An addin to manage printouts to OneNote


 

I was talking with Jeff Cardon the other day about an addin I was creating to take slides decks printed to OneNote and break them up into one slide per page.  He had been thinking (and doing something) about it as well, and came up with this – an addin to completely manage items printed to OneNote.  This topic has been on-again, off-again on the newsgroups, but over the last week a number of people mentioned they wanted a utility like this.


 


You can go straight to the addin here: http://johnguin.members.winisp.net/Shared%20Documents/ONPrintManager.zip


 


(8/21/09) The link is now below my signature at the end of this article. 


 


Again, standard setup: completely exit OneNote, run setup.exe, start OneNote.  If the file gets corrupted, I suggest trying a download with (gasp) Firefox, or using WinZip to open the file.  I’m still working with the ISP folks to track this problem.


 


This addin is pretty slick.  Since OneNote treats all printouts to it as images, it becomes possible to reorganize all printouts in the same manner.  You can break slides into 1 per OneNote page, resize them to make them smaller so you can take notes to the side, put them in columns and even make them background images on the page so you can edit on top of them.  Like I said, this is slick.


 


Being a diligent tester, Jeff made sure to add a restore feature.   “Undo” won’t work if you separate images across pages, but there is a utility he includes which can restore the original page should you not like the results from the addin.  Directions for that utility, and this addin overall, are in the user guide installed in whatever folder you chose during setup.  I also included them in the zip file.


 


Let me know what you think!


 


Blatant plug: getting the object model finished should make it even easier to get more useful addins created.  Hop on over to the site and help contribute!


 


Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms always welcome,


John

ONPrintManager.zip

Comments (38)

  1. Zowel John als Daniel hebben een post hierover gemaakt op hun blog: Er is nu een Powertoy voor OneNote…

  2. Sam Morris says:

    I am having some install issues that I thought I’d pass along.  It seems that the "Everyone" option is not working.  It succesfully installs using UAC.  I can see the Add-In under options when the admin opens ON, but if another user opens ON, the add-in does not get loaded.  Thanks.

  3. JohnGuin says:

    Thanks Sam.  I’ll see what I can find out about managed code installs on Vista.  Did you happen to run as an admin when you started the setup.exe?

    John

  4. Sam Morris says:

    Yes, I did a Run as… I also tried just running it as a normal user, but the UAC came up and forced me to use admin.

  5. GaryN (OneNote Test Team) says:

    Sam, I think what is happening is under your admin account you have the addins registry information under your current user registry entry. When you login as another user and start OneNote it also gets its own HKEY_Current_User addins entry. What you can do is import the to the registry your addin settings and that *should* work.

    Start Notepad and paste the following

    *********************(copy below this line)

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftOffice12.0OneNoteAddIns{717CCF19-F72B-4e24-BFD7-48F6EB732D6D}]

    "CLSID"="{717CCF19-F72B-4e24-BFD7-48F6EB732D6D}"

    "UnloadAfterClick"=dword:00000000

    "CommandBar"=dword:00000001

    "LoadOnNewWindow"=dword:00000000

    "Name"="OneNote 2007 Printout Manager"

    "IconPath"="C:\Program Files\Microsoft\OneNote Printout Manager\toolBttn.bmp"

    "ButtonText"="Printout Manager"

    "EventDesired_HierarchyChange"=dword:00000000

    "EventDesired_Navigation"=dword:00000000

    "IconIndex"=""

    *********************(stop copying above this line)

    Then save it as "ONPrint.reg"

    Log in as your other user and run the ONPrint.reg key, restart OneNote and see if the powertoy shows up.

    – GaryN

  6. Sam Morris says:

    Worked perfectly, thanks.

    Sam

  7. Jesse says:

    It would be great it it didn’t disable searching for text in all the sub pages. Is there an easy way to turn back on " make image searchable for text" in all the sub pages?

  8. John Guin says:

    I assume you would want English?  Let me double check what is exposed in the APIs.

    John

  9. Jesse says:

    Yep, English. I’m in the UK, but I don’t mind if it is US or UK enlgish. The first page has text search enabled, but all the subsequent subpages pages have the text search disabled. I can provide example files if you want.

    Thanks

    Jesse

  10. JohnGuin says:

    Interesting – this is a limitation of the API we have.  I’ll follow up with a bug report and see what we can do.

