#21: Dating OneNote

Designer (2)

It’s not hard to find websites listing “the best apps for … in 2024”, usually covering the same options that were doing the rounds in 2023 and 2022, with a few tweaks. The category of note taking, across web, desktop and mobile, is a common theme, sometimes offering head to head comparisons between leading options like Evernote vs OneNote. If you’re committee to one note-taking app, you’re not very likely to switch, but maybe there are people who scatter their stuff across multiple services and apps and are looking to centralise on just the one.

OneNote has had plenty of attention in ToW’s passimsee the archive – but even with decades of familiarity, it’s easy to miss some really useful capabilities that can improve the user experience. Let’s have a look at some, concerning the topics of date (and time, probably, since the continuum thingy means the two are inextricably linked).

Inserting dates & times

clip_image002This one is easy, and its utility will depend on how you go about taking notes. If you start a new page for each conversation or topic, then you’re probably covered to a large extent. When you insert a page, OneNote will automatically tag the top of it with the current date and time…

In the days when (at least) two OneNotes (yes) were jostling for position, the new One wouldn’t let you edit the date or time of an existing page, but the old One did … and since it vanquished the upstart, still does. Just click the date (or time) and then the calendar (or clock) icon that appears next to it, and you can set the appropriate measure.

clip_image003If you’re more the type who has one long page of notes (around a single topic, or a single person who you meet multiple times, for example), then inserting the present date/time is near essential when appending or updating stuff – just go to the Insert menu and choose your datum | data.

Of course, keyboard warriors will want to remember the handy shortcuts to insert the current date (ALT+SHIFT+D), time (ALT+SHIFT+T) or both (ALT+SHIFT+F). The first two also work in Word and in Old Outlook (which uses Word as its editor), but don’t work in New Outlook, which doesn’t.

Reviewing old edits

clip_image004One easily-missed trick in OneNote is to see when a piece of text was last updated. It’s pretty clear if you’re sharing the workbook with someone else, as their updates are (optionally) highlighted and can also be searched for.

clip_image006Look at your own notes and if you hover the mouse over any text or other content, you’ll see a small grey paragraph marker on the left; right click on the text and you’ll see, at the bottom of the context menu which appears, the author who made the last change, and when.

Search and find by Date

If you have a lot of notes, searching for a specific term might return many results, possibly spread across multiple notebooks and not necessarily presented in a useful order:


Look at the bottom of the search results dialog, however, and you’ll see an obscure feature: Pin Search Results (ALT-O), which will open the results in a side window, allowing you to filter and sort them more effectively.


This clearly makes it easier to find the most recent edits you’ve made with your search term. Add this ALT+O to your OneNote arsenal. While you’re at it, make sure you also install OneCalendar, which shows a view of your previously-edited pages on the days you edited them.

#20: Choosing Characters

clip_image002Windows still has lots of really old bits that can trace their lineage back to Windows 95 or even before. One such app is “Character Map” – used for picking a specific letter or symbol from the many fonts available, the idea being that you can then paste it into the document you’re working on.


Selecting some of the characters, you’ll see a “Keystroke” comment on the lower right; if you hold the ALT key down and type those numbers on your numeric keypad (only), it’ll insert that character in your document, email or whatever. Or just Select it, click Copy then paste as normal.

clip_image006There are other ways to choose characters, of course – press WindowsKey + . (ie Win+full-stop) and you’ll get the dialog introduced to make it easy to pick emojis, but which also presents myriad symbols.

Office Apps typically have a “Symbols” item on the Insert menu, which lets you pick the more commonly used ones too. There’s a somewhat obscure Office feature, too, where if you type the corresponding hex number (like 00F1 as in the screenshot above) then press ALT+X, it will convert that code to the requisite symbol. Insert a special symbol through another means, and if you put the cursor after it and press ALT+X, it will replace the symbol to show the code you could use – press ALT+X again and it’ll be back to symbol as before. How obscure.

