Aug 4, 2012

Lenovo ThinkPad X230 Tablet - MS OneNote 2010 Work Space

Gear: MS OneNote, Office 2010, X230T Accessories.

Oh Microsoft OneNote sometimes I like you the way you are, but sometimes you drive me insane and I wish I could just change a few of your inner variables. This is the tale of the annoying limited work space.

The X230T only has 768 vertical pixels, therefore every bit of space is important. MS OneNote developers may have nice 30 inch monitors, but they may have neglected smaller resolutions.


Windows Taskbar
Most content we view in Windows systems needs scrolling up and down. The Microsoft Taskbar (a Windows feature) consumes space that is needed to view more content. It can be beneficial to move it to a side, and you could also set the "auto hide" feature.

OneNote Canvas Blank Space
The "new work space" is very little. When scrolling down you will be stopped, and forced