1 Week with OneNote for W10 : Day 2 – Navigating


Navigating across a long list of notes has never been easier !

Everything is now customizable : which panes to show, and their width. My favourite settings is :

First, I hide the thumbnail preview (this allows me to see more notes in the list).

Second, I show the notes only (except if I need to switch from one notebook to another frequently)

Third, I collapse the sub-pages (again to save space)

Thus, I can benefit from a large area for my note on the right, and see a list of >15 notes on the left at the same time (on a docked SP3, thus on landscape).

I start each day with a new page (a custom template for my daily journaling), and eventually add some sub-pages for specific (or lengthy) topics, or meeting minutes. To do that, I insert a new page, and then I set it as a sub-page. In OneNote desktop, all it takes is a very natural swap to the right with the finger, the stylus or the mouse.

Limitation : Unfortunately, it’s not as intuitive in OneNote for W10. You need to right click, locate the appropriate command group in the contextual menu, select it, and finally select transform as sub-pages (3 click !)

Apart from these annoying extra-steps, the new UI is really great, with a fresh and modern look, rather efficient at handling a large collection of notes. One recent improvement that made a big difference for me is the ability to collapse sub-pages.

Annoying : unfortunately, the refreshing of the list of notes is lagging !

Actual sub-page' titles take time to show.
During half a second, it shows “Page sans titre”, before loading the actual page title.

On top of this annoying delay, there are instances when expanding the sub-pages makes you lose your landmarks.

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You may need to go up to head back to the “Top” note after expanding its sub-pages.

I also noticed that few page’ names appear sometimes so small that I can’t actually read them (see the second note in the list below) :

The ink overlaps with the top of the page, next to the title : that’s enough to mess with the title’ font size in the list of notes on the left !

After some time, I figured out that this happens when ink (even a simple highlighter) overlaps with the title’ area. This is odd, because it doesn’t happen in OneNote Desktop…

As a conclusion, a few things needs to be fixed (that’s why Microsoft has dubbed the new UI “Beta feature”), but apart from those teething issues, the new UI is really a great leap forward !

That’s all for today !

But there’s more to come tomorrow


Update May 31st : I have uninstalled OneNote for W10 in PowerShell, to see if the odd behaviours described in this post would disappear. Nope. Actually it happens also in my other computer.

Update June : The new UI is no more “experimental” ! Things have been honed further, and are now available to anyone. The “lag” has been fixed. See this blog post about the final release of this new version. 

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