Creating an addin to test OneNote

I hope to show what it's like to be a tester on the OneNote team. I transferred from 10+ years in Outlook to OneNote last November. The transition was hectic and I had to ramp up on a new product (which I love) and a new team (which I love) very quickly. In the spirit of being thrown into the fire, let's just start off with a side project which came my way.

I got an email from a user yesterday who wanted OneNote to replace the Sticky Notes module in Outlook. I had been wondering if anyone was interested in an addin I had in mind which would start OneNote when you try to open a notes module in Outlook, but did not know if anyone would want that type of functionality. Now that I had some (one) request, I decided to write it for him.    

This was an Outlook only addin - all it does is register for the FolderSwitch event in Outlook and if a notes folder is opened, I use System.Diagnostics to start OneNote.exe. And while it doesn't strictly replace the Outlook module with OneNote, it does allow OneNote to jump to the forefront when you open an Outlook notes module.

Some notes:

This requires Outlook 2007. Be sure to exit Outlook before running setup. And on Vista, run setup as an admin.  

Either version of OneNote (2003 or 2007) should work. I just call System.Process.Start("onenote.exe"); to launch the application. A side benefit of this is that OneNote opens to the most recently opened folder, and I did not need to navigate OneNote to a folder in my code.

(Update as of 3/23/09)
You can get the setup file below my signature at the end of this entry. here:

And the source (C# with .NET Framework 2.0) is apparently gone.  I lost the machine that I used to write this.  The hard drive holding the backup also died. at

Like I said, this is only a side project for me. It gels with testing fairly well, though, since it covers an Outlook integration scenario rather nicely. And while I have no OneNote specific calls in my addin, I did have one implementation in which I was working with the NavigateTo API we expose, so I had to learn that as part of making this addin. After all is said and done, this is a very simple addin. Let me know if you find it useful!

Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms always welcome,

Comments (10)
  1. Cary says:


    Your links are misspelled. In the file name it should be With not Witn.

  2. Cary says:

    Also, the zip files will not open.

  3. Good start. Now like you said, let’s get it to replace outlook notes, but still allow notes (or decent OneNote) to sync both ways with Windows Mobile and Smartphone. And have some sort of autocreation and importing of a OneNote workbook that will hold notes. is there an outlook notes to onenote plug in that you know?

  4. JohnGuin says:

    Hello Patrick,

    I also wrote an Outlook Notes to OneNote exporter (requires both apps to be version 2007) at

    Is that what you are looking for?  


  5. JohnGuin says:


    I moved the files to a different server and updated the links.  Let me know if they do not work for you.


  6. ShakespearesEdge says:

    This is interesting; however, you need to make it more "integrated."  By this, I mean that it should open a ON side-note.  Also, how does the ActiveSync work??

  7. One of the bugs discovered with the powertoy to start OneNote instead of opening the Outlook sticky notes

  8. Christina says:

    Oooooh I want it! But, sadly, the link to download the setup file is broken. 🙁

  9. JohnGuin says:

    Fixed the broken link.  Wow – my first blog entry!  Didn’t realize my 2 year point was coming up…

Comments are closed.

Skip to main content