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Scan and Archive Handwritten Notes with OneNote

Microsoft’s OneNote, formerly known as Microsoft Office OneNote, was originally released in 2003. Available as part of the Microsoft Office Suite or as a standalone applications for a variety of operating systems and platforms, including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Phone and more, and also available through a dedicated web portal, Microsoft OneNote provides a user-friendly and intuitive way of organizing, archiving and sharing notes, drawings and audio files across the web.

The most recent update has taken OneNote’s functionality even further by implementing the ability to scan, decipher, search and archive handwritten documents directly to the OneNote file system. Currently capable of understanding 25 different languages, with added support for other languages planned in the near future, OneNote’s handwriting recognition functionality is certainly ahead of the game.

Moreover, once your handwritten notes have been scanned and archived, you’ll be able to search for specific words, names or sentences throughout all of your documents at once. It’s easy to see how this can have a significant impact on those who still rely, at least in part, on a paper-based recordkeeping system.

Greg Akselrod and Avneesh Kohli, program managers with OneNote, made the announcement on a blog post in early May 2015. Their post stated: "Starting today, you can now search your handwritten notes that are in OneNote notebooks saved to OneDrive—just like you can search through typed text and text within images. Just type your search query into the OneNote search box to locate the page and the specific handwritten note."

The blog post went on to describe the new functionality in greater detail, saying: "Handwritten notes saved to OneDrive are processed and searchable within two to five minutes." Their post continued to say that the feature will be retroactively applied to pre-existing documents within OneDrive “in the coming weeks.”

Additional Features

A number of additional features were also included in OneNote’s most recent update. The first, which applies specifically to the iPad version of OneNote, lets users “swipe” their finger across the screen in order to view, create or organize their notebook collection. This is similar to the design of the iPhone’s OneNote application, which has already proven quite popular amongst mobile users of the software. Accessibility to account and application-specific settings has also been enhanced.

For Mac users of OneNote, the recent update adds the ability to record and playback audio, along with full bookmark capabilities and level indicators to monitor audio output. Such functionality can be useful when trying to determine the sensitivity of an attached microphone, for example.

Mac users also have the newly added ability to recover deleted files through OneNote. By clicking the “View” tab and selecting “Deleted Notes,” users are able to choose specific images to restore. As such, OneNote’s newest update also adds an increased level of data protection.

Per its existing service structure, OneDrive provides its users with 15 GB of free cloud storage. Other plans, including paid Office 365 subscriptions, include 1 TB of OneDrive storage space. For more information about Microsoft OneNote, interested parties can visit their website at www.onenot


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