    John

  11. Ken says:

    I’m not finding the button to access ON Print Manager after I install on ON 2007.  Which toolbar should it be on?

  12. JohnGuin says:

    Hello Ken,

    There should be a button on the standard toolbar.  The UI got posted on Dan Escapa’s blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/descapa/archive/2007/09/19/onenote-printout-manager.aspx.

    If this doesn’t show, uninstall the addin, ensure OneNote has exited (use task manager, or reboot) and then reinstall.

    Sorry for the problems,

    John

  13. Jon Cegedis says:

    Hello

    I came across this powertoy and found it fantastic, as it fills a huge gap left in Onenote. I only have a problem I would like to mention.

    Because I print out the notes I take, I setup my pages to A4. The addon works perfectly in that I can set 3 slides to printout per page, but they all have their own tabs!

    So then I try to merge them back together (with the merge powertoy), and after the 1st page, the slides are there on the 2nd page and beyond, but the background is grey! (As if there is no ‘paper’ behind the slides). Thus I cannot type, and moving the slides around sends them to the edge of the 1st page (where the ‘paper’ cuts off). This same thing happens when I untick the ‘slides per page’ option,and also when I set it to 99.

    It almost seems as if the merging process does not include the function of expanding the paper (the function of the button where the vertical and horizontal scrollbars meet – bottom right corner).

    I can post a link to a screenshot of this soon.

    But my main point is that it would be nice to be able to have slides all on the one tab, yet still be able to choose how many slides per page. A lot of people set their pages to A4 to be able to print their notes, and thus it would be nice to have the same sort of functionality that printing ‘handouts’ in Powerpoint allows.

    Regards,

    Jon

  14. Jon Cegedis says:

    Sorry to double post, but I have replicated the problem and have posted a screenshot to illustrate my problem.

    Link: http://img3.freeimagehosting.net/image.php?a790a031a1.png

    This issue seems to only occur when page setup is set to A4. Having the page set on Auto seems to allow everything to work.

    The only problem with Auto is that people who print notes are unable to know how much width they have on the page – also, it would be nice to set a number of slides to be imported per A4 page.

    "Scale content to paper width" does work somewhat – however the wider the typing, the smaller everything gets, which kinda ruins its appeal.

    I understand you must get constant requests for features and that its difficult to accommodate everyone’s preferences, but I just thought I would try my luck since I think this might be a common problem experienced by many.

    Kind regards,

    Jon

  15. JohnGuin says:

    Good point.  We noticed this when we tested Jeff’s addin (but the tester had changed the paper size to 3×5 cards).  Since you can define the size of the paper, we decided to force the user to scale the images down to the needed size.  It’s a design decision that obviously is not perfect.  We had to balance that decision against the desire to release this addin and let people start using it sooner.  Since we do these addins on a low priority/when we have time basis, we have to simplify our code as much as we can if we want to deliver them.  Sorry for the difficulty,

    John

  16. Jon Cegedis says:

    Well thankyou very much for the quick reply, nice to know someone is actually out there!

    When doing some more work on Onenote, I noticed that when a page is set to A4 size, the button to create more writing space (where the horizontal and vertical scroll bars meet) does NOT allow for another page to be added, but merely adds grey space! It does work on Auto page size, however.

    This is the exact same thing that happens with using the print powertoy, so I guess it seems logical to me that the problem is not with the Printout Manager at all but rather a bug in Onenote itself.

    Is there any way that you know of that I might be able to contact the Onenote development team and report this, if they take submissions from the public? This to me seems like a fundamental issue with Onenote and I would like to let them know (although I suspect they may well be aware of this already).

    Kind regards,

    Jon

  17. JohnGuin says:

    Hi Jon,

    To answer your last question, you can log in at http://connect.microsoft.com and enter bugs against many MS products, OneNote included.  Or, you can just pester me here and I’ll enter the bug 🙂

    Let me see what I can find out about the behavior.  It sounds like this is the design, though.  If you set the page size to A4, we can’t enlarge the area past the A4 page size.  An extreme example would be setting the page size to 3×5 – adding extra area should not make the "non-gray" area expand to 4×6 – all we can do is add area outside the print margin and let you sort it out later when printing.  Auto page size gives you an "infinite" size sheet of paper, so adding extra area is easy.  The problem is when you tell me to "give me a postage stamp sized area on which to write and print.  Now give me an extra 4 centimeters": where should it go?"  Let me know if I am not being clear.

