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Changes in OneNote 2010 (for IT pros)

Published: May 12, 2010

IT Pros can learn about the new, changed, and deprecated features of Microsoft OneNote 2010 and how these changes can impact migration plans. If you are migrating from OneNote 2003, we suggest that you review Changes in Office OneNote 2007 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=163029).

note Note:

Are you looking for help using new features in OneNote 2010? Visit Office.com to learn how to use new features (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=247997).

In this article:

What’s new

This section highlights new features in OneNote 2010.

Fluent UI

The OneNote 2010 user interface is redesigned and now uses the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface (UI). Introduced in the 2007 Microsoft Office system, the Fluent UI is designed to make it easier for people to find and use the full range of features that Office applications provide, and to preserve an uncluttered workspace. For more information about the Fluent UI, see the resources in Microsoft Office Fluent User Interface Resource Center (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkID=111045).

The ribbon

The ribbon, part of the Fluent UI, is designed to optimize key OneNote note-taking scenarios to make them easier to use. The ribbon in OneNote 2010 provides quicker access to all the commands and allows for easier future additions and customizations. You can also customize the ribbon. For example, you can create custom tabs and custom groups to contain frequently used commands. To help maximize the note-taking space on the page, the ribbon can also be hidden while writing.

Backstage view

The Microsoft Office Backstage is part of the Fluent UI and a companion feature to the ribbon. The Backstage view, which can be accessed from the File tab, helps you find frequently used features for managing your Microsoft OneNote notebook files. (The File tab replaces the Microsoft Office Button and File menu that were used in earlier releases of Microsoft Office.) The Backstage is used to manage files and the data about the files, such as creating and saving files, inspecting for hidden metadata or personal information, and setting file options.

Language preferences

OneNote 2010 also provides simplified language settings that allow multilingual users to use a single dialog box in OneNote 2010 to set preferences for editing, display, ScreenTip Language, and Help languages. If users do not have a required software or keyboard layout installed, a notification displays to provide information and links to resolve such issues.

File format

The OneNote 2010 file format enables new features, such as sharing on the Web, linked note-taking, mathematical equations, and versioning.

OneNote 2010 will continue to work on Office OneNote 2007 notebooks without changing to the new file format. By default, notebooks are not upgraded. Do not upgrade notebooks if you plan to share them with Office OneNote 2007 users. To change an existing notebook to the OneNote 2010 notebook format, use the Notebook Properties dialog box: Click the File tab, click the Settings drop-down menu, and then click Properties, or right-click the Notebook and click Properties.

note Note:

If you change a notebook to the OneNote 2010 notebook format, you cannot change it back to the Office OneNote 2007 format.

Improved access to information

OneNote 2010 provides virtually uninterrupted access to notes by allowing you to view and use your notebook files anywhere — at work, home, or in transit.

  • Sync to Windows Live   You can access notebooks from any computer. You can also synchronize notebooks by using shared folders, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, and USB drives.

  • Microsoft OneNote Web App   You can access and edit notebooks from a Web browser, even on computers on which the full version of OneNote is not installed.

  • Microsoft OneNote Mobile 2010   By using a compact version of OneNote on a Windows Mobile-based smartphone, you can access and edit your notebooks stored on Windows Live and SharePoint.

Search, Outlook integration, organization, and editing improvements

The changes in these areas include the following:

  • Improved search, which can find information on either the current page, within selected sections or notebooks, or within notebooks.

  • Outlook integration improvements:

    • Create Outlook tasks from OneNote.

  • Improved organization and search features:

    • Section and page tab improvements.

    • Search improvements allow for rapid search and navigation within the search results. For example, by typing the first few letters of a title, users can quickly jump to recently visited pages, or repeat a previous search.

    • The ability to easily add links to content within other content — for example, pages, sections, or section groups — and to quickly navigate through these links. This enables you to create Wiki-like notebooks.

    • Quick Filing feature, which lets you choose where in your notebook you want to send information (such as mails from Outlook, pages from Internet Explorer, and so on).

  • Editing improvements:

    • Quick Styles for creating and applying headings.

    • Support for mathematical equations.

    • Formatting improvements for bulleted lists.

    • Mini Translator, which lets you use your mouse to point to a foreign word or phrase and see a translation into your native language in a small window (you can also use the Play button to hear the pronunciation of the word or phrase, and use a Copy button to paste the translation elsewhere in your notebook).

  • Research and note-taking improvements:

    • Linked note-taking to Web page URLs, Microsoft Word 2010, and Microsoft PowerPoint 2010.

    • Automatic text wrapping.

    • Docked OneNote.

    • Information Rights Management (IRM) protected printouts.

    • Print driver for 64-bit operating systems.

Sharing and collaboration features

OneNote 2010 supports simultaneous editing of notebooks by multiple users. For example, a group of users can work on a notebook at the same time, or a single user can work on the same notebook from different computers simultaneously, all without locking the file.

