Merge Pages in OneNote Powertoy


Time for another useful powertoy!  This addin, written by our own Jeff Cardon, merges selected pages together.  It is about as simple as it sounds: select the pages you want to merge and click the merge toolbar button.


Some notes: there is a popup dialog which explains Undo is not supported.  You can disable this dialog if you want, and I recommend disabling it as soon as you get comfortable with the implications that Undo is not supported.  There is another warning if you merge more than 10 pages at a time.  Again, you can disable this warning.


The reason I suggest disabling those warning are this is another managed code addin, so we cannot control focus of the confirmation dialogs.  If you click the button and it looks like nothing happened, look “behind” OneNote to see the dialog.  It’s easier just to live without the dialogs when you merge pages.


When installing, as usual, exit OneNote, run setup.exe and choose to install for all users.


While I would love to claim this addin was created as a direct result of customer wishes, the truth is that Jeff created  after getting pointed in this direction by Dan Escapa ( Dan had gotten tired of sending all his bits of data to Side Notes a few pieces at a time and wanted a better way of collecting all the data from different pages together.  This is the “better way” 🙂 .


As an aside, should these tools be called addins or powertoys?  Is there a difference in anyone’s mind? 


Let me know what you think!


Link to setup files (updated March 5, 2009)- the setup files are added as an attachment to this blog article below my signature.



(New as of Jan 8, 2009):  You can get the source code at


Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms are always welcome,


Comments (82)

  1. Ken says:

    What affect does this powertoy have on pages with audio notes? Will it mess anything up?

  2. JohnGuin says:

    Not to be snarky, but it should work great.  We tested embedded files before we released this.

    That said, I suggest testing a couple of pages first.  Mkae copies (since Undo is not supported) and merge them together.  Make sure it works for you just in case.


  3. alceste says:

    I tried it, but when I select 2 pages and click, the icon gets grayed, and nothing happens…

    The graying remains for the reminder of the ON session.

  4. John Guin says:

    Which icon?  The toolbar icon (or the embedded audio file icon)?

    And is the "are you sure you want to do this" dialog hiding behind the OneNote window?

    Lastly, how big are the audio files?  Minutes or hours long?


  5. Picked this up from a post over on John Guin's site. It's a tool that will allow you to merge

  6. jberger says:

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

    This fixes one of my biggest issues with ON, and is a real help.

    BTW: I prefer "add-in" or "extension"

    Powertoy doesn’t convey how helpful these files can be.

  7. SB Treloar says:

    As far as the add-in or PowerToy designation, I guess that to me, if it saves more than five clicks or so, or if it makes me go, "that’s amazing!" it’s a PowerToy. Otherwise, it’s just an add-in.


  8. robphy says:

    Can something like this be done for Journal files?

  9. It looks like John has posted a powertoy from Jeff Cardon, one of the OneNote Testers, which takes selected

  10. It looks like John has posted a powertoy from Jeff Cardon, one of the OneNote Testers, which takes selected

  11. coolkid says:

    "I tried it, but when I select 2 pages and click, the icon gets grayed, and nothing happens…

    The graying remains for the reminder of the ON session.

    Friday, August 17, 2007 6:05 AM by alceste"

    I have the same problem, using OneNote 2007

  12. John says:

    Alceste and coolkid,

    Are you using Vista?  If so, can you uninstall/reinstall by running setup.exe and verify you selected "Install for all users" during setup?


  13. alceste says:

    I use windows XP and ON-2007,

    However, I tried again, and this time the message "are you sure…" appeared, in front of ON, I unchecked the check box, OKed, and all went as advertised.

    It is conceivable the message window was hidden, but I rather doubt it, since I open and close many windows, and would have noticed it, I think.

  14. coolkid says:

    Tried, does not work for me. I run office 2003 with OneNote 2007. Does it matter?

  15. JohnGuin says:

    Office 2003 does not matter as long as you have OneNote 2007.  

    Standard troubleshooting:


    Exit OneNote (and use task manager to verify OneNote is not running)

    reinstall, selecting to install for all users

    restart OneNote

    look in tools options addins to make sure the Merge Pages addin is listed.

    Sorry for the problems,

    John Guin

  16. Theo says:

    During the merge process, I get an error pop-up "COM Surrogate, needs to shut down". Maybe because I installed it on an international version of ON 2007?

  17. JohnGuin says:

    Hello Theo,

    While there is nothing (other than the UI) which is specific to English, we only test these powertoys in English.

    What types of pages are you trying to merge?


  18. Theo says:

    Hi John, I tried to merge unfiled pages. This powertoy seemed to me a great help in organising my unfiled items.


  19. JohnGuin says:

    Hello Theo,

    I tried my unfiled notes and it worked well.  I can’t think of why it would crash – can you email me the section with 2 of the pages that cause the crash?

