New OneNote 2007 PowerToys

Dan Escapa is on a tear releasing a set of new PowerToys for OneNote 2007. What's going on is that a whole bunch of PowerToys were written internally on the OneNote team and by some of our "friends" inside the company over the last six months. As the 2007 has now shipped (and therefore the API set is frozen) these Powertoys are getting finalized. And if I know Dan, he's been too busy to get them out but now he's a man with a mission. PowerToys are a way to add features that we couldn't do in core code on the main schedule. Of course powertoys are not tested as much, so they are basically "use at your own risk". (rarely a problem is encountered though in my experience)

Here are the ones out so far:

Word Count. We get asked by some people to be able to know how many words are on a page for articles and essays and so on. here you go.

Send to OneNote (from the file explorer/shell). Ever looked at a file in My Documents or elsewhere and thought, "I want to push that into OneNote so I can add it to my project, make some comments about it, etc? Now you can.

Export Outlook Notes to OneNote. Lots of people use Outlook's Notes feature to keep track of little scraps of info. Or rather, they used to use it until OneNote came along and blew it away. Now you can push all those little honeys into OneNote where they belong.

More to come. Stay tuned to Dan's blog.

UPDATE: Dan's got another powertoy, this time it is "Sort Pages". You can now put all your pages in alphabetical order. Rock on, Dan!



Comments (40)
  1. Is there any plan to support OLE in OneNote? Few colleagues and myself were using words since a while to gather notes, ideas, graphs, math equations, etc… The new OneNote seems great, specially its way of organizing things and havin multiple small pages at a glance as opposed to word documents. But a lot of the think we use to have in word can’t be placed in OneNote otherwise than by bitmap captures. Hence my question, is there any ways to insert OLE object into OneNote?

  2. Ken Lee says:

    Hey, guys…your Onenote crashes when I try to use hyperlinks to another onenote page (onenote 2007).  This happens each and every time when I try to export the  notebook as a pdf using your PDF publish add-in.

    Please help.

    Ken Lee

  3. Wayne says:

    These sound great! I’m just getting into OneNote and see it’s incredible potential. One PowerToy that I would really like is a "Send from Firefox to OneNote" extension. Does anyone know if such a thing exists for OneNote 2007 and Firefox 2.x?



  4. Francois, the short answer is that the team has to do a cost/benefit tradeoff of supporting OLE vs other work they could do. Can you help by detailing what OLE objects you would need to insert, and ideally how important each type is?

    Ken Lee: naturally I cannot repro your crash. I will ask the test team to contact you.

    Wayne: You can try installing this FF extension:

    BTW that extension is hardcoded to work only with a max version of 1.5.x. The comments

    on this page show how to modify it to install with 2.0:

    I hope someone just fixes the installer so others don’t have to use the workaround.

  5. Wayne says:

    I did try the modified Clip to OneNote extension but it does not bring in the web page cleanly like the bulit-in Explorer Send to OneNote tool does.

    Now that Explorer has tabbed viewing, I would love to switch back but there are several Firefox extensions that I depend on.

    None-the-less, thanks for the suggestion!!


  6. Steve Firth says:

    Will these Powertoys work with One Note 2003?

    Just for the record, I think One Note is one of the most underestimated pieces of software available to the public.

  7. I LOVE OneNote .. I use it all the time as my one shop note taker and with a tablet pc it is even better

  8. Francois says:

    Chris, Thanks for asking. I guess the most important one would be to have good support for mathematic equations, like latex, or word equation. I am sure many academics would need that too.

  9. Due to a busy travel schedule and working on the agenda of Dev & IT-Pro Days 2007 , I haven’t been

  10. Wayne: sorry, I haven’t actually used that extension myself (not a FF user). Other people have told me they like it.

    Steve: no sorry, these new PowerToys use the expanded API that OneNote 2007 supports so they do not work with 2003.

    Francois: Ok, if equations are the main (only?) one that’s good data. Thanks.

  11. Judy Gleeson says:

    These sound great. I was frustrated by 2003 and fired up 2007 for the first time today. So much easier to tidy up my messy "structure".  The links to Outlook (that’s my area) are good and I am looking forward to trying your toys soon too.

