Fix for ink moving and shifting bug

(Update Sep 14):  Fix is released on Window Update.

(Update Sep 6): Just to bring everybody up to date - we are in the final stages of releasing this fix.  I'm extremely sorry for the problems.  Please stay tuned.

(Update 12 July) Thanks all - we have enough volunteers.


We've heard reports from customers that ink you are creating on your Tablet PC in OneNote 2010 sometimes moves or shifts unexpectedly.  We know how frustrating this can be and are trying to release a public update to address this issue as quickly (and safely) as possible.  To that end, we have a private build that we are beta testing before wide release. 

If you are interested, have a tablet PC and have seen ink shift, please email me (the link is in the upper right hand corner of this blog) and I'll follow up with you once the build is ready.


Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms always welcome,

Comments (80)

  1. josheinstein says:

    I have not seen this issue in the beta but if you feel like sending a RTM key for an ex-MVP pal I'll be happy to keep trying. 🙂

  2. I don't have a tablet, but I have noticed this problem.  All this time I thought it was because I was forgetting about items I was typing and shifting the document down or something (as you know, "inked" items don't follow the page flow with the rest of the document, which BTW IS INCREDIBLY ANNOYING and highly complained about and yet is unfixed for like three versions of OneNote).  I primarily use the highlighter with my mouse to highlight parts of large images / screenshots that are of interest.  When I would go back and see my highlights shifted way out of alignment with the image, I thought it was because I forgot and just edited stuff at the top of the page, but after reading this and thinking about how frequently this has happened, I'm thinking it's this issue now.

    I'm probably not a good test candidate though because I only use the highlighter maybe once every couple weeks.  

  3. JohnGuin says:

    Josh and ParrotLover77 – can you send me an email (link at upper right)?  That way I can start sending you the information via email – I just need to get the email from you so I can reply.

  4. Wesley Allen says:

    I know you have enough testers for this fix, but if you could add me to any email list for the solution to this problem I'd greatly appreciate it.  I'm holding off on Office 2010 until this bug is fixed as I've experienced it a lot in the OneNote 2010 beta and it has destroyed full days of work for me.  wnallen at gmail dot com

  5. Peter says:

    Any updates on this? OneNote 2010 is unusable with this anyoing bug!

  6. JohnGuin says:

    We're working on this now – stay tuned for details.

  7. Sandy says:

    When do you expect this fix to be ready? I will have to reinstall OneNote 2007 as school is starting soon if this bug doesn't get fixed..

  8. Mia says:

    I'm having this issue as well, and after inking about half a notebook into OneNote, I can say I'm ready to uninstall it and just use another program like Bluebeam PDF Revu to take notes with, since it doesn't shift my ink to make whole sections unrecognizable.  Please update ASAP before grad school starts…

  9. Did anyone test this product?!? says:

    Really. It's unusable. It's been out for months now. Inking jumps around. Also, a lot of times when I start inking, OneBug start treating it as a drawing or something. Turns the pen to a text input. I've tried all the settings, too—-pen only, no automatic switching, etc.

  10. John says:

    We are in the final stages of getting a patch out for this.  Please stay tuned – I hope this happens soon.

    And again, apologies for the problems.

  11. Byron says:

    Yes it's been out for months and who else has anything NEAR OneNote in terms of inking? This is a complex app and no one else has anything like it terms of overall features . There's a problem which doesn't affect everyone the same apparently so that's part of the issue and they are working on it.

  12. KodeK says:

    This is incredibly frustrating. Not only can I not take notes because of this bug, but OneNote destroyed 3 years worth of notes after converting the notebooks to the new format. I really hope this update fixes the old notes while preventing new notes from becoming unreadable.

  13. James says:

    I am also looking for a fix for the shifting ink…  I am a physics student in his final semesters, and inking physics equations in onenote has gone from being fun, to more work than the problem themselves.  I understand you dont need testers anymore, and that you are almost done with getting a patch out.  However, that is posted almost 2 full months after you asked for testers.  How many more months (tentatively, I understand thats all you can do) will it be?  Is there anyway to include myself in the testing of the final stages?  email: fwd dot james at gmail dot com

  14. VladK says:

    Hurry up and fix this please. There are a lot of people relying on this application for school. Your failure to resolve this issue promptly will result in people moving away from this application indefinitely.

  15. Frustrated says:

    I´d like to sue you for this **** bug.

  16. AlphaOne1 says:

    FIX THIS!!!  I bought tablet specifically for One Note; I'm in my freshman year and this is a show stopper.

