Day 5 – Collaborating

Still iimage for D5.png

The first thing that confused me a few years ago when I started using simultaneously OneNote desktop and OneNote for W10, are the initials exhibited next to the changes.

Even with a “personal” notebook (not shared with anybody), a change made in one client would yield a notification in the other client, indicated with my initials.

template short AL in UWP.png
Changes made in OneNote desktop are indicated with initials, unless you hide them (Menu View/Hide Authors).

Even more confusing, the initials are not the same in both versions :

  • OneNote for W10 uses the first letter of my first name (“A”), and it’s not customizable ;
  • OneNote desktop uses the Office settings : in my case : the first letter of my first name plus the first letter of my last name (“AL”), and it’s customizable (this setting will apply in all the others Office programs).

As a result, you end up with your notes full of indications in the right margin, showing different initials (“A” or “AL” in my case) depending on which OneNote version you edited your notes !

But not “A” AND “AL” in the same page, you got it ? See below :

Comparatif_Changes mirror

A simple workaround consists in changing both the initials AND name in OneNote desktop (in File/Options/General), to match OneNote for W10 :

Paramétrage des initiales.png
Don’t forget to change your name !

A word of caution : if you apply this suggested workaround, all past notes will appear with your previous initials, as if they have been changed by somebody else ! Better doing it when you do the initial settings (but it has to start somewhere !).

If you use only one version of OneNote (which I suggest), you may not care anyway.

But what happens if two persons collaborating on a notebook have their names starting with the same letter ?!

Limitation : Since it’s not customizable, you may end up disregarding changes made by a colleague whose name starts with the same letter, since only the colour of the vertical line in the margin differs !

Capture initales OneNote 2016 Mélissa
At least the different color help !

On the other hand, OneNote for W10 offers a wider range of options than its elder brother : namely, to share individual pages. That’s really useful, although the page shared this way are not editable (you can’t co-author this way). But that comes in handy nevertheless, because the recipient always have access to the most updated version of your page.

Expectation : I wish I could share an editable single page !

One more expectation : Now that Sections (and Section Groups) are smartly handled in OneNote for W10, I am eager to get the ability to share individual sections as well. That would really be a game changer ! You can vote for it here !

In the meantime, OneNote for W10 has a nice feature showing prominently who else works on a shared notebook.

Who else2
It shows that another person is working on a share notebook, and where.

This is great for real time co-authoring. But if you want to easily locate – afterwards – the changes made by your colleagues, on a large set of pages, OneNote for W10 lacks the “Search by author” available in OneNote desktop.

One last expectation : to have the search by author feature in OneNote for W10 !

Nevertheless, there is a welcome addition to the latest version : pages with changes are shown with bold title now.

That’s all for today. See you tomorrow !

Update June 3rd : The Page version command don’t show the changes made by a co-author. This isn’t really workaround thus I removed this misleading suggestion.

Update June 11th : A new feature allows to insert Meeting details. Since I am unable to use it (I don’t manage to go through the identification window…), I can’t talk too much about it. See this article if interested.

Update August 30th : Meeting details connect to Outlook (desktop), not the “Mail” W10 App. Since my Outlook is set up with my Professionnal O365 account, and my Mail App with my personnal O365 account (whose login-password I tried to use to connect OneNote” meeting details feature), I was not successful at connecting. A pity there was no error message, nor any guidance… Otherwise, the feature is exactly the same as in OneNote desktop.

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