Tag Archives: OneNote

OneNote: Do The Math

math_picOneNote has a lot of hidden gems you just take for granted. One of those gems which often puts a smile on my face is OneNote doing the math for me.

For my work I do need to do some arithmatic from time to time. Let me give an example. When working on a project where I need to create a lot of queries I make lots of notes in my OneNote block. While taking my notes I need to check the number of rows the query returns. When done I have to create the various criteria for this query so it becomes more explicit. When criteria are set I need to check the outcome of that part. While writing down the first result I substract the second result and press the equal sign on my keyboard followed by a space. That’s the moment when OneNote lends a helping hand by showing me the result of the substraction.

That’s what I mean by working efficiently. No caluclators, no smartphones or windows calculators needed. Results on demand.

But what if I don’t want that to happen?

Ofcourse in the rare occasion that you don’t want this to happen you can always disable this option. To do so go to File – Options – Advanced – Editing and uncheck the feature as shown below.


Do the math? I guess not, I’ll let OneNote do the math!

7 Ninja tips for Microsoft Office

ninja-eyes Expand your toolbox with these seven tips for Microsoft Office. Formatting in Word, Decrease space in OneNote, Done in Outlook, single pivot reports in Excel, get into shapes with powerpoint and more! Enjoy.

Word Replace formatting in your document in two clicks

Microsoft Word has this great feature which allows you to replace formatting with just two clicks. Here is our scenario: i would like to format the words Microsoft Access in the document with a purple color.

  • Look for the first words Microsoft Access in your document. Place your cursor in the first word (Microsoft).
  • On the Home tab in the ribbon look for the last button in the ribbon. Open the select option (the little arrow next to the word select)
  • Choose the option “Select text with similar formatting”
  • All the words we were looking for are now selected in your whole document
  • With that selected choose the appropriate color and you are done!


Excel Create single reports in powerpivot

Everyone loves the pivottable right? Well sometimes the manager just wants that little extra. How about some single reporting based on your pivottable. In this scenario we will show data based and filtered on two countries. We have the option UK and we have the option USA. Now when we filter the data in the pivot table the result has to be presented on a single sheet. Here are the steps to reproduce the final result. For this example i am using data from the northwind database.

  • Create the pivottable from the raw data
  • With the pivot table in place make sure you have a report filter set to country
  • Now in the contextual (options) tab from the pivot table select “options” and expand the options. From the options select “Show report filter pages…”
  •  In the dialog select country (or the option you would like) and press OK
  • You will now have to ‘extra’ sheets with the data filtered based on the countries available in your pivot table. In our case there were two!

Note: be careful when selecting a filtered option with al lot of data in it. Excel will create a sheet for every entity in the filtered list!!

OneNote Insert Space in OneNote

OneNote keeps suprising me every day. Just because you have to figure out the various options available in this nifty application. Most of the functionality comes to the surface when you bump into situations where you keep asking yourself how can i do this more efficient.

As you might know by now you can type anywhere in OneNote. Every block is a single container which contains text or some object you have inserted. From time to time you will see a lot of white space between the containers you would like to get rid of. So you start dragging to containers towards each other risking the fine indentation you had before. To solve that problem use the Insert Space option. You cannot only increase the size of the space but you can also decrease the size of the space. Here is how to do this:

  • With the containers on your page click the insert tab and choose Insert Space option
  • Your mouse pointer will change into a horizontal line with an arrow point up and down. Remember we are trying to get rid of the white space between the containers
  • Now keep the left mouse button pressed and move the horizontal line towards the first container.
  • When done release the left mouse button and your whitespace will be vanished! The two containers are now properly aligned again!


PowerPoint Get into shape with PowerPoint

This is one of those nifty tips that can make you live a whole lot easier. Every now and then you might need a picture in your presentation. In many cases you just insert the picture and go on with your presentation. But what if your picture needs a different layout, something special? In that case use the shape as a container for your picture. Here is how this is done:

  •  In your presentation add a shape. Choose the shape that comes nearest to the desired layout. Don’t panic you can adjust this afterwards.
  • With the shape selected choose “Shape Fill” on the format tab. From that menu choose picture.
  • Select the picture you would like to see in your shape. Press OK. You now have a shape with your picture in it!.
  • Now for the final touches click the shape once more. Here is where you can touch your magic. In the format tab click on the “Edit shape” option and choose “Edit Points”. From this point on you can modify your whole shape just the way you like it!
  • From this point onwards it is up to you. Modify the shape anyway you like it and you might end up with one of the most impressing layout containers ever made!

