How can we improve OneNote for Windows?

Include OneNote for Desktop in Office 2019

I really like the desktop lay-out with notebooks on the left, sections on top and pages on the right. I tried the UWP version, and while perfectly suited for use on a tablet (with a reduced number of - bigger - buttons), I feel it misses too many features to replace the desktop version.

So please include OneNote in the new Office 2019 suite!

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    RCP shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    442 comments

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      • Kathy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I have used Onenote for a long time and it meets my needs. I do not always have access to internet so I must have the desktop version. Please don't make me have to switch programs and move all these notes and learn something all new. If something isn't broke don't fix it. Thank you.

      • Alex commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Well, when the company installs my workstation...how can I install onenote 2016? They are installing 2019 for instance. Then...what? Can I download a 2016 version? Is the installer going to work or do I get...we are sorry, a problem occured...doesnt fit to office version installed...or...a newer Version of Onenote already installed. I can tell you now, it is going to be a mess.
        So, I am forced to use the new interface (which I won't, by the way)...and loosing one of the best pieces of software out there...
        You know, not everyone can install what he wants...and if you make a major change to a good piece of software, especially making the interface worse...it's very unlikely to earn trust in your procucts. Lost already a bunch of it...win_Phone, shut down when it finally started to get useful and companies started to switch to it, MS-Money - lost years of moneysheet protocols, Project for mac...expensive as **** and suddenly discontinued...and so on. And now "killing" this beautiful interface...sorry, but that's nonsense. But maybe you listen up and integrate a classic interface permanently...that would be a fix!

      • Alex commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I really want to keep the actual desktop interface, and ensuring me that I can "keep" the 2016 version isn't enough for me. I really would like to keep the interface, that is just perfect. The new interface "moves" notes around when you change the notebooks, all on the left side is just not good to keep an overview! I would be quite happy to hear, that we can switch to a "Desktop mode" - to keep the classic interface, which is just perfect! Why change this interface? Not everyone uses a tablet, where it makes sense, but for desktop use it's just - sorry to say that - ****. Give me the classic interface and I am silent ;)

      • Mike G commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I tried using the Windows 10 UWP version of OneNote for a couple months, but finally gave up and went back to OneNote 2016. OneNote 2016 has superior controls and font-scaling, allows useful macros (Onetastic user here) and, as the OP said, the 2016 layout is significantly better on the desktop which is where I use OneNote 80-90% of the time. I also have zero use for "exciting new features" like inking in the UWP app version. I understand these features and the layout are designed more for mobile and convertible devices. And I do use OneNote on my phone and tablet, but far less frequently and mainly for viewing, clipping or quick notes--not for composing.

        It seems Microsoft management is making the same disastrous mistake it made with Windows 8: Trying for force a touch/mobile-centric design on over a billion desktop users. They have also left many of us with one less reason to purchase an Office 365 subscription. Bring OneNote back into the mainstream for desktop users with an actively developed OneNote 2019!

      • NotReallyAonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I don't just want OneNote 2016 - I want ALL the functionality it has to continue to be developed.

        The 'app' version of OneNote - is a NIGHTMARE of usability for those of us who have used OneNote for years. The endless missing features, the increase in the number of clicks necessary to do things (if you can even do them).

        The real full application needs to be continued until the new version is feature compatible, and as usable as the primary app.

      • Jan Einar commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I have been using OneNote for documenting my various projects for years, including maintenance work and ongoing dialogs with various partners etc. It is absolutely a perfect system for me to use, especially with combination om DropBox / OneDrive, where my team members also may share their, comments, screen shots, pdf files, printouts...

        When I got my new pc, it only had the OWP version, at suddenly, all my documentations was gone. Not able to open / read or edit my notes. Got it back when Re-installed the old OneNote 2016, but do not look forward to tell all my clients and customers to do the same...
        Guess I am forced to use another system. DropBox Paper offers some of the the same features, and looks promising to me...

