Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I think OneNote 14 should…

Well it has been a busy few weeks. Office 2007 is about to go into RTM mode. And that means I have been busy working on Office 2007 - related products that need to be finalized. Conferences are upon us again. Seems like the last round just got over… so I am busy finalizing my various slide decks. No I will not be speaking about OneNote this time around. I have other content that must be presented and I have yet to see a conference that has some OneNote content other than TechEd and PDC. So now you know why I have not been able to post. Rest assured the OneNote XML Viewer is being improved as well as a few other interesting little apps. But for the next few weeks I am dedicated to development and slide decks...

For those of you in the OneNote community, those of you who follow all the blogs, you probably have seen Daniel's post on Send us your notes! We really want them!. You might have caught that at least some of the OneNote team is thinking vNext . Well today I was working in PowerPoint 2007 I found myself wishing the two played nicer together. So instead of keeping my thoughts to my self I decided that I should create a reoccurring topic . It seems that Blogger does not really have "categories" so I can not easily tag a set of posts as part of a specific topic. So today I create a post called I think OneNote 14 should…

So today's I think OneNote 14 should... theme is specifically about PowerPoint 2007 and PowerPoint vNext. I think you can easily extrapolate this concept beyond PowerPoint.

I think the notes page as well as normal page view where notes are displayed should be a OneNote 14 "control". Why should I settle for a basic text editor when I create notes for my presentation. Why would I not want to have my notes in a format that I can reuse? How about working on my notes in OneNote and opening up my presentation and seeing my notes show up?

To me this is a no-brainer - from a usability standpoint - not necessarily from a technical perspective. But when you think of it, why would my applications and third party applications benefit from an rich WinForm control where ever my users might benefit from collecting notes.

Now I know you are probably thinking - why not use a Side Note? That's a good question to ask. And I have the answer. I am not a big Side Note fan. Oh I use them but side notes break my momentum and thought flow. For myself Side Notes are ok for capturing quick thoughts and ideas - if later you go back and do something with them even if it is nothing more then deleting them.

I use a laptop 90 percent of the time (no tablet but that was another post:). I have limited screen space and nearly always work in full screen mode. Using a Side Note requires me to move it around or find a place one the screen that I am not using at the moment. It is pinned as the "top" screen by default and I can unpin the side note. With it pinned as the top screen I need to move it around as needed and if I change to say Outlook it is still pinned as the top screen and I have no need for that. If I unpin the Side Note it will be sent behind my PowerPoint app. Embedding the OneNote user interface as a control inside of a client will give me the basic power of OneNote located where I am used to seeing notes.

Ok, I know this is not an easy "fix" and is filled with implementation details that I would not even try to enumerate today. But if creating a embeddable control is beyond the 014 timeframe then the next step is to consider a "Smart" Side Note. One that can attach to a existing application window and would "disappear" when that specific application no longer has focus

Just an idea....

I always thought that ON would work better with Office Apps. I would love everything to work better together.

I think OneNote 14 should have audio playback at 1.5 and 2 times speed as options...
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