Saturday, December 02, 2006
Windows Live Messenger Send To OneNote 2007
Sure I can open each file, copy the text, and paste it into OneNote 2007 but strangely enough I just never get around to doing that. Necessity is the mother of invention and so I set out to create a simple but effective Windows Live Messenger To OneNote 2007 (WLM2ON) add in. It turns out that with Microsoft Live Messenger's Add In Api creating a basic Send To OneNote 2007 is fairly simple. Simple enough that I will post the project code in a separate blog post.
For now if you feel the need to capture your Live Messenger content to OneNote 2007 feel free to grab the install file: WLMOneNote2007AddIn.zip which is hosted by the owners of www.onenote2006.com. This simple Send To Add In requires Microsoft Live Messenger and OneNote 2007 (RTM).
But before I go into details about how to install the binaries you should take a look at the figure below which displays a very basic page created when using this tool. I originally set out to create a robust capture tool but after reviewing the Live Messenger Add In object model it became apparent that a robust tool is either not possible yet or beyond the very short time frame I had set.
So I have settled on a secondary, simpler approach that will allow me to post the code for others to use and improve. In this approach I have created the Windows Live Messenger OneNote 2007 Add In along with a simple install project that will allow you to send session messages to a new OneNote page. There are a few issues - first you must install the add in and turn it on. Next the add in can not differentiate between Messenger sessions. This appears to be a limitation of the Live Messenger Add In framework. Messages from all sessions are saved to the same OneNote page. But it is more of a working demo than the prescriptive guidance on Live Messenger Add In development.
Once you have the binaries extracted simply run the setup file. The install is pretty simple - just remember where you install the files to. By default it will go to [install drive]\program files\Unknown OneNote Guy\WLMOneNote2007AddIn . The install will enable Live Messenger Add Ins by adding a registry key. The install will only copy the add in files to the file system. To use the add in you must "install" it in Live Messenger and then "turn it on".
To install the add in into Live Messenger you must access the Add In tab located in the Options Dialog box. The fiigure on the right displays the Add In Tab. Click Add To Messenger button and navigate to the install directory. If you did not change the install directory it will be located at: [install drive]\program files\Unknown OneNote Guy\WLMOneNote2007AddIn. Select the OneNote2007AddIn.OneNoteAddIn.dll file and click ok.The figure below displays the Add In tab with the add in selected. Click the Ok button to close the dialog box. The add in should be installed.
Note: During some of the install testing the Add In tab was available but the controls contained in the tab were not enabled. I am unsure why this is but it appears that if you restart Live Messenger and start an IM session the controls will enable.
Now that the add in is enabled you need to start the add in. To start the add in click on the control that allows you to change your online status. Select Send To OneNote to start the add in. See figure on the right.
You can use Live Messenger to send and receive IMs as before. When you want to capture your IMs in OneNote type Send To OneNote on a single line and click Send. This is interpreted as a command and will create a new page under the Unfiled Notes Section. Figure 5 displays a OneNote 2007 page that has captured messages from Windows Live Messenger. If you wish to define a title then append the command with a colon and title. For example Send To OneNote : Test IM. Figures blow displays a page that was created using the Send To OneNote command with a title parameter as well as the OneNote pages created.
Over all this was a very simple add in built to solve a relatively simple issue. The OneNote code was minimal and to be honest, simpler then the code related to the Live Messenger Add In. Give it a try and let me know how it goes. In the next post I will provide the Add In code.