How can we improve OneNote for Windows?

Either make the Windows 10 version feature rich, or abandon it in favor of continuing OneNote 2016

There seems to be indecision and lack of direction when it comes to OneNote. Are there two different teams developing it? Has development stalled?

There are several features in OneNote 2016 that are not available in the Windows 10 UWA version. The most major one being the ability to searching image text converted by OCR. Please decide which product you want to succeed.

I personally have tried using the Windows 10 version for several months and had to abandon it in favor of the 2016 version.

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    Micah B shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    18 comments

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      • Federico Restrepo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I also agree. I never liked the windows 10 version as it doesn't have enough information. Now it seems I can't get it back in the new instalation.

      • Jeff Richardson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I totally agree. The Windows 10 version of OneNote has be butchered. It defies logic that they could chop it to pieces and expect people in business to use it.

      • Darren commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The Windows 10 version is rubbish. It seems to have been developed for tablets and phones and consequently limited functionality. I was dumbfounder to learn today, that OneNote 2016 is no longer being developed because I assumed the Windows 10 version was the cut down version to run on smart devices. Note that I use it on an Android phone and it's fit for purpose on that device but for serious work I use a PC (OneNote 2016).

        I tried it again to see if it had improved! I could probably adapt to the stupid GUI; but seriously...it is such a retrograde step.
        * Can't choose where to save a notebook! Does Microsoft honestly think that everyone is connected to the cloud 24/7 and actually thinks EVERYONE wants to put all of their data in the cloud.
        * Can't change the date or time at the top of a page. Stuck with the time that it was created. This is the dumbest oversight. For example, if I'm recording meeting minutes, that date must be the date and time of the meeting NOT when I happened to create the page. This is like the manufacturers of a paper notebook putting the manufacture date at the top of every page!

        I back to OneNote 2016 - great software.

      • M commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I uninstalled OneNote for Windows 10.

        Microsoft / Office teams - you have given us a ******, uncompleted piece of software. It would be one thing if you rolled this software out to everyone as a Beta, but instead you are putting it on my computer / in the Windows store by default. The "new features" it has are primarily touch-enabled benefits and the missing features from 2016 are significant.

        This is a disgrace.

      • Subir commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I've tried OneNote UWP every so often - the last one a couple of weeks ago - and I go back to OneNote 2016. I'm a UX consultant and appreciate the enhancements in UWP, but its like Paint compared to Photoshop.

        And the lack of add-on support is big letdown. Planning to stick with OneNote 2016 and switch to something else when it breaks.

        It's a shame as I was a premium Evernote user before switching to OneNote. Might have to go back.

      • NotReallyAonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The UWP version is not a parity replacement for the desktop version.

        Conventions that have existed for years are inexplicably removed. The new minimal UI requires a greater number of clicks to achieve the same results. A UI that requires MORE effort to achieve the same results is NOT an improvement no matter how 'clean' it appears.

        This reminds me of when Microsoft introduced IE to all versions of windows as a ploy to steal market share from Netscape. They put out a ****** alternative that was freely available and pre-loaded on Windows.

        It took YEARS for them to get IE to be a usable and feature comparable alternative. This seems to be a pattern - get into the market and dilute it, and then over the next few years get the offering to where it is actually competitive in the market. This was the path (as I recall) for all of Microsoft Office as well - with the exception of purchasing the competition [see:visio].

        However, doing this to the product where you arguably already have the best solution in the niche is unforgivable.

        You are not needing to steal market share while Microsoft figures out how to actually compete against the leader - you are the leader here.

        It appears to me that Microsoft is attacking its own install base.

      • Luiz commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Brett Gilbertson comment is right!
        "OCR and searching text does work in the OneNote for Windows 10 App. You need to wait a moment or two before the text is processed."

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I agree. I have given the Win 10 version a go but it is too limited for serious business and office use.
        Office users need the same power and flexibility that exists in the rest of Office 365, that means the flexibility to tune it for the particular users requirements.
        For me and I'm sure many other professionals it is hugely powerful to put frequently used commands on the Quick Access toolbar.
        In ALL my office apps I put the Screen Clipping icon. Onenote is great for writing notes while watching webinars or in conf calls. I use this all the time for instant capture. I also use the Date&Time icon for timestamps. I can't do that in the Win10 version.
        One Note for Win10 seems to be more for phone/tablet/pen usage. Great for this I'm sure but a different use case.
        Please keep One Note as a core Office 365 app for use by office 365 professional users.

      • Timothy Fry commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I literally sold my iPad Pro / keyboard / Apple Pencil combo in favor of an X1 Yoga *primarily* because I rely so heavily on the extended features found in OneNote 2016. The OneNote app for IOS and Android, as well as the UWP OneNote app, are cute and well made for the casual user; they are not the powerful, finely-crafted tools one would expect of Microsoft Office, tools worthy of being relied upon by professionals.

        I store all of my notebooks on the cloud, but I extensively use the Office integrations present in OneNote 2016. The very idea of trying to replace this well-designed piece of enterprise software with what amounts to a smartphone app is patently ridiculous.

        If 80% of your users use 80% of the features of your free software, your software isn't powerful enough. Please let me pay you for better software: I have a budget for it and I need good tools I can rely upon.

        Microsoft would do well to kill the UWP project (or just put a voice changer and some AR in it and monetize it with in-app purchases in the various app stores) and focus development efforts back within their niche by committing fully to OneNote 2016 and its progeny.

      • Brett Gilbertson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        OCR and searching text does work in the OneNote for Windows 10 App. You need to wait a moment or two before the text is processed. Right click on the image, and if you see "Copy Text from Picture" then it is searchable. I've found that it can take a few minutes before it's ready. I suspect that this is not processed locally, hence the delay. In OneNote 2016 it is much faster.

      • Miša Brežanac commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The fact that the UWP version of OneNote relies on using OneNote 2016 to do some basic things like removing recently opened notebooks from it's list is mind boggling...

      • Greg P commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I love OneNote but have to agree - in a teaching context there are some key things missing. Why not bring parity to the features THEN release the new version?

      • MIke commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I agree - this is farcical. One Note is now going backwards. Get your act together.

      • Usui sachiyo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        1. Yes, development of onenote has stalled for about 10 years, I think.
        2. There are no reason for using UWP version for most of OneNote desktop users. But if you can use UWP version for several months, you may be eligible to use it. Many desktop users can't use UWP version for even several hours.

      • Micah B commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Having two desktop versions of OneNote for Windows makes it confusing when discussing issues online, and you have to spend a lot of time first establishing a baseline to ensure the other users understand the difference between the two applications and know which one you're talking about.

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