Syncing OneNote 2007 notes across your many PCs

***update June 15, 2010***

If you have Onenote 2010, the easiest way to sync notes across PCs is to store the notebooks on SkyDrive. Either create notebooks on Skydrive at and open them into OneNote, or from your PC, use File/Share and choose Web as the method. Log in to Windows Live as directed and choose the folder to store the notebook. Then from other PCs, go to and click the button to open the notebooks in OneNote which will set up the sync. You will need to upgrade the notebook format to 2010 if it is older since this is required for Skydrive (you'll be prompted to do this), and 2007 or older clients will not be able to work with notebooks on Skydrive. You can also view and make some edits to OneNote notebooks stored on Skydrive in a browser using the OneNote Web App.

***end update***

Its an obvious thing. You have two or more PCs that you work with. You want to access all your stuff without having to think about which PC you have it on. You don’t want to have to manually schlep files between the two.

OneNote 2007 provides a way to keep your notes available on all your machines. I'll explain below why using OneNote's Shared Notebooks feature is even better than the many folder syncing tools you can use.

I wrote about this some time ago for OneNote 2003. This is an updated article for OneNote 2007. We actually targeted this scenario for 2007 so it is much improved.

Scenario #1: Two computers at home.
Let's say you have a desktop at home (for serious gaming, uh, I mean work), and recently bought a laptop or tablet that you take with you when you go out for coffee or to school or to meet a client. Maybe you take lecture or meeting notes on your laptop, but do most of your web research and brainstorming using OneNote on your desktop. (it's great that a single copy of OneNote is licensed for two PCs, isn't it?)

Here's how you set up your machines so that you can see the notes on both machines.

Step 1. Use Share/Create Shared Notebook to create each notebook you want.
Step 2. On your laptop, open the links you get in mail. Do this while you are at home on the same network as the desktop.

That's it. OneNote 2007 will cache the notebooks on the laptop. You will be able to edit them at any time even when not at home. If you leave your laptop in your car, you can edit on the desktop too, and when you go to sync up, even if you edited the same pages in the same sections, the changes will sync and you will see them all merged onto the page. In rare cases we will highlight where you did something contradictory (such as changed the wording of a sentence in both places but wrote something different each time). Syncing happens whenever the laptop is on the same network as the desktop (the desktop has to be turned on and not "asleep") and OneNote is running on the laptop.

Here's how easy it is to create a shared notebook for use on two or more machines:

Question I Expect To Be Frequently Asked #1 (QuIET, BeFA#1): Um, I already created a bunch of notebooks on my desktop so how do I share those?

Answer: The wizard doesn’t do any rocket science you can't easily do yourself. All you need to do is make those notebooks accessible to your other machines. If all your notebooks are in My Documents/OneNote Notebooks, you can make them *all* shareable by making "OneNote Notebooks" a shared folder using right click, Sharing and Security..." on that folder. Once that is done, check that you can connect to that folder from your laptop. Next, from OneNote on the laptop, use File/Open Notebook, then select the folder that represents the notebook you want to open (e.g. the "My Lecture Notes" folder in the example above). Repeat that for every notebook. Remember that when using File/Open Notebook, you need to open the containing *folder*, not a file.

Scenario #2: I have a desktop at home and at work, and a laptop from work that I bring home sometimes. How do I keep notes all in sync?

Ok, a little trickier, but here goes. I'll assume for now that you can VPN into your work once in awhile from home, but you can never see your home PC from work.

In this scenario, put the notebooks you want to share on your work PC. Make the folders they go into shared (use the wizard in Scenario #1, or the steps outlined at the end of scenario # for pre-existing notebooks).

For the laptop, open the shared notebooks using File/Open Notebook, and navigate to the location where the notebook folders are. Remember that when using File/Open Notebook, you need to open the containing *folder*, not a file.

For the desktop at home, connect to work via VPN, and do the same thing as you did for your laptop.

Ok, you’re good to go. Remember to VPN into work from home occasionally while OneNote is running to keep your home machine up to date (I leave OneNote running all the time myself).

QuIET, BeFA #2: I want to sync some notes between my home PC and my laptop. Do I have to always connect to work to do this?

Answer: No, just do what is in scenario #1 for those notebooks.

Scenario #3: I have three machines at work. How do I keep them in sync?

You could treat this the same as #1, but a more robust solution would be to use a server since they are always on and often some IT guy is backing them up for you which gives added warm fuzzy feeling.