    OneNote and Outlook on a Tablet is most definitely the most under-rated set of tools for senior managers that I have ever come across.  Businesses and government departments spend a fortune on their managers’ desks and chairs and then don’t give them the best IT tools. Go figure?

  12. Chris, maybe not the only one, but certainly a very important one. Something like CMAP graphs would also be extremely usefull. Add these two features (and relative path link) and I’ll buy a dozen!

  13. Steve Firth says:

    Thanks for the reply Chris, but I have just been checking through the various One Note blogs/info pages, and it seems that all the new stuff, Powertoys etc are being written for One Note 2007. I suppose that is only to be expected, but is there nothing for One Note 2003?

    If there is, can someone point me in the right direction?

  14. Judy: thanks! we just need a few more million people to think the way you do 🙂

    Francois: for the relative links, OneNote sort of already supports that. You can link relatively to another page in the same section e.g. Onenote://#pagetitle. Onenote absolute links are also somewhat robust in that if a page moves inside a notebook we can often still link you to it. What sort of relative links are you looking for?

    Steve: check out my past posts on OneNote 2003 powertoys:


  15. andy says:

    I’m also a big fan of onenote.  Though there are still some features I’d like that it doesn’t have.  For example, it’s one of the few with the ability to tag not only sheets of notes, but individual paragraphs, and that’s cool; however, I find the tagging process rather a little cumbersome when having hundreds of tags and tagging many more entries than that a day (I do a lot of research).  Are there any plans to add any mark-up capabilities?  It’d be nice to be able to be able tag like so, for example:


    Aluminum Earphone For $0.84 Shipped with GCO


    car wash

    cash checks


  16. Steve Firth says:

    Thanks once again Chris, I’ve checked out the links and I think its fair to say I will have to wait until I’m able to upgrade to One Note 2007.

    I have got so use to having many different tabs for differnt subjects, but all under one folder heading. I just can’t believe this product hasn’t had more prominence in the software stable of Microsoft.

    Whatever the merits of Word, and there are many, it has many immitations, some of them, it has to be said are quite worthy, whereas One Note doesn’t have an immitation as far as I know, unless Lotus Notes is in the same catagory.

  17. Thanks for the answer Chris, so I understand that within OneNote, they are pretty robust. What I am thinking is more to have relevant files in a OneNote book diretory structure and be able to have them to follow the book, even if they are not OneNote files. (So links from OneNote to those files could be in relative path to the book.) I guess what I rely rely love of OneNote, is its organisation style, and I kind of test what are the limit. Thanks again.

  18. andy: if you have less than a hundred tags, you can use the built-in tags. Maybe pull up the toolbar so you don’t have to drop the picker all the time. Of course the top ten tags you use should be the ones that have keyboard shortcuts. If you have more than a hundred tags, you can do exactly what you are doing. Then just use the instant search to search for <deal> and you get a list of tagged items. Of course with this approach you can click through the list of results in the task pane but there is no summary page option.

    Steve: OneNote 2007 is twice the product 2003 was, so you’re defintely better off using it instead. Now, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I suppose we should be disappointed 🙂

    Francois: I’m afraid I don’t quite understand your scenario from what you wrote. What I do with files such as Word, PDF is to drop them onto OneNote pages. That way I can keep several together on a page and take notes about the project that involves those documents right next to them. There’s no need for relative links in that case as the docs move with the notes at all times.

  19. Jason B says:

    Incredible App!  We are looking for a way to share across the network but allow certain individuals read-only access…  Is this possible?  I attempted to do this through NTFS permissions but it didn’t work out.  Any ideas?

  20. andy says:

    thanks for your response.  I think I will start using the tag labeling/search method.  I installed desktop search to speed up the searching.  it is quite a bit faster now and I’m pretty happy w this.  maybe for a future release, you could think about trying to add the following capabilities though? (warning, this list spiraled out of control….)