    No guarantees, but I can take a look.

    What language and Windows version do you have?

    John Guin at hotmail

  20. JohnGuin says:

    Aha – Unfiled notes in the scenario above were marked "read only."  ON can’t delete or create pages, so the addin failed.  Jeff updated the addin and it is available via the link above.

    Thanks for the reports, and sorry for the poor experience,


  21. coolkid says:

    still not work for me. the version of OneNote 2007 is 12.0.4518.1014. Does it matter?

  22. JohnGuin says:

    4518.1014 is fine.

    What errors are you getting?  The grayed out icon?

    Are you an admin on your machine?  Did you run setup as an admin?  If not, try uninstalling/reinstalling and running setup (as the directions above state) one more time.

    You may also want to download the new version – it has the fix for the crash when trying to merge pages in a read only folder.


  23. coolkid says:

    yes I am running as an admin on my machine. I tried the latest build and it does not work.

  24. JohnGuin says:

    What errors are you getting?


  25. Annie says:

    Hi, John.

    It’s not working for me. I’ve restarted, installed and uninstalled many times, but the only file that shows up in the ‘Make Subpage’ folder is the icon bmp. From what Z understand, there’s supposed to be a dll file, too?

    Any help would be appreciated!

  26. JohnGuin says:

    Hello Annie,

    Jeff does his addins a bit differently and installs the DLL to windowsassembly.

    The basic troubleshooting steps are where I recommend starting.

    1. Uninstall, reboot.

    2. Check for windows updates (the .net framework may need updating).

    3. Run setup again (and be sure to run setup.exe – not the MSI)

     a.  right click the file and select "run as admin"

     b.  during setup, ensure the box for "install for all users" is checked

    4. Then start OneNote.

    The last thing to check is to make sure OneNote is not running during setup.  Just open task manager and make sure onenote.exe is not running.

    Sorry for all the problems,


  27. Grayed Out icon was solved in a different powertoy by going to Add/Delete programs

    Select OneNote | Change

    Choose to turn on .net capability

    Do NOT twitch, and delete the OneNote program !

  28. MPA says:

    Joe – thanks so much – this worked for me with the grey buttons issue. I’ve been dying to make these powertoys work, so thanks.  Keep up the good work everyone!  Gotta love the powertoys.

  29. doug carmichael says:

    sorry to be dense. How do I select pages?

  30. JohnGuin says:

    Hold down the CONTROL key while clicking the page tabs you want to select.  FWIW, the first selected page will show differently than the rest.



  31. jeffrey says:

    i have msi capability. i exited ON07, installed merge pages powertoy. and then restarted ON07. i’ve uninstalled and reinstalled. i’ve tried setup.exe and setup.msi. it shows in the tools>options>addins. i’ve looked through customize toolbars.

    where is the merge pages icon?

  32. jeffrey says:

    never mind. i found the icon, on the left edge of the toolbar, that wasn’t displayed.

    seems to work great. thanks for writing it.

  33. S Bans says:

    Thanks John,

    I came across your blog via a OneNote discussion group, where I had requested help for the same feature as your MERGE Powertoy. It is working fine here. Please accept my thanks for the utility.

    Just some images in some of pages got shrunk in size to nearly quarter of their original size after merger of pages to one page. The images that got shrunk were mostly screen clippings.

    Although it did not hurt me much. however you may want to look into it and make your utility more robust.

    With Regards

    S Bans

  34. Mark Jordan says:


    Firstly, thanks for the extension (my preference for what to call it 8^).

    Secondly, I was wondering if you considered releasing the source code. One of the things I would like to enhance is the title of the resulting OneNote page… right now it defaults to "Merged Pages", and I would prefer to have it default to the first page selected with the Ctrl-click as typically all successive pages all appendages to it.

    Thanks again for your contribution.

    Mark Jordan

  35. Reader Mark Jordan made a request last week for the source code for the Merge Pages powertoy at

  36. Milver says:

    Newbie question: how do you disable the warnings from the merge add-in?

    Thanks and keep up the good work!

  37. John says:

    Hello Milver,

    When you merge pages, you should get a checkbox at the lower left of the warning that says to show the dialog in the future or not.  Uncheck that box and you will not get the undo warning any more.

    There is a second warning you can get if you merge more than 10 pages.  You can change the threshold for that by changing the registry key at HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftOfficeOneNoteMergePages   DisplayMergeWarningFloor from 10 to some other higher value.  

    Hope this helps,


  38. Milver says:


    Thanks for the quick reply. The problem is that the form that contains the warning label appears half size cutting almost all the buttons. I can’t resize the form (or is it a messagebox?) and I can only navigate the buttons with TAB and assume the left is OK and the right one is CANCEL but I can’t see the checkbox.