21st Century Charmap

If you fancy a modern looking character chooser which also gives you lots of info about the fonts as well, check out the free 3rd-party Character Map UWP from the Microsoft Store.


There are lots of other functions, like an easy visual comparison of different fonts – even if the default phrase has a quick brown dog and a lazy fox…


See more on its history on GitHub.

#17: Stickier than a sticky thing


When a researcher at 3M accidentally failed to invent the kind of adhesive they were trying to, and instead produced what went onto become the iconic yellow sticky note, no-one could have imagined that more than 50 years later, there would still be a $2.5B market for them.

Even digital note-taking hasn’t quite replaced the scribbled-down utility of a little note by the side of your desk, though IT security boffins would surely wish that users would stop writing their passwords down and sticking them to the side of the screen.

Software developers have, of course, produced many apps which can be used to semi-replicate the quick note-taking capabilities of the paper version, and 3M even sued Microsoft back in 1997 for referencing a similar feature in Office 97 as “post-it”. Oops.

Fortunately, hatchets were buried and 3M even launched a Post-It® app for Teams, though that lasted less than a year and has since “gone away”.

Microsoft produced its own Sticky Notes app (also for iOS devices and Anroid phones, especially if you’re using the Microsoft Launcher) which latterly integrated with OneNote and even back to the old Outlook notes capability.

Windows users might also be excited to learn of the new Sticky experience which was announced a few weeks back – currently available in the preview version of OneNote, but soon to arrive as a fully-fledged replacement of the previous Sticky Notes app.

You may see “Sticky Notes” appear next to the Share drop-down at the top right of the OneNote window; click that to open a new window showing your current notes.


There’s an easy way to take screenshots with a single-click though it will grab the entire window so you might need to go and do some after-the-fact editing. In that vein, it appears that the notes are stored in your M365 mailbox – https://www.onenote.com/stickynotes – rather than in the “Quick Notes” section as defined in the OneNote app.

At some point, it may appear as a separate application which will retire the current UWP-based Sticky Notes 6.0 application that’s still listed in the Store. For now, you could launch the new Sticky Notes from within OneNote, then Pin to the taskbar so you can quickly jump to it in future. An alternative is to press WindowsKey+ALT+S, which will start it up.


The app can be docked to the side of the desktop so even with other apps in full-screen mode, you can reference numerous recent notes, and when you create a new note, it will add a link back to the web page or document you were viewing when the note was added.

If you like to get the latest previews of Office apps and services, sign up to Join the Microsoft 365 Insider Program and decide how often you’d like to get updates containing both features and fixes.

#16: All about dat font

Typography and the use of lettersets and fonts was the preserve of (mostly) men working in the printing industry, until the invention of the laser printer alongside DTP and word processing software brought to the masses that ability to have 20 different fonts in all the sizes you like in a single document.

Historically, using lots of fonts, sizes and weights might have been a way of attracting attention – look at the 1843 poster which was the inspiration for John Lennon to write “Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite” as one example …

Mr_Kite_-_Full_Color_Photo (Custom) (1)

… but these days, simplicity and consistency is generally preferred.

For a fascinating diversion into modern history, check out Jock Kinnear and Margaret Calvert’s seminal work on the UK’s motorway signage. Most people wouldn’t give it a second thought, but carefully designing the font and the layout of the signs to be employed in the late 1950s was a central part of the rollout of the new motorway network.

To test how legible signs might be at speed, an assembled group of volunteers sat on a platform at RAF Benson airfield while sample signs were driven past on the roof of a car. The thinking was that if you’re travelling as fast as 60mph, you won’t have time to read the words on a sign, instead relying on their shape – so the consistency of capitalization, the tail of the g and the stem of the h in Birmingham become second nature to the driver.


For more font-related history, check out Simon Garfield’s surprisingly engaging Just My Type.

