OneNote Windows 8 app gets updated with new features

While Microsoft released Office 2013 earlier this year, the only true Office software applications that have been made specifically for Windows 8's new new Modern interface are Lync and OneNote. Today, Microsoft launched a new update for the latter app, adding some more input-related features.

The official OneNote blog has the details of what's been added to the Windows 8 port, which can be downloaded from the Windows Store. One of the new features allows OneNote users to have some improved pen customization options while working with a stylus on a touchscreen. Microsoft says:

As you bring your stylus closer to the screen, the radial menu indicator will pop up. Tap it to open the radial menu to see the available pens. You can customize them by navigating to the second level of radial menu and then selecting the color and thickness that suits your needs.

The new addition will also save the customized pen choice in a slot on the menu so users can quickly go back to it when they need to.

The other major new feature is being able to access notebooks on a person's Office 365 accounts with the OneNote app. Microsoft says, "When you sign in to the OneNote app with your Office 365 ID, the OneNote app will show you a list of your most recent notebooks. You can open any of them with a tap or click."

Source: Windows Store via OneNote blog| Image via Microsoft

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33 Comments

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Microsoft, please extend this features to capacitive pen for Surface RT too ! I know draw experience is a lot less rich with capacitive pen than with real digitizer pen but it's a very nice (important) feature to draw notes on a tablet... Plus, on a Surface (even RT) and plus, on a ModernUI app.
So, if Surface RT is more "like an ipad compared to MacOS" than Surface Pro, wich is more like a full Windows OS, it makes even more sens on RT to allow drawing on ModernUI apps

for pen use this new update is fantastic, nice to see MS updating their own apps, hopefully soon we will see all the core apps get updated.

This is a great update, if things are going to be like this with the metro version of other office applications then I'm pretty keen on seeing what they can do. I don't want some watered down crap with only 20% of the features though so MS, take your time.

This is also the benefit of Office 365. It allows them to update the apps more frequently since users always get the latest version and not have to worry about users not wanting to go out and purchase a new version each time.

Cyborg_X said,
Still can't draw on rt unless you switch to desktop OneNote. Stupid.

you can draw in one note metro if you have a digitizer pen(no capacitive pen). surface rt no, surface pro yes.

vcfan said,

you can draw in one note metro if you have a digitizer pen(no capacitive pen). surface rt no, surface pro yes.

Um... Thanks for repeating the exact same thing I just said.

Cyborg_X said,

Um... Thanks for repeating the exact same thing I just said.

thought you meant windows rt not surface rt

So if I understand it correctly now I can open a Notebook I created with OneNote 2013; if so this is a great update.

Fritzly said,
So if I understand it correctly now I can open a Notebook I created with OneNote 2013; if so this is a great update.

Couldn't you already? Pretty sure I did that a month ago.

Fritzly said,
So if I understand it correctly now I can open a Notebook I created with OneNote 2013; if so this is a great update.
Umm.. You could always do that. This app has most (if not all) features from the desktop version. I use it daily

rfirth said,

Couldn't you already? Pretty sure I did that a month ago.

My understanding is that now, I have not downloaded the update yet, you can open NoteBooks from SkyDrive but not from office on the PC.

j2006 said,
Umm.. You could always do that. This app has most (if not all) features from the desktop version. I use it daily

I have used OneNote daily since 2003, actually 2002 because I was enrolled in the Beta of Office, and I think that One Note is one of the best software MS produced in years; inexplicably it is also one of the least known and understood but anyway I am digressing.
There are differences between the MX and the Desktop version of One Note:

On MX Digital ink is not available using a capacitive screen
It is also impossible to search embedded audio/video files.
The eraser does not work in MX unless you have a pen has buttons and/or the opposite end set as an eraser. In One Note 2013 as well as in Windows Journal there is an icon that turns the "regular" pen in an eraser.
I am sure there are other differences as well but these are just the ones that came in mind right away.
Note that any of these issues affect me personally but, for example, I have a friend who was going to buy a Surface RT; being addicted to OneNote I mentioned to him about the ink issue and he switched to a Pro one instead.

My bad, actually yes you can; my mistake was that I did not let OneNote sync directly but I used SkyDrive Desktop and in some way that messed the offline file created by OneNote.

I don't get why we see the same basic comment in every one of these app update articles.

I mean...come on, don't read it or click on the article link if you don't want to. More information isn't going to harm anyone. It could be that some people are just waiting on a certain feature for a certain app until they download it. So, I'd imagine this app update article could be useful to that particular audience.

I think the writers are paid a bonus if a news article is commented upon over a certain threshold, so keep replying to convince them to write more on this topic.

Relativity_17 said,
I think the writers are paid a bonus if a news article is commented upon over a certain threshold, so keep replying to convince them to write more on this topic.

I think some people are paid to whine and complain if an article is in the slightest bit positive towards Microsoft, and doesn't glorify Apple or Google. This article doesn't try to slam OneNote and glorify the crap service that google recently released, so we have to whine about it.

Nashy said,
But on the front page? Really?

MacRumors posts iOS app updates on the front page.
AndroidPolice posts Android app updates on the front page.
Why can't Neowin post Windows 8 app updates?

I'm one of the possibly many that want to see the Windows 8 store expand so it would be great if Neowin reports on app updates.

Dot Matrix said,
Now we just need Metro apps for Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.

The issue will be to do it without loosing any of the functionalities we have in the 2013 apps.
I love the radial menu in OneNote Metro but it misses many of the capabilities of the regular one and I guess it will not be an easy task to include them using the Metro style, at least as it is now.

What I would like to see is a draw mode for capacities styluses (since Surface has the edge pixel detection) they should include a way to switch to draw mode from the app bar.

Fritzly said,

The issue will be to do it without loosing any of the functionalities we have in the 2013 apps.
I love the radial menu in OneNote Metro but it misses many of the capabilities of the regular one and I guess it will not be an easy task to include them using the Metro style, at least as it is now.

It has nothing to do with Metro UI style. It's completely to do with the fact it's a touch based UI. If you have touch you simply can't do as much stuff as with a mouse/keyboard based UI like the desktop. You'll never get app interfaces as complex as desktop software because it just dont work.

Fingers are clumsy, big, inaccurate and get in the way of the screen so you can't dump a ton of buttons/options/menu's and stuff all over the place. All these people who want Metro to be more like the desktop are idiots (and you already have a desktop option thats made for mouse/keyboard! The whole reason it's there!). You have to simplify a UI to make it work well with touch input and Metro style does a touch UI better than anything else IMO.

W32.Backdoor.KillAV.E said,

It has nothing to do with Metro UI style. It's completely to do with the fact it's a touch based UI. If you have touch you simply can't do as much stuff as with a mouse/keyboard based UI like the desktop. You'll never get app interfaces as complex as desktop software because it just dont work.

Fingers are clumsy, big, inaccurate and get in the way of the screen so you can't dump a ton of buttons/options/menu's and stuff all over the place. All these people who want Metro to be more like the desktop are idiots (and you already have a desktop option thats made for mouse/keyboard! The whole reason it's there!). You have to simplify a UI to make it work well with touch input and Metro style does a touch UI better than anything else IMO.


But as you stated as well there is a trade off. Personally I prefer to keep all my functionalities; as for "Touch" I have used Tablet PCs since they were launched and always used a pen so I do not fingers related issues.