Use the new notebook wizard, and make sure the third option is selected. When you are asked to provide the location, use a file share you know all your machines can see (at work, we have team file servers for this with names like \\onenote\public). Many companies provide a "P: drive" or public drive just for this sort of thing with paths like "P:/username/files". Use that path. Many other companies are adopting Microsoft's Windows SharePoint Services, or SharePoint Portal Server. This is also a great place to put your notebooks. With Portal Server, try putting the notebooks in the document library in your "My Site".

The nice thing about using a server is it tends to be accessible all the time, whereas laptops and even desktops can go to sleep to save power or otherwise be inaccessible occasionally. Obviously if you have a computer at home it can also hook to this server at work if you VPN into your work network.

Scenario #4. I have a machine at home and one at work, and my spouse has a machine at home and one at work. How can we keep a shared notebook for our family that we can see at any time on all these computers?

I have this exact situation. The solution is to put the notebooks on a server that can be seen by all machines. Since there are multiple firewalls involved it would be tricky to use a server at one of your workplaces (usually it is hard to VPN from one corp network into another).

What I do is use a web site as a "relay server". My ISP provides WebDAV access to directories on my web server. I can use the same wizard as in the above scenarios, but for server location I use a web address like "". OneNote can sync to web servers that support WebDAV, so all four of the machines can keep in sync with the notes found on that server.

If you run a small business, Microsoft will host SharePoint for you at Office Live. You need to sign up for Live Collaboration or Live Essentials to get WebDAV support.

QuIET, BeFA#3: Hey, why don't I just use Foldershare or SyncToy or Windows Offline Files or Groove or some other nifty file syncing/sharing technology?

Answer: Hey, I won’t stop you. Those technologies work fine and if you aren't having any issues, then great. However, all of them have a problem if you make changes to the same section on two different machines when at least one machine is not connected. When they go to sync, they will tell you that the two files are different and what do you want to do? Keep both (rename one), or delete one? Both of those options are pretty unpleasant as you have to figure out what has changed and manually fix things or you delete some of your work. If you use one of the methods I describe above, you allow OneNote to intelligently merge anything you changed in that section so that you do not see conflict messages like this.

QuIET, BeFA#4: Hey, it seems like this would be really cool if I wanted to invite other people besides myself to be a part of these notebooks…we could all work together in a kind of giant, permanent multi-page, 2D, multimedia whiteboard IM session. Or maybe a super-wiki that works offline for each of us, allows easy editing and formatting, and richer types of data on pages beyond text like pictures, ink, audio, video, embedded files, etc.

Answer: That's not a question, but I completely agree. This is what Shared Notebooks are all about. I wrote about them here, and they are the biggest new thing in OneNote 2007. The new version of OneNote has grown up and become a tool for teams to use in business settings. I was talking with a big oil firm this week about their collaboration needs. They have teams of people with some of the members of each team located in Houston, some in Alaska, and a few of these people go into the field and have no net access for long periods of time so purely web-based solutions are not going to work for them. OneNote is perfect since they can set up a shared notebook as a project binder. Each machine that opens the project binder caches its contents locally for access offline. Anyone can make edits at any time and they are auto-merged for others to see without conflicts when the machine comes online. You can even put project documents such as PDF, Word, PowerPoint, Excel etc onto those note pages and those files replicate to each user. If you want to show the guys in Houston the corrosion on the rig in Alaska, drop photos you took onto the "Inspection" page, annotate them with your comments on the nature of the corrosion (even write on them with a pen too with arrows and circles!), and the whole thing is replicated to the notebook for the Houston team members to review when they want to!

Give sharing a try - you will like it and be amazed by the auto-merging in particular.

Comments (71)
  1. Patrick Schmid says:

    You forgot one (way too cool a scenario!):

    QuIET, BeFA#5: I don’t have a network connection between my two computers, but would like to use a USB stick to keep my notebooks in snyc. Does OneNote 2007 support this?

    Answer (thanks to David Tse (MS) in public OneNote newsgroups): Yes, USB keys are a viable way to setup shared notebooks between computers (for OneNote 2007). Just create a notebook on the USB drive and open it as a notebook from each of your machines.

    We remember the unique ID of the drive, we sync to it, and cache the notebooks locally on each machine so when you pull the drive out it’s still available in OneNote. You can make edits to it etc. Put the USB drive back in and we automatically sync back to it. In this way you can move a USB drive between machines and share content, and even if you don’t actually have the USB drive with you at some particular point in time you can just continue using the notebook on the machine, and next time you plug it in it will sync the contents and merge with changes from the other machine. The nice thing about our solution is because it’s based on the Volume ID it doesn’t matter

    if the USB drive gets mapped to a different drive letter when you plug it in.