Back to the present

Typeface trends tend to be a dating mechanism; Times New Roman looks very mid-1990s, whereas cool kids would use a sans serif default like Arial. Microsoft switched to using the newly designed Calibri for Office 2007, moving from a default font whose primary purpose was to look good in print to one which was specifically designed to be readable on screen. Similarly, the Segoe font family took a leading role as the default font for Microsoft logos and in the UI of many apps.

Incidentally, if you want to try a font out to see how it looks in a large block of text, you can enter =lorem(nnn) onto a new line in Word, and it will generate nnn paragraphs of the ‘lorem ipsum’ cod Latin gobbledygook to fill your pages up. Or you could go to Copilot or ChatGPT and ask it to write a 1,000 word essay for you

Well, Calibri’s default-ness has been under threat for a few years – Microsoft announced its intent to switch and outlined several new fonts which might be the default. Last year, it announced the decision to switch Calibri to a newly-named font called Aptos, previously known as Bierstadt.


After a period of testing for preview customers, the switch has now been flicked and M365 users will see Aptos as their default. Cue some amusing anthropomorphism of the fonts’ particular characters and histrionic headlines from the usual clickbait foundries.


#13: New Outlook gets in own way

Many people rely on email for their work, and in some cases the inbox and calendar are the primary tools they use. Gen Z’ers might put up a struggle on entering the workforce, preferring to commune via instant messaging or Tik Tok, but for the most part we know that email isn’t going away. Unless you have an alternative product to sell, that is.

The Outlook application that comes with Microsoft 365 and Office suite has been with us since 1997, but can trace some of its roots back some years before that. Students of history may want to delve into the writings of ex-Office supremo (who went on to bring Windows 8 upon the world), Steven Sinofsky, as he revisits some of the tensions between and the decisions being made by the various development teams. There’s a good one on Outlook’s gestation, or the one where BillG gets presented with the idea for the Office Assistant: 042. Clippy, The F*cking Clown.

In a trope briefly discussed last week, we all know how Microsoft has historically loved to use the same name for wildly different things. “Outlook” is one such case – at various times, the core application which has had quite different capabilities during its growth (especially the difficult second album version, Outlook 98) and the name was associated with a whole slew of other products and/or services.

In the Windows 95 / Internet Explorer 3 days, there was a free app called “Microsoft Internet Mail and News” which combined internet email – POP3, IMAP4 – and the long-dead USENET newsgroup infrastructure based on the NNTP protocol. This was rebranded as “Outlook Express” even though it had nothing to do with the main Outlook application; the actual executable file for Outlook Express was still MSIMN.EXE for its whole life…


[Outlook Express … the solution for all your messaging needs…]

The Exchange Server that sat behind much corporate email added a web view of your mailbox back in 1996, called Exchange Web Access, later renamed Outlook Web Access and then Outlook Web App. As the functionality developed, so the old Hotmail.com service was rebranded Outlook.com, and the functionality of Outlook Web App for Exchange users and the free Outlook.com web client converged to a degree, as Outlook.com was moved to the same Exchange-based Microsoft 365 infrastructure.

Then there’s the mobile Outlook apps – Microsoft acquired email and calendaring companies Acompli and Sunrise Calendar, and folded their stuff into the highly-regarded Outlook mobile applications for iOS and Android.

Finally, when Windows 10 released, there were built-in Mail and Calendar applications; in fact, it was the same application under the hood, but it could be started with different criteria which would set how it looked. This app is still available in the Windows Store and came with OG versions of Windows 11. If you delve back to August 2018 and Tip o’ the Week 445 – Finding Modern App names, you’ll see how to find out what “modern apps” are really called within the system; as it happens, under the hood, the Mail and Calendar app was … ms-outlook.


One Outlook to rule them all

There has been a long held dream in Microsoft of having a replacement for the sometimes creaky old PC Outlook application and the Windows 10/11 Mail & Calendar app, to bring them together under a shiny new application. Sometimes known as “Project Monarch” or “One Outlook”, this new version will use web technologies to effectively be running Outlook Web App but with offline capability, on your PC or Mac.


