Anticipation….


It’s a funny time of year. We’re approaching our first beta of Office12 and OneNote12 in the next few months (no news here – just standard procedure). My mind is all full of this new release of software, but I am not able to speak about it publicly. That makes it pretty hard to blog on our current products since to me they are nearly prehistoric. They are of course still as great as they were when we shipped them, but now my head is filled with what is to come and I am bursting to talk about it with all the people who have been asking for updates and features and fixes to our current release.


So I thought I would share some of the pain with you all. I will tease you with the fact that I know what we are doing, and it rocks, and you won’t be able to know until later on. Nyah. OK, done. Now your expectations are sky-high and we’ll never be able to meet them.


Last week we hosted a big event for a few hundred customers and partners to show them Office12 and get feedback on our plans and designs. Of course I can’t talk about that event either, but a few attendees blogged a little about it despite their NDAs (non-disclosure agreements). They didn’t say all that much in the blog posts, except to agree with us that Office12 will indeed rock. I heard lots of comments like “revolutionary”, “amazing”, “definitely interesting business value”, and even “Office has finally caught up with the rest of the company” (ouch!). Anyway the fact that we were able to share our work with a few people even in secret was some relief to the anticipation, but now it is even harder not to talk about it for a little longer.


Just so there is some content value to this post, I thought I would mention a little applet called InkyBoard: http://www.cfcassidy.com/Inkyboard/


Among other things, Inkyboard is a way to get ink from Journal to OneNote without having it convert to an image. You can copy ink from Journal, paste it into InkyBoard, then use the Send to OneNote feature of InkyBoard to push the ink into OneNote. This preserves your ink as ink, since although OneNote doesn’t accept Ink as a paste format, the import API we have does accept Ink. InkyBoard also has a few other nice features to recommend it – check it out. Note that if you run into a problem sending to OneNote, you may need to create the “C:\temp” directory on your machine if it does not currently exist since InkyBoard assumes it does.


I also thought I would put in a plug for my favourite “small” feature in OneNote: screen clipping. If you haven’t tried this yet, you are in for a treat. Find a web page you want to preserve, such as a travel itinerary. Right-click on the little OneNote icon in the system tray, and choose “Create Screen Clipping”. The screen will fade somewhat to show you that you are in “capture mode”. Drag out a rectangle that you want to keep. When you are done a screen capture of the rectangle you grabbed is dropped into OneNote (and also placed on the clipboard, so you can immediately paste it somewhere). You can also use Windows-S (thanks for the reminder Dan!).


There are some options you can set for screen clipping (also accessible via right-click on the system tray icon). Some power users like to switch the default to be “Copy to Clipboard Only” – that way they can paste the image exactly where they want and not have it appear in OneNote’s side notes section. You can also use Screen Clipping from the Insert menu in OneNote. The advantage of that approach is that you can put yourself on the page you want to insert the clipping onto, then use the command (OneNote automatically hides itself so you can grab what’s behind). When you clip from web pages shown in IE, IE provides us the URL of the page so if you are allowing OneNote to automatically paste the clipping into Side Notes, then we can also fetch the URL and paste it too.


Screen Clipping starts to become second nature once you begin using it. It is remarkable how often I just want to grab exactly what is on the screen, regardless of format: even UI of applications, which can’t be grabbed any other way.


One last mention: my boss’s boss, Steven Sinofsky, the numero uno senior VP of the extended Office group has a blog now: http://blogs.msdn.com/techtalk/. He is really passionate about students and job hunting, so check it out if you are interested in his insights on that. And he really has good insights since he has been through a lot – he can explain why the press build up the “cool factor” of certain companies and help you spot the reality that lies behind a lot of the PR you get exposed to as companies try to woo you to work for them.

Comments (21)

  1. Pimp Daddy says:

    I realise that OneNote is part of the Office ‘System’, but why is it being called OneNote 12? It’s had nowhere near that many versions so far.

  2. Chris_Pratley says:

    It is not actually "called" OneNote 12, any more than Office is called Office 12. those are just temporary names. The final name will be determined later. The internal version number is 12 since so much code is shared between them, and Office is on the generation numbered 12. With OneNote 2003 that you have today, the internal version number is 11, as you can see in Help/About…

  3. Andy Lin says:

    Hey Chris,

    It’s krypticide from the Buzz. I know you can’t say anything, but I’m totally looking forward to a preview or beta of the new OneNote!

  4. Daniel Escapa says:

    You forgot a great way to do screen clippings: Windows-S. For anyone who is running the OneNote tray icon once they hit Win-S (the Windows key on the keyboard) it will go into "capture mode".

    Also I second your suggestion about the "copy to clipboard" option. At least 5 times a day I will hit Win-S and then paste a screen clipping into an email or Paint.

  5. For those who want a little more info on Office 12 – enjoy.

    http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/office12_preview1.asp

  6. I found these screenshots. One says outlook 2003 on it, so believe what you want. Its your reality.

    This says Outlook 2003 on it.

    http://tinyurl.com/c29ha

    Messenger?

    http://tinyurl.com/bddcy

    Frontpage?

    http://tinyurl.com/8for8

    Outlook?

    http://tinyurl.com/c7p24

  7. So maybe, like me, you’ve checked out OneNote, perhaps even despite your better judgement. After all,…

  8. Painted Blue says:

    Thanks, Chris.

    I am really looking forward to OneNote 12.

    OneNote is one of the greatest software applications that I have used in the past 15 years (and I purchase a lot of software), and I think that it is very close to perfection.

    Here are some ideas that I have had that could hopefully be considered for OneNote 13 (i.e., if not already implemented in v12):

    – More advanced synchronization with Pocket PC Tasks and Notes.

    – 2-way communication with Outlook Tasks (i.e., always keep tasks in sync between both applications).

    – Ability to open OneNote under different "profiles". Sometimes, I wish that my personal notes were separate from my work notes. For example, if I am opening a note with my boss standing at my desk, I don’t want to accidentally provide him with an opportunity to see my poetry and recipe notes.

    – Visual Studio integration (e.g., open OneNote to search for code snippets).

    – A new type of Section that acts as a RSS feed data source (e.g., creating a new note automatically publishes a RSS feed update linking to the note’s content).

    – Usability enhancements for moving and navigating Folders, Sections and Notes.

    – Advanced querying/filtering options for generating Notes Flag summaries and other reports.

    – Wacom tablet support (e.g., Intuos3).

    – Ability to insert "Note Snippets", which would be similar to Stationary, only they would provide reusable components that get inserted into a note (i.e., as content within a note, not as a new note).

    – Other pen/pencil types — see Corel Painter IX for ideas.

    – "Folder Templates" that provide reusable Sections for common usage scenarios (e.g., Agile project management with Scrum, Six Sigma, CMM, thesis or term paper) or not-so-common scenarios (e.g., production notes for audio engineer when mixing an album, screenplay and character notes for a writer, bartender’s reference by drink type — get Robert Hess to make this one!).

    Of course, I always have new ideas each time that I use OneNote, but these are some of the recent ideas that I have had.

    Again, thanks for this product and for the inevitably useful enhancements that should be arriving in OneNote 12.

  9. Rob Stevens says:

    I really hope that OneNote is going to be more deeply integrated with Outlook. I think it really has the potential to be a killer journaling application. As a student, something I’d love to see if better ways for people to extend OneNote’s abilities. I’d like to use it to keep track of assignments, due dates, grades … all in one place. I’m still using three different applications (at least) to do all of this.

    I’ve beta tested previous versions of Office (including OneNote) so if you need a hand, let me know. 🙂

  10. Chris_Pratley says:

    Painted Blue and Rob Stevens: All I can say is I think you’re both going to love the next release…

  11. Hey Chris;

    I just independently discovered the Screen Clipping feature this week (and the associated life-saving Windows-S shortcut) and it really rocks!! No program manager can live without this! 🙂

    I didn’t know about the "Copy to Clipboard Only" option — but I’m delighted to see you anticipated people using this feature without necessarily pasting the images into OneNote. It took me a while to find it in the right-click of for the system tray icon thoughas I kept looking for such options under Tools | Options…

    Kudos to the OneNote team!

  12. Jacinto says:

    I’m looking forward:

    Paste tables

    Copy format

    Macro support

    Repeat last command (f4)

    Alphabetical sort of a list of items

    Mobile (powerpc / smartphone) synch.

    Insert calendar (like visio calendars)

    Export to html, htm, rtf, doc

    Draw capabilities (lines, circles, ….)

    Synchronize notebooks on multiple computers

  13. Gene Myers says:

    Hi Chris-

    I started using one note at a recent event, and love it. I assume, from ‘Painted Blue’s post that OneNote doesn’t now support a Wacom tablet; Ink can only be captured with a TabletPC. Is there any way around this for development, like using Windows for the Tablet PC in a VPC image, and using a wacom tablet?

    Thanks,

    Gene

  14. John Camarillo says:

    Is there any way to change the default font that OneNote uses for the Introduction section when you click Send to Mail Recipient? I’m kind of picky, but it’s irritating how my Intro comments show up in Times New Roman, while my OneNote notes are in Arial.

  15. Chris_Pratley says:

    Anne: Thanks! Nice photos!

    Jacinto: Great list. For now, you can try Ctrl-Y (for Repeat). Also OneNote does export to *.doc (but you need Word2003 installed). You can synchronize across multiple computers (see my earlier blog post on this). PowerPC//SmartPhone sync exists but only from the device to OneNote.

    Gene: Onenote will support a Wacom tablet, but to get recognition to work you need to have the Tablet PC edition of Windows. It cannot be purcahsed separately from a Tablet PC. If you can get the Tablet PC edition through MSDN, then you can install it on any computer to experiment.

    John: that little intro place is actually part of Outlook (the whole mail toolbar is) and we do not control that font. There might be a way to change it in Outlook – I do not know.

  16. Rob Stevens says:

    Setting up OneNote for my classes later this month, I ran into an annoying little bug.

    If you try to create a folder with a period at the end of the folder name ("Management of Orgs." or "Managerial Econ."), the folders behave strangely. Trying to delete them tells you that they’re in use, and I beleive that even if you delete them, they’ll keep coming back. I had to delete the folders, exit OneNote (including the taskbar app), delete the folders from the My Notebook folder, and restart to get rid of them.

    I’m sure you’re already aware of it, but I just wanted to mention it. I’m really looking forward to giving OneNote a thorough workout this Fall. OneNote truly will be the one place for all my notes!

  17. Nicole Simon says:

    bummer to learn about Win-S – because my tablet does not have a win key. 🙁

    I would like an icon which I could just click and send me into that mode, but I guess, once I have patched the experience pack to be installable on my version of XP I have that with the snip feature.

  18. Asbjoern Andersen says:

    I started using OneNote a few months back, and I must admit that I’m totally hooked on this most excellent tool.

    There are a few things that would be really great to have in an upcoming version:

    * Simple calculations. Once in a while when taking notes, it’d be great to be able to do simple calculations without having to open up the built-in Windows calculator. Perhaps calculations could even be done like in this handy calculator:

    http://www.Mathika.dk/

    That way, you can keep track of how you ended up with the numbers you have.

    * List sorting. When compiling longer lists, it’d be quite convenient to be able to sort selections of text alphabetically (or by other criteria, if needed) to get a better overview.

    BTW does anyone know where one can officially submit feature suggestions for the various Office programs? Also, where do you report bugs?

    Thanks,

    – Asbjoern

  19. Asbjoern Andersen says:

    A few more feature requests for an upcoming version of OneNote. If anyone can suggest a better place for posting these, please let me know.

    *Better scanner integration. Being able to scan a document directly into OneNote could be an excellent way of getting paper notes integrated with the rest of the notes in OneNote. Once scanned, they could look the same as screen captures currently do. Better scanner integration could be quite helpful in getting users to migrate from paper notes to OneNote notes.

    * On-the-fly stats. It would be quite convenient to have a small box somewhere on the page showing things such as word and character count for a highlighted selection of text.

    * Export screen captures to .png. Unfortunately not everyone uses OneNote, so it would be very handy to be able to export a screen capture to .png or .jpg-format when sending it by email.

    * Retain noteflags as graphics when exporting to Word. I know that Word doesn’t support the same functionality as OneNote when it comes to noteflags – but it could still be quite relevant for a Word user to see where and what noteflags were placed in the original OneNote note.

    * Auto detect language. Being a bi-lingual user, my notes are often a mix of several different languages. It would be very nice if OneNote could auto detect what language was being entered, in the same way as Word currently does.

  20. Just another feature request (don’t know if it’s new):

    It’d be great if the "Side Notes" section just werent "flat"; I’m entering loads of small notes by clicking icon in the task bar, and every other day, I need to go through them all and sort them into their right place in the note book.

    What if there were some kind of predefined places to put a side note in, perhaps by quickly selecting a category or a custom destination, so that I wouldn’t need to sort them that often?

    That would make OneNote even more efficient for me!