OneNote Search and Replace

It is Friday evening after a nice long busy week and I got permission to release another powertoy!  This powertoy is the OneNote Search and Replace feature so please check it out.  I know a few people have asked for this on the newsgroup as well as via the comments section.  Perfect for when code names change (think Longhorn-->Vista).  This powertoy was written by an superstar OneNote developer so a big round of applause for Jeffrey; thank you much for coding this and letting me release this.

How it works

  1. Download the application from here:
  2. Extract the application and run the setup.exe
  3. You will now have a new toolbar button in OneNote which looks like this:
  4. Click the button and you will see a window like this:
  5. Now you can choose your search terms and what scope.
  6. Click Preview and Replace to try it out!

Remember all powertoys available from this blog are AS IS and are not supported by Microsoft. 

Please use at your own risk, but please do enjoy!  Have a great weekend all!

Comments (63)
  1. I am a big Search and Replace person, especially in Word and Dreamweaver. It boggled my mind why the

  2. Daniel Escapa has released a new OneNote 2007 Powertoy . The Search and Replace Powertoy does just what

  3. Hey Daniel. Good idea but the folks at GBM are reporting it’s not UMPC-friendly at 800×480 any chance for supporting that resolution?

  4. Josh – Yes sadly it seemed to be hard coded, that is why this is a powertoy since it isn’t as polished as most things Microsoft officially releases.  Sorry about that but alas…"AS IS"  BTW sorry to be unhelpful but there is really all I can do.  Otherwise I hope it works well…take care.

  5. Toby Getsch says:

    Just last week I was looking for Search and Replace.  I couldn’t find it.  I started to blog about it and was going to ping you with a big, old, WHY CAN’T I SEARCH AND REPLACE?  I got a little distracted with other work and didn’t send it yet.  Great timing and nice to find this now!

    Now I can delete that draft post.  🙂

  6. Eric B says:

    I was elected to write regarding this add-in and the Read over your How-to on creating an add-in for OneNote

  7. It’s getting hard to keep blogging about OneNote in detail now that I am no longer on the team, but I

  8. It's getting hard to keep blogging about OneNote in detail now that I am no longer on the team, but

  9. Julia Sifers says:

    After I install it, I don’t see any new button in OneNote. I just uninstalled and reinstalled it just to make sure I didn’t do anything wrong. There’s a folder in my Programs directory called "OneNote Search and Replace" with files such as an icon, dll and an executable. I just can’t figure out how to get the button in OneNote.

  10. Joel says:

    I installed it and it just says Search Failed no matter what I try to search for and what options I set.  OneNote2007…

  11. Jon says:

    Same problem as Joel. Installed it on OneNote 2007 on Vista Business and no matter what I try searching for, I get a "Search failed".

  12. Some other people have reported that if you never installed Desktop search 3.0 you get "search failed". Maybe that solves it?

  13. A few astute readers pointed out I (intentionally) missed a few addins the OneNote team finished last

  14. A few astute readers pointed out I (intentionally) missed a few addins the OneNote team finished last

  15. This is great!  I am among those avid OneNote users who missed the original posts about these powertoys.  Thanks for the repost, and keep up the great work!

  16. Greg says:

    Like several others, when I press the Preview button I get a "Search Failed" message. Pressing the Replace button does nothing. This is on OneNote 2007 12.0.4518.1014, running under XP SP2.

  17. Michael H. says:

    You Have to install Windows Desktop Search for this PowerToy to work. I was having the "Search Failed" error consistently now matter what I searched for, but installed the WDS fixed that.

    The PowerToy works perfectly now.

    Get Windows Desktop Search for XP at the URl below:

  18. Ian says:


    I find this very useful but with large notebooks, and maybe it’s a Vista thing, but I can search for text but all that happens is that the Vista cursor changes to loading (spinning circle) and then the list name appears.

    After that the cursor still spins and the program state changes to ‘Not responding’ and I cannot do anything apart from quit the program or restart my PC.

