Microsoft OneNote is a program for free-form information gathering and multi-user collaboration. It gathers users’ notes, drawings, screen clippings and audio commentaries. Notes can be shared with other OneNote users over the Internet or a network.
In OneNote, users can create notes that can include text, tables, pictures, and drawings. Unlike a word processor, OneNote features a virtually unbounded document window, in which users can click anywhere on the canvas to create a new text box at that location. OneNote saves data automatically as the user makes edits to their file.
OneNote saves information in pages organized into sections within notebooks. Microsoft designed this user interface to resemble a tabbed ring binder, into which the user can directly make notes and gather material from other applications. OneNote notebooks collect, organize, and share possibly unpublished materials – as compared to word processors and wikis, which usually target publishing in some way. The difference shows in certain OneNote features and characteristics:
- Pages can be arbitrarily large
- Bitmap images can be inserted
- There is no enforced uniform page layout or structure
- Users can move pages within the binder and annotate them with a stylus or word-processing or drawing tools. Users may add embedded multimedia recordings and hyperlinks.
While OneNote runs on personal computers, the program also supports touch-enabled tablet computers and other mobile devices without the need for a keyboard.
OneNote integrates search features and indexing into a free-form graphics and audio repository. It can search images (e.g., screen captures, embedded document scans, photographs) for embedded text-content. It also searches “electronic ink” annotations as text, and phonetically searches audio recordings on a text key. It can replay audio concurrently with notes taken during the recording.
Its multi-user capability allows offline paragraph-level editing with later synchronization and merging. This allows collaboration among multiple individuals in a notebook when they are offline. More than one person can work on the same page at the same time using OneNote as a shared whiteboard environment.
On March 17, 2014, Microsoft released the OneNote cloud service API that enables third-party application developers to integrate the service into their apps. The API runs on Microsoft’s globally available cloud, and sends data from applications into the user’s OneDrive. OneNote can perform optical character recognition on images of text and can render webpages as snapshot images.
Microsoft also announced a number of new features in OneNote that use the service API:
- OneNote Clipper: A browser bookmarklet that uses the OneNote service API and enables users to save a screenshot of a webpage to OneNote along with the link. The text in the screenshot is made searchable using Optical Character Recognition.
- Email to OneNote: A feature enabling users to send emails to the address email@example.com from pre-specified email IDs to have the contents of the email saved to OneNote
Collaborate with anyone
Your team is conquering the idea of the century. Your family is planning the menu for a big reunion. Stay on the same page and in sync wherever you are.
Think with ink
Ready. Set. Draw. A stylus or fingertip is the only tool you need. Take handwritten notes and convert them to typed text later. Highlight what’s important and express ideas with colors or shapes.
Access from anywhere
Take note. It’s easy to pull up your content from anywhere, even if you’re offline. Start on your laptop then update notes on your phone. OneNote works on any device or platform.