L_cationic_polymerizaton.jnt[/url]

    [url]http://web.mit.edu/andylin/www/school/3.062/lectures/0414_Coordination.jnt[/url]

    [url]http://web.mit.edu/andylin/www/school/7.013/lectures/0407L_cloning.jnt[/url]

    [url]http://web.mit.edu/andylin/www/school/7.013/lectures/0409L_%20CloningConclusion.jnt[/url]

    [url]http://web.mit.edu/andylin/www/school/7.013/lectures/0412L_NervousSystemII.jnt[/url]

    [url]http://web.mit.edu/andylin/www/school/7.013/lectures/0414L_Visual_System.jnt[/url]

    I have printed my OneNote notes (including some notes I imported from Journal) to PDF to be viewed by everyone. I don’t even know if they’ve printed correctly. The printing from Journal is much smoother. It’d be nice to have the ability to shrink ink notes to the page, without affecting other things like page headers. Writing ink at regular zoom makes the ink print HUGE on paper. Another gripe that Journal does better.

    [url]http://web.mit.edu/andylin/www/school/7.013/lectures/7.013.pdf[/url]

    [url]http://web.mit.edu/andylin/www/school/3.062/lectures/3.062.pdf[/url]

    Overall, I am still impressed with what OneNote can do, and I hope that this carefully written response provides good feedback for the final release of SP1 in the summer.

  24. I would REALLY love viewing and editing my OneNote notes on my Pocket PC. Pretty please?

  25. Simon Cooke says:

    I still can’t fathom why the .one files are

    > not XML. Is there a technical reason?

    Are you a big fan of files like this:

    <page>

    <ink container>

    <stroke>

    <point x=324 y=432/>

    <point x=324 y=432/>

    <point x=324 y=432/>

    <point x=324 y=432/>

    <point x=324 y=432/>

    <point x=324 y=432/>

    <point x=324 y=432/>

    … and so on and so forth? Expand that several billions times, and you’ll see why text file formats don’t work if you need to store inherently binary data, such as graphics or ink.

  26. Lorenz says:

    Is there any functionality currently included to take a note and assign it to your desktop? kind of like a post-it/outlook note for your desktop, except one that always sticks to your desktop and doesn’t take space on the taskbar.

  27. Alan Bell says:

    Love the SR – one question though – the side note from the tray, WinKey+N, dosen’t work on my system after the install – Yes it is set in Options.

    Is this a bug or something I have missed?

  28. Blair Mc says:

    Yannick Smits said it above – the dream would be that the contents of linked documents could (optionally) be included in a search in OneNote. So that, for example, the useful information that is off in an Excel spreadsheet doesn’t need to be duplicated (with the attendant loss of table structure (argh), formulas, etc.) into OneNote in order to be part of your information store.

  29. Benoit says:

    About the side note icon missing from the tray: it is part of the known issue list on the preview web site. There is a temporary workaround available there also, and somebody in the public newsgoup posted a permanent workaround.

  30. Lora in playing around with a sample Shared session. Shared note-taking starting to be a favorite feature.

    http://www.whatisnew.com/article1510.html

  31. Enrique says:

    I´ve noticed the taskbar OneNote icon dissapears when I hut down the machine. It will only reappear when I select the already selected option in One Note Options.

  32. Enrique,

    The missing systray icon is a known issue in the preview. To fix: Create a new text file using Notepad (or the text editor of your choice)

    and paste everything between the ====s into it.

    ============

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftOffice11.0OneNote]

    "FirstBoot"= –

    ============

    Name that file: ontray.reg and save it somewhere like the desktop where

    you can easily find it. Close OneNote and Double-click the Ontray.reg

    file to add the relevent line to your registry. Restart OneNote

    and it should work fine.

  33. Thomas Lee says:

    I like the updates to the UI – this was a gripe of mine too.

    The one thing I guess I miss is a simple "Blog This Page" icon, with the ability to put some code behind it. I kind of thought File/Publish Pages might do it, but not really.

    What I’d like to see is a little icon just to the right of the page title. A bit like the Blog This icon on the Google Tool Bar. See: http://toolbar.google.com/button_help.html for details if not familiar.

    Alternatively, how about a Power Toys for OneNote which adds this stuff on?

    And where’s the macro facility!?? πŸ™‚

    OneNote rocks!

    Thomas

  34. jmh says:

    The Date/Time stamp feature is a big step in the right direction for my note taking… I work in the spaceflight operations business where we use GMT for taking log notes on console… would be helpful if to be able to select a time format that suits the ‘notetaking situation’. In this case, selecting the time zone for notes, and a format of DOY/HH:MM:SS…

  35. Jeremy Marx says:

    Why can’t we move around the section tabs like we can the page tabs? I have enough tabs that I have to left-right scroll to see the ones I’ve recently added, which is an inconvenience since they’re currently my most used sections. It would be very nice to be able to move them around at will.

  36. Jeremy Marx says:

    You know, just as I hit Submit, I discovered the new Helpful Tips section incldued in SP1, and there it was, "Reorder a section or folder"!

    Thanks for knowing what I wanted before I knew it. πŸ˜‰

  37. Greg Hughes says:

    The Preview Release is really pretty nice. I have noticed some weird scroll-bar behavior (where you try to grab the scroll bar and drge it and it resizes itself rather than scrolling). Also, was curious about plans to add the aility to select a block of text (or image or whatever) in OneNote and add a hyperlink.

    And I was able to start blogging with it after after some minor adjustments. Blogs from OneNote with video attached. Oh boy. πŸ™‚

  38. Enrique says:

    Thanks very much Chris for the tip.

  39. Enrique says:

    It works!