    Thanks to the entire team for all these great new syncing abilities in 2007!

  2. Jan says:

    Great info! Thank you! I now have my notebook on my Sharepoint site!

  3. davidacoder says:

    Thanks, this is pretty cool information! I also have put all my notebooks onto my sharepoint site now.

    The next thing we need is OneNote Services for Sharepoint! Just imagine that Sharepoint provided a web interface (Wiki like) to edit .one files that are stored in a document library! That would be the final, killer way to do things: Offline rich editing abilities with OneNote, at the same time one could edit/view the information in the pages with a wiki like experience from any web browser, if the thing is stored on sharepoint 🙂

    Oh, and as a side note: I just read that the PC-to-PC sync feature was pulled from Vista. Initially I thought what a shame. But really, this is good news. You guys desperately need to sort out and simplify your various sharing/syncing offerings. We still have OneNote native (for no other name), offline folders, Groove, Foldershare, Outlook offline support for Sharepoint, just to name a few. I really, really hope that you plan something big here that unifies all this (WinFS?).

  4. I am not 100% certain but I would imagine most folks that make use of OneNote use more than a single…

  5. I’ve discussed at length my problems with keeping OneNote in sync across machines. I’ve finally settled…

  6. dougcar says:

    I’ve been using FolderShare. Will the shared Onenote routine described above interfere? Foldershare synchs the machines through the net, so i needn’t be on the same network.

  7. dougcar, wasn’t that "QuIET, BeFA#3" above?

  8. dougcar says:

    Chris not quite. I was interested in the potential  conflicts between "share" and Foldershare.

    But, going ahead. since i already have synced onenote folders on both machines. how do I move to the new shared folder approach?

    So I want to continue using Foldershare for "my documents" so, to avoid conflicts, i moved both Onenote notebook  folders out of my documents into my user folder on both machines.

    Next step?

  9. dougcar: if you do not try to create a shared notebook and just work against the (apparently) local copies of notes on each machine, thigns will work the same as in 2003 used with foldershare. You don’t need to move your notebooks to get the benefit from OneNote though. Just close the notebooks you have on the client machine that is syncing the folder from the "master copy" on the other machine. Let’s say the master copy on the other machine is in a folder you have shared out called "D:my filesnotebookstest notebook". Instead of using the local copy that is brought to the client machine by foldershare, you just open that folder on the master directly. Now OneNote will bring that stuff local to its cache directly. Foldershare will continue to sync the changed files from the master to your client machine, but OneNote will not access those copies ever, so there will not be any file conflicts.

  10. Ken Forbus says:

    I use three machines at home, three machines at work (licensing for OneNote for university is inexpensive, happily), so I’ve been using Laplink to try to keep things synched up between two at each place plus between work/home.  It >>usually<< works, but it means that I have to be careful to not leave OneNote open anywhere, which dramatically reduces its utility.  

    Scenario #2 looks like just the right thing for me.  When will OneNote 2007 be released?  (I’m too crunched to do betas these days, alas.)  Thanks.

  11. Eric Hubbard says:

    I cannot send files to OneNote 2007 beta!  The printer only shows the "Send to OneNote 2003."  I guess 2007 did not install a new printer driver.  Does anyone have a solution for this problem?  Does anyone have the driver? Do I need to reinstall OneNote 2007 again?  OneNote 2007 is nothing if you cannot send files to it!  Please help.  Thanks.

  12. Patrick Schmid says:


    uninstall 2007. Uninstall the Send to OneNote 2003 powertoy, reboot and then reinstall 2007.

  13. Jamie says:


    your article inspired me to give this a go using my laptop and desktop machines at home (I hadn’t realised I could use my laptop Onenote 2003 license on both machines).  When I installed the software on my desktop and activated it I got a message which said I couldn’t activate OneNote because I’d reached the limit of licenses for that product key.  Any ideas how I can get around that?



  14. Chris Pratley has a great article on syncing OneNote between several different computers. It covers a…

  15. dougcar says:

    ok. Daring to go forward..

    1. how long should it take for two computers on the same network to sync?

