Powertoys in development


I dropped a few hints last week about what we (the test team) has been doing recently.  And one other hint was my lack of entries for a week in mid-November - I was on vacation.  Vacation typically means long travel times, and what better way is there to fill the hours crammed onto an airplane than writing powertoys?


Yes, we have some powertoys in development that I hope to release soon.  Here's the list, and the name of the creator:

  1. A template manager.  Yes!  Finally!  And it's being developed by Jeff Cardon, so you know it is high quality.  Apply templates to currently existing notebooks.

  2. Table summation (me).  Add columns of numbers in tables!  Earth shaking!

  3. A privatizer (removes names from notebooks) and cleaner addin.  Helps fix random focus behavior in just published notebooks.  (Gary Neitzke).  Yes to privacy!

  4. A Journal to OneNote Exporter (or importer, depending on your point of view) (Lin Wang).  Don't stay with the Windows journaling tool!

  5. Create Task Requests from Meeting notes (me) - More task integration with Outlook!

  6. An audio fine tuner (Jeff) - make OneNote into a Karaoke machine!

  7. An image rotator (Gary) - I'm turning backflips for this one!


They are all mostly ready to go and have been through most of the planned testing.  Soon, some of the team is going to get together and have a "bug bash" on them.  Since most of our testing is very regimented (click button 1, type "foo", click button2, verify the behavior) we employ "bashes" now and then just to hit the application with unplanned testing.  As an example, you may open the dialog for the image rotator, then close it 100 times to ensure its actually being released.  It's not very directed, tends to result in a scattershot of bugs from all over the place (hmm - what happens if you try to create a task request from ON's meeting note pages exactly during the time change from daylight savings to standard time?) and is generally fun.  Testers get to stretch their creativity and ignore the planning and administration side of testing for a time to just dive in to answer "What if I do this?" over and over again.


There are some obvious downsides to this approach that include results of a broad pattern bugs of random priority, and at the end of the bash, you really do not have a good idea of where in the planned testing effort you are.  And it's virtually impossible to know what the real state of the application you are testing actually is since there is no record of testing completed. 


But it's useful, fun and generally a good time.  I'll keep you posted on the results.  And hopefully, these will all be done in time for anyone who may have some gift giving needs before the end of the month...



Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms always welcome,


Comments (17)

  1. Kathy Jacobs says:

    OHHHHH! These sound so good. Can I help test any of them? I promise I will break them. Please???

  2. John Waller says:

    "A template manager."


  3. steve says:

    ahhhh hope this is not a stupid comment but I’m a bit frustrated that I have not been able to do something that I imagine is pretty simple.  I have a vast directory structure full of older backed up OneNote tabs and files.  As you know OneNote stores it’s contents in traditional directory structures and even after OneNote the application is gone, all the “OneNotes” still exist as .one files and these files are nicely organized in folders that OneNote used to see as tabs…   So how do take this vast directory of files, nicely organized into folders and tell OneNote to open the directory at the root folder and make a NoteBook out of that Root folders directory tree?   I’m sure this must be simple but I’ve been unable to figure it out or find a solution on the web…   Please don’t tell me I’ll have to open each individual .one file…

  4. JohnGuin says:

    You should be able to go to the parent folder on the drive, right click it and select "Open as OneNote Notebook."

    If you show hidden files, you should be able to double click the ToC (table of contents) file and get the same behavior.

    I hope some of this helps,


  5. Seth says:

    Those look great!

    On page rotation: a manual rotation powertoy is a great addition.  Another way, if you have text images, is to use MS Office Document Imaging.  It automatically rotates pages when you tell it to use the OCR recognition.   When the mdi files are imported to Onenote, they come out oriented correctly.  You trade off a little labor up front (opening a second program) but the payback is that you don’t have to manually go through pages one at a time to rotate.  Would be a nice feature for OneNote, but just being able to rotate a page is a great step forward.  Can the powertoy "close the gap" of space that may be created between images after an image is rotated?

  6. As I am sure most of the readers know, we here at GottaBeMobile REALLY like OneNote 2007. And we really

  7. Steve says:

    these sound good. Not sure if this is where to make a request.

    Re: integrating with outlook

    I am manually inserting hyperlinks in my appointment note section AND on my One Note page to connect the two. The problem I find otherwise is that when I file the One Note page under the appropriate client section, the links are broken.

    Could a powertoy better link notes between Outlook 2007 and ON 2007?

  8. John Guin says:

    Hi Steve,

    If I understand you, you create a hyperlink to the OneNote page and paste it into the appointment item?  

    I do not understand what link you paste into the OneNote page.  Is it a link to a different OneNote page or what?

    And have you changed where the meeting notes are stored (in tools options outlook integration)?


  9. Steve says:

    Hey John,

    I hyperlink to the OneNote page, and then manually paste a link back into my Outlook meeting page to be sure I can get from one to the other going in either direction.  I haven’t changed the meeting notes storage, though I have at times moved them to the appropriate section (for example Client X group) and then need to re do the hyperlink.  

  10. Peter Carr says:

    My personal request would be for a powertoy that automatically numbers the rows in a table.  Or does that already exist, and I haven’t found it yet?

  11. JohnGuin says:

    Hello Peter,

    Table row numbers are on the "to do" and work is underway at http://www.codeplex.com/onom/WorkItem/View.aspx?WorkItemId=4174.  Ali is working on implementing the spec – keep your eyes on the codeplex site and my blog.


  12. Functional illiterate says:

    Hey John,

    I was just looking for a feature in OneNote and couldn’t find it. It’s the perfect opportunity for a –ding, ding, ding– POWERTOY!!!  After a few mounths of keeping my notebook, one of my sections is starting to get way to full.  It would be great if there were a simple Promoter/Demoter PowerToy with the following functionality.

    The promoter would basically take all objects in the container & promote them.

    sub-page –> page –>section–>section group.

    So, if I click on Section "Italian Recipes" & promote it, I get a new Section Group "Italian Recipes".  Since it’s recursive (optional with a check box), all pages will become sections (Lasagna, Gnocchi, Risotto, etc), and subpages will become pages (Meat Lasagna, Vegetable Lasagna; a gnocchi, b gnocchi; etc.).

    Am I making sense?


  13. JohnGuin says:

    Interesting – a few people have requested something similar.  Seems like a move operation with a couple of OneNote twists thrown in here and there.  I seem to remember seeing something similar as a pwertoy request somewhere else – I’ll check into it.


  14. Kai says:

    Hi! Where can i get the PowerToys. Espacially IMAGE ROTATOR! It is a must have for oneNote.


  15. Finally a way to rotate images!  Something which has been a sore spot for me when using OneNote.

    Thanks for the good work,


  16. bpatton2382 says:

    Wow where can I get these power toys at?

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