Outlook2013 Done!

Oh that magic word! When using Outlook 2013 you might have seen this word before. But for those who haven’t it actually can serve a great purpose.
Here is the scenario: i would like to move mail to a certain folder an mark it as read. Sure there are various ways to accomplish this but first take a look at the default setting. This might just be the option you are looking for.

  • Click the mail you have received. This can be some not so important mail but is is mail you would like to keep for later.
  • Create a folder and name it “read later” (or whatever you would like it to be called)

  • now click the “Done” option in the Quick Steps menu
  • fill in the dialog that appears. This is a one time set up so next time it will perform the action straight away.

So there you go. With just one click you can get rid of all those so called important mail that is important to you but not for now 🙂 And the good thing is it is taking care of in a very structured way!

Picture this in smartart

PowerPoint is such a great application. It presents you with additional options the other office apps don’t. For that reason only PowerPoint should receive a medal 🙂

Ok here’s the scenario. I have a couple of pictures i would like to use in my presentation. They have different formats. Somehow i would like to get them in a smartart at one time. Here is how it can be done:

  • I add five random pictures from my visit to Yankee stadium (any baseball team will do! i just happened to visit the yankees, no offence).
  • With all the pictures selected choose “Picture Layout”
  • Select the SmartArt that meets the needs
  • With that click you’ve just created the coolest looking layout possible!

Note: if you want to go further experimenting, choose the ungroup option by right clicking the mouse. Do this twice and see the options that will come available for you at that point. Wow your pictures just became single objects you can manipulate even further!

Choose Paper Size in OneNote

In Microsoft Word you never bother to taak a look at the paper size of your document. The first time you started you did a setup for your document. But how about the paper size in OneNote? Not many people know the various options in papersize available in OneNote.

Check the View tab and then click the Paper Size option. The taskpane will show up and present you with the various papersize options to choose from! Well that’s another option to get started instead of figuring out if the info in OneNote will fit the printed page right?

  • Very simple but all so effective!


Link sources to OneNote with Linked Notes

LN_I This is a button you will run into some times in your Office applications. Many people have no clue what this button does. It’s actually a button which hides some pretty nice functionality. In this post I will be explaining the Linked Notes option to OneNote. What to expect? Well there are various situations where you can actually find this option very useful. Here’s the scenario for this post. You are asked to review the PowerPivot functionality in Microsoft Excel. Your manager points you to a document which explains it. Your task is to gather information in your OneNote file but with the restriction that you should not copy and paste everything is this OneNote block. So of we go. First we open the Microsoft Word document en we search for the button Linked Notes.

You will find the button Linked Notes in Microsoft Word under the tab Review. It is the last button you see. When you click this button some flickering will occur because OneNote will open. Here is where something different will happen. OneNote will divide your screen in two sections. The upper half of the screen will be reserved for the OneNote page where you will be taking your notes in OneNote. The lower half will be the Word document. LN_II

Where to place your notes. It is important to choose the right OneNote page where to place your notes. So the first thing you will see when you click the Linked Notes button is this dialog asking you where the linked notes will be placed. Choose your location and click OK. LN_III

Your screen will be split into two halfs. The upper half will show your OneNote page and the lowerhalf will be the other application. In this case it is Microsoft Word.