    2. I typed the word test1 in a shared folder on machine one and, while waiting, test 2 in the same notebook on machine 2. When they synced (done manually by clicking on sync now) the result on both machines was that the text "test2" was superimposed on the text "test1′ on both machines.

    What did i do wrong?

  16. Ian Goldsmid says:


    Can you indicate at all when the next beta of OneNote might be available?

    Regards, Ian

  17. Ken Forbus & Ian Goldsmid: next beta will be at the end of the summer. Final release before the end of the year.

    Jamie: My comment referred to the normal retail license you get when you purchase Onenote yourself. If you got OneNote with your computer, it is licensed only for that computer (the computer manufacturer (OEM) bought it for you from us to use only on that PC). If you bought the academic license, I can’t remember what your rights are (I think it is still two machines). The best way to get around these issues is to install the beta of 2007. It is free to install on as many machines as you like until Feb 2007. Eventually you will have to pay to keep it running, but when you do the license will be for two machines.

    dougcar: on the same network, shared notebooks should sync in under a minute – can be much faster. One has to save (could be between 0-30sec after you type your thing), then the other has to save – could be 0-30sec).

    As to your superimposed text, I have not heard of such a result with typed text (it is by design for ink – sort of ). Can you mail me the file that ended up this way? (chrispr(at)

  18. This is one of the things I’m appreciating most about ON 2007 (along with multiple notebooks). I’ve been keeping the OneNote files from my desktop on the server all along; putting the files from the various notebooks there is working very nicely (getting there step by step). If you already have tons of folders and go the server route by putting them on the server, what differences are there for you as a sole user because you haven’t created them with the Multiple users option selected?

    One thing I’d appreciate – I think it would be a nice power toy – would be a wizard for moving pages from one section to another and sections from one notebook to another in bulk, rather than by dragging things back and forth. I keep putting off tidying up the overlap between the folders that used to be on notebook A, tablet B and tablet C (I use ON on a lot of different machines over a year as part of reviewing them) and the folders that have always been on the desktop/server into whcih I’ve copied some pages from tablet A. Other than setting aside an afternoon to do the filing, any tips for combining things quickly and cleanly?

  19. Mary: the only difference when you select multiple users is that we help you a bit with getting those others connected. There is no loss of functionality for the single user with several machines. And you can still invite others to join those notebooks if they have access to the share where they are located.

    To move things in bulk, remember you can use Ctrl-Click to add to an existing selections and Shift-Click to make bulk selections. Then when you drag-drop all those pages come along at once. I think a wizard wouldn’t be much faster…if you think so, how would it work?

  20. Fleon says:

    Sorry to be way off topic, but is there any plan to have Twain support in ON?  I love the Send to OneNote stuff and the clipping support, but 80% when someone wants me to look at something in a meeting, it’s on paper.  

    I have my trusty portable scanner so I can put it in ON, but it’s an extra step to load up some image program to pull it all in….

  21. Patrick Schmid says:


    in OneNote 2007 Beta 2: Insert menu, Pictures, From Scanner or Camera

  22. Sooze says:


    Just thought I’d jump in with my syncing experience so far, and before you ask I’ve sent my crash logs.  My set up is desktop PC and Tablet over wireless network at home.  No one else is has access to my notebooks and I just wanted to keep them in sync between computers.  I had existing data in ON 03 so converted it over with no problems.  Sorted sharing with the files on desktop and syncing from tablet.  This didn’t seem to work very well, quite slow and threw up quite a few errors.  I had the syncing as automatic and found I was doing most of the changes on the tablet not desktop.  So decided to switch around, files on tablet and sync from destop.  This was much better but still fairly slow and threw up some more crashes.  Next step was to switch off automatic syncing.  Much much better with less errors, but still a little slow.  Wondering if things would speed up if I split my 1.7Gb notebook into 4 separate notebooks.  Bingo, more organised and speedier.  Less errors and works fine as I can sync when I want at the push of a button.  The one issue I have is an "untitled" page which has the message – "This page was added by another user and has not yet been fully synched.  The page content will be available after it has beedn synced" this page is on both computers and synching does not solve the problem.  I know what the missing page is by comparing with my old database and it’s not essential but I can’t delete this error page.  The only work around I’ve found is to create a new notebook, transfer all my notes across and delete the empty notebook and offending page.  Am I missing an easier fix to this?

  23. Deb says:

    I’ve been reading your blog and the comments – and I want OneNote 2007!

    I read in the Feb blog that educator pricing was available for 2007 already, but I can’t seem to find it on the Microsoft site, and the usual educator software places don’t yet have 2007.