  17. AlphaOne1 says:

    FIX THIS!!!  I bought tablet specifically for One Note; I'm in my freshman year and this is a show stopper.

    To think it's been over 2 months now!  I mean isn't ink the whole point of one note?

  18. AlphaOne1 says:

    FIX THIS!!!  I bought tablet specifically for One Note; I'm in my freshman year and this is a show stopper.

    To think it's been over 2 months now!  I mean isn't ink the whole point of one note?

  19. Peter says:

    Will the fix be rolled out via a Windows update?

  20. Chris says:

    I'd just like to throw my hat in the ring and say how disappointing this is. I work at a help desk on campus, and this is the first year I can remember Macs outnumbering PCs. I had a Mac prior to my current HP tablet–it was an experiment. I'm not likely EVER to go back to Mac, and I don't like the taste of Steve Jobs' Kool-Aid, but it's starting to feel like, every day, MS is giving me fewer arguments to come back with after hearing "I need to get a Mac" at work.

    This is F-ing ridiculous. You've totally botched my first week of the semester's notes.

  21. Madness says:

    I've found a solution!

    About 1 week of notes and assignments have been manually copied in to pdf annotator!…/pdfannotator

  22. Shawn says:

    It happens when you have a mixture of text and other elements, and almost always happens if you use your arrow keys to move down a page vs scrolling.  When you do this, it puts the cursor within the boxes, adding extra returns as the "type" cursor moves down the page.   It is extremely frustrating.  Extremely.   I was emailed about the beta build but unfortunately MS seemed completely dis-organized about how to deliver the bits and still haven't got them.  

  23. Shawn Againn says:

    Why does it take so long to release a fix?    It is ridiculously frustrating to go back into your Electrical engineering notes and find that they decided to shift themselves all over the place and are now unreadable without 20 minutes of work and you know what… once you fix them tediously, they just go back to being screwed up again!!!!!

    I'm angry about this because it wastes my time to the point where I'm posting on a forum, wasting more time with a product bug that renders the software fairly useless for what would seem to be a common usage scenario for a product that is all about taking notes – (inking).  

    If there are 22 posts here, how many people won't take the time to comment, or try to even look for a fix – they will just say screw this and stop using your product completely?  Certainly those individuals are not recommending OneNote to friends, family other students etc.   Instead, because of small bugs like this your vocal "supporters" end up vehemently warning others that NO you can't use the third generation one note for taking notes during class, don't consider it….


  24. Rick Findley says:

    Same problem here.  In addition to note taking, I use OneNote for most of my homework, which is heavy on equations and drawings.  It's pretty frustrating to approach the end of a four hour assignment, only to suddenly have it completely scrambled.  Incidentally, I reported this bug during beta testing. I wonder how many others did as well.  I hope MS is doing everything they can to get this fix out.

  25. Erhan says:

    My Fix:Use office 2007 SP2. We can't wait so long for a fix…

  26. Gr says:

    Grrrrrr.   Everytime I open my notes in one note everything is shifted.   Are you close to a fix?   Has anyone tried evermore for ink?  Windows journal works better than one note.  Laughable.

  27. Lat says:

    This is the most frustrating bug ever. I lost ALL my notes last semester to this bug, and it was the worst thing that could have happened. All my notes became illegible.

    In any case, my new semester is starting, and I'd really appreciate the fix. If any of my notes corrupts again, I have to switch to a more stable program.

  28. Tim Holman says:

    I've been trying to use OneNote 2010 to digitize my class notes for the engineering courses I teach.  Against my better judgment I bought a Fujitsu T900 with OneNote 2010 for the task, only because Apple has no pen-based tablet.  And now, 2 weeks into the semester, I find that portions of equations and drawings are constantly jumping around on random pages.  Even when I fix a page, it happens again.  So far, OneNote 2010 is unusable junk.

    This is absolutely infuriating.  It's as if Word randomly changed the spelling of words whenever you opened a document and paged through it.  It is a major fail, and all we have is some guy on an MS blog saying "we're working on it".  Yeah, just like every other MS product over the years.  How happy to know that I spent $2500+ to be an alpha tester.

    All I can say is – THIS is the best Microsoft can do, after so many years of refining pen-based tablet software?  No wonder the iPad is eating your lunch.  No wonder the majority of incoming freshmen are now carrying Macs instead of Wintel laptops.  I would sell this piece of junk tomorrow if someone would release a viable Android pen-based tablet, or if Apple would release a pen-based iPad.

  29. Go die says:

    C'mon you can't be serious to take so much f*cking time to fix this!

