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  1. #1
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    Basic Microsoft OneNote Questions

    I just discovered MS OneNote and I really like it. As a ring binder fiend, I find the notebook approach especially useful for the note-taking and organizing tasks I spend most of my time with.

    Ideally, I'm hoping to simulate the experience of taking handwritten notes on a yellow, letter-sized, lined 8-1/2" x 11" page. But I haven't been able to find answers to basic questions, such as:

    Right now, I hand write notes on a Wacom Bamboo Fun digital pad.

    The questions:

    - Is there a way to set the default "page size" to 8-1/2" x 11" and yellow?

    - When I type, the page advances down automatically. But when I hand write the notes, it doesn't. I have to keep hitting the cursor down arrow to keep the "page" scrolling under what I'm writing. Otherwise, I hit the bottom of the page. Can this be done automatically? How do note-takers in school settings do this?

    - Other than writing small, my handwriting appears as 80-point size letters, which means about five words per line. Is there a way to adjust the page view/size so that when I re-size the page it looks more like a handwritten page?

    - I prefer reverse-chronological order, that is, the newest notes on top. How does one do this in OneNote?

    - How does one paginate for printing? Can you control page breaks to avoid splitting a sentence or a photo? Or do I have to dump it all into Word and format it from there?

    Finally, can anyone refer me to a good source (e.g., book, tutorial video) for this information?

    Thank you.

    Neal

  2. #2
    Super Moderator WebGenii's Avatar
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    I too love OneNote (these answers are using OneNote 2007)

    - Is there a way to set the default "page size" to 8-1/2" x 11" and yellow?
    Pages automatically expand to contain content. So sizing your page isn't really useful.
    If you do size your page, then you will have to create new pages as you run out of space. Otherwise your text just runs off the page.
    But you can create templates. The easiest way to create a page and format as you wish, and then save it as a template. You can make it your default template .
    To format. Create a new page. Right-Click on the Page Tab and choose page setup, The Page Setup Pane will open. You can select your colour, size, and rule options here.
    To save it as a template. Click on the drop-down arrow beside the Page Setup Pane title, and a list of the available task panes will open. Choose Templates. At the bottom of the pane you'll find the option to save current page as template. You can then set the template to be the default.

    - When I type, the page advances down automatically. But when I hand write the notes, it doesn't. I have to keep hitting the cursor down arrow to keep the "page" scrolling under what I'm writing. Otherwise, I hit the bottom of the page. Can this be done automatically? How do note-takers in school settings do this?
    In the lower right-hand corner of the page at the intersection of the vertical & horizontal scroll bars, you find a button to expand the page

    - Other than writing small, my handwriting appears as 80-point size letters, which means about five words per line. Is there a way to adjust the page view/size so that when I re-size the page it looks more like a handwritten page?
    Have you tried playing with the Zoom? Zoom it large for notetaking and smaller for reading later.

    - I prefer reverse-chronological order, that is, the newest notes on top. How does one do this in OneNote?
    Just start entering text at the top - it will push previous entries down. To avoid dragging entries down (which can cause them to stack up on each other) try the Insert, Extra Writing Space command. You can drag to size the amount of writing space you want to insert. Again this will push the previous entries down. Don't forget, you can date your entries using Alt+Shift+F. If you are pasting text at the top, start the new text block by typing a couple of characters, then paste - this will also avoid stacking text.

    - How does one paginate for printing? Can you control page breaks to avoid splitting a sentence or a photo? Or do I have to dump it all into Word and format it from there?
    Yup - send it to Word. OneNote is an electronic solution.

    Finally, can anyone refer me to a good source (e.g., book, tutorial video) for this information?
    I'm looking for a good one myself.
    Last edited by WebGenii; 2011-05-05 at 12:56.
    [b]Catharine Richardson (WebGenii)
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  3. #3
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    Thank you, Webgenii.

    I appreciate the clear answers and finding another OneNote fan.

    If you don't mind, I have a few follow-up questions.

