Jump to: navigation, search

Microsoft OneNote is a great program I use to take notes. I started using it with my tablet PC. I still use it a lot for tracking my personal notes. I also use it at work for certain tasks.


Display of OneNote Notebooks

OneNote Web App

Newer notebooks are displayed on Microsoft's OneNote Web App, part of Windows Live Skydrive. Microsoft released this in June 2010, along with the desktop version of OneNote 2010. OneNote now has a nice sync functionality where notebooks can be saved online at Microsoft SkyDrive. This in itself should make it much easier for multiple computers to share a notebook vs. using Microsoft Live Sync. Microsoft also built a web viewer/editor for the OneNote Notebooks. It works fairly well in all browsers; the downside being it does not display ink objects (as of July 2010).

This is unfortunate because Microsoft could have built ink display support in. When you go to "email" a page in OneNote 2010 desktop, the ink objects are converted to images. In addition, the Word Web App displays complex documents well, even though it can not edit them while preserving the layout. Microsoft could have converted ink to images in reading mode. Hopefully, Microsoft will add this in the future and automatically update existing notebooks.

I also tried to embed the OneNote Web App viewer on my website. I spent a few hours trying to get it to work, but I was not able to crack their code. In addition, they have a X-Frame-Option:Deny on some pages, which further prevents framing. I dislike that I am not hosting it on my domain, but the theme of Web 2.0 is to use the best tool for the job and link to it.

This solution should be the best going forward, especially because my tablet broke as of spring freshman year at MIT. This was not that bad, because I had realized during finals that I needed to put away my tablet and learn the material. I then bought a ScanSnap and began to write on paper and scan that instead. This works well with OneNote Web App.

I may go back and reinstall OneNote 2007/OneNote Web Exporter for ink heavy notebooks for 8.01/18.01; the only other options would be PDFs. --ThePlaz 11:34, 25 July 2010 (EDT)


I really wish there was some sort of Scribd-like viewer for OneNote. I really like that Scribd gives you a preview of the document without you having to click on anything, or install anything. When I first started the wiki in 2006, I made file type icons for MediaWiki, so that viewers could see more a representation of the file. In 2009, I moved to Scribd, which works really well. I wish that Microsoft could do the same for OneNote - which they could if they just allowed their content in iframes (and added ink-display support)

OneNote Web Exporter

Old notebooks were exported with the OneNote Web Exporter tool to produce the online notebooks. Unfortunately it creates MHT files which only work in Internet Explorer and Opera. Firefox refuses to support MHT; I have spent a few hours looking for a way to make them work in Firefox. One possibility is the UnMHT extension, but this did not work in my January 2009 tests.

In January 2009, this was the best solution; despite being IE only. The developer, who works at Microsoft, released the app only as a stopgap measure until OneNote "14"/2010 could be released. As of July 2010, the OneNote Web App works well (see above), but without ink support; something the Web Exporter has.

I like the Web Exporter because it recreates the structure of OneNote notebooks. Another down side is that it is not on the wiki, and is less SEO friendly.


OneNote2PDF is supposed to make a PDF with table of contents bookmarks. I spent several hours trying to get it to work.


OneNote comes with a PDF exporter built in. Unfortunately, it does not add bookmarks for the files so that it is really hard to navigate. Microsoft still failed to fix this in 2010. I may choose to publish this as a backup.

OneNote File Itself

This may become more of an option as time goes on. OneNote was fairly rare, but it now comes with Home and Student (instead of Outlook). The files are fairly large however, so I prefer some sort of web view. I believe that OneNote Web App lets you download the notebook file if you want to.

Exporting as Image Files

For some of the 11th Grade work I did in OneNote (hint: very little) I exported a page (or section) as an image file. (Example). This is very time consuming and I need to recreate the notebook structure on the wiki. I like it since it still uses the wiki, but it would take a few hours to export a class.

Of course I could also spend a few hours designing an Auto-It script to do it automatically. I would need to:

  • Focus on OneNote
  • Export mht file
  • Switch to IE to use Snag it to make image
  • Name image
  • Switch to OneNote
  • Go to net page, section
  • Repeat
  • Upload to MediaWiki
  • Present structure I could use to link to

A downside is that the script would be flaky (very hard to manage) and that all of the content would be images (not SEO).

Email me if you have any suggestions.


see OneNote Organization