    -mark-up capabiliies as described above.  the label/search as I’m doing now is slick, but of course actually tagging would be preferred:  

    -So I could display a summary page

    -So I could do alternative sorting, not just in the order the search finds the labels

    Mark-up ideas:

    -user can enter <deal> above, </deal> below to close the tag

    -shortcut: could enter just <deal> above, and then it closes at the next carriage return; or if want more explicit, user types <cl to just close that tag/set of tags

    -allow hierarchical tagging: <deal:hard drive>

    -allow user to create a new tag on the spot just by typing it

    -auto-fill: user types <d, pull-down of tags starting w d is presented; Enter to select

    -lots of customizable possibilities.  I think in these personal notetaking software it is all about making it flexible so the software can adapt to each user’s work methods, not the other way around.  maybe user can enter xxdeal as tag instead, if typing xx is easier than < for him, etc

    Additional tag ideas:

    -tags are listed in sidebar

    -tags replace sections/pages, perhaps even separate notebooks completely

    -when user clicks on a tag the summary sheet for that tag is auto-assembled

    -but it’s not just a fixed copy; it’s from original lines, so any changes will keep

    -the user can sort entries w/in tag by date, alpha, lower hierachy level, etc; or multiple if desired

    -search will normally search entire document; but when tag summary is shown, only that is searched until tag is unclicked

    -maybe even allow filter capability also; so only entries w certain word are displayed

    One more idea: with the mark-up maybe even start to allow some special tags that allow power capabilities, like:

    – <<email>> – and user can just type email they want to send someone there in onenote

    -other crap like that; <<batch>> and follow-up commands are run like a batch file; I think it’d be really neat to further onenote into a kind of command-line control center thing…

    I know some of these requests are obvious next steps, and for others I’m dreaming, but they were just burning me up inside and I had to get them out.  I think if just a few of these features were added OneNote could really be freaking amazing.  thanks, Andrew

  21. Jacob Esho says:

    Any plans for the PowerToys to include a support from Firefox(V2) to Onenote?  

  22. Ian R says:

    Chris, OneNote 2007 is a fantastic improvement over 2003, but I agree with a few of the comments on OLE – it would be a great future addition. For example, I’d love for Mindjet MindManager & OneNote to be able to come closer together via OLE.  Specifically, to be able to have a linked Mindmap shown in a OneNote note, but without it being a printout, or being embedded. Updating the Mindmap externally will update the note, and double-clicking the mindmap opens it in Mind Manager. With this, my life would almost be complete! 🙂

  23. kevin says:

    I realize that calendars aren’t power toys, but is there any word on when the Calendars, particularly the daily calendars that were available for Jan – Dec 2006 ( will be available for this year – it’s painful to create these pages on my own. Or is there an automated way to do this for a date range, i.e. not page by page per the current template process.  Thanks!

  24. JasonB: OneNote just uses the file system’s permissions. If you are using a file share (UNC path such as \servershare) then modify the permissions on the share to have "Everybody" as "read-only", then add the specific individuals whom you want to have write access separately with the correct permissions. This is just standard file share stuff – no magic.

    andy: thanks for the brain dump. I passed these on to the team

    Jacob: see my reply to Wayne above.

    Ian: Understood. BTW, if you are into MindManager check this out:”>

    kevin: Bug Dan to do this (I did):

  25. Jeanette says:

    Is there a toy or method for just clipping part of an e-mail from Outlook 2007 to OneNote? So far I can’t find anyway to clip anything but a whole e-mail, when I just want to clip a highlighted section, preferably via a right click.

  26. Leah Cowan says:

    Jeanette: Use the Clip function, just like you would in IE. Just make sure that you have OneNote set to keep the window on top. You can actually do a screen clipping in any program!

    Steve: Best Buy has it on sale for $69.00. I’ve not seen it anywhere else less than $100.00. Hurry though!


    I just wanted to say, I don’t know how I ever lived without OneNote 2003, and now with 2007. Damn!


  27. Bill says:

    The discussion on using search for custom tags raised a question. The search will only give results for leading characters. Is there any way search for words which contain the characters?