The changes are as follows:

  • New content is automatically highlighted.

  • Author information for any added or shared content is identified by a color-coded bar and the author’s initials.

  • Version support lets users see when and by whom changes were made to a notebook. Changes relative to earlier versions of the notebook are automatically highlighted.

  • Faster synchronization of pages so that changes are displayed to all authors in near real time.

  • Display recently added content (by last day, week, month, and so on). You can also get an overview of what specific users changed on specific days.

  • Merge feature allows merging two sections of a shared notebook.

Support for touch-enabled computers

OneNote 2010 provides support for computers that run touch-enabled operating systems such as Windows 7, and Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012. The features include the following:

  • Panning and auto-switching   On compatible computers that run Windows 7, the user can scroll and pan around any page in OneNote 2010 by using a finger and, depending on the input device, OneNote automatically switches between pen, pan, and selection.

  • Zooming   On multitouch devices, such as a computer that runs a touch-compatible or multitouch-compatible operating system such as Windows 7, using a pinch gesture with the fingers allows a user to zoom in or out of a notebook page in OneNote to customize the page view.

  • Improved navigation   Several navigational enhancements have been added to OneNote 2010 for users who have computers that run touch-enabled operating systems.

note Note:

For more information, see the OneNote 2010 resources in the “Getting Started with OneNote” guide included in the product, and Getting Started with OneNote 2010 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkID=195504).

Top of page

What’s changed

This section summarizes the feature changes in OneNote 2010.

Task pane replacements

The following task panes are replaced in OneNote 2010:

  • Customize My Tags — Replaced by a dialog box in the Fluent UI.

  • New — Options in the New task pane are available in the New section of the File tab.

  • Font — Options are available in the Basic Text group on the Home tab on the ribbon.

  • Bullets — Replaced by the Bullets gallery in the new Basic Text group on the Home tab. The ability to change all bullets at a specific level is removed.

Some task panes are removed in OneNote 2010, as noted in Task Panes removed later in this article.

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What’s removed

This section provides information about removed features in OneNote 2010.

Outlining features and body text

The Outlining toolbar, including the Make Body Text option, is removed in Microsoft OneNote 2010. The ability to increase and decrease indentations and expand or collapse text is available through other user interface entry points and keyboard shortcuts.

SimpleImporter API

The SimpleImporter API was introduced in Microsoft Office 2003, and was replaced by another API in the 2007 Microsoft Office system, although it remained available to the few users who still needed it. The SimpleImporter API is completely removed in Microsoft OneNote 2010.

Start Live Session

The Start Live Session functionality is removed. In OneNote 2010, we recommend that you use a shared notebook. To share a notebook in OneNote 2010, you can specify a Web location so that you can use the notebook from any computer or from a Web browser. This option requires that you sign in or sign up for an account such as Windows Live. You can also enter the full path of a network file share, enter a mapped network drive, or paste the full address of a SharePoint document library where you want to create and store the shared notebook. The page updates will be reflected in near real-time to all users. To use the shared notebooks feature, select Share This Notebook (or New Shared Notebook) on the Share tab. For more information, see the “Getting Started with OneNote” guide included in the product.

Join Live Session

This functionality is removed. As noted in the Start Live Session section, in OneNote 2010, we recommend that you use a shared notebook.

Current Live Session

This functionality is removed. As noted in the Start Live Session section, in OneNote 2010, we recommend that you use a shared notebook.

Create Outlook Appointment and Create Outlook Contact

The Create Outlook Appointment and Create Outlook Contact functionalities are no longer available.

Task Panes removed

The List and Document Management task panes are removed from Microsoft OneNote 2010. The functionality is no longer available, and the user interface entry points are removed. New features in OneNote 2010 provide more functionality than these rarely used features.

For information about task pane replacements, see Task pane replacements earlier in this article.

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Migration considerations

This section discusses issues that administrators should consider when migrating from previous versions of Microsoft OneNote to Microsoft OneNote 2010.

In this section:

OneNote 2010 availability

OneNote 2010 is included in all editions of the Office 2010 suites:

  • Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010

  • Microsoft Office Home and Business 2010

  • Microsoft Office Professional Academic 2010

  • Microsoft Office Standard 2010

  • Microsoft Office Professional 2010

  • Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010

For information about system requirements for OneNote 2010, see the Microsoft Office Home and Business 2010 section in System requirements for Office 2010.

In the 2007 Microsoft Office system, Microsoft Office OneNote 2007 was included in these editions of the product: Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007, Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007, and Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007.

Microsoft Office OneNote 2003 was available only as a stand-alone product.

OneNote 2010 file format

OneNote 2010 uses a new file format for saving files than previous versions of the product. Many of the new OneNote 2010 features (such as math equations, versioning, linked note taking, and multi-level subpages) require the new format to work. The new file format also lets you share your notebooks on the Web, so you can use a Web browser to view and edit your notebook files. When you create a notebook in OneNote 2010, the file is saved in the new OneNote 2010 file format by default.