Spot the difference? The New Outlook above has lots of mail accounts added with different inboxes etc pinned to Favourites. Here’s the same primary mailbox in Outlook Web App:

The New Outlook for Windows has been available in preview for a while, and you might be getting nagged to migrate from Windows Mail to try it out, or if your M365 administrator hasn’t switched off the prompt, you could even be getting it in full-fat Outlook.


Having been in Preview for a while, Microsoft announced in September 2023 that this new client is now generally available, and was to be pre-installed on latest versions of Windows 11. By the end of 2024, the old Mail & Calendar apps on Win10/11 will no longer be supported and won’t be available in the Store anymore. It could be a long time coming to migrate desktop Outlook users to the new-fangled version, but the signalling is saying it’s happening someday.

Check those horses

By all means, have a play with the New Outlook – it’s actually pretty good, if you don’t get 10,000 emails every day; in fact, if you have several accounts, it does a better job of keeping on top of them all than old Outlook does (though, arguably, not as well as Mobile Outlook, which lets you see a single Inbox view of all accounts). If you decide to go for it, then you’ll still have access to the Old Outlook app as well (should you need it), and if you’re moving from Windows Mail to New Outlook and don’t like it then the move back should be smooth too.

But currently, there is a gotcha. And it’s the cold hand of license enforcement mistakenly stopping play.

Users of certain M365 subscriptions – Business Basic, or Exchange Online Plan 1 as two examples, are being blocked from using the New Outlook as their license supposedly doesn’t allow it. There is a confusion having a license for a piece of software, and having the rights to use your software against a separately licensed service.

If you look at Compare All Microsoft 365 Plans, you’ll see that Business Basic include “Web and mobile apps only” for Outlook; another way of putting that is “you don’t get the Office applications on your PC or Mac” by buying that subscription. But what if you had the actual software already, through another route? If you have a M365 Family subscription, you can install the Office apps on 6 machines, and there’s nothing stopping you from connecting to a separately-paid-for M365 Business Basic mailbox from your legitimately-licensed Outlook application.

But New Outlook thinks differently. Trying to add a low-cost M365 mailbox gets you an unhelpful error:


Raise a ticket through official support and you’ll be told “you can access your mailbox by upgrading to a premium subscription”. The irony of “Add all your email accounts” is also not lost (especially since free services like Gmail, Outlook.com and Yahoo! seemingly have no problem), but penny-pinching paid-for Microsoft 365 subscriptions do.

Looking at the Exchange Online Service Description


The service that is being paid for should allow access from “Outlook for Windows”. Regardless of whether that means the full-fat Outlook app that you have to buy, or the freely available “New Outlook”, this document says you can access those mailboxes. But the New Outlook app is now enforcing something different.

Predictably, there are furious users on the internet. The Powers That Be have been made aware and are trying to think up an appropriate way round the issue, apparently. How about, don’t be a Doofus, Rufus? Excellent!

It’s baaaack… Tip OF the Week returns

OnMSFT.comOK, I said it was gone but it’s just been resting.

Tip o’ the Week is no longer the internal email in Microsoft, but was being published weekly on the OnMSFT.com site – as “Tip of the Week”…

[UPDATE – January 2024 – OnMSFT.com has been acquired by another site so may be transitioned, or disappear altogether…]

Tip of the Week #1: That function key most Office users don’t know about deals with function keys in general and in particular that shortcut to repeat the last thing you did in an Office app…

Tip of the Week #2: The OneNote addin everyone needs covers the shift to and from UWP apps and the benefit of moving back to OneNote’s traditional architecture due to the incredible OneTastic addin that is only available on that version.

Tip of the Week #3: Using Multiple Calendars in Outlook – Most people who use Outlook probably know that you can show multiple calendars at the same time, even overlaying them. But have you ever tried using the list view to show a table of appointments instead, so you can see everything that is coming up?