    Any ideas?

    Many thanks.


  19. Mike Marchant says:

    This is such a great idea. The ability to be able to use search and replace in Onenote will save me a great deal of time and trouble.

    Unfortunately it just doesn’t work for me. I have installed in Xp on both my desktop and laptop, with OneNote 2007 on both, and Desktop Search 3. The icon appears in OneNote as advertised, but if I click on it the icon becomes greyed out and no box (as described in step 4) appears. Nothing happens.

    Does anyone have any idea what the problem might be, and whether there is a solution. This is one tool I really would like to have.

    Many Thanks

    Mike Marchant

  20. YKY says:

    I have the same problem — the icon greys out after I click it.  Then nothing happens.

  21. tom pattison says:

    This is a wonderful addition to onenote.  Used on several computers.  Absolutely no bugs and works well.

  22. Michael says:

    Why in the seven portals of the Gaia Goddess of the Lunar Palace of Antiqua did Microsoft NOT INCLUDE FIND & REPLACE IN ONENOTE?????? I thought it was supposed to be FUNCTIONAL software i.e. useful???

    I was tearing my hair out trying to figure out where the function was – and to make matters worse, they don’t even think to mention it in the Help files! Argh!

    Thanks very much for this PowerToy – I do appreciate your work – but Microsoft should be making a fully functional and supported version for OneNote! Plus, I don’t want to install Windows Desktop Search so I suspect this isn’t going to work for me anyway…

    I can’t believe Microsoft – once again defying all logic and common sense.

  23. Melissa says:

    I am a very sleep deprived 2nd year law student trying to organize my outlines for my two remaining finals.  I was just so frustrated at having to go through hundreds of pages of notes to format every "Rule:" that showed up individually.  If I could send hugs or cookies via the net,  you would have lots and lots (especially since that’s pretty much all I can afford these days ;)).  I just wanted to comment here and say thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you… THANK YOU!  Stress meter slowly receding from red zone…. you saved me from having a real life BSOD. 🙂

  24. mishan says:

    I  installed  the  powertoys but  no  icon  in  the  tool  bar. Using  vista and  office  2007. please  show  me  the  way!


  25. John Rea-Hedrick says:

    I had the same issue trying to use the Search and Replace add-in (grays out when clicked – nothing happens)

    I went back into my Office installtion setup and noticed that .NET Programmability Support was not installed.  Just for good measure I also installed Microsoft Forms 2.0 .NET Programmability Support.

    Worked like a charm!

    I launched OneNote and clicked the button; the form window popped right up.  I didn’t even have to reboot or go dig out my Office 2007 installation media!

  26. Tim Traylor says:

    Great powertoy – thanks!  

    One suggestion: Could ‘Selection’ be added to the scope option so you can replace only within highlighted/selected text on a page?


  27. Milver says:


    Do you happen to have the source code? The search/replace doesn’t seem to work well with a "complex" notebook of mine and I wouldn;t mind debugging it…



  28. Pete says:

    This is brilliant Daniel you are king of OneNote!!!

  29. Amanda says:

    I am having the same problem as Julie above and I noticed no one responded to her. I have Windows desktop 4.0, I even tried to downgrade to 3.0 but that did not help. After I run the setup of search and replace, I am not seeing any new toolbar in One Note. If anyone could walk me through a suggestion, it would be very helpful

  30. Amanda says:

    Ok I finally figured it out. I had to check windows for updates (which I had set for automatic but because I use Mozilla and not Internet Explorer were not working) and once my windows updates were installed, I re-installed find and replace and it worked. It is a lifesaver because I am studying for the NYS Bar and my outline had one huge error. Thanks

  31. Brian says:

    Downloaded and installed and this Powertoy works perfectly.  Thanks for the much needed replace feature!