    In any case, thanks for reading my blog!

    John Guin

  18. JohnGuin says:

    Yep – just confirmed I was correct in my assumption.  Defining the paper size as being a set height and width trumps changing it on the fly.  Workaround: set the page size back to auto, make your changes, then lay it out later for printing.

    John

  19. Jon Cegedis says:

    Hello John

    Thankyou very much again for your reply. I understand completely what you mean about not being able to expand the writing space with a non-Auto page size, but this to me sounds utterly counter-intuitive; if this was to have done by design, then it could have only been done for this reason:

    People would only ever want ONE ‘page’ of notes (e.g. setting the page to an A4 size is somehow taken to mean you will ever print ONE A4 page… and you would never want to print any more than that)

    Now I know you mention the ability to have the page on Auto and then select A4 for printing… but this is tedious at best – also, there are 2 problems with this:

    1) There is no way to gauge the layout of the page as notes are typed. As Auto lets you type the width of the screen, print preview with the page changed to A4 shows something completely different (understandably as the A4 page is narrower). This is not a good thing, as people might want their notes laid out in a ‘reasonably’ specific manner (WYSIWYG-style).

    Also, I note the ability to automatically scale to page width, but this also has undesired results, where test is made much smaller than intended; and after using the Printout Manager, slides get scaled down (so from wanting 3 per page, by not carefully watching the width I used in Auto, everything had to be scaled down to print, which resulted in 4-6 slides per page – much too small).

    2) People, once setting the page to A4 to print, would NEVER want to rearrange anything or make minor adjustments before printing. When I type in Auto and change page size to A4, as you noted, text often goes into the ‘gray area’. When I try to move some of the text in this area, it snaps to the end of the 1st page (the end of the ‘white’ page area).

    To me, this is totally unworkable. In my opinion, Auto would primarily be for people who don’t want to print (or ‘might’ want to print later on, but are not immediately intending to).

    Yet this is the view that has the easiest print options!

    If having a page set to a non-Auto size prevents you from writing more than one page of notes, why have the option in the first place? I don’t understand that.

    Now I know you mention the "give me more space then I set you to give me" issue you noted, but could this not be easily resolved with a system similar to Word (or any word processor)? Where once you go beyond the 1st page on A4, it just creates a new page? I don’t think anyone would be fussed about this – if anything, it would make things a lot easier for many.

    The create writing space button could then be used to create only as much space as necessary, and then the space required exceeds the page, it just creates a new one. Doesn’t seem too difficult for me.

    The way things are set up at the moment assume people either never want to print; OR that if they do, that they really don’t care about how things look when printed. This seems a clumsy situation :/

    Apologies for rambling, I just thought I would put my thoughts down immediately as they came to me. Again, thanks for your help with this issue.

  20. JohnGuin says:

    Keeping the brainstorming going, how would expect to reconcile the concept of one page of notes (a page being defined by the page tab on the screen) as being one page of A4 sized notes in some cases, and multiple A4 sized pages in another case?

    Lots of good info here to think about.  Thanks for the criticism!

    John

  21. Jon Cegedis says:

    OK well the way I see it, there’s two options. At the moment you have a hierarchy in terms or organisation:

    Notebook, Section Group, Section, Page, Subpage.

    Now you can either:

    1) Tack on a new term on the end (e.g. Sheet) to represent long notes.

    The only problem with this is that ‘Page’ would become confusing with sheets, especially for new users. Also, it wouldn’t seem to be intuitive (how can a sheet lie within a page).

    2) Mix up the hierarchy a bit in order to give a better description of everything. This would make everything MUCH clearer, but would demand a slight rewrite of everything.

    So with those in mind, your hierarchies could be:

    1) Notebook, Section Group, Section, Page, Subpage. [‘Sheets’ for long notes]

    2) Notebook, Divider Group, Divider, Section, Subsection. [‘Pages’ for long notes]

    Now you could obviously use names other than ‘Sheet’ or ‘Divider’ in implementing this sort of idea, but these are just ones I have thought of to work with while describing the whole thing.

    Option 1 would be confusing and clumsy, as you can’t type long notes on one page – it doesn’t make sense and it awkward.

    Option 2 seems much better. I can have long notes on multiple pages, and the hierarchy seems more intuitive.

    I thought back to when I used to use binders (and even how I use my filing cabinet).