  40. jmh: the time format is defined by your Windows settings. if you don’t mind changing the way you view dates in the file system and elsewhere, you can adjust the settings in the Regional options and get what you want (hopefully – I am not sure about GMT – you might have to switch your timezone to GMT)

  41. Greg Hughes: Congrats, you have hit what we call "the most bizarre bug ever". We haven’t tracked down what causes it yet. Fortunately, it is harmless, and restarting Onenote will fix it (or even just switching to another section and back). Adding hyperlinks other than typed or copy/pasted is on the roadmap but not for Sp1.

  42. Thomas Lee says:

    Chris,

    For those of us who have multiple time zones to deal with, the ability to tell OneNote what time zone to use (by default == local time zone) would be nice.

  43. SteveF says:

    You know, every time I create a summary page, and then try to print it I get a crash. If I cut the section and move it to another page and try to print it I get the same crash.

    Very weird, not to mention inconvenient!

  44. ravidew says:

    I’m looking forward to the release. As a college student, the <i>realtime shared notetaking feature</i> will be particularly useful as I hone my tic-tac-toe skills with my classmates πŸ™‚

  45. Where’s the best place to submit feedback about the service pack?

  46. Most of you will know that I’m a huge, huge fan and advocate of OneNote. If you use it, especially if you have a Tablet PC, you absolutely must get the OneNote SP1 preview.

    Lots of changes, but more importantly, the Ink support feels much more natural.

    Read more…

  47. One place to submit feedback is the newsgroup: microsoft.public.onenote. Many of the team monitor that including myself.

  48. Enrique says:

    Question regarding the use of the "capture screen clipping", how do you manage to paste multiple clippings in one sidenote, and not have one sidenote created for each capture? Thx.

  49. Chris Matchett says:

    You said in the interview that you wanted people to see that you were responding to user requests. Well I think you’ve done a great job. I was worried I’d have to wait for ver 2 for Pocket PC import.

    This article and the posts above has convinced me that it’s worth installing the preview rather than waiting for the official SP1 even though I’ll have to reinstall OneNote. Hopefully I can just continue to use my notebook without much hassle.

  50. Chris, thanks. BTW, as long as you have the CD for OneNote RTM version (which you’ll need when we release the final SP1 patch), there’s no risk in uninstalling the original and installing the preview – you’ll really like it, and it is more stable than the original (thanks to Watson).

  51. Enrique, SideNote is designed to always create a new note for you when you invoke it. If you prefer not to do this, after the first capture, use Insert/Screen Clipping (Alt-I, R). Or if you end up with a small Side Note window, use the toolbar button you see there for screen clipping. (it is to the left of the microphone)

  52. Enrique says:

    Thanks for you help Chris.

  53. Mike Lake says:

    Two features I wish OneNote had:

    1) Navigation Pane view – like in Outlook 2003

    2) Ability to sort (alphabetize) folder, sections, pages or subpages

  54. Mike, you can get the nav pane by clicking the name of your notebook in the upper left (it has a down arrow). Making this stick open is a common request we’re evaluating. You can sort the pages using the page list task pane – not quite what you want of course – we are on top of that one too.

  55. Mike says:

    It really needs a drawing toolbar similar to Words. Withthat it would be very usefull for more higher ed calsses like Calculus. It has the graph paper, but not the shapes. I took a class where the instructor was using LearnLink and doing nice graphs and shapes but on physical paper it was hard to keep up with all the colors and the multivariable graphs. With OneNote this would be easy if there were a drawing tool bar.

  56. Mike, can you explain what shapes would you need that you couldn’t draw as quickly with a pen? things like empty graphs with axis lines? intergrals? I’m curious. BTW, on a tablet, switching pen colors is faster than putting down a pen of one color and picking up another. Or are you using a laptop? In that case, I agree that a shape library would be way faster than what you have to work with today using mouse and keyboard, but even so I wonder if you can keep up with an instructor using a shape library.

  57. Jason L says:

    I really, REALLY would like the ability to draw shapes, or at least make straight lines.  I’m testing out OneNote in class at Berkeley this semester, and I find taking notes in intermediate macro to be difficult when it comes to drawing graphs, which consist primarilly of straight lines at various angles, dotted lines, etc.  I do not have a tabletPC, so everything I do is by touchpad.  

    Things just look awful when I try to freehand a line, and I’ve recently resorted to using MSPaint in another window to draw, then pasting into the document, which looks much better, but wastes time when I’m trying to keep up with lecture.

    I also encounter many of the same nuisances as the MIT student above commented on.  Especially the bit about things reflowing when I try to move them.  This is a problem when I’ve drawn a graph in ink via touchpad, then inserted point labels with text containers, then have to shift things around.  Everything reflows and I basically have to undo to make things better again.

    Also,  I would like there to be an option to just type exactly where I click.  Especially over an image I’ve pasted in.  What happens is I draw a graph, I then start labeling points within that graph, if two are close together, OneNote things I want to instead type in adjoining container, so it puts the cursor there.  I’d like it to just put the cursor where I tell it to, ignoring the other container, specifically if I’m just pitting in one letter.  

    anyway, I’ve been using the program in class every day, and for wordy lectures it’s great.  It’s the mix of occasional graphs that are big hangups.  You can email me at jlove at berkeley dot edu for any elaboration.

  58. Jason L: this post is almost two years old. Please check out my later posts about drawig tools, ink improvements, etc. There are links to many of the improvements coming in 2007 here: http://blogs.msdn.com/chris_pratley/archive/2005/11/16/493772.aspx

  59. I like One Note, but now have WAY too many projects to sort through. Is there really no way to sort alphabetically? I find that hard to believe…

    ScottHendison

    scott@pdxtc.com

  60. Scott: no, sorry there isn’t. I think that will be the top request for the next rel of OneNote.

Skip to main content