  39. JohnGuin says:

    Oh, OK.  There are 2 (easy) options.  You can run regedit and look in the location I mentioned to change the 2 keys which control which prompts are shown from 1 to 0.  If you are not comfortable with that, I can make you a registry file which does it for you – just send me an email.  The link for that is at the top right of the page.


  40. Milver says:


    That worked out. Thanks!!!


  41. Kris Klinkhammer says:

    WhoHoo – big props for this tool.  It cut down a tremendous workload for me!

    Thanks so much for creating this!

  42. A great part of working in OneNote test is the people on our team. Take Jeff Cardon ( again ), for instance.

  43. Tim says:

    The link for the setup file doesn’t work. I was able to download the source file however, can someone tell me how to compile it? My email is Thanks


  44. John says:

    Do you get an error downloading the file  I just tried it and it worked fine.

  45. Jon says:

    i downloaded the setup files from above onto my desktop, rt click to install and I get this error, i run Vista w/ON ’07…ON is not running(as per task mgr), error is below, any fixes??  Thanks

    Unable to locate application file ‘Setup.msi’.

    See the setup log file located at ‘C:UsersERAppDataLocalTempVSD7510.tmpinstall.log’ for more information.

  46. Carl Willis-ford says:

    The merge seems to work very well, but I’m noticing that, after the merge, the first page is normal, white background, while the second page is dark grey background.  I can still manipulate the ink on the dark grey page, but wondering how to avoid that background color, if possible.  thanks for the great tool!

  47. JohnGuin says:

    Hi Carl,

    Based on seeing a gray background, it sounds like the page is set to be a physical size of some sort (like 8 1/2 x 11) instead of the automatic size of infinite in all directions.

    Can you check that?  File | Page Setup.


  48. Carl Willis-Ford says:

    John – that was it!  I’m using an ACECAD Digimemo to capture my handwritten notes (it has the capability to import into OneNote as ink), and apparently it sets the page size to Letter.

    Thanks much for the assist.


  49. John says:

    Carl – glad to help.  I even wrote a powertoy a while ago to help with this (for a different pen, but will work with yours as well) –

  50. MKC says:

    Dear John,

    as with one of the many of your btw very nice add-ins, "make sub page", I am not able to get this add-in running. It is the typical "button grey"-problem. For this plug-in I am not even able to use it a first time before it fades. Differently to the make sub page add-in, this add-in has all the dlls in its installation folder.

    .NET is enabled for OneNote.

    Or did I miss something when enabling it? Because I do not understand the word "twitch" in Joe’s posting ( )

    Any more helpful hints? I would really like to use your powertoys. 🙁

    Thanks a lot!


  51. JohnGuin says:

    I looked through the code and noticed this powertoy reads/sets some registry keys when it boots.  It may need admin permission – are you an admin on the machine?  Is UAC on or off?  Since these are really toys we generally publish simply because we have the code laying around, we generally are administrators on the machine with UAC off.  

    This addin also opens a dialog when it is invoked, and that may be "beneath" OneNote.  Can you check these settings and let me know?

    Sorry for the problems.

  52. MKC says:

    Dear John,

    Thank you very much for your fast answer.

    I am running Win XP, me being the only user. Thus I have admin permissions. UAC has been introduced with vista, hasn’t it?

    I cannot tell whether a dialog is beneath OneNote as I cannot even invoke it. The addin is shown in the add-in section of the options and the button can be found in the tool bar "standard" section (hope it is the same in English). But this button is greyed out, so I cannot click it.

  53. MKC says:


    if you send me a mail to , I can reply and send you screenshots of all my settings. Maybe that helps with finding where the problem is.

    As this problem is preventing me to run any of these wonderful powertoys, I am really keen to solve the issue. 🙂

  54. John says:

    You can send me the email using the "Email" link at the upper right of this page.

  55. MKC says:

    hello John,

    I wanted to send you the screenshots by mail, which i could not do using the email, but anyway I have good news: After restarting several times, the button for merging pages now appears in the tool bar next to the zoom option. The message would appear "beneath" OneNote, but following your advice, I disabled that window, so now this powertoy works nicely. Thank you very much!

    Still, what is strange: When I try to add or remove the button from the toolbar, the button itself still is greyed out. Or is this supposed to be, as the button is removed by deinstalling?

    I am going to check if the other add-ins are working now and will get back to you, if you.

    Thank you very much for your support, it is greatly appreciated! 🙂

  56. John says:

    The button being grayed out is the design (limitation) of the COM addin.  Office really doesn’t know how/whether the addin button can be disabled, so it is up to the addin writer to allow for this or not.  The toys we write just leave the icon "on" if the addin is installed.