 Information from the net

We also heard about this website about PowerPivot. So we close OneNote and Microsoft Word and decide to do some surfing the net looking for this website. Now if only we had this button Linked Notes in Internet Explorer right? Well if you don’t see the button let me show you how to access it. Take a look at the picture on the right. In Internet Explorer find the Tools option in the menubar. When you click this button you will see the option we are looking for OneNote Linked Notes. That’s great. The screen will be divided again but this time you will see OneNote in the upper half and Internet Explorer in your lower half. All you need to do now is typ your notes in the upper half of the screen. In this case all notes you make will ne linked to this particular website. Now let’s see how that looks in OneNote. LN_IV


The OneNote View

Open your OneNote and view the page you have been editing. In front of your notes you will see the various icons indicating the source to what OneNote is linking to. In our example we see two icons. The first one is linking to our Microsoft Word document, the second one to Internet Explorer. Advantages of working this way? People only have to click the icon to open the source it is referring to. So no more adding screen shots, documents and other stuff in your OneNote page. Hmmm wait i kinda like that and now you are telling me not to 😦 Well some people just like the references instead of all the fancy stuff on their pages. As always we have to find the balance 🙂Happy Linking… LN_VII

Meeting? – Collaborate with OneNote meeting details

We have come to this era where meetings and note taking have reached new heights. Reminders on your phone indicating that the meeting is about to start, notebooks and tables are brought into the meeting ready to go. The only problem that’s left is where can I plug in my ac adapter :-)What surprises me is that so many attendees of the meeting are still taking individual notes. Everyone uses their own paper (yep still there!), their own files stored on their own tablet, pc or whatever device. Isn’t it time to get some common sense in this way of working? It is and OneNote can help you with that. On_Meeting_III

The meeting
So the first thing to get started with is plan the meeting. So you open Outlook and schedule the meeting. We invite the attendees who we would like to attend this meeting. So the actual meeting is scheduled. Now back to OneNote. You prepare a OneNote block for this meeting. As always notes are important.

Why not takes notes real time

While I am setting up my notebook in OneNote I am thinking would it not be better if attendees can scribble their notes and suggestions in the shared notebook right away. You bet it would. So the next step I take is make a general page with the meeting details. To do that I click on the Home tab. The last button is the one I am looking for Meeting Details.

When you click on the meeting details button you will see an overview of todays meetings. If you don’t see your meeting right away because the meeting is not scheduled for today, click Choose a meeting from another day. A calender will pop up. Navigate to the scheduled meeting you are looking for and click OK. Your meeting details will be inserted into the page you have indicated where the details should be.  On_Meeting_II

Your page should look something like this:


How cool is this… with the meeting details pasted in your OneNote page you can see the meeting details in your page. Who is attending, who has declined, what notes did i type with this meeting. You can collapse and expand the information at your fingertips! Oops just got a little over excited here. Back to the original intend. Sharing the notes with the attendees.

Back to Outlook
Open your meeting in outlook. Click on the button Meeting Notes in the ribbon.


You will be presented with the next dialog. Here you have two options: share notes or take individual ntes. In this case we want to share the notes. So click the first option. The next dialog will pop up asking you what section you want to share. This is important because at this point you wil have to check two options:

  • Which section do i want to share
  • Who is able to take notes in the notebook

In the pictures below i will show these options…




Pre filled email
One of the advantages of following these steps is the fact that the email addresses of all attendees will be prefilled in the shared dialog that will show up next. All you have t do is make the right choices with regards of signing in, editting options and share…


That’s it, you are done and good to go. All attendees will receive a mail with the link to the Shared Notebook and the meeting will be effective as can be! Happy collaborating 🙂

Sending To Do list from OneNote

One of the great options in OneNote is the ability to create a summary page. The summary page is a page created for you by OneNote. It looks for all the Tags you have been using in your notes and makes a summary of those. When tags are assigned to persons it will even group them by the names of those persons. Wow this opens a whole new way of gathering tasks in an overview and assign them to who ever is on your list to do the designated task. This way you can create a To Do list where various persons have their assigned tasks in one overview. Let me show you how this can be done. todolist


Rename existing Tags
The first step is to rename some default ‘Tags’ to designated people. To do this open the Tags combobox. We need to rename an existing tag so we choose the last option “Customize Tags…“. In the dialog scroll through the list and look for the Tag called “Discuss with Person A “. Click this option once. Click the modify button and in the next dialog rename the Tag to the name you like. For this example I renamed it to Peter. Next rename the Tag Discuss with to another name. In this example I renamed it to Jill. If you need more people you can add new tags by clicking New Tag. Look for the same symbol as the one we’ve just used.



Now for the easy part. During your meeting take notes and assign various tasks to the different people.



