Table of Contents powertoy!

Note: as of Jan 5, 2009, there is a slightly updated version of this powertoy at  Sorry for not being able to update these original files (which still work).  Please use the links from the newer article to download the newer files. 


Nani Courten is another tester on the OneNote team and created an incredibly useful addin for OneNote.

The scenario Nani decided to tackle is this one: there is a group of people sharing a notebook. Each person edits a few pages here and there every so often. Now when I open the notebook, I want to quickly find the most recent changes. If a page was changed last night, I want to see it, and if a page has been unchanged for some amount of time, I'm not as interested in viewing it. Essentially, I want a list of most recently changed pages.  

Nani and I talked about this and her solution works perfectly for me. She created an addin which creates a Table of Contents for the section I'm looking at with the most recently changed pages at the top of the list. Each page in the list is a link to the page: I can see what changed last night, click the link and go straight to that page.    

You can also delete the column which shows the time the pages were changed and make a table of contents which lists only the page titles. This way the user who posted to the newsgroups about wanting a summary of the pages in a section can get his information as well.

And did I mention this is incredibly fast?


The setup files (and remember to exit OneNote, run setup.exe as admin and select to install for all users): (new link)

The source (includes setup): (even newer link) (new link)  

Comments are welcome. Nani has already indicated she may expand this to open a dialog to let you choose which columns get created – let me know if you would be interested in this.


Comments (26)
  1. Darin says:

    The links are not working for me.  Can someone else confirm a problem (or not) with the links above?


  2. Darin says:

    Link seems to be working now.  I did not do anything on my end, so thanks to whomever!

  3. One of our MVPs, Kathy Jacobs (link to her site ), asked last

  4. One of our MVPs, Kathy Jacobs (link to her site ), asked last

  5. jlfowler says:

    Would love to see this perform on a higher level.

    Features desired:

    1. Provide a dialog box for creating TOC

    2. Allow user to select whether TOC should be at the section or page level.  If section level, return changes for each page for each section.  Perhaps allow creation of a new page with changes for each section in a subpage, while a high-level (section) TOC is placed in the parent-page.

    3. Can these TOCs be updated automatically?  How does this work currently?

    Thanks for consideration and answers.  Nice work.


  6. Alustryl says:

    I love the PowerToy.  I would really like to see more functionality, such as decided to sort by data modified or by date created.

  7. Sean says:

    When do the links get updated?  I am trying this out and have added items but, the TOC is not showing the updated dates.

  8. JohnGuin says:

    This is a limitation of our API – we can’t get notified that content in the section has changed.  So, you have to delete the old TOC and make a new one when you need it updated.

    Sorry for the problems,


  9. Sean Valley says:

    I love the PowerToy and would be interested in a table of contents that creates a list of the pages in the order they are listed in the page section.  

  10. Dick Jensen says:

    Great utility and my suggestion is: I would like to be able to create one TOC that includes all of my pages from all sections and from all notebooks.


  11. JohnGuin says:

    Interesting idea.  Performance may be a problem – let me forward this to Nani and see what she says.


  12. oneoone says:

    thanks soo much!! its a great tool. but could you please tell me what to do after running the setup?……..pls help

  13. JohnGuin says:

    After installing, start OneNote.  You should see a table of contents button added to the toolbar.  When you click it, a new page gets created with links to all the pages in the section, in the given order.

    If the button immediately goes gray when you click it, follow the directions at the end of this post here:

    Have fun,


  14. Every so often I’ll get a question from someone who has a need to find pages that have embedded files

  15. Chad says:

    I second Sean Valley’s suggestion.  I would like to see a TOC be ordered by order of tabs.  The current feature "by modified date" can be helpful at times but less useful.  Another helpful option would be to create the TOC in alphabetical order.


  16. John says:

    Have you seen the Sort Sections powertoy?  It’s at and may be what you are looking for.


  17. Over the in the OneNote Discussion Group , Mike made this request for a change to the Table of Contents

  18. Denny says:

    I don’t see changes after I add ‘table of contents’. Am I suppose to see updates automatically?

  19. Jonathan says:

    I like the toy but real value will be when such a routine will show me what pages are in each section of a chosen notebook. Once "in" a section most or all of the pages are visible to me. However, a notebook with many sections is so much more opaque and requires a LOT of clicking to see how the content has been arranged.

    Good for really long sections, I guess.

    I’ll watch for a next iteration. Thank you for working on this!


  20. Rob says:

    It would also be nice to have sub-topics that include desired tags. That way you could have titles within each page.

  21. Brian says:

    I’ve installed, uninstalled and reinstalled this powertoy about a dozen times.  Never can get it to do anything.  The button shows up in my standard toolbar, but alas, does nothing.  


  22. John says:

    what happens when you click the button?  One thing I noticed is that if you have a large number of pages it can take several seconds or more to complete…

  23. Brian says:

    What happens is absolutely nothing.  I get a brief hourglass (maybe half a second), then nothing.  No table of contents, nothing.

  24. John says:

    OK, let me look through the code and see what may be getting flagged as an error.  In the meantime, can you answer these two items:

    Does this fail for all sections or just one?  And how big is the section?


  25. Brian says:

    It fails for all sections, regardless of size.

    I have sections that contain only a few pages, and other sections that contain dozens of pages, but none that are particularly huge.

  26. John says:

    I looked through the code and there is not much that could go wrong.  It reads some registry keys and then creates a "DataGridView" control.  Do you have the .net 3.5 framework installed (you can get it at if you need to.

    Other than that, can you verify you are running setup as an administrator?


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