Saturday, March 11, 2006

a few OneNote/TabletPC annoyances

So that I don't fall too far behind on this blog, I wanted to speak out about a few annoyances now that I'm a veteran of the TabletPC and OneNote. If you know any way to fix 'em, please feel free to comment:
  • OneNote and Word integration broke somewhat recently. Now, every time I do a File-- to-- I am first asked what format I want to use. The only one that works is Single File Web Page (e.g. MHT). Then Word launches, but has no File or any other menus. Since mostly I am presenting my notes to a client, I would like to use a Word template that includes a header and footer. Thus I have to press Ctrl-N to open a new Word document which does have the menus. Then I have to do a File-- so that my choice of template is available. Then I copy from the original (menu-less) Word document into the one from the template, save it, and close all three Word windows. This is annoying.
  • I know I have discussed this before in another context, but the fact that OneNote launches Word differently than when I do so from my start menu annoys the crap out of me. Besides the above issue, it means that if I had Word open for any other reason and do a File-- To-- I get prompted about multiple changes to NORMAL.DOT by the OneNote-launched instance, and have to answer several dialog boxes to exit. I basically close Word now before I let OneNote launch it. This, too, is annoying.
  • OK, I apologize to the TabletPC community for neglecting them for the last three months, so here's one for you. One nice thing to do for meetings is to type everything you want to talk about in a note page as bullet points or whatever and then write comments on it during the meeting. Seems logical that you would discuss the first bullet point, and write your notes underneath it, using the Insert Extra Writing Space button as necessary. However, most of us use 10-point font, but College Ruled OneNote paper is like 16.5-point. And, Insert Extra Writing Space tends to follow the point size of the font, rather than the writing space. So you're always starting to write, finding that the guide wants you to write in 10-point height, and then trying to make your letters big enough to "stretch" the guide, and then you lose track of what the person in your meeting was saying in the first place. The best thing about OneNote is that you can write right on a pre-prepared agenda whenever you think of something you want to talk about in an upcoming (or not yet scheduled) meeting, keep these agendas around for when you actually get a chance to meet, and write the responses/resolutions right into OneNote. But the whole dragging the Insert Extra Writing Space thing around and fixing your font size is tiresome.
  • I hope and assume OneNote 12 will fix this, but what has recently become a big annoyance with shared sessions is that if two people type at the same time on a line, the line becomes hopelessly screwed up to the point where you can't even tell what it used to say. So me and my coworker have taken to adding all these extra lines and then trying to guess who will type into which line. I've also noticed a few times that shared sessions on less-reliable wireless networks sometimes have dropouts which will eat entire paragraphs of notes. I'll be typing and then all of the sudden a block of what my coworker typed will overwrite it. It's annoying. I've noticed this mostly in big meetings with a lot of people on wireless at once (presumably saturating the WLAN) or when my coworker has problems with his other Office apps.
OK, any longer and I'd never have written this. If you like really long, more TabletPC-focused information, check out my post on my 1-year anniversary of using a TabletPC.


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