  30. Byron says:

    Well with all of the rather mean complaints on this board I think they're better off making sure this fix is effective verses rushing it out with problems.

  31. Tim Holman says:

    Byron, I would have been more impressed if Microsoft had bothered to properly test OneNote 2010 prior to its initial release.  Funny how rushing it out the door with major problems wasn't an issue back then.

    Microsoft would never let a bug like this languish in Excel or Word for month after month.  The difference is that those products have competition, and that makes all the difference.  Without competition, the Microsoft attitude is: "You'll eat the dog food we give you, and you'll like it.  Good customer.  Now sit.  Roll over.  Beg."

    If Apple were to release their own note-taking software with a pen-based tablet, OneNote market share would collapse overnight, and then you'd see the same hair-pulling frenzy of "How could this happen?!" coming out of Redmond management that you're seeing with the iPad.  Until then, we're stuck twiddling our thumbs with a software product that seems to be operating on a Duke Nukem Forever release schedule.

  32. Byron says:


    This bug doesn't effect everyone and even then different people have different issues.  Apple software on Windows? Yeah Safari and iTunes are just wonderful on Windows, you'd be forced to buy a Mac or iPad because it would suck so bad on Windows. And talk about slow, OneNote is going one eight years old and no one has done anything like it, including Apple. So what's the deal there? Must not be that easy.

    The Newton was cool, had one of those, Jobs kille it, Apple has little intrest in ink technology, just look at the iPad, perfect opportunity to do great digital ink.  Not there.

  33. Tim Holman says:

    Byron, you'll get no argument from me that Apple software on Windows is less than impressive.  However, what I meant is an Apple tablet with Apple software.  That combination, if Apple chose to create it, would probably work far better than Microsoft's attempts at pen tablet computing, IMO.

    Unfortunately, Apple won't touch "niche" products like pen-based tablets, and without competition you get situations like this one – buggy software released by Microsoft, and no indication of when a patch will ever show up.

    The bug may not effect everyone, but clearly it is fairly common with people like me, who use OneNote for math equations and engineering diagrams.  I'm just fuming over the fact that I spent so much money on a hardware / software solution that is so unreliable, and with no solid indication of when it will be fixed.

  34. Byron says:


    I can empathize with your frustrations and am not trying to belittle them.  I’ve been using OneNote on Tablet PCs for almost eight years and have about 8 years of notes in OneNote, lots of stuff including hand written notes for work, and I’ve just not had these kinds of problems.   One thing though that I think is entirely unfair are people that converted from prior versions of OneNote who have had notes lost.  As inexcusable as this bug is not having backups is even more so.  What would these people have done if their hard drives or machines were lost or stolen?  There was no reason that these people should have lost years of notes had they had backed up their data as they should have.

    Now for those that are stuck right now, yes you have reason to be upset.  But as you say this is a niche market and most people that use OneNote don’t actually use pens. But I do agree that it would be nice to have some competition but the competition has had EIGHT years to produce alternatives.  None really do what OneNote does so that tells you how much other companies think of pen users, though with the iPad there is a rising interest in pens I imagine that EVENTUALLY  someone will come up with something, they’ve had plenty of time.

    Hopefully we’ll see something soon, the last note was a week ago saying coming soon so I hope this is the week.

  35. Byron says:

    Good news guys, this fix is now showing up in Windows Update, I'm installing now and will report back.

  36. Erhan says:

    Looks like it's fixed after some little test. Thank you

  37. Tim Holman says:

    My own preliminary tests indicate the bug is fixed as well.

  38. Byron says:

    Yeay! I tested the beta patch and the bug I discovered there is fixed and I've tried a number of scenarios and other testing on three machines and so far so so good. Hopefully everyone else is fixed up as well. Thanks again!

  39. Tim Etler says:

    Is there a fix for Office 2007? It's only been 3 years.

  40. Bob Garry says:

    If the bug is quashed, you might want to update the following page at wikipedia

    (the comparison matrix makes a note of the ink bug)…/Comparison_of_notetaking_software

    I was just learning about OneNote and followed some searches on this bug…

  41. Pic says:

    As far as I know, the ink shifting and moving unexpectedly bug is not fixed (*&!)(/*&? I experienced it last week when my exam preparation notes got messed up just before the exam. The page was pretty full of handwritten equations… all lost. I had to switch to pen and paper and got late to my exam. I'm questioning myself if I can still rely on OneNote.