    Dividers could represent the major categories (and Divider Groups); Sections and Subsections would then make sense (what are presently called pages). Then long notes could take up multiple pages.

    It would require a bit of work I’m guessing, but something of this nature should be a high priority for the Onenote team. This is how I see it:

    A) A majority of users would want to print their notes (and setting the page to A4 would be common).

    B) A majority of people would write notes longer than a standard A4 page (you can’t put much in an A4 page really).

    C) A majority of people who print (A), and write long notes (B) would NOT want to have to manually create a new page all the time. Also, having long notes shouldn’t FORCE you to have like a million tabs to navigate through. If having notes on computer is meant to make things easier, then having things this way would push people back towards paper, or (heaven forbid) a competing program.

    Renaming Sections to ‘Dividers’ or something like that to free up the label ‘Page’ to be used for long notes might take a bit of work, but would certainly seem essential – this is how binded folders work in real life, and I’m guessing the ultimate aim for the Onenote team would be to emulate that in software.

    Hope that helps 🙂

    Jon

  22. This is great news: Jeff Cardon, the fellow who brought us the Print Manager powertoy, the CRM addin

  23. Ash says:

    Powertoy not working! I’ve installed the powertoy Several times on my new install of Onenote. While I can find the icon for the print manager, when I click it, nothing happens. The Icon becomes inactive. Any suggestions?

  24. John Guin says:

    Hello Ash,

    First, check to make sure the ".NET Framework Programmability Support" component of OneNote is installed.  Go to the control panel add remove programs and reinstall office (or just OneNote).  Choose custom install and expand the tree for OneNote to make sure there is a check by ".Net Framwork Programmability Support."

    Next, uninstall the Print manager.  Then either use TasK Manager to verify OneNote is not running (or restart Windows if you want to ensure it’s not running), then reinstall the Print Manager.  After that, start OneNote.

    Hope this helps, and sorry for the trouble,

    John

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  28. Ryan says:

    Is there any way to set up the prinouts so that they can be inserted in landscape view?  I have some PDF slides that are in 8.5×11" landscape but when I insert them as printouts into OneNote, it inserts them in portrait position, which means the text is sideways.  I don’t know if I can fix this in OneNote by increasing the width of the page (I just have it set to default)?  If not, is it possible to make this powertoy do that as well?

    Thanks,

    Ryan  

  29. Ryan says:

    Sorry to post again, I forgot to mention that I am inserting the printouts by going

    Insert -> Files as Printouts… -> select PDF

  30. Tom Kaplan says:

    Two comments (pretty much same as on some other site):

    1. If the page size is fixed, and someone types where he’s "not allowed" (ie off the page), then simply cause the page to be printed on two pages and display a dotted line (as in Excel) to indicate where the printed page will break.

    2. This is a great tool, but I still can’t figure out how to get one 8-1/2×11 pdf page to correspond to one OneNote page.  I can shrink it, but then the margins look too big.  If i make it actual size, OneNote prints it on multiple pages (even with margins set to zero). Any ideas?

  31. wouter says:

    Is this tool supposed to work on OneNote 2010? Or is it not supported yet…

    I can't get it to work.

    Thanks!

  32. wouter says:

    Yeah, sorry for double post. But it seems that it's not working because of the section being read only. Is this because i've shared my notebooks on skydrive?

    Is there a solution available?

  33. JohnGuin says:

    It only works with sections in 2007 format.  The sections on SkyDrive have to be in 2010 format so they will appear to the addin as read only.

    We're trying to update some of these addins to 2010 – stay tuned.

  34. Momo says:

    Ya, im having the same problem than wouter, telling me that my section is read only. This addin should be integrated in office, I dont understand why they forgot that option, Its so useful. Especially for netbook users, slides are too big for the size of my screen and I dont feel like manually resizing each slide when an actual power point from a course can have 40slides and +.

    Thank you for letting us informed and please make it 2010 compatible, good luck

  35. Momo says:

    Problem: OneNote section is read only.

    Workaround: Convert document to 2007 version.

  36. Phaedra says:

    I'm having the Read Only problem as well.  My ONE came from the Microsoft Office 2010 package, is that part of the problem? I was really excited when I found this page, I suppose I just have to wait and be excited for the 2010 version!  

    Thanks for the work!

  37. Abhi says:

    Do we have a utility for One Note 2010 that manages to address PDF printout rotation ?

    Thank you,

    Abhi