OneNote Questions and Answers

1. Is there a viewer for OneNote files? 
Not a viewer, per se, but you can certainly download and install the OneNote 2007 Trial edition.  The trial is fully functional for 60 days after which it will go into read-only mode unless you buy the full version.  That means that you can use it to view and edit OneNote files for 60 days, after that it will still be fully functional as a viewer only. Click here to go to Microsoft's site to get it now.

2. I want to move my notebook to a different location, how can I do that?  In OneNote 2007 click File | Notebook Properties.  There's a button for change location right there.

3. I used Windows Explorer to move my notebooks to another location but what about the OneNote Table of Contents?
Ignore it.  OneNote will regenerate it automatically the next time OneNote syncs to that notebook. (Thanks Ilya!)

4. I just upgraded to OneNote 2007, how do I transfer my OneNote 2003 files to it?
It should ask to do it automatically when you first open OneNote 2007 but if it doesn't then go to File | Open | Notebook and open each of the notebooks you want to convert.  Note that once they're converted you CAN'T go back to OneNote 2003 format.

5. Can I password protect sections of OneNote?  Individual pages? 
Sections, yes.  Pages no.  To password protect a section just right-click the section on the navigation pane or on the tab at the top and select "Password protect this section" from the context menu.

6. When I copy/paste content from IE7, from any tab other than the first tab, into OneNote the link created is wrong.  It's a link to the page shown in the first IE7 tab.  What can I do?
That's a known issue which will probably require a fix from the IE7 team.  Stand by.

FOLLOW-UP: I haven't tested it on IE7, yet, but IE8 with OneNote 2007 SP1, works just fine.

7. Does OneNote 2007 have a Find/Replace feature?  Like Microsoft Word does?
No, but it is a frequently requested feature for the next version.  There is a powertoy that can do it and you can find it here:

8. I installed the trial version and [Feature] is greyed out! 
Did you activate the product?  (check the Help menu)

9. How do I copy an entire section?  In order to make a new section that starts just like it; a template you might say. 
Close OneNote.  Go to Windows Explorer and find your OneNote notebooks.  Copy the .ONE file you want to make a copy of  in the folder and give it a new name.  Open OneNote and see if it's there.

10. How do I "flip thru" the pages in my section?  Press CTRL+Page Down.  If you do it a lot and have a mouse with programmable keys you might consider programming one of your mouse buttons to do that.

11. I don't see the Tray icon for OneNote and my Windows Key+S doesn't work! 
Tools | Options | Other...check the box next to "Place OneNote icon in the notification area of the taskbar.

12. Can I sort the pages in OneNote?
Not natively, but there's a powertoy that will do it.  See here.

13. I seem to have lost all of the text out of one of my note pages, help! Check and see if you have a backup that is viable.  File | Open Backup.

14. [OneNote 2003] How do I rename folders?   Right-click the folder tab and you should be able to rename (or delete) that folder.  But note that you can't do that from WITHIN the folder.  You have to go up a level and do it from the parent folder of that folder.

15. Does OneNote 2010 work with Office 2007? Yes, it should work just fine with Office 2007.

16. Where are my OneNote 2007 Files? In Vista, should be under C:\Users\[username]\Documents\OneNote Notebooks.  In XP check under C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\My Documents\OneNote Notebooks.



1. I want to set up a shared notebook, do I need SharePoint?

No, in fact I think OneNote sharing works better WITHOUT SharePoint.  Just locate the notebook you want to share on an Windows file share that all of the machines you want to share with can access.  This story changes a bit with OneNote 2010.  SharePoint synchronization is significantly improved.  That said, you still don't need SharePoint to synchronize.

2. How can I sync Custom Note Tags between two or more machines?

Custom note tags are stored on the local machine they were created on in the Preferences.dat file.  If you want to have exactly the same experience on both/all machines you could just copy the Preferences.dat file (for OneNote 2007 it's located in the %userprofile%\Application Data\microsoft\onenote\12.0\Preferences.dat folder) from the source machine to the destination machine.  That's a clunky solution though for a couple of reasons:

A. You'd have to recopy the file every time you changed/added custom tags.

B. Any changes/custom tags you made on the OTHER machine would be overwritten/lost.

A better solution would be to use a shared notebook. When you open the shared notebook from the machine that DOESN'T have the custom tags you can right-click the tag to add it to the collection of tags on that machine.

  • Dan Escapa has a good post on tagging features in OneNote 2007.  Read it here.


1. How come I can't find the Print to OneNote tool in my Vista 64 machine? It works fine in my Vista 32!There are technical challenges relating to the way that OneNote handles the printing that make it very difficult to port the Print to OneNote feature from the 32-bit to 64-bit OS.  David Rasumussen has a good technical explanation of it on his blog.

2. I want to print to OneNote but can't find the driver.  I'm running 32-bit - how can I reinstall?  Have you downloaded and installed SP1 yet?  If not, click here and get it.

3. How can I print the entire section/notebook at once? Publish the entire section/notebook to a PDF and print the PDF.


1. I have a Dell Latitude XT Tablet PC and my left mouse button doesn't properly change pages!

(Courtesy of Ilya Koulchin)

Here are the steps you can take to fix this.

These steps us the Windows registry editor. Use caution when using the
registry editor - a mistake could cause serious errors on your computer.
If you do not feel comfortable with the registry editor, please ask
someone for help.

1. Click Start, Run, type regedit, and click ok (acknowledge the Vista
UAC prompt if it comes up).
2. In the registry editor, navigate to "Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop"
3. Locate the DragHeight and DragWidth values in the right hand pane
4. Select the DragHeight value, click the Edit menu, and select Modify
5. In the Value Data field, type 4 and click ok. IMPORTANT! You need to do this step even if the registry editor already shows the value as 4!
6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with the DragWidth field.
7. You may need to restart OneNote or reboot your computer.

2. When I Insert PDF files as printouts they're often rotated 90 degrees.  How do I keep them from being inserted sideways?!

When you go to print the PDF file to OneNote, uncheck the "Auto-Rotate and Center" option before you print.

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