    Some useful information :

    I'm using OneNote 2010 x64 on Windows 7 Pro x64. I got the latest update from Windows update no later than 2010, Feb.10. The installed patch is KB2433299 which namely replaces the original supposedly fix KB2288640 for this bug.

    I was searching for this issue and found another MSDN blog (Escapa's) where the thread is still waiting for the fix. I hope to have more luck here.

    OneNote also crashed a couple of times when I tried to sort the mess it had done. I was cuting and pasting some part of my notes trying to dissociate the overlapping ink. Crashes always happens with mixed ink and drawings on the same page.

    For now, I have disabled snap to grid and Lock Drawing Mode (I'm not sure what this last option does and can help me but it worths a try). I've sent the crashes diagnostic information to Microsoft, I hope it helps.

    What are the news for this? Is the replacing fix have returned the bug!?

  42. John says:

    Sorry for the problems.  Can you use the link in the upper right to email me?  I'd like to get a copy of the page that has the ink which is still shifting.

  43. Alex says:

    I'm using OneNote2010 on a 32 bit tabelt PC. I just spent 6+ hours working on homework and everything got scrammbled some… it is completely up to date and so is Windows 7. Is there anyway at all to get my work back?

  44. John says:

    ON the Share tab  click PAge Versions | Page Versions to show previously saved versions of the page.  Do you have the original page(s) there?

    Also, please contact me via email at the upper right of this page.  I would like more information about this error you are seeing.

    Extremely sorry for the problems.

  45. Tech Sancho says:

    John, I was searching this problem and found your work and post, do you know if this is being reported as a problem in Word as well.  I have a problem with ink shifting in Word and am working with technet folks to resolve but found this post and was curious if you could give me some tips to find out why this happening in Word.  Ink shifts down in a document to a lower page but only a stroke here or dot there. Tech Sancho

  46. John says:

    I've not heard of this in Word.  Feel free to contact me via the email link at the upper right if you are willing to share a document in which the ink always shifts.

  47. Cliff says:

    This is really insane, I got the new Asus EP121 slate, looking to take notes all on my tablet pc… WTF guys, you seriously expect me to stick with your software after this issue has not been resolved as of TODAY since release? Microsoft….. I said MICROSOFT!!! This is unacceptable and you know it. I wish you guys were like Blizzard, release it when its ready. It will improve your bottom line in the long run…

  48. Chris says:

    I just upgraded a tablet pc w/ OneNote 2010 from Vista to Windows 7. I have never had the shifting ink problem in Vista. As I added ink to a pre upgrade page, the ink disappeared moments later and reappeared higher upon the page over other ink. I was unable to select it and drag it back. Even more surprising was when I erased this ink, the erasure grabbed a much larger vertical block that ran through words on many lines below. Definitely a mess.

    So is this the same bug as was reported last year? Is there fix?

  49. JohnGuin says:

    Chris, can you contact me via the Email link at the upper right?  I'm sorry for the problems.

  50. Jeff Schultz says:

    I have been struggling with this issue for the last couple years. My original solution was to switch to "drawings only" in the pen options. in that mode, I had no issues with ink shifting what so ever. The downside is your notes will not be searchable. As an electrical engineer, its hard to search for a circuit diagram anyways so it was not much of an issue for me.

    With the standard options i still get ink shifting and the way I deal with it is by hitting undo past the stroke that caused it. For me (no guarantees) this has always restored the ink back to its original place but you have to do it as soon as it happens. I am pretty sure if you close one note you can not open it back up and hit undo. It also helps to take notes on letter size sheets so you can see if anything shifts. I have never had anything shift on a different page than what I was writing on and if you use the infinite sheet size you may not see it happen. Also makes life easier when you go to print something.

    I am also disappointed that this issue has not been fixed but I do understand that tracking an intermittent bug can be time consuming if not impossible. Hopefully they will get it worked out soon!

  51. JohnGuin says:

    Jeff – if you are still seeing this after installing Office 2010 SP1, please send me an email via the link at the upper right.  Sorry for the problems, but thanks for using OneNote.

  52. Mike Huang says:

    I'm still getting this issue on Office 2013. This is ridiculous.

  53. John says:

    Mike – can you use the link in the upper right to contact me?  I'd like to get a page of notes from you to help track what is causing this.

  54. Edwin Solares says:

    I am also getting this issue on onenote 2013.  just recently started happening.  I cannot take  notes anymore on my windows 8 x86 tablet.

    Please fix

  55. Alexei says:

    the issue is still relevant for oneNote 2013. Cant find a single solution.

    windows 8.1

  56. John says:

    Can you email me via the link at the upper right?  I would like to get a copy of the page on which the ink moved.

