OneNote PowerToys Redux

Ok, I've posted about OneNote PowerToys before, back when we released SP1 which made PowerToys possible. Now the marketing folks have started up a contest to see who can make the coolest PowerToy. You can win a new Tablet PC from Toshiba (and you don't even have to write a PowerToy...)

Listed below are all the PowerToys I personally know about. If you have one that is available and not on the list, feel free to leave a comment to let us all know about it.

PowerToys are little programs that automate OneNote to do things that are useful. By their definition, they are not supported code, so you use them at your own risk. If they don't work, you are at the good graces of the author to get them working. Fortunately, most of the tools people use are "supported" by the OneNote newsgroup.

So, what PowerToys are missing? I'd love to see some PowerToys for the following:

  1. System Hotkey to send any selection anywhere to OneNote. Even better if I get the option to then hit another key to put the selection in any of 30+ predefined sections I choose.
  2. Send IM conversation to OneNote.
  3. Edit <object> (e.g. equation) in OneNote
    • You might ask how this could be done if there's no OLE support or Export capability for OneNote's SP1 extensibility. The way to do this is use a different program to make the equation, then insert it into OneNote as an image while also saving it in some location the equation editing app can find it again. Include a link below the inserted image saying "To edit this equation, click here", and the link points at the equation file, which then launches the equation editing app (or points at the app and includes a command line param - not quite sure that is possible). The equation editing app needs to remember the GUID of the page and the object it inserted originally so that when you finish editing the equation the second time, you just click done and the image of the equation is re-imported in the same place (i.e it is updated with your changes). The same technique can be used for any object such as a photo, org chart, diagram, Organic Chemistry diagram, etc.
  4. Send to OneNote from any Office app
  5. Send to OneNote from classroom tools like Blackboard

I'm pretty interested to see what comes out of the contest and people's creativity.

Ok, here's what I know of today. (I will update this list as people let me know of new tools)


AnalogReality (Darron Devlin) Major bummer, but Darron has gone AWOL and taken his site with him. These two are no longer available!

Darron wrote two of the first non-MS PowerToys, and the first is the #1 PowerToy you should get. Read this page for some info onthe PowerToys he has written.

OneNoteImageWriter (Print anything to OneNote). The **MUST-HAVE** PowerToy. Although this is missing, you can get "Send to OneNote" here if you have a Tablet PC (sorry to everyone else!)

WebPageToOnenote (sends an image of a web page to OneNote)

Microsoft employees

So far we're only allowed to post links to PowerToys that MS Employees have made on the "official page" here, but we're hoping to fix that.

IE2Onenote (send selected text and images from IE to OneNote). By David Rasmussen

Outlook2OneNote (send items from Outlook to OneNote). By Omar Shahine.

Note that many people have trouble installing this one. Some tips:

  • Not only do you need the .net framework you see in Add/Remove programs (and that you probably got from Windows Update), you need to install the "Outlook support for .net add-ins". This is in Office2003 setup - go to advanced customization, then in the tree that shows up, open Outlook, and choose the first thing (.net programmability support)
  • If you get an error saying some *.msi file cannot be found, open up the ZIP file that you downloaded, save the included *.msi on your hard drive, and point the installer at that.
  • Even with these tips, if you have other Outlook Add-ins installed you may still have some trouble getting it working. Sorry. Is it Ok to say it is not a OneNote problem?

Joshua Allen

OPML to OneNote (send outlines in OPML format to OneNote so they appear as outlines in OneNote)

Fejes Balazs

Palm to OneNote (Sync your Palm desktop notes to OneNote. Note this tool is not supported at all according to Fejes).

Jeff Borlik

PP2ON (Send full color slides from a PPT file into OneNote)

Omar Shahine

RSS2OneNote (Send contents of an RSS feed into OneNote.)

Stuart Radcliffe

OneNoteInsertHyperlink (insert a friendly hyperlink name for a nasty URL)

Direct download (requires .net framework 1.1)


Send to Onenote from RSS bandit

"GMX Lee"

Send to OneNote from FireFox

Clyx Studios

Omea Reader / Omea Pro to OneNote

Casey Chestnut

Journal Importer - Import your Journal notes into OneNote!

Transcribe Audio notes to text. Scroll down as this tool is second on the page. As Casey notes this is a tough job given the requirement for really high quality recoridngs, but it's better than nothing!


Here are some products that use OneNote extensibility. These are NOT Powertoys

EMR Toolkit

Pegasus PC-Notetaker

Inkyboard - great for sending ink-annotated documets or Journal ink to OneNote

If you want to integrate OneNote into your product or solution, you can learn more about how to do that here.

Tablet Education Pack - includes the Send to Onenote printer driver - much like the OneNote ImageWriter above, but with different options. Tablet-only.

Tablet Enhancement Pack - also includes the Send to Onenote printer driver - much like the OneNote ImageWriter above, but with different options. Tablet-only.

Some other resources

  1. Official SDK documentation
  2. Andrew May's Blog (loads of good examples here, especially if you are writing managed code)
  3. Kathy Jacobs and Bill Jelen's Book "Life On OneNote", Chapter 17. Here they discuss very effectively how to write VBA macros in Office apps that use OneNote's extensibility. More details here.
  4. Trigeminal software (Mich Kaplan) code samples for generating GUIDs from VB - critical to get OneNote integration working if you are writing VBA macros
  5. Donovan Lange's blog (the dev who works on extensibility for OneNote)
  6. AdminID has a website hosting additional PowerToys.