Tip of the Week #4: Calendar sharing using Bookings with Me – Microsoft has had a few goes at making it easier to share your availability with other people, from the basic Free/Busy in Outlook (typically within your organization) to tools like FindTime, which sends a poll to every attendee to get them to vote on the best time for them.

If you’re looking at offering your availability to others – especially if outside your organization – then the relatively new “Bookings with me” is worth a look. Think of it like Calendly but it’s part of (some) M365 packages…

Tip of the Week #5: Time management in & out of Windows – Did you ever have to call the speaking clock or set your watch off the clock at the bottom of the TV news? Fortunately, time setting in Windows is mostly automatic but here are some tips for how to tweak it, how to display other clocks and how to know what the time really is…

Tip of the Week #6: Managing Screenshots – SHIFT+WindowsKey+S is a supremely useful key combination; capturing parts of the screen with Snipping Tool and its numerous variants has long been a handy feature and as it gets updated, it’s getting better all the time.

Tip of the Week #7: Taskbar icons for Edge profiles (and other apps) – How to change the icon on your Win11 taskbar for different profiles of the browser, to make it easier to distinguish between them.

Tip of the Week #8: Juggling with Daylight Saving Time – Handling that awkward period where multiple parts of the world move into a different time, but not all on the same week…

687 – Loop de Loop

clip_image001Sometimes, new application paradigms disrupt the old ways of doing things – like real time messaging could sometimes replace email, or shared online document authoring takes over from working in offline silos. Just as software development methodologies and tools come in and out of fashion amongst the cool kidz, so too does the idea of doing everything online in a browser vs using those fusty old desktop apps that you might have installed.

One new application that springclip_image002 to prominence in recent years is Notion; it showcased a canvas-based approach to colloborative workspaces with components that could be shared and reused in an entirely browser or mobile app based environment.

Notion went from a small startup 10 years ago to a multi-billion valuation, despite initially fending off VC cash. The user base is supposedly skewed to teenage-to-mid-30s, though old timers like Paul Thurrott and the team behind the Windows Weekly podcast notably use Notion to manage the prep notes for each episode. He was initially less than complementary when Microsoft unveiled a similar-looking new service, born out of components of the “Fluid Framework” which been unveiled at Build in 2019 as a new way of doing co-authoring on compound documents.

Loop is the name given to this new Microsoft 365 collab tool, announced in clip_image003preview in 2021 and expanded somwhat shortly thereafter. It’s still a preview – some software companies have products in preview lasting multilple years, even if they don’t ultimately cark it.

Loop can be accessed at loop.microsoft.com either by using a “work or school” account as part of M365, or a Microsoft Account to sign-in to a personal version. Loop mobile apps now have support for personal accounts too. Admins in Microsoft 365 environments need to enable Loop for use – if you visit loop.microsoft.com as an end user and it’s not available, you’ll be told as much and asked to find your IT admin to get them to switch it on.

Loop components can belong to a workspace which itself has numerous pages – when you create a new page, you’ll see a selection of templates to get you started:


… and there’s a larger gallery which has more ideas, basically just pre-built pages with a smattering of ready-configured Loop components.


Inevitably, commentators compare Loop and Notion though one major difference is that rather than doing everyting in the online workspace, Loop components can also be shared and embedded within Office documents, emails or in Teams, which is arguably more flexible.

If you copy a Loop component to the clipboard and paste it into an email, you’ll see it embedded – though if using a table in your mail (such as is used in some weekly missives to try to control their layout), you’ll be disappointed as it appears you can’t embed Loop components inside a table.

clip_image007Create a new Loop component inside a mail or Teams session, and it won’t be part of an existing Workspace – it’s basically just an attachment but still offers multi-user capabilities. If you insert the component from the menu then it auto-creates the name assiged to that component and there’s nowhere that you can rename it within the email etc.

