Tag Summary and other test cases for tags in OneNote

Here is a test page I created to help explain some further testing around tagged notes.


There are 5 items that need me to take action on them (4 exist only in OneNote and the 5th is linked to Outlook). One of my "action items" is important and has a star next to it to remind me, and another is highlighted for some other reason. If I click View | All Tagged Notes, this is the Tags Summary pane:


If I only want to see unchecked items, this is what I get:


The most obvious test case to me, as a former Outlook tester, is whether or not the Outlook task item flagged to be done by tomorrow will show in OneNote if I mark it complete. Logically, it should not be shown since there would be nothing for me to do after marking it completed. Jumping over to Outlook, I marked it complete and clicked the Refresh Results button:


And it was removed. Other tests to run are marking it complete from within OneNote (right click | Mark Complete) or deleting the task from OneNote and verifying it is removed from the Tags Summary. To be even more thorough, I would delete the line item from the OneNote page, delete the page, delete the section, section group, etc… to verify the Tags Summary.

Moving on, the last test I want to cover here is the Create Summary Page. For this very small example, I selected to show all items, not just unchecked and this is the page that was created:


Notice the duplication of the "This is to do and important" line item. Since it has 2 tags, it shows with both. This is expected - if I'm trying to zero in on my "Star" tag, I would definitely want this item shown here. I also want it to show in the "To Do" category since I presumably have some work to do for it.

This summary page creation is a terrific feature of OneNote. Very powerful, very usable and just about everyone really appreciates it.

Another nice little feature is showing me when the Outlook task is due for that item, in this case "Tomorrow". The verifications here would be checking to make sure the Date Due string matches the tag when I applied it. Highlighting is an interesting "tag" - it does not get separated. If I wanted that information on its own page, I would use my powertoy .

What is interesting to me as a tester even with these cases covered is what is NOT covered. Some examples of that are the UI behavior for many more tags (do scrollbars appear? Do they work? Etc..), performance, cases for Windows Desktop Search being installed and not installed, working through the options in the two dropdown boxes on the Tags Summary page (search locations and grouping of the results), text that caues word wrap to fire in the summary pane and many more. One last "trick" I'll throw out there that we test - the Tags Summary pane is undockable. If you click the upper left of the pane, you can drag it out and let it float around. Neat feature, and another set of test cases to run!

I'm taking a break for the next couple of weeks from this blog as well. Gearing up for a big (BIG!) 2010!

See you then!

Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms always welcome,


Comments (3)

  1. Cliff says:

    Interesting blog…thanks!

    Is there anywhere where I can request a feature? I love the new docking feature, but there are times and apps where it doesn’t work or is impractical. Especially on a tablet PC in portrait mode. Anyway, I would love it if you could open a side note and then, via an icon next to the minimize button, you could add an option to make it turn into, maybe a tiny little note icon that would take up virtually no space on the screen…then when you needed it again, you could tap the little note icon and it would return to "full" SideNote size…

    I’ve been hoping for that functionality forever! Thanks for listening, and keep up the good work on the blog!

  2. Rohit Sharma says:

    Hi John,

    I'm a pretty heavy user of OneNote, and I keep to-do items scattered throughout my multiple notebooks. The tag summary pane should be the ideal way to see all of my to-do items at once.

    However, the feature doesn't seem to work! Even when the Search dropdown is set to "All notebooks", it only shows tags from the currently selected notebook.

    To your knowledge, is this is a known issue?

  3. John says:

    Hello Rohit,

    Sorry for the problems.  Can you contact me via the link at the the upper right of this blog page?  I want to get a screen capture of this error (www.communityclips.com has a free screen capture utility).  I want to also know what happens if you change the search scope to be the current page only.


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