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  1. #1
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    Search within Microsoft OneNote files

    I have been very happy camper using OneNote since its inception in 2003. I have a considerable amount of information in multiple notebooks. Prior to converting to Windows 8.1, there was no problem in searching for any information in the OneNote notebooks using Windows search. For some strange reason, Microsoft felt it prudent to eliminate the search capability of OneNote notebooks using Windows Search and now one must actually enter OneNote in order to search through its files. This has been quite a productivity loss.

    My first question is why would Microsoft do such a dumb thing? Then, more importantly, what are the search alternatives other than simply searching for OneNote information with in OneNote itself?

  2. #2
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    Are you sure the notebooks are in a folder which is being indexed?

    Joe

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    yes, no problem with that. The fact that Windows search No longer works with Microsoft OneNote was in article about Windows 8.1 but I cannot find that article anymore. The fact remains that Windows search is not producing any results from OneNote.

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    Open Indexing options in control panel, choose Advanced, then File Types tab. Scroll down to the OneNote file types and for each one, choose the option to Index Properties and File Contents. After doing this for the multiple OneNote file types, choose Ok. The index will need to be rebuilt, which is bound to take some time, but it should solve your problem.
    Rui
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    Open Indexing options in control panel, choose Advanced, then File Types tab. Scroll down to the OneNote file types and for each one, choose the option to Index Properties and File Contents. After doing this for the multiple OneNote file types, choose Ok. The index will need to be rebuilt, which is bound to take some time, but it should solve your problem.
    The OneNote extensions are already checked, but never ever any search results. This is a "new" feature in Windows 8.1. I wish I could find someone who knows why Microsoft did this.

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    The extensions are checked but, by default, they are set just to index the file properties and not the contents. Changing that, so that file contents are also indexed, is what I advised.
    Rui
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    The extensions are checked but, by default, they are set just to index the file properties and not the contents. Changing that, so that file contents are also indexed, is what I advised.
    yes, they were set to simply index the file properties. I changed it to contents and then Windows reindexed all of the files. But, unfortunately, that did not solve the issue as there are still no notebook pages showing up in any search. I have 8 different notebooks containing thousands of pages and tested this by opening a random notebook page and picking out a phrase to use for the keyword search. Windows did not find it (but the Microsoft OneNote search did obviously) .

    I wish I could find the article I read announcing that Windows search 4 would not search Microsoft OneNote or Outlook PST files in Windows 8.1.

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    I think you may need to give search some time to rebuild the index in full. I did that and now I have OneNote documents being returned in search results. My operating system here is Windows 8.1.1.

    Capture.JPG

    This means that what you read was based on the default search configuration for the file types of OneNote and Outlook - yes you will have to do the previously recommended procedure for .pst files (and .ost as well, if you have those).

    The bad thing here is that every time you change the advanced file type settings, the index needs to be rebuilt - not a very smart option, I say. Having the list of documents and its location, it seems that it would be very easy to just re-scan the documents for which the advanced properties were changed, but hey, this is Microsoft.

    If you keep OneNote documents in OneDrive, those will not be indexed, which makes sense, and that was the behavior of search in Windows 7, as well.

    Mistery solved. You made me change my search configuration for Outlook and OneNote files and I thank you for that. It doesn't affect me that much, since I usually search from within OneNote, but it is still useful.
    Rui
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  9. #9
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    Thanks for your post. I, too, am using win pro 8.1.1 x64. My OneNote files are in a local dropbox folder. Indexing has completed but it does not produce any results. OneNote is part of Office 365, but I'm sure that does not make a difference.

    I wish I could solve thi.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmclachlan View Post
    Thanks for your post. I, too, am using win pro 8.1.1 x64. My OneNote files are in a local dropbox folder. Indexing has completed but it does not produce any results. OneNote is part of Office 365, but I'm sure that does not make a difference.

    I wish I could solve thi.
    You should make sure that folder is included in the list of folders being indexed by Windows Search.
    All I can say is that my experience proves Windows Search can deal with OneNote files in Windows 8.1. Right now, the index is being rebuilt because I changed the setting for Outlook files, so that email is indexed too. I will do a quick test when that completes, but I am pretty sure email messages will be dealt with satisfactorily, as well.
    Rui
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  11. #11
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    Yes, the folder is included.

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    Sorry to insist, but have you tried to search for one of the OneNote files's filename? That should be indexed regardless of the search configuration, so trying it can tell you whether your OneNote files are indexed or not and if they aren't, then you have a better clue to what may be going wrong.
    Rui
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    Sorry to insist, but have you tried to search for one of the OneNote files filename? That should be index regardless of the search configuration, so trying it can tell you whether your OneNote files are indexed or not and if they aren't, then you have a better clue to what may be going wrong.
    Thanks Rui. I have experimented again with my indexing options so the index is rebuilding at present. I will come back to this question once the index is complete.

    Question: are you attempting a search through the search charm? Or, do you have a start button replacement where you are attempting to the search?

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    Yeah, I am using the search charm. I don't use start button replacements on my laptop.
    Rui
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    Yeah, I am using the search charm. I don't use start button replacements on my laptop.
    well, unfortunately, the last couple of changes did not help produce any Microsoft OneNote results. I get absolutely nothing when using the search feature in charms.

    one final question – what version of Microsoft Office (and specifically Microsoft OneNote(are you using?

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