With OneNote 2010, you can view, open, and edit notebooks that are saved in the Office OneNote 2007 file format. You can convert Office OneNote 2007 notebooks to OneNote 2010, and you can also convert them back to the Office OneNote 2007 format. For more information, see Upgrading OneNote 2007 notebooks later in this article.

Notebooks that use the OneNote 2003 file format are read-only in OneNote 2010 (and in Office OneNote 2007). This means that you cannot edit files that use the OneNote 2003 format in OneNote 2010 or in Office OneNote 2007. For more information, see Upgrading OneNote 2003 notebooks later in this article.

To determine the file format of a notebook, in OneNote 2010, right-click the notebook icon in the navigation bar, and then click Properties. The Notebook Properties dialog box displays, and the Default File Format section indicates the file format version. If you open an Office OneNote 2007 notebook, the application title bar also displays "[Compatibility Mode]" to indicate the file format is Office OneNote 2007.

Upgrading OneNote 2007 notebooks

OneNote 2010 works on Office OneNote 2007 notebooks without changing to the new file format. OneNote 2010 can view, open, and edit Office OneNote 2007 notebook files. By default, existing Office OneNote 2007 notebooks are not automatically converted when you update from Office OneNote 2007 to OneNote 2010. You cannot use Office OneNote 2007 to open and use notebooks that are saved in the OneNote 2010 file format.

If you plan to share your notebooks with Office OneNote 2007 users who do not have OneNote 2010, we recommend that you do not upgrade the notebooks.

If sharing notebooks with users of earlier versions of OneNote is not a requirement, we recommend that you convert existing notebooks to the OneNote 2010 format to enable all of the new product features.

Upgrading OneNote 2003 notebooks

As noted previously, notebooks that use the OneNote 2003 format are read-only in OneNote 2010. If you want to be able to edit your OneNote 2003 notes when you upgrade from OneNote 2003 to OneNote 2010, you must upgrade your notebook to the OneNote 2010 format (or the Office OneNote 2007 format). To do this, open the notebook in OneNote 2010, and then click the Information Bar that appears at the top of every page in your OneNote 2003 notebook.

note Note:

After you convert OneNote 2003 notebooks to the OneNote 2010 or the Office OneNote 2007 format, they cannot be changed back. Therefore, we recommend making a backup copy of the notebooks before you convert the files to a newer format.

OneNote notebook sharing

In Office OneNote 2007, users can participate in live shared note-taking sessions. User can store their shared notebooks in a Web location or a network location such as a network file share, or a SharePoint document library. They can access their shared notebooks from any computer or from a Web browser, or from a computer on the same network or a SharePoint document library. This allows all participants to view and edit each other's notes. To use the live shared session feature, users open the notebook and section that they want to share with others, point to Live Sharing Session on the Share menu, and then click Start Sharing Current Section.

In OneNote 2010, the Start Live SessionJoin Live Session, and Current Live Session functionality is removed. In OneNote 2010, we recommend that you use a shared notebook. The page updates are reflected in near real-time to all users. In OneNote 2010, multiple authors can access a shared notebook simultaneously. When authors edit the pages and sections in the shared notebook, OneNote automatically synchronizes the changes so that the notebook is always up-to-date. OneNote maintains a separate offline copy of the notes on each user’s computer. Authors can edit the notes locally even when their computer is disconnected from the network. The next time that the users connect to the shared notebook, OneNote automatically merges their changes with the changes made by other authors.

To use the shared notebooks feature in OneNote 2010, select Share This Notebook (or New Shared Notebook) on the Share tab. Users can choose to share their notebooks on the Web so they can be accessed from any browser (this option requires a Windows Live account). They can also choose to use the full path of a network file share, enter a mapped network drive, or paste the full address of a SharePoint document library. For more information, see “Share notebooks in OneNote 2010” in the OneNote online Help.

OneNote user data settings migration

Information about the OneNote registry keys that are migrated when performing an Microsoft Office 2010 installation is available in User registry settings to migrate to Office 2010. The article provides information about the Office OneNote 2007 and OneNote 2003 user data registry keys that are migrated and those that are not migrated for the following Microsoft Office 2010 upgrade scenarios:

  • In-place upgrade   An earlier version of Office such as the 2007 Microsoft Office system is installed on computers.

  • Uninstall and upgrade   The installed version of Office is uninstalled first and then Office 2010 is installed on computers.

  • Operating system upgrade   A new version of the operating system such as Windows 7 is installed with Microsoft Office 2010.

For information about Office OneNote 2007, see the following sections: “OneNote 2007 <include>” and “OneNote 2007 <exclude>” in User registry settings to migrate to Office 2010.

For information about OneNote 2003, see the following sections: “OneNote 2003 <include>” and “OneNote 2003 <exclude>” in User registry settings to migrate to Office 2010.

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