Head over to clip_image009OneDrive and look under My Files / Attachments, and you’ll see the created component – just click the ellipsis to the right and choose Rename from there, and it will show up with that name, wherever you embedded it.


Screenshot 2023-06-23 093135

686 – What’s that #:~:text?

clip_image002Hypertext was a concept first coined in the 1960s, inspired by an idea in the early 1940s as a way of thinking about organising information. The first practical implementations of Hypertext let a document or application reference a link to some other content, just as we now know web hyperlinks to do. It’s no wonder that when Sir Tim was conceiving the means of writing what came to be pages on the web, he envisaged hypertext – or even hypermedia – as the glue that holds it all together.

True hypertext documents or applications don’t just link pages to each other, but specific contents – it could be a fly-out or a pop-up with a definition of what a specific term was, or it might be a link that jumps into a particular part of a longer document.


Many web pages have bookmarks defined within – eg Wikipedia typically has links on the left side which jump to parts later in the document, and the bookmark is added to the end of the URL – like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperlink#HTML

Office docs offer similar things – Word and Outlook have Bookmarks, PowerPoint can have hyperlinks inside slides that jump to a different slide etc.

If you look at documents stored on OneDrive or SharePoint, it’s often possible to create a link directly from within the full fat Office application, to a part of that document – eg clip_image006in PowerPoint, right-click on a slide in the sorter view and it will display a URL to that specific slide, that you could share or link from elsewhere.

When dealing with web pages, there are some other tricks you can do to jump straight to a part in the page, even if that page itself has not defined the bookmarks for you to reference like the Wikipedia one above. The WWW Consortium fairly recently defined a standard for handling “Text Fragments”, which means you could link to a specific phrase on a page. Clicking the link will navigate to that point on the page and highlight the text. This is done with a strange looking tag at the end of the URL: #:~:text=whatever.

Example: one of the most-visited articles in the TipoWeek archive, Killing me Softly, part I (a wistful post looking back at some of the Microsoft tech which has ceased to be) has a part which deals with the audio file format, Windows Media Audio – see it on https://tipoweekwp.azurewebsites.net/2016/10/21/tip-o-the-week-350-killing-me-softly-part-i/#:~:text=Windows%20Media%20Audio.

clip_image008Handily, if you want to generate a link straight to a word or phrase on a page, both Edge and Chrome offer a feature if you right-click on some text on the page – it may use other text fragment features to help steer to this specific piece of text, rather than just the first time that phrase appears on the page. See it in action, here.

685 – Browser searching

Screenshot 2023-06-06 181351Research from a couple of years back showed that the most-searched-for term on Bing.com was “google”. While it seems crazy that people would type the name of a search engine into the search box of another, it’s possible they were entering “google” into a box on their homepage or even in the browser address bar, and that term was sent to bing.com as a query, rather than sending the browser to google.com.

If you’re using Edge and have Bing as the default search experience – other search engines are available – then you may see the prominent search box in your new tab page, but it’s worth remembering that the address bar at the top of the browser is also a search box. You can jump to the address bar in Edge or Chrome by pressing ALT+D, which also selects the current site’s URL (if there is one) so you can edit it or just replace by typing something else.

clip_image004If you start putting the name of a site into the address bar, you’ll be offered autocomplete suggestions from your favourites and your previous browsing history, so it may be very straightforward to jump to not just the website but a specific and previously accessed page within.

Entering a site name and pressing CTRL+ENTER will add the https://www. and .com bits so you don’t need to; therefore, to go to the BBC website, you could press ALT+D bbc CTRL+ENTER and you’d go there directly.

Although the address bar will ultimately use your default search engine to query a word or phrase that doesn’t appear to be a web site address, you can force it by starting to type ? in the address bar, then enter your search term after the question mark.

clip_image006Some sites will allow the browser to search within them by adding the site name and then pressing TAB. Whatever text you enter after the TAB will be sent to the specific search page of that site. Not all sites support this method, but many common ones do, like Twitter, Amazon, YouTube and more.

clip_image008Go to the search engine settings in Edge (or jump to the address bar and enter edge://settings/searchEngines) to see which sites are set up already. You can add your own “search engine”, which means you can direct Edge how to search within that site.

