Canvas for Microsoft OneNote

Canvas for OneNote Icon ::

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been playing with a new Tool from OfficeLabs called Canvas for OneNote.  Its main purpose in life is to allow you to Visually manage your Microsoft OneNote Notebooks.

Update groovyReader Stew made a good point in the comments – Microsoft OneNote requires both Windows Vista and Office 2007.  Sorry XP users.  I’m also going to venture Windows 7 will run it; however, I’ve not tested it.

Editor Update – Officelabs has been closed down and no longer building or supporting apps like Canvas for OneNote. All links have been removed in this article as they are no longer working.

If you want to play with it, you can grab a copy of the App from the Canvas for OneNote Page.   Just click the “TRY IT” to get the download.

Canvas for OneNote Download

Canvas for OneNote Installer

Once you initiate the download and run the installer, you will be prompted to choose a notebook from your OneNote file.  Once the “1-time copy” is completed, the next time you open OneNote, you will notice a new Notebook on your “Notebook Bar.”

Canvas for OneNote Notebook preview inside OneNote

Additionally, from what I can tell, any new pages created inside Canvas will be stored under a new Tab labeled as such.

Canvas for OneNote Tab preview inside OneNote

Other things to note:

  • Initial Copy of Notebook into Canvas for OneNote is a “Copy Only.”  Original Notebook will not be affected or changed.
  • In order to see new OneNote pages in Canvas for OneNote, you must create pages inside of Canvas.
  • Changes made to pages/notes inside OneNote will only be rendered after you Open the page inside Canvas for OneNote.  In other words, as you fly around and look at your Notebook, the changes made inside OneNote do not render until you actually double click on a page/note.  At that time, it then makes the updates you made inside OneNote.
  • Containers created inside Canvas for OneNote do not display in any way inside OneNote so there is no way to organize new pages if you later want to go back to using only OneNote.

All in all, very cool; however, I don’t see any valid use for the application other than for the Eye Candy effect.  I can’t say I’ll personally be using it in place of the normal OneNote interface.  It takes away the features I’ve grown to love about OneNote, IE: organizing my various Notebooks and Tabs and jumping around quickly using search AND, locking down various areas with passwords, etc.…



  1. Alexmvp

    Well… I’m not crazy about Canvas BUT, thanks for turning me onto Sweet beta’s. Just finished installing all the apps there. Love it.

  2. Stew

    You should mention in your review that Canvas is ONLY for Vista. The Office Labs page didn’t mention this either and doesn’t provide a download for XP, so it was a waste of time for me.

    • MrGroove

      Very good find Stew. Thanks for the feedback. The article has been updated!

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