    Can you help me find where to order via educator pricing? Thanks in advance.


  24. Patrick Schmid says:

    Sooze: When you had the issues, were the notebooks in a location that was being kept offline by Windows Offline Files? If yes, did you have Tools, Options, Synchronization and then the only setting in that tab checked (hence disabled Windows Offline file sync)?

    What kind of errors did you get?

    Did you wait till it was fully synced once? 1.7 GB can take a while to initially sync. Breaking it up in multiple notebooks will prob. speed up the initial sync, because ON sync multiple notebooks in parallel.

    Do you still have the problem section? if you do, find Chris’s post on using and submit the section as feedback to MS. MS will be certainly curious to take a look at it.

    Deb: Pricing info can be found at

    You are looking for the Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 edition.

    Office 2007 (OneNote 2007 is part of it) won’t be available as retail version until January. If you want to work with a beta version (which has bugs, crashes, could cause you to lose some data, contains minor and major annoyances and generally betas should not be used in a production environment), you can get it from:

    Keep in mind though that this is not free software. The beta version will expire on February 1, 2007 and it will be useless at that point. If you chose to use OneNote 2007 Beta productively, you have to be sure that you will upgrade in January, as OneNote 2007 files cannot be opened in OneNote 2003. So past February 1, your only choice is to use the retail version of 2007.


  25. Sooze says:


    As it was an existing notebook I just made it sharable, checked I could access it from the other machine and then opened the notebook in OneNote, so I don’t imagine that it was being kept offline.  The box for synchronising Windows offline files is not ticked in either copy of OneNote.

    The problem section is actually one problem page within a section, so what I’ve done is create a new section, transfer all the good pages to the new section, synchronise, rename the section back to what is was and sync again.  This has sorted the issue.

    A lot of the initial errors I had was with the offline cache, I sent the reports regarding all those problems.  Solved it by deleting cache and starting again.

    I did manage to get it fully synched once when the the notebook was it’s original size, but more errors were occuring when I had it set to sync automatic.  The way I’ve got it now is throwing up far fewer errors, maybe 1-2 a day, and I’m working with OneNote between 5 and 7 hrs a day (exam revision!), so not bad for a beta.  

    Can hardly wait for the release though, it’s a bit advancement on 2003 IMO.

  26. davidacoder says:

    I have hosted my notebooks for about a week now on a sharepoint site "in the cloude". Generally, I really like it. The only thing not so good is the modal dialog box that presents a progress bar when syncing. Sometimes I even get the impression this is system modal, i.e. on top of EVERY other window. That should really change, I believe. Syncing should just be in the background, maybe some status in the status bar or let the tray icon animate or something. But no dialog box that pops up and interrupts my normal work.

  27. Davidacoder: Is this when you exit OneNote, or at other times?

    If on exit, we’ve done some work for next beta to make this appear much less often and only for 5 sec max. You’d think it could just go away or be background but things are never as simple as we’d like, right?

    If this is NOT when you exit, can you provide some detail of when it appears?

    Sooze: we have fixed a bunch of subtle issues with syncing that sound similar to what you describe. Next beta refresh should get rid of them. In the meantime I will double check if your situation sounds familiar to the test team.

  28. Patrick Schmid says:

    Sooze: When you go into Windows Explorer, do you see a small blue arrow symbol on the bottom right corner of any of the OneNote folders or section files on either computer? If you do, you should definitely disable Windows Offline File syncing with that setting in OneNote options

  29. Sooze says:


    Thanks for that! Congratulations BTW – shouldn’t you be on paternity leave <g>.


    No little arrows so I guess I’m OK.  Used OneNote for 6hrs yesterday and only one crash, when I was erasing something on my Tablet.

  30. Chris says:

    I use offline files for my tablet, which sync’s with the network when connected.  this used to work well for onenote 03 as well.  w/ ’07 the sync in onenote is working very well but offline files need to be disabled.  i know there is a box that can ‘disable for onenote files’ but that didn’t seem to do it.  if i have offline files enabled my machine won’t run but does fine when disabled.  Is it possible to still use offline files?  

  31. Patrick Schmid says:

    Chris: You should be able to leave your offline files as is. You need to activate that setting to disable offline files in OneNote though (and reboot after you set it). All the setting basically does is tell windows offline files to exclude all .one files when syncing. What exactly doesn’t work when you switch on the setting and try to sync?

  32. Fleon says:

    Thanks on the scanner info!