Click Add to include one of your own, using the appropriate site URL while replacing the bit where the search term is specified with %s – eg searching the OneDrive photos section for “dogs” would give a URL of https://photos.onedrive.com/search?q=dogs.

Give the Search Engine a shortcut name you want to use and then paste the modified URL and hit save. Now, in this example, typing photos | TAB | cats | ENTER would seach OneDrive for cat pictures.

If you are a Microsoft 365 user then you might be able – if it’s been enabled for your tenant – to search internal work documents and Sharepoint sites, just by typing work | TAB | etc. It’s on by default, but admins could also give you custom keywords / shortcut words too.

clip_image010Finally, on the topic of Searching in the browser, it’s possible to search across all the tabs you have open; start typing something in the address bar and you’ll see the option of filtering that search to apply to Work, history, favourites or tabs.

clip_image012Alternatively, press CTRL+SHIFT+A to kick the search off, type in the word of phrase you’re looking for and it will filter the list of current tabs to show only ones that match.

To quickly jump to that tab, use the up and down keys to select the one you want, and press Enter.

683 – OneNote Docking

imageSince the OneNote desktop app is getting a reprieve from its previously-announced retirement, and the anointed successor UWP app is itself being put on notice, maybe it’s worth looking at a few tweaks which can make the old app a bit more useful. There were a load of updates announced about a year ago, and further improvements to the OneNote family are on the way too.

If you use OneNote to take meeting notes – especially if you’re meeting virtually and want to have your notes alongside the Teams/Zoom/Chime app – then it makes sense to arrange the windows side by side. Students of ToW past will know that in Windows 11, pressing WindowsKey+ ‎← or → will snap the current window to the sides of your display, and there are other ways to control window placement if you have especially complex desktop arrangements.

clip_image002clip_image004There is an old feature in OneNote which is worth revisiting; Dock to Desktop. Invoke it at any time by pressing CTRL+ALT+D or go to the View tab to select it.

You could also try pinning it to the Quick Access Toolbar on the very top left of the OneNote window. The QAT in Office apps was covered way back in ToW #321, from March 2016.

clip_image006Docking has the effect of minimizing the UI for OneNote and sending it to a (horizontally resizable) section of your screen, on right-hand-side.

Usefully, it also means other apps respect that space, so even if you maximize another window, it will only grow to appear alongside your docked OneNote.


If you don’t like the position of the docked window, drag it using the “…” at the top of the pane, and position it on the top, bottom or the left side of the screen instead. If you press CTRL+ALT+D again while docked, it will fill the entire screen – maybe useful if you have a 2nd monitor.

The rest of the minimal UI lets you access the pen menu, restore back to the full UI or you can use a somewhat obscure feature called Linked Notes. This will add a link back to another clip_image010document that you could also be working on; you’ll see an icon showing the source document when you select text that has been linked.

Hover over the icon and you can get a summary or thumbnail of the document, and left-click the icon to open the document.

The original intent with Linked Notes was that you could use it across Office apps and also when browsing the web; how useful to be able to make notes on a specific web page and then jump back to the source when revisiting the notes you took! Sadly, the feature was integrated only to the dearly departed Internet Explorer, and it is not available in modern browsers. The topic of Edge support has been raised in online forums but thus far, responses have been less than forthcoming.

Even the Help page on Linked Notes talks about how it works with Word 2013, PowerPoint 2013 and other OneNote 2013 pages… no mention of Excel either.

clip_image012If you do find yourself going back in time and using Linked Notes, you’ll see an additional icon (when un-docked and back in full OneNote mode) in the top right of any page where you have links, allowing you to go straight to the source docs or to manage the links themselves.