  32. This plugin does not play well with Outlook 2010 Beta.

    1. Icon is scrambled looking

    2. No ribbon support except as a weird purple button under "add-ins" (I expected this)

    3. No quick access toolbar support (surprised to find this!)

    4. Even with whole word matching disabled, it won’t find a word-within-a-word.  

    5. Preview is hardly that.  It’s just a bullet list.  Navigate to section seems to work intermittently.

    It’s pretty surprising that such a basic standard feature of basically every text-entry system on the face of the earth (including Notepad and even this little text box embedded on a web page) is absent from RTM OneNote!  I can’t believe this requires a powertoy.

    Please, please add this to Outlook 2010 RTM!

  33. Bill M says:

    It would be good if somebody could enhance this powertoy so it can search and replace the contents of links, etc.

    Right now, it only finds and replaces the text that you see on the screen.  That means if you have hyperlinks that you want to change, you still have to do that manually.


  34. Zakary says:

    Hello, Is there any possibility to get source code?

    I’d like to add several textboxes, so user can replace multiple items at the same time. Also I would like to replace labels.

    Thank You.

  35. Simon says:

    Hi Daniel,

    Any plans to make this available for OneNote 2010 64-bit?



  36. Mike Hoffmann says:

    How do I delete this add-in from Onenote. I'm running Windows 7 64-bit with Onenote 2010. The replace feature is simply not working and now I can't find the "uninstall" to get it off the add-in screen. … and please ask someone at Microsoft to implement this feature properly asap. It's the single biggest missing feature that I've come across and a big issue when using Onenote to take notes during a meeting or lecture.

  37. Sean says:

    It appears I'm in the same boat as Mike Hoffmann above. In my case, the powertoy installs fine, and Search works fine, and when I click Replace, the results window empties out but the document isn't changed.

    I'm running Windows 7 Enterprise x64, with 32-bit Office 2010.

    While I'm able to use other OneNote 2007 powertoys in OneNote 2010, unfortunately this isn't one of them.

  38. Avi Nahir says:

    I find it AMAZING One Note 2010 doesn't have built it search and replace. Amazing!

  39. Kigeru says:

    Awesome job Jeffery works Perfect, and it was exactly what I was looking for, this is what the internet is all about!

  40. Hank Schwartz says:

    Search and Replace allowed me to search for strings with numbers in them. Fantastic!

  41. Bre says:

    This does not find the words I search for, nor does it replace the random words that it finds, it just deletes them. Windows 7, Onenote 2007. If you can't have find and replace in the program, don't even put out onenote.  

  42. I find that the search box is very limited in the number of characters says:

    I found that i can only search on about ~64 characters

    Any chance of expanding this

  43. Disappointed says:

    How can an Office product not have search and replace?  I have to download and install a separate plug-in?  This should be a standard function, not a "powertoy".  Search and replace is neither a toy nor should it be considered powerful — it's basic functionality like being able to type text into ON.

  44. Ruben Vuittonet says:

    After installing Onenote Search and Replace, Onenote crashes every time I close it.

  45. Ruben Vuittonet says:

    See my previous comment.  If I uninstall Onenote Search and Replace, this problem goes away.

  46. Jamil Haddadin says:

    I have windows7 onenote 2010 x64 i installed it but i could not see it, any new updates?

  47. Update to 2010 says:

    Could anyone pleas update this Add in to version 2010 ?

    This addon is not working with my OneNote 2010.

  48. Phillip says:

    I'd love to see it for 2010 as well. It installs fine but I can't find the icon afterwards.

  49. doug carmichael says:

    hey isn't Microsoft big? Follow up on onenote questions should be a high priority, no? I'd love to see this and a few others updated.

  50. I just thought I'd update the thread here..

    I can confirm previous postings that this PowerToy *DOES NOT WORK* in OneNote 2010 x64 on Windows 7 Ultimate SP1. As previously reported, when the "Replace" button is clicked, the listed preview items are cleared from the window, but no replacements are actually performed within the OneNote document.

