OneNote Riffle one of my favourite mouse features

One of my favourite mouse features is a thing we have called "riffle" and you would riffle through pages. This is just like you would do with paper you would riffle or quickly flip through the pages in a section (or in the paper metaphor in a notebook).

How do I riffle you might ask? If you are running OneNote 2003 you can do this just by clicking on a page tab and holding down the mouse button and as you move up and down through the page list it will automatically take your through the page listings. If you are using OneNote 2007 you would want to click and hold the ALT key and use the wheel mouse. The reason for the change was because we now have drag and drop so we wanted to enable you to still do this. I personally love holding down alt and using the mouse wheel to quickly go through all of the pages.

That is all I need sometimes, just to see part of my note and then I know what it was I was looking for. It is amazing how a small visual clue could give you that much but just seeing some of the note will clue you in. Actually there was a research done with Microsoft Research that talks about this: Peripheral Display of Digital Handwritten Notes. Done by Gary Hsieh from CMU & Ken Wood & Abigail Sellen from MSR - Cambridge. Pretty interesting read, hopefully they get something working with OneNote instead of just Journal : )

Edited @ 7/19/2006 11:59 AM because of a correction, thanks Alberto!

Comments (14)

  1. Patrick Schmid says:

    Hi Daniel,

    the change in 2007 requiring a user to hold down a key has made this feature now a lot harder to use for tablet users. I know that a tablet user could assign one of the tablet keys to be ALT, but that isn’t really the same. Are you considering any ways to make this feature in 2007 easier to use for tablet users?



  2. Mikewo says:

    Yes, this is a feature I used quite a lot with 2003 and was bummed to find out I have end up mapping a tablet button to the Alt key.  Plus, I only have a few buttons on my tablet and the number of mappings I can do is limited.

  3. Alberto says:

    This is a great tip. Although it only works in ON2007 with the scroll wheel and not the mouse.

  4. Alberto – Yes you are right…it was the wheel on 2007, I totally forgot : )

    Mikewo – Yes there was a trade off for Tablet users.  Now you can drag and drop, with everything comes a cost.  I am sure you could map that to one of the keys on the Tablet.  Ideally the keys would change depending on the app so while you are in OneNote one of the buttons would be ALT and in another app it would be something else.  

  5. Rainald Taesler says:

    It’s a nice feature, for sure.

    But have the PEN-users been forgotten again?


  6. Rainald Taesler says:


    mapping is not a viable way IMHO.:

    a) All of the four buttons on my HP tc1100 are needed the way they are set as default;

    b) there’s quite some other actions in ON needind a combination of keys.


  7. Joe says:

    Add my name to the list of tablet users who are disappointed in this change. It seems obvious that reordering pages is a much less frequently used option than riffling through them. It’s moving pages that should have a hot key. This seems completely backwards.

  8. Patrick Schmid says:

    I think the behavior for reordering pages via the pen should be kept as is.

    However, riffling really needs to be more tablet-friendly: For example, could it become accessible by using the gesture that was used for drag & drop in 2003 (yank to the right and then move up and down)? Or could the feature be associated with putting the stylus down right above the new page button and moving it down (without releasing) from there? Or, could there be an item that can be added to the toolbar that toggles between page drag&drop and riffling?

  9. Thank you all for your feedback and thoughts.  I logged a bug so that we could look into this.

  10. Edward Lee says:

    "Ditto" the desire to see the ability to riffle with the pen come back!

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  12. Rose says:

    Gah. How am I supposed to do this on a laptop with no scroll wheel? I normally scroll by clicking both touchpad buttons together, which activates scrolling, but I tried that for this in ON 07 and it didn’t work.

  13. Tony says:

    I cannot get the functionality to work in ON2007 either.  I have tried the alt/mouse wheel and nothing.  It worked great in ON2003.

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