Create summary page
Now with all that in place we would like to email the various tasks to Peter and Jill. It would be nice for them to see their tasks in the mail so they can get to it. To create the summary page follow the next steps.Because a summary page makes use of all the tags in your OneNote block you can make a summary page of the Tags you have entered during your meeting.
On the Home tab click the Find Tags button. When clicked you will be presented with a task bar on the right of your screen. The taskbar is called Tags Summary. In the taskbar you have the various options to apply. But the first glance shows you exactly which task is assigned to which person. So actually you are pretty much done! All we have to do now is to create the summary page by clicking the Create Summary Page.



When done you should be presented with a summary page which looks like this:



Email summary page
Now with that page in place the next step would be to email this page to Peter and Jill. To do this click once on the summary page which has been create for you. The focus should be on this page. In the Home tab click on the button Email Page. Outlook will open a new mail with the various tasks directly in your email. Just make sure that you type a correct subject because by default it will be the name of your OneNote summary page.



Deliver this pls!
Now press Send and everyone knows what tasks need to be done. All you have to do is check the tasks in the summary page when the task is finished. As always OneNote does the job for you 🙂

OneNote Send To

OneNote Send To
If you have been reading my blog you must have seen that i use OneNote a lot. This has to be one of my favs in the Office Suite. When preparing for classes i do my research and publish all my notes in OneNote. Sometimes this leads to manuals which i only have in OneNote. When students ask me if they can have my notes i present them the various options i have to offer:

OneNote Send To

I have to say that i rarely use the last option [Send to Blog] but the other ones? Yep i use them frequently. Let me show you how some examples look:
This is the page i would like to “Send”

Data page

To send this page i click on the [File] option in the Ribbon (Office 2010). This takes me backstage. Now i click on the Send option and i am presented the various options you saw earlier.

  • Send to Word: Here is how it looks if you send it to Word (opens Microsoft Word)
    Send to Word
  • Email page as PDF: This will generate a PDF file from the current page and open Outlook. The .PDF will be an attachment.
    Send as PDF
  • Email page as an Attachment: This well generate a regular mail item with two attachments
    Email as attachment
  • Email page: This does exactly what it says. It takes the content of the current page and it will be pasted in your email. Be aware that if you have a lot of text you will generate an enormous email message 😉
    Send as mail
  • Now all we have to do is send and the info is on its way.

I know you are thinking how spectacular is this? Well given the circumstances i think this is one of the features from OneNote that gives us the flexibility everyone is looking for. You can save and share all the info you want the way you want it by just one click. How easy can life get for you?

Final Remark:if you have selected a particular container on you OneNote page OneNote will consider this as being the selection you want to “Send”. So be sure that of you want the whole page that you don’t select a specific container.

Happy Sending 🙂

Create OneNote Page Template

Create your own

I did an earlier post on how to create a OneNote package template (see here). This is not a page template but a total template in which you define your whole OneNote book. In this post i want to show you how easy it is to create your own page template. OneNote comes packed with lots of page templates but as usual it does not have the one i am looking for. Fortunately you have the possibility to create your own. When i am working with one note i use two page templates for all my projects. The first one is what i call the title page and the second one i’ve called the data page. On the title page i have all the general info of the project and on the data pages i put the rest of my materials. This can be a powerpoint presentations, single notes, drawings and internet clippings. Here’s an example of my title page. In the with square i type the title of my project. This will automatically become the name of my page.

Title Page Template

Page template

So how did i do this? Read and try the following steps and you will be able to use your own page template(s).
First i took an image from a powerpoint presentation which we use as a standard in our company. I copied and pasted this and removed all the elements i did not like. If you want to create your own just use something like “Pain.Net” and create a rectangle. Fill this with the desired colour and you are good te go. Now choose new blank page from within OneNote and insert this picture. Size it to the desired height and width you like. Because you don’t want this picture to be in the way of your typing we are going to place the picture to the background. Here is the first picture which i’ve added to the page:

Page TemplateNow here’s how to set the picture to the background:
> Rightclick the picture, you should see the menu popping up
> From the menu choose “Set picture as background”
Set to BackgroundYou will see that it is no longer possible to select the picture. If you would like to bring it back to the surface again rightclick it again and click the same option again. This will bring your picture back to the surface.