    I share the disappointment others have expressed here. This is a pretty disgraceful situation for the OneNote team. It's now been over FOUR YEARS since Daniel posted this PowerToy for OneNote 2007, the previous version.

    Since there haven't been any updates posted, nor any comments from Daniel or other OneNote team members, I guess we have to assume the Search & Replace add-in is now at least unofficially orphaned if not actually dead.

    For what it's worth, here are some reasonable guesses at the obvious :

    1) MS is obviously aware that OneNote lacks native Search & Replace (S&R) functionality.

    2) MS is obviously aware that S&R a highly requested feature in document-creation programs, which is why all other Office programs have S&R built-in.

    3) In fact, I would venture to guess that OneNote is the only text-related, document-creation program of any kind that MS publishes which does not have S&R. Even humble Notepad.exe has "Replace"!

    4) It seems obvious, given the above, that MS product managers must have consciously chosen to exclude S&R from OneNote's native feature set.

    5) Managers are paid, among other reasons, to evaluate options on a cost-benefit basis. So we can ask, what benefit does MS gets by excluding the much-desired, near-universal S&R feature from OneNote..?

    6) One obvious benefit could be that Office users are forced to "choose" to edit their notes in a different application. People like me, who own the entire Office suite, can obviously copy & paste the OneNote page to MS Word & then perform S&R there.

    7) Why is this a benefit for MS? One obvious possibility is that users are forced into "remembering" that MS Word is the flagship MS text-editing document. If OneNote users were never forced out of the program in order to get "advanced" text-editing features like S&R, it might be imagined that MS Word could come to be perceived by many OneNote users as an old-fashioned or no-longer-necessary application.

    8) Without knowing the sales volumes & trends for MS Word vs. OneNote vs. external competitors, it's hard to dig any deeper into the likely cost-benefit analysis that MS managers are doing.  

    9) It would be amusing but sad if this S&R issue were simply the result of a turf war between the OneNote managers ("We want to provide native S&R!") vs. Word managers ("No way in hell you're going to provide it!")

    Thoughtful comments appreciated..

  51. David says:

    Thanks Daniel,  Wonder who was asleep at the wheel when microsoft let onenote out the door without this most basic feature!  Arrrrrggggghhhhh!!!!!!

  52. sean says:

    how do i uninstall this add in?  It doesn't work.

  53. Max says:

    Agree with comments – very strange not to include something as basic as S&R – I want it because when I paste in a long column of text from somewhere else I'd like to remove the paragraph breaks so I have 'normal' across the page text rather than one narrow column.

  54. Ultra Edit{or} says:

    What regular expressions and something with a little more power for this power toy.

  55. Jason says:

    It finds everything, but then when I click Replace nothing actually happpens.

  56. This toy dose not seem for OneNote 2010.  It does nothing.

    Uninstallation can be done by running setup.exe again.

    You should choose "Remove …" instead of "Repairt …" when executing setup.exe again.

    FYI: Win7 64bit, OneNote 2010 included in Office 2010 64bit


  57. Pedro Gordo says:

    Would be great to have a 2010 version 🙂

  58. Michael Werle says:

    Before updating this PowerToy for OneNote 2010, how about rehosting it for 2007? The download link is dead and online searches/archives only point here.  If someone has an archived copy I'd appreciate it!

  59. John Boy says:

    Even OneNote 2013 doesn't have it.  The help tells you to do a search, but then manually select each found instance and paste your replacement text.  Really?!! I can't believe they would even document that.  Sad. Time to move to Apple and use Evernote.

  60. Matt Barker says:


    Sounds exactly what I need! (can't believe OneNote has no find and replace feature!!!)

    However there is a big issue – none of the download links in your article work! Neither the one to the zip file or the screenshot images 🙁

    Hope you can get this fixed soon.


  61. Pim Joosten says:

    Because the link for the application provided in this post no longer works, I have made the file available via this link:

  62. Pim Joosten says:

    And I also found a pdf file I made several years ago of the original content (including images) of the above post:

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