    The other problem I have is the CPU usage and memory shoots up to 100% and 500MB or so after I’ve written the equivalent of about 20 pages of text.  

    Everythink is ink, and it’s consistent.  I’ve tried creating a new notebook and it’s the same problem… is this common?

  33. Patrick Schmid says:

    Fleon: find the information on how to submit feedback via in this blog and submit your issue with an attached .one section file to MS. Sounds like something they would want to investigate.

  34. Shane Lindsay says:

    Sync is great.  When I link to a shared notebook, I understand a local copy is made on my local machine. Where is this stored? Can I move it or choose where to store it ? I don’t like keeping data on my c: partition.

  35. Patrick Schmid says:

    Shane: The cache is in Documents and SettingsusernameLocal SettingsApplication DataMicrosoftOneNote12.0

    There is one big file there with all the notebooks and then all your embedded files as well.

    I don’t know of a way to move the cache to a different location

  36. Stephen Mok says:

    This is fantastic — I had been using SyncToy to sync my notes manually between my desktop and my tablet with OneNote 2003, but this is much more convenient. Thank you Chris and team! Oh and I love how it works with your Unfiled Notes section too!

    My one remaining question is: Does it work with backups as well? Can I set the backup folder in OneNote options to point to a network share as well?

    Now if only Outlook could do something similar, without having to resort to Exchange… (I realise that’s an entirely different kettle of fish. :P)

  37. Kim Snider says:

    Chris- First, congratulations on the birth of your son.

    Second, I hope you can help. I am green with envy at all of those who are using the sync feature in OneNote 2007. I can’t and I can’t figure it out.  I can create a shared notebook in a WebDav folder but the WedDav folder is empty. Only the local version exists and it won’t sync. I can create and open other files in other applications. I can copy OneNote folders to the WebDav folder. I have tried this on folders on web servers from several ISPs and from both my tablet and desktop. Same reslt in all cases. My searches have turned up no hints. Can you point me in the right direction.

  38. dougcar says:

    How does one delete a notebook in beta 2?

  39. Patrick Schmid says:

    dougcar: Close the notebook in all OneNote 2007 copies that have it open. Then delete the folder using Windows Explorer.

  40. dougcar says:

    Tried it. Here is the problem. I had a backup on a cd, and wanted to retrieve just one notebook, but onenote automatically created a notebook for the whole disk. I can’t erase the disc.

    So lets say i take the disk out, and now windows explorer of course can’t find it, yet the folder still shows up as a folder in Onenote.

  41. Stephen Mok says:

    What if you right click on the notebook and go ‘Close this notebook’ and then navigate to the notebook folder in Windows Explorer and manually delete it?

  42. James says:

    I’ve set this up, and synching OneNote 2007 beta across a desktop and laptop in this fashion works beautifully most of the time.

    However, there seems to be a significant glitch. The Send to Microsoft OneNote printer driver fails whenever the laptop is not connected to the shared folder, producing the error message "OneNote cannot find a page on which to insert your printout. Navigate to a page in your notebook, and then try again." Navigating to a page, however, does not correct the problem.

    I can only assume that the printer driver does not rely only on the local cache, and is attempting to access the shared notebook?

  43. Patrick Schmid says:

    James: Is the notebook that is the target as specified by Tools, Options, Filing Rules, Printouts opened?

  44. James says:

    Patrick: The target of Filing Rules, Printouts is the unfiled notes section (which is the default). That section is accessible to me in OneNote, whether or not the laptop is connected to the network, but as far as I know can’t be opened or closed as a notebook can be.

    I get the same result ("cannot find a page") whether OneNote is closed or opened when I try to print to OneNote, and whether or not I have the Unfiled Notes section displayed in OneNote at the time. All that matters is whether I’m connected to the network at the time.

    You suggest an interesting point, which is that unlike opened notebooks, the Unfiled Notes section is never explicitly shared using the procedure above. However, that section *does* synch just fine, so presumably OneNote tracks it just as it does any opened notebook.

  45. Patrick Schmid says:

    James: What happens if you change the target to one of the other two settings (new page in current section or current page) and then with ON open and a section in one of your notebooks as the active one, print to it? Does it work then? If it works, then there is some bug with the unfiled notes section that MS needs to fix.

  46. James says:

    Patrick: Yes, that *does* work. I can print to the current section when not connected to the network. (And, not surprisingly, I can change the target to a fixed section, other than unfiled notes, and it works.)

