A BIG OneNote update for Windows note-taking devices

Today, we released an update to the OneNote Windows Store app that significantly improves how you capture, find and view the notes you care about most. We were inspired by Windows 8.1 and the new devices that are perfect for note-taking: tablets with pens, such as Surface Pro 2, and smaller tablets, such as the Dell Venue 8 Pro.  This update makes it easier to capture notes using the Windows 8.1 Share Charm, enables you to scan things with your camera and search them, and shows your recent notes with page previews.

Capture everything you care about

Capture your screen with the Share Charm. With Windows 8.1, anytime you see something on your screen, you can capture it and send it to OneNote by using the Windows Share Charm.

Let’s say you’re using the Bing Food & Drink app and you want to capture that yummy beef short rib recipe in OneNote so you can have it with you always. Use the Share Charm (swipe from the right or mouse to the top right corner, then select Share), select OneNote, and then select Send. Now that recipe will be in your notes, on all your devices, forever!

Or if you want to capture exactly what you see on the screen–whether that’s from the browser, an app, or your desktop–you can send a screenshot to OneNote. In a Windows Store app, use the Share Charm and choose Screenshot from the dropdown menu. When you’re using the desktop, it will always create a screenshot for you. OneNote will show you a preview of the screenshot before you send it to OneNote.

Capture documents, magazines and whiteboards with Camera Scan. Camera Scan helps you get pictures of documents and whiteboards into OneNote. It will automatically crop, rotate, straighten, remove shadows and sharpen the image so it looks like a scanned document. This makes it easy to capture, read, and re-use that great recipe you recently saw in a magazine. To use Camera Scan, select the camera in the radial menu. Watch the magic happen in the video below.

Browse and find your notes more easily

Search for text in scanned documents using OCR. So you’ve used Camera Scan to scan that great recipe into OneNote, but how can you find it again later? OneNote can search the text in the image. The technical name for this is Optical Character Recognition (OCR), and it’s great for searching scanned or photographed images of recipes, documents, receipts and so much more. You can even copy the text out of the image. A picture doesn’t do this justice, so check out video below.

Find notes faster with Recent Notes and Page Previews. When you open OneNote, you’ll see all the recent notes you’ve taken across all your devices, whether it was a quick reminder to yourself on your Android phone, a poem you wrote on your iPad, or the recipe you captured on your Surface Pro 2.  The Recent Notes view shows all your notes in order of when you last edited them, no matter which notebook they’re in.

Instead of only the page title, you’ll see a preview of your notes. Page previews show you text, images and even ink content, so you can see your notes without having to open the entire page. Now it’s easy to quickly spot that great apple pie recipe. For short notes and simple reminders like “do math homework,” the preview will often contain all the information you need. If not, just tap or click the preview to see the full page of notes.

Annotate and take your own notes on the things you’ve captured

Write better notes with Ink. When we first released the OneNote Windows Store app just over a year ago, you could take ink notes with a stylus in any color you wanted, as long as it was black. Since then, we’ve added the ability to take notes in the color and thickness of your choice, plus the ability to draw with your finger. In this release, we’ve improved Ink so it feels more natural when you are writing. Try writing on your favorite recipe that you’ve captured in OneNote!

See more of your notes in Full Screen. To make it easy to view the things you’ve captured and take your own notes on them, try out Full Screen view. On smaller devices, OneNote will enter Full Screen mode automatically for you. On larger devices, swipe up from the bottom or right-click the page and then select Full Screen.

And more…of course

We’ve fixed bugs to provide an improved experience overall, but please let us know if something still bugs you.

We’d love to hear what you think of this update. Let us know in the comments or through a review in the Windows App Store.

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*UPDATE* Check out Doug Thomas’s 15-minute Office webinar demonstrating some of these new features.

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