    No idea why it was not working, but I’m still investigating these odd errors.

    Thanks for using OneNote!

  57. Jose says:

    not working on ON 2010 TP.

    got an error about COM surrogate.

  58. John says:

    Thanks for the report.  The tech preview isn’t really designed for developers – it’s mostly to get feedback from users for the new features we added.

    Can you get the exact error message, though?  feel free to email me – the link is in the upper right.


  59. Scott says:

    Thank you!  I have been searching for a solution to this problem for a while now.

  60. Chickenman says:

    This tool rocks!! Indispensible for aggregating the blizzard of emails I send to unfiled notes.

    The code was posted in January to allow enhancement to name the first clicked file rather than default "Merged" – any chance someone could walk me through stepwise to modify and replace the program?

    I am not a progtrammer so this would have to be painfully simple…


  61. John says:

    Can you clarify exactly what you want to rename?

  62. Martin says:

    The error that I get in the 2010 TP is a msgbox saying that the notes are read-only (which aren’t).

    Can’t paste the exact msg because I just uninstalled it.

  63. John says:

    The addins for 2007 will only work with sections in 2007 format.  Were you trying this in a 2010 format section?

  64. Bob says:

    This is just what I have been looking for. Thanks so much for putting it together. I installed it and to my dismay, after it begins merging ~15 pages, on the 3rd or 4th page it will pop a dialog box saying "Invalid xml from OneNote" The pages I am trying to merge are all small sections of screenshots captured by <WIN-S>. OneNote2007 running on XP.


  65. John says:

    Sorry for the problems, Bob.  If you want, can you right click the section that has the problem, select Save As and save as a .one file?  You can email that to me (the link is in the upper right) and I’ll take a look.

    Obviously, scrub out any personal data.  Just make sure the section still reproduces the problem.

    Again, sorry.

  66. Chris Gibson says:


    I am running Windows 7 and Onenote 2007. I have installed the add on using the guidance above. It appears in the programs and features list of the control panel but not in the add ins list in One Note and I can’t see the icon at all. I have run windows update and enabled .NET for Onenote.

    Any help gratefully received.


  67. John says:

    The only way I have found to get out if this state is to restart windows and uninstall.  Then make sure you have not started OneNote and reinstall.

    Sorry for the problems,


  68. Marcie says:

    Works great. I do a lot of research and web snapshots which required merging notes from several sources.  You have no doubt saved me from carpal tunnel!  Thank you.

  69. Bruce says:

    Was there ever a solution to Bob’s problem with the "invalid XML from onenote" issue?

  70. JohnGuin says:

    Not that I know of.  I never got a reply from Bob.

  71. Bruce says:

    I’m having the same problem, was just wondering if there was an easy fix or at least a definable cause. Guess I’ll just keep searching. Thanks

  72. Jay says:

    Is there (or will there be) a 2010 version of merge pages? I think this would have been an option that one note should have already had.

  73. Jim says:

    I agree with Jay. I converted my OneNote 2010 Notebook to 2007 format just to test this and it worked great. It does not work with with OneNote 2010 though. It should be a regular feature. But, given that it is not, can Jeff revise it to work with 2010 Pages?  Seems like a must-have.

  74. Ryan says:

    A non-addin work around here is to select all of the pages you need merged, Ctrl-C, then open a Word doc, and Ctrl-V there.  That aggregates them, then copy the whole Word doc back into one One Note page and delete the others.

    It's hokey, and I agree with the others that having page merge for 2010 would be fantastic, but until it comes, this is easier than cutting and pasting the contents of each page individually.

  75. John says:

    Nice tip.  If you don't have Word, and don;t think you will need to edit the content, you can print back to OneNote as well.

  76. Josh Smith says:

    You can add my vote for this as a default feature. 🙂

    The Copy/Past solution works in the interim, though.

  77. Ed says:

    I'm curious why so many OneNote powertoys are not updated for 2010. Is it because they are not written by Microsoft? I love OneNote but I'm becoming more interested in Evernote which seems to have new addons everyday.

  78. Erin says:

    Hello, I am trying to install the add in (onenote 2013) and it says that it is not an valid add-in and won't let me enable it through onenote. Any suggestions?

    Thank you!

  79. John says:

    Correct – this addin will only work with ON 2007.  Sorry for the problems,


  80. Mike says:


    Will you make the same for OneNote 2013?

  81. Redwood CCI says:

    I'm interested in page merge powertoy for onetnote 365 as well.

  82. sahiti says:

    oh, i was so excited to see this, but then I realized it was only for 2007 version after 4 hours =(

    (i'm get distracted a lot) wish there was a merge feature for 2013, been searching for it, ever since I installed OneNote