      • Eddie commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hello, I would like to add my irritation with apparently the rest of the world concerning the universal app. You are forcing a decision point with these changes, where I have to ask myself whether or not I can depend on this application in the long term. Removing the option to store notebooks locally makes absolutely no sense. That one "upgrade" is enough to break the deal for me. And, you're really going to mess things up on the job with that "little" change. It's hard enough to get people to collaborate and now it looks like you're going to come right along and provide all the excuses anyone would need to not share and work together as a team. Promoting migration to an application with LESS features makes absolutely no sense. I consider myself a reasonably imaginative thinker but I cannot conjure ONE GOOD REASON why in the world you would remove features people use with a NEW distribution of a piece of software. Has it been that long since you guys were in college??? It irritates me that you guys keep working on goggles to make people feel like they're in a different world yet you seem to be struggling with productivity software for adults. That's not cool. You don't get to play with your goggles until you have finished your chores with your productivity software. (You know, one of like the three big things that brought you enough success to care about VR goggles). Please keep the software at least as functional as it was in 2016, and give us all a break and let us put our data where we need to put it. Thank you.

      • Jordan Mills commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Thanks, New Microsoft. You're doing your best to kill an incredibly useful product to prop up an incredibly weak alternative. Onenote UWP is nowhere near an acceptable substitute for desktop Onenote. This kind of idiocy only makes it clear that we need to stop considering Microsoft solutions for ... anything.

      • JBaloo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        PLEASE reconsider this strategy. I am actively trying to warm up to the UWP version but I keep going back to OneNote 2016. The feature set of the UWP version is still far too limited, navigation within the app is awkward, and the interaction with other Office 2016 applications is painfully lacking, glitchy, and frustrating.

        I use OneNote 2016 extensively in my daily routines. My team uses OneNote 2016 extensively in their daily routines. Teams throughout the company I work for use OneNote 2016 extensively in their daily routines. If it is not included in Office 2019 and we are "forced" to move to the UWP version, in its current state, we will undoubtedly find an alternate solution. The UWP version simply does not currently and most likely will not meet our needs.

        This is a horrible strategy and should be reconsidered.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Without local file support for OneNote, anyone with sensitive data is not going to want it in the cloud. So we have to migrate everything to another program like Evernote so we can choose what to sync and what to keep securely on our desktop.

        I've been using onenote for over 10 years and office since at least 1994.

        I don't need power functions in office apps, I use the general stuff everyone has.

        Because of OneNote losing local storage soon, I'll have to move to Evernote and Google Apps.

        But I won't need to pay for office anymore, which I would keep if you didn't cripple OneNote and force files to be kept in the cloud.

        Another once loyal user moving away from Office.

      • Reinhard Simonovits commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I highly recommend to expand the current feature list of UWP to match soon the features of OneNote 2016.

        I am mathematician and lack painfully the feature to input matrices, integrals, formulas.

        Please, please implement this formula editor soon.
        We scientists need it urgently.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Why is Microsoft trying so hard to lose my business? OneNote is fantastic and all you have to do is keep doing it. I was first introduced to OneNote at work and am heavily dependent on it. I guarantee my employer will not allow us to use an online only version with data on Microsoft servers. You say we can use OneNote 2016 as long as we like but thats naive. Operating system environments change and it will eventually break.

      • Michael Oas commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Why would you do this Microsoft??? Why? Next I hear Word is being replaced with Word for Windows 10, which is just Wordpad with "pad" dropped.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        So many missing features and the syncing is incredibly slow and glitchy. We need record video, to create a zip file to backup our notebooks, save page templates, to customise the ribbon, ink to Math is also missing and can't find the screen clipping tool - to name a few.
        The interface is cumbersome and outdated-looking - much prefer the 2016 look and feel.

      • Donna commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Unfortunately, OneNote 2016 IS going to go away. October 2020 is the documented End Of Life (EOL) for OneNote 2016. Companies will not allow users to continue to use software that has reach EOL. Such a pity. OneNote 2016 was a really great product.

      • Timothy Carroll commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The UWP OneNote is not ready. I just tried it again today and it's still, over a year out from this initial announcement, missing the majority of features in Office OneNote 2016. And there doesn't appear to be any urgency on the part of Microsoft to bring it up to feature parity. The response we get is "vote on your favorite features" which people are doing, and nothing is happening. So it takes over a year just to get confirmation that tagging support will eventually come and who knows if it will ever do what we can do now? This is bonkers. You don't deprecate a legacy product until the new product is ready. Somebody needs to be fired for this decision.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I’m in tears. I’ve been avoiding upgrading my computer because I didn’t want to lose my desktop ON app. My 2014 computer is fading so I made the decision to buy a new computer and it’s a disaster. I’m going to have to try to keep my old computer running and will return the $2,000 computer I bought. I don’t have time to get these systems to integrate. I am so sad and lost a full day of work to this!!!!!!

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