  28. David LeRoy says:

    I am not a power user or power anything… I am trying to figure out a way to import web stuff into OneNote — from say the New York Times, an article on Neurolaw say — and when I paste it into OneNote it is a mess… I am sure I am missing something. Could it be so hard just to clip and paste it in? OneSnap does not work…

    Thanks for helping a 70 year old newbee

  29. Jeanette says:

    "Jeanette: Use the Clip function, just like you would in IE. Just make sure that you have OneNote set to keep the window on top. You can actually do a screen clipping in any program!"

    That’s my question. Is there a clip function in Outlook? And if so where is it?

    All I’ve been able to locate in Outlook is a OneNote button on the main page, which sends the entire email to OneNote. In IE the OneNote button sends what I’ve highlighted.

    I’ve been unable to find any way to get Outlook to send only the part of an email I highlight. I haven’t located a OneNote button on the email window I’m reading. The only option I find is copy.  

  30. Ton van der Velden says:

    2 suggestions for improvements:

    1) I’d like to be able to collaps all the subpages, so i only see the page level.

    2) I’d like to have, per section or per notebook, an automatically updated summary page of tags (without having to "show tagged notes" "create a summary page" and finally deleting the old one)

    Any ideas?



  31. Steve Firth says:

    Leah, I have only just seen your post, thanks for the info, but I am in the UK, and I’m afraid a family berevement has taken up my time of late, so I have not checked out the latest on this site. Thanks once again for the price information.

  32. Jeanette, I think the suggestion was to use screen clipping, as opposed tot he "send to onenote" button. Try Windows-S, then clip the visible part of the email you want in OneNote. This puts an image with searchable text into OneNote.

    David, you can use screen clipping for parts of a web page as well. Or print the web page to the "Send to OneNote 2007" printer driver to get an exact replica. The reason a web page you put in OneNote via copy and paste (or use the IE button) does not look identical to what was in the browser is complicated but in brief it is because Onenote is not a web browser, and is designed for editing on a 2D surface so it has different display capabilities.

    Bill: the search does not work on substrings, sorry.

  33. Menuhin says:

    I have been looking for options to organize my projects and ideas and to organize the documents and notes that are associated with those projects according. Visio-like drawing and organizing softwares with flow charts and hierarchical organizing and linking capability would be great

    I found a solution that I’m looking for outside of OneNote

    MindManager is a brainstorming software, and it has an add-on that is capable of linking the elements of its charts to specific notes in OneNote

    That software cost a bit, while I have a Microsoft Visio license already; it would be great is such features are implemented in Visio… linking to specific notes in OneNote

  34. J. Schoeps says:

    I’ve become a OneNote Evangelist.  I inherited bookeeping & management of a trailer park just as my memory started to go!  OneNote IS my memory!!  Thanks for an awesome product.

    I would like to print out the entire Notebook to give to someone.  It looks like I can only do a section at a time.  Is there a way?



  35. Menuhin – thanks for the suggestion. I passed it on to the team.

    J. Schoeps: you could publish (or save as) the entire notebook to PDF or XPS and then print that. You could also do this via MHTML and print from IE.

  36. Rod says:

    OneNote 2007 is saving my butt.  I can’t believe how organized I have become. One question: Can OneNote search for a particular tag?  I would like to search for the "clock" tag itself.  I’ve inserted it next to future tasks that can be done once other steps are completed.  Just the clock icon is inserted next to existing text, so the tag’s text is not there and there is no text to search for.  Can I search for that particular tag icon and not see the rest of the tags?  If not, no problem, I will just go back and put the words "Waiting For" next to those items and use a text search in the future.

  37. Paul Mathisen says:

    Hi there

    What would make OneNote 2007 mobile far better is if someone could make it possible to dial a phonenumber directly from a note.

    It is amazing that Microsoft did not think of this.

    Looking forward to it when it comes.


  38. Dan Escapa is on a tear releasing a set of new PowerToys for OneNote 2007. What’s going on is that a whole bunch of PowerToys were written internally on the OneNote team and by some of our &quot;friends&quot; inside the company over the last six months.

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