Microsoft Issues Major Update to OneNote App for Windows

Microsoft Issues Major Update to OneNote App for Windows

As usual, pointing the way for a Metro Office

Microsoft today is issuing a major update to its OneNote app for Windows that is aimed at Windows 8.1 capabilities and the new generation of pen-enabled Windows mini-tablets.

OneNote for Windows is that rare Windows Store app, and I made it a SuperSite App Pick back in March. You can download OneNote for Windows from the Windows Store.

Here's what's new in the latest update.

Share charm integration

OneNote now integrates with the Share charm in Windows 8.1 so you can share with OneNote from more apps. For example, you can now share a recipe from Bing Food & Drink.

If you've been using Windows 8.1 for a while, you may have also noticed that the Share charm has been updated to handle screen captures. So you can now share a screenshot with OneNote as well.

Camera scan

A new camera scan feature lets you capture document and whiteboard pictures using the built-in camera in your PC or device, automatically cropping, rotating, straightening and removing shadows as it does so. To use camera scan, select Camera from radial menu.

But camera scan isn't just about getting an image into your notes. You can then use OneNote's optical character recognition (OCR) capabilities to search for any text in that or other captured images—there's a new inline search button in this app version—or copy and paste the text from an image (using the radial menu) to the clipboard. Pretty impressive.

Recent notes

If you use multiple notebooks as I do, you may sometimes get lost when you're trying to find a recent notes. And this is particularly problematic if you use OneNote with multiple devices: I tend to stick to "Windows Weekly" and "Meeting Notes" on my PC, but often add Quick notes to "Paul's notebook" on my devices, for example. So the OneNote app update offers a new Recent notes view that shows all your notes, across notebooks, ordered by most recently used.

Page previews

A new page previews features displays snippets of content from each page, so you can see your notes without having to open individual pages. This too helps with finding things quickly, especially if you have an image or ink in a page.

Ink improvements

The new OneNote app vaguely promises a more natural feel for inking, meaning that when you write with a stylus it will feel more like using a real pen on paper. I'm kind of curious what this means, to be honest, but any improvement to inking will likely please tablet PC fans.

Full screen view

The new OneNote also provides a full screen view, which will be enabled on mini-tablets automatically when you enter a page. On larger devices, you can access this view through the Full Screen app bar button.

Bug fixes

The new version also includes a number of bug fixes as well.

You can download OneNote for Windows from the Windows Store. Here's another video with a quick overview of the app.

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