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Improvements for OneNote to be more helpful for students

Office 2010, the next generation of Microsoft office is due out soon, and has improvements to work with windows 7, and all the applications bundles in any package available from home to and student, to the enterprise edition, and all programs in them, all use the much hated ribbon. Including OneNote. My thoughts when I heard this was something to the point of “what the hell”. OneNote’s usefulness came from the toolbars, could be dragged on all sides of the program, or floated on top of your page of notes. Well the ribbons dropped that. Yuck. You know you want a peak, so merry Christmas.


Also, they’re also a few new buttons and feature, I’ll get into those goodies later, but the buttons are shown on these screenshots of all the new toolbars. I showed some of the new buttons down below.

Somehow, the ribbon is not the worst thing they’ve done. The Menu. *pukes* Its a fullscreen menu, not a pop-up as it use to be, and at least for the virtualized version of office 2010 the dev preview users get, its lags, something nasty, on both opening and closing. My suggestion, learn some shortcuts and avoid the menu. Its painful to use. Another not so pretty purple tinted picture. that the other thing, all programs now have a color tint. Onenote is Purple, disgusting.


Now for the goodies. when I first took at a look at it, I was worried about finding any new good stuff at all. Fortunately, a found a few. One is the much improved back up system. In OneNote 03, and 07, notebooks were backed up, usually once a day, for a week, and then old backups were deleted at the end of the week. But most people never used this feature because they didn’t know it existed, or they didn’t know where the backups where stored. Backups where hidden, nicely somewhere in Appdata. I had to dig around in there once to retrieve notes for a student who replaced her notes with her friend’s mostly blank notebook. I found them, but it took a while. After that a wrote a small script in NSIS to automatically backup OneNote Notebooks, when a USE drive was inserted into a computer, by simply running this .exe. Onenote ’10 made it obsolete.
As the screenshots shows, you can set a location for the backups, set the time to backup, and how many backups to keep. Its quite nice. And I think its best used by setting the backup location to a app like dropbox. Working along with that is a recycle bin, added to onenote, which can be disabled, but is enabled by default, allows you to retrieve accidentally deleted, or modified files. Could be pretty useful.

The last improvement I found was the much improved the attach file dialogue. While this was around in OneNote 07, it was not a dialogue box and you basically had to drag and drop files in. You can now easily drop any file into a one note page, but its not like you can edit it yet. Its a small improvement over the drag and drop only system, and the screenshot of the toolbars above shows the button and how its used.

Overall, I would rather keep my toolbars with OneNote 07, but some students who are likely to lose, or delete data, I would definitely recommend upgrading to Office 2010 once it comes out.