    So this issue seems to be specific to printing to the unfiled notes section. I’ll make sure to file a bug report.

  47. Evan says:

    If you close a notebook while offline (i.e. using the cache)  how do you open it?

  48. Sean says:

    I’ve gotten the dreaded "This page was added by another user and has not yet been fully synced." message on 14 pages I created today. The pages are there because I can see the first bit of text by hovering my pointer over each tab. I really wish there was some way to break that state, a toggle or something maybe. I didn’t take action to create this sync, but I can’t help but think about an intentional sync where a laptop gets dropped or a thumbdrive gets lost. What then? Sync Limbo?

    Also, I was thinking about sending in the data. This is problematic. Out of those 14 pages, there are some I could less about sharing with strangers, and some that I definitely don’t. At least one has personal identity info. The rest, well – untitled is just that a collection point of unprocessed general info. Seems likely that non-shareable info would wind up there. And since I can’t copy, move or otherwise single out the info I don’t mind sharing, its unlikely I’ll be sending it in.

    Major step up from ’03, theres no way I can go back to that. I’ll keep using & I guess back up feverishly…grrr.

  49. Chris says:

    Thanks, Patrick, I will try again.  When i had offline files enabled the computer would barely boot and operate pretty unusably.  I would have to go in via safe mode and disable offline files which then allows the system to work normally.

  50. David Rasmussen [MS] says:

    Sean, regarding your "this page has not yet been fully synced" messages on the pages. There are definitely still some bugs in this behavior in the Beta. Some of the bugs can make these pages get stuck in this state. We are fixing the bugs we’ve found.

    By design, we should be robust to things like network drops, lost thumbdrives etc. (although you may temporarily get these messages if someone hasn’t finished syncing a page yet). And you should always be able to delete them. We still have a bit of work to do to polish this off.

    In the meantime you will be able to delete these "unsynced pages" in the B2TR to clean up the file and get out of this state (right click the page and delete).

    Sorry for the pain.

  51. Edward W says:

    Works well – I’m Scenario #01.  However, I want to leave OneNote running all the time but lack taskbar space … can in hide when minimised, like Outlook can?

  52. Chris – I have a lot of notebooks with a lot of sections and pages because I’ve had ON on 4-5 different tablets over the last 3 years and I have to open them one at a time and move the pages and wait and then open the next one… and I find with 30+ pages it gets slow scrolling down through them. with a wizard it would be like opening the headers instead of the full note; I could select the pages from multiple notebooks and sections, tell it where I wanted them to go and hit a button and have them all moved at once 😉

    I suppose there may not be enough people with multiple jumbled notebooks to justify it but I do wish there was this kind of high-level access to notes.

    and I’m confused about the note locations in the Options dialog. I have paths for new notes for metings, contacts and emails, plus paths for unfiled notes, backup folder and Copied from Device. is there no overall ‘here is where Note folders go’ path any more? i want to relocate all the folders from one notebook PC to the server and in the past i’ve found copying the files in Explorer can detach audio recordings, so i was planning to do it by moving the note location, but i can’t seem to see how!

  53. Chris – other thoughts about the wizard. it could compare two pages in different notebooks and tell me if they were identical (ie I’ve copied this from one notebook to another before and forgotten).

    Found the best way to move to a server folder is to create the new folder and drag sections into it – avoids all the confusingness. A new folder can be for existing notes too!

    I mention this for anyone else having a late-and-tired moment.

  54. George Lewis says:

    How do I pick up the cached OneNote file on my laptop when not connected? In what location will I find it? Thanks Chris, great column.

  55. Patrick Schmid says:

    George: I don’t understand your question. Why are you trying to get to the cache file directly while you are offline? You can’t do anything with the file directly. The only way to use the file is to open OneNote. It is located though in Documents and SettingsusernameLocal SettingsApplication DataMicrosoftOneNote12.0

  56. George Lewis says:

    Maybe I don’t have a problem as yet. I have not attempted to open offline however, if I open the the initially from a network folder how do I recall it once I am offline? Thanks Chris

  57. Patrick Schmid says:

    George: If you don’t have a green arrow in the bottom left corner of the icons for your notebook. You shouldn’t be concerned at all. Your experience of using ON shouldn’t change at all when you are offline.


  58. dougcar says:

    Part of the problem comes from those of us who want a mental picture of what is going on. Just knowing where Onenote puts the local version of which folders have  been accessed on another computer really helps. The we need to know that the folders should simply be opened locally by using the open notebook command, not by going to what looks like a normal onenote directory.