    Thanks for helping to make this better, and apologies for the problems.

  57. Gomdolius says:

    as others reported above this still happens with onenote 2013, usually when using eraser or inserting shapes.

    i write a LOT with onenote, but wheb this happens strokes get mixed so they are unusable and UNREVERTABLE. once they are mixed i am just screwed since there is no way i can separate them back.

  58. JohnGuin says:

    Gomdolius – can you use the link at the upper right to send me an email?  I would love to get a copy of the page that has the ink that moved so I can analyze it to see if I can tell what happened.

    Sorry for the shifting – we are working to make this better.

  59. Mcqueen says:

    this bug has destroyed pages on pages of my research and im rather disgusted by the disregard for intellectual property

  60. John says:

    Mcqueen: I'm really sorry about this.  Can you use the link at the upper right to send me an email?  I would love to get a copy of the page that has the ink that moved so we can prevent this in the future.  

    And did you have version history for this page?  History | Page Versions might have a useful archive.  And File | Open Backup as well.

  61. Paul says:

    I have this issue.  It usually occurs when I insert space or copy/paste and/or cut/paste.  I will email you the page.

  62. Joel Gruber says:

    I just had this problem today with OneNote 2013 on a vivotab note 8

  63. JohnGuin says:

    Can you use the link at the upper right to send me an email?  I want to get a copy of that page to see what happened if there is no sensitive data on it.

  64. Sam Roberts says:

    This is also a problem in Word. Any fixed there yet?

  65. JohnGuin says:

    Never heard of this happening in Word.  Can you email me (the link is in the upper right) if you are willing to share the Word doc that has the ink strokes that moved?

  66. S. Broenner says:

    Oh wow, so this is really still happening in OneNote 2013? I was thinking about upgrading (currently pulling my hair out because I'm having the issue on OneNote 2010), but I guess my Win8.1 tablet's just turned into an expensive paperweight…

  67. S. Broenner says:

    Yup, that's definitely the jumbled mess I was going for 😀

  68. John says:

    Can you use the email link in the upper right to contact me?  I would like to get a copy of the page that had the moving ink to troubleshoot.

  69. mcq says:

    soooo is this problem solved yet or am i going to have to install linux

  70. mcq says:

    Your software continues to destroy our work, while your company sits back and lets it.  

  71. oren says:

    this is also happening to me. is there progress with the fix? what is that link where should i send a copy?

  72. Rehling says:

    I also have problems with moving inc, using built in OnenOte2013 for Surface Pro 3…

    this is so frustrating

  73. Bokhary says:

    i have it also on my Surface Pro 3 on One note 2013.

    are there any solutions please?

  74. Natan says:

    Apart, from moving ink, I see ink disappearing when using ppt on surface pro 3 in presenter mode. Are there any solutions to this? I've seen other people complain about this – so it does not seem to be a problem with my surface. Changing the sensitivity of the pen did change the location where the ink disappears. Any solutions are welcome!

  75. gsq0210 says:

    I am using the latest version of onenote (2013), and I have seen this twice. The first time it was a long homework, and it was really frustrating. It seems to happen when I try to sync the ink from my tablet to my laptop, both time it was like this. If I just stick to my tablet and don't turn on the laptop onenote, everything would be fine.

  76. Luke says:

    I'm using Surface Pro 3, I7 8b ram, completely updated with windows update and using updated OneNote 2016. This is still happening. Incredibly frustrating to lose hours of a single math problem. I am about to shut off and never turn this thing back on. Seriously Microsoft? This is a total showstopper for OneNote.

  77. Tracy says:

    I am having issues with handwriting on pdf form shifting on the pages between computer app view and tablet/phone, only since I upgraded to paid account with OneNote and upgraded from 2013 to 2016. Also I wonder if there is a better solution to this task of completing this form and having it signed. Please advise.

  78. Amorette says:

    I am on a Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga, and this is still happening. What is the solution here? I have the newest version of onenote. I use it for every class – one laptop instead of multiple notebooks and textbooks, but this is a game changing problem.

  79. Scott says:

    Having the same issue on my sp4. Was trying to make diagrams in class and they kept disappearing

  80. Justin says:

    This just happened to me too. I'm taking notes on a Galaxy Note Tab with Onenote synced with onedrive business. I just opened it on my laptop and there's a bunch of jumbled text. Most of it is fine, but there are also a lot of places where text is shifted up or down. I guess I won't be using this anymore.

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