Sitting in the ship room monitoring OneNote feedback

We just released a major update for OneNote for Windows Blue!  This was a lot of hard work for test and now I am sitting in a conference room as we see what customers are saying about the new release.  It's a lot of fun and very eye opening (OCR is initially getting a lot of coverage and that is great).

The interesting part of testing this release was working with partner teams that are not here in Redmond.  We had a team in Europe add the OCR engine for us and a team in Japan add the new camera functionality.  Coordinating testing with each team was straightforward - we reviewed their test plans, performed code reviews, etc…  The unusual part of this was working with teams in very different time zones than here.  We would catch the team in Serbia right before they went home when we got into our offices.  Japan was just tough since they are not only in a separate time zone but in a different day. This is nothing new - many teams that work worldwide deal with this all the time - but for me this was the first time I had to work this way for a short period. 

Next up we will
monitor all the feedback coming in.  Most people here will look at the business side of the requests but my eyes will look for test coverage and any bugs users report.  While I am confident we caught these, there may be some cases that bubble up.  If that happens, we will add test cases, investigate what went wrong and so on. 

Anyway, it is pretty exciting to be in the ship room right now. If you get the new version, let us know what you think!

Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms always welcome,

Comments (10)

  1. Byron Adams says:

    Glad someone is watching I just sent a bunch of requests.  Ill repeat here for others to see.

    1. Add back the smaller snap width.

    2. Add Traditional Chinese to OCR Copy Text feature.

    3. Add more ink drawing features like Google draw. Start with basic shapes: straight line, ellipse, rectangle.

    4. Add option to turn off spell checking. I have a lot of computer code and to ignore or add to dict. is too much trouble.

    5. Add option to toggle between view Page List with * Titles only or * Titles with content.

    6. Add option to share a page with some one and that person can work real time with me on that page.

    Is there a site where we can vote on features for OneNote?

  2. John says:

    Good ideas – I sent this list to our design team.  We don't have a voting mechanism but contacting us directly here on our blogs is a good start.

  3. Jun Yin says:

    Some more requests…

    1. Why doesn't Onenote app have highlighters?

    2. Ability to move radial menu to a different location

    3. For Onenote 2013 users on Surface Pro, we currently have to sync once for the Onenote app and once more for Onenote 2013. Is there some way to harmonize this?

    4. Nested notes (i.e. subpages) in Onenote app cannot be collapsed in list view, making it cumbersome to navigate large notebooks

  4. Ruud Bijvank says:

    I actually make a lot of notes which are a mixture of handwriting and typed text. In OneNote 2013 this goes perfect, at least when you turn of the automated switching between pen and keyboard. You either click on the text selection tool or on a pen.

    Not so much on OneNote MX. You start off typing, which OK. The you pick the pen and the interface context menu switches to the pen tools. But what if you now need to switch back to text typing? If you have the physical keyboard connected it is a breeze. Just start typing or mouse the cursor with the mouse.

    But if you have just the tablet the only way to get back to get back to typing is to navigate back to another note/section and then return.

    This cold easily be fixed by adding a keyboard command to the pen radial menu. That means, I'm done writing and I want go back to typing.

  5. raufatay says:

    Ruud Bijvank: That command already exists in the pen radial menu. It is called "Exit Draw".

  6. Ruud Bijvank says:

    Omar Atay: Yes you're right and no you're not. I'm using a Lenovo Helix which comes with a active digitizer pen. If I click with the mouse or trackpad on the radial menu selecting a pen, the exit draw command is there.

    If I start jotting, or continue jotting with the pen, the exit draw menu item does NOT appear.

  7. Ruud Bijvank says:

    I found a sort of workaround. When jotting, I "right click" with the pen. That'll bring up the on screen keyboard and I just need to hit one key. That character will go nowhere, but it forces OneNote back into non-draw mode.

  8. Johannes Ruf says:

    I have a lot of trouble with the drawing tools in OneNote 2013.

    1. The snap-to-grid feature seems to deactivate when trying to draw horizontal or vertical lines. Only odd angles work.

    2. Pressing alt+shift while drawing a line or an arrow enables snap-to-grid for veritcal and horizontal lines, but the line (including the initial point) wanders around in strange ways, arrowheads become detached.

    3. There is a minimum leght for straigt lines. It is longer than one grid-unit. Short lines should be possible.

    The folloeing points are some suggestions, or basic features, that in my opinion are gravely missing:

    4. Polylines! when you want to draw less squiggly shapes or diagrams, a sequence of straight lines is immensely usefull. Holding down shift while using the freehand mode will switch to text input instead of allowing for straight lines. Wouldn´t it be more useful to wait for actual letters for that feature, and make the shift key work as expected?

    (Enabling "Lock drawing mode" and draw lines over and over is also not an option, because they will end detached from one another.)

    5. Adjustable grid-sizes

    6. Dotted lines should be availible.

    7. a floodfill tool.

    8. this is more of a bonus feature, not as basic as the above: a smooth stroke tool, where the actual drawing cursor follws the mouse on a short rubber-band. This allows for precise smooth arcs.

    9. Isn´t there a better, less memory-intensive way to incorporate PDFs? (importing a 300 page 6mb PDF as images (printout) leads to an over 100mb OneNote file, on top of that, these images are slow to load when switching pages.)

    (I tried to take some notes during a lecture today, than the professor drew a diagram on the board…

    In my opinion, for a notes-taking software, the drawing tools are way to rudimentary. I actually deliberated using a straight edge on my Surface Pro 2.)

    OneNote really has potential so far, hopefully the drawing tools will get some attention in the (near) future.

  9. Johannes Ruf says:

    As addition to my post above, here is the diagram I tried to create using OneNote.…/7f9738b5ae10b978394cb312592df313.png

    (actually created it in Powerpoint)

    I've marked the problems/limitations I ran into (also see the above post).

  10. John says:

    I sent these comments to our design team – thanks for the in depth feedback!

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