Friday, January 28, 2011

OneNote 2010 Web-Capture tips

Something I've found useful when capturing a bunch of web-based data to OneNote is to use a dual-monitor ("extended desktop") configuration.  My notebook does a nice job of supporting this setup.  I put OneNote on the 2nd monitor, and use the main monitor to view web pages in Internet Explorer 8. 

Why do I mention this?  Because sometimes it takes a moment or two for a web page to be copied to OneNote, and I can't really proceed to the next page until it's done.  Being able to see both applications helps me keep track of what's happening.

Also, I've found that it works MUCH faster, and preserves the formatting better, to select the text on the web page that I want to copy to OneNote rather than just capturing the entire page.  Doing the latter causes the data to be put up in a series of tables, and the formatting gets skewed pretty badly sometimes.  Not always, but sometimes.  The process takes about a third of the time if I select just what I want to capture, rather than doing the whole page.  To do this, select the section of data you wish to capture, then right-click on the selected information and choose “Send to OneNote” at the bottom of the menu.

Finally, if the web page you're capturing has a "print" option -- one that changes the data layout to a printer-compatible format, rather than just invoking the IE "print" command -- it's much easier to capture the information.  A good example of a website that works well in this regard is the “For Dummies” site.  Take, for example, the following page:

How to Target a Resume for a Specific Job

It looks like this:


If you click the “Print” item here:


you get a format that’s much more conducive to capturing to OneNote:


With this format, even capturing the whole page works very quickly.

I’d love to hear from other OneNote users who have interesting tips to share.  Drop me a note in email to with your ideas and I’ll be happy to post them here.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great tip, Steve. I do this sort of thing a lot, and this tip will definitely help me!