    <<- When I type, the page advances down automatically. But when I hand write the notes, it doesn't. I have to keep hitting the cursor down arrow to keep the "page" scrolling under what I'm writing. Otherwise, I hit the bottom of the page. Can this be done automatically? How do note-takers in school settings do this?
    In the lower right-hand corner of the page at the intersection of the vertical & horizontal scroll bars, you find a button to expand the page>>

    That does expand the page, but it doesn't advance the page for writing like it does for typing. Is it possible that the designers overlooked this?

    <<- I prefer reverse-chronological order, that is, the newest notes on top. How does one do this in OneNote?
    Just start entering text at the top - it will push previous entries down. To avoid dragging entries down (which can cause them to stack up on each other) try the Insert, Extra Writing Space command. You can drag to size the amount of writing space you want to insert. Again this will push the previous entries down. Don't forget, you can date your entries using Alt+Shift+F. If you are pasting text at the top, start the new text block by typing a couple of characters, then paste - this will also avoid stacking text.>>

    The subject bubble and date and top seem anchored at the top. Everything else starts below them.

    I've also noticed that wherever I start writing or typing there's a new box within the page that contains what I've added. Is this a sub-page? How do I turn this off?

    I did try inserting extra space, but I never know how much space I'll need. I'm using taking notes on the fly, such as an interview, and fussing with the page and the mouse is very distracting. Likewise for advancing the page while I'm writing.

    <<Finally, can anyone refer me to a good source (e.g., book, tutorial video) for this information?
    I'm looking for a good one myself. >>

    You are a very good source. I hope you can find someone who can help you too.

    Thanks again.

    Neal

  4. #4
    Super Moderator WebGenii's Avatar
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    That does expand the page, but it doesn't advance the page for writing like it does for typing. Is it possible that the designers overlooked this?
    Hmmm this is is not my experience when writing on a tablet. But I've never used a Bamboo I wonder if there is some difference there. Can you be more specific about the behaviour you want?

    The subject bubble and date and top seem anchored at the top. Everything else starts below them.
    Yes, as you've probably noticed - that is where the page title comes from.
    Of course, if you want dated pages, there is nothing to prevent you from inserting the latest date within the subject bubble.

    I've also noticed that wherever I start writing or typing there's a new box within the page that contains what I've added. Is this a sub-page? How do I turn this off?
    No, you can't turn this off - this is how OneNote stores the text. Think of them like flexibly sized post-it notes. You can drag and rearrange them as you wish.
    Sub-pages are an organizational feature. The page title tab is smaller for a sub-page indicating that it is subordinate to the main page. You can only go one layer deep. You can also create sub pages after the fact by grouping pages together. The first page in the sequence will be the main page, the rest are the sub-pages. Ungrouping will restore all pages to main status. For multi-level grouping, try using section groups.

    I did try inserting extra space, but I never know how much space I'll need. I'm using taking notes on the fly, such as an interview, and fussing with the page and the mouse is very distracting. Likewise for advancing the page while I'm writing.
    All you need to do, is insert enough space to type/write in comfortably. OneNote should "push" the existing text down as new information is added above.
    Last edited by WebGenii; 2011-05-06 at 16:17.
    [b]Catharine Richardson (WebGenii)
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    If you have Outlook, you will find that you can talk back and forth between Outlook and OneNote. Literally tonight, I was using a Bamboo Fun tablet, and came up with the very page style you described, but I got it from the Outlook end of things. Outlook has the ability to create and save Notes, which may be where the formatting I got came from, and it also has Journal, which might interest you if you aren't aware of it.

    For a starter on OneNote features, you might visit OneNote.
    Last edited by dogberry; 2011-05-07 at 23:22. Reason: Expanded on original

  6. #6
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    You should be aware that if you are using handwriting and a tablet, there is an option (in OneNote 2010) to convert what you have handwritten to text.

    To do this, go to the Draw tab, select the text with the lasso (or other) tool, and on the draw ribbon there is an Ink to Text symbol and description, which will turn it into text for you.

    My source of tutorials is lynda.com, where you can find some sample tutorials to see what it's like. I think it's 25 bucks a month and it's certainly worth it to me at my level of proficiency. I think it's fairly widely used in industry to give people some basic training with just about any software you can think of.

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