  59. Mikhail says:

    I have been syncing 2007 beta between my desktop and my tablet. Everything was working fine for a while then things started to deteriorate… What I mean is though I have both computers on a network and can open up folders on any machine from either of them, the OneNote on the Tablet tells me that neither of my 15 notebooks are connected.

    For a while restarting computers would solve this problem, then it became sporadic now they just would no sync at all.

    Running diagnostics doesn’t find any issues and besides the sync there are no abnormal issues.

    I did not change any of the mapping of the folders or drives.

    Main Files (notebooks) are stored on the desktop and the ones that are shared with the Tablet (TC1100).

    Any suggestions on this resolution?

  60. i xkate says:

    the only access i have from/to work/home connecting to a central server is FTP – i’d like to be able to leave the shared "My Notebook" there and interactively FTP to it – can do?

  61. mary: There’s no central "where are my notes" option anymore because that only made sense when onenote had just one notebook as in 2003. Now in 2007 effectively every notebook has its own "root". So you’ll see that setting under properties when you right click on a notebook. The easiest way to move a notebook is still to copy (or cut/paste) the entire folder to the new location. Then open that as a notebook using "open/notebook".

    George: as patrcik says, just go for it and onenote should handle the offline for you without any work on your part.

    Dougcar: how would you propose we educate people on how offline caching works? We will have a help topic on it, but it is something most people wouldn’t want to be forced to understand or even just confused by if we tried ot explain it in the guide notebook. its enough that it just works. As to your second point, are you saying that it is tricky to know to open a folder as a notebook instead of a file? We’ve tried to make that clearer in post-beta 2 builds but it is a tough one.

    Mikhail: F9, then look at errors in the sync dialog. You could also try deleting your cache file on the tablet PC if you don’t have changes there that aren’t synced with the desktop. Other than that, you could just wait a few weeks more until the next beta refresh is out, since many bugs have been ironed out in this area since beta 2.

    i xkate: sorry, ftp isn’t robust enough to let us do the kind of sync merge we need to (can’t get file locks, determine if others have locks, and get partial file access, for example)

  62. Doug Carmichael says:

    Cris, I think if people have a picture of where the parts are it helps – if they want it. Leads to my next problem. I just got a new desktop that is the "server" I put OneNote on it and moved my onenote folder from the old computer. Everything on the desktop works fine. But my tablet wants to find onenote on the old desktop and wont let me open the network available files on the new desktop. (sharing is on and i can see the files opening up from "my networkplaces". I went so far as to remove onenote (beta 2) from the tablet, remove all the .one files I could find, reinstalled OneNote beta 2 and – same problem, it keeps looking for the old desktop.

    1. what am I doing wrong?

    2. I need a "picture" of where files and such are (I even removed "onenote preferences" from the tablet). So where is the memory of the old desktop stored, and how can i get rid of it and get to the Onenote files that are in fact on the new desktop?

    Babies are wonderful, had three, and most recent grandchild here the last weekend, 13 months, full of talk (but not yet many words).

  63. Steve Marshall says:

    I’m very impressed with the new OneNote but am having trouble connecting to a shared session to do instant sharing. Are there known issues or a FAQ on this?

    I’m in UK using VPN into the UK side of our corporate network, my colleague is in the US directly on the US corporate network and the notebook is in a SharePoint 2007 site again in the US. Sync works fine but we want instant collaboration aswell!

    Connecting to a shared session that he has created gives  a cannot connect message. Are there any obvious VPN, firewall, etc issues I should look at first?

    Great tool –  Just need to find a way to tell our users when to use SharePoint, when to use OneNote and when to use Groove.

  64. Steve, Beta 2 has a several known issues with instant sharing. For now, you need to make sure that every machine can see every other machine at the TCP/IP level – that is make sure any firewalls are allowing UDP traffic on port 2302 back and forth to OneNote.

    Very shortly the refresh of beta 2 will be available which fixes many connection issues with live sharing. There are also some more fixes we’ve already made to builds coming *after* the refresh for the final release so if you still have trouble with the refresh hang in there!

  65. Chris Pratley blogged about how to syncOneNote 2007 notes across your many PCs here, but that couldn&#39;t

  66. vLabz' blog says:

    Hello à tous, vous êtes en direct de mon 1er post 🙂 Je ne ferai pas ici l’éloge de OneNote, son utilité

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