Set is as template
So with the picture set to the background it is time to save this page as my page template which i can use every time i would like that. Here are the steps:

  • Click the little black arrow from the “New Page” menu on the right.
    New Page
  • Choose the last option from the menu “Page Templates”
  • You will see a new taskbar pop up
    New Template
  • Let see what we get here. You see the various categories where to choose from. These are not the ones we are looking for. We want to save our current page as a template. The very last sentence in this taskbar says “Save current page as a template”. Right that is exactly what we are looking for. Guess what you will have to click on?
  • The following dialog will pop up asking you for a title for your template:
    First Page
  • I called it First_Page. That little checkbox looks interesting. What would happen if you would check that box? On the current section of your OneNote page everytime you choose “new page” your page template will be presented as the default. It is up to you if you think that would be an option to choose. If you don’t you would have to choose it manually everytime you want to create a new page.
  • I did the same trick with another page. I created a new blank page and added a new picture. This will be my additional page i use for the rest of my project. Do the same steps as above to add this page to your own templates as well.
  • Now the final step is having a look at the taskbar again to see if all went well
    Data page
  • What we see in the taskbar is the following. At the very top you will see that a new category has been added called “My Templates”. Expand the category and your page templates should be visible. At the “choose default template” section i’ve chosen my title page as the default.
  • So everytime i create a new page i get my title page as a starter. If a want to add more pages i choose the “additional_Pages” template. The following pictures show you how it looks

Example Title Page

I’ve blurred the text somewhat for copyright reasons 😉

and this is how the second page (the datapage) looks like

Data page

Final thoughts

Why would one create their own templates after all? Well i think my templates align well with the style my company uses. It creates a certain uniformity throughout all my OneNote block which i like. Tell me have you created some nice looking templates as well?

Happy templating 🙂

OneNote: Get Ready.. Set… Take The Beta Exam!

MOS Certification BannerWell we have been waiting for this one a long time don’t we? The number of OneNote users is steadily growing and now you get the opportunity to get certified. Prior to the release of an exam there is a beta period. During this period people get the change to take the exam in full glory. After the beta period the exam is evaluated en reshaped to the final piece which comes available shortly after the beta.

Beta? Tell me more…
Well if you would like to participate in the beta there are some guidelines you need to follow. Let me sum up the steps you need to take:

  • Find a testingcenter near you that is available for beta testing. You can find a center using the testcenter locator from certiport which you can find here or you can take a look at the list provided by Wendy Johnson which you can find here
  • Send an email to the certiport betacoordinator stating you would like to take part in the betaprogram betacoordinator@certiport.com
  • Wait for the returnmail from stacey to see if you have been selected to participate
  • Take the exam at your preferred testcenter
  • The beta will run starting Monday, September 12 through Tuesday, October 4, 2011

And when i am done?
The waiting starts 😉 If you Pass the exam you will not have to take the finalized exam and you will be certified. You will receive a certificate by regular mail.

What to expect when taking the exam
What you would expect… taking the exam. But a beta exam has more… much more questions. The positive is that you also get twice as much time. As usual be aware that this exam is hands on so no multiple answer questions. Prepare for the exam by having a look at the preparation page here

So let’s do this. Open OneNote and see if you know how to add a template, add a section, add a password and……… you get the picture.

Happy prepping and i’ll let you know how i did (if i am selected to participate in the beta).

Restore OneNote File?

I have backups?
We’ve all been there. We always think about it and one of the great features about OneNote is that is does this for you! Create a backup. So what about restoring a backup if you actually need a file that has vanished one way or the other? Do you know where to find your backup file? Did you ever take a look at the settings for creating backups? Many users don’t even know they have backups! In this post I will show the settings for creating a backup of your all-important OneNote files and how to restore sections or books for that matter.

OneNote: Create your own template

When I started using OneNote I quickly felt the need of creating my own OneNote book template. It was hard to find how you actually do this so I decided to describe the steps in this article.
Sure enough you can make quick templates but often that resembles the current section you are using. What I mean is that we want to create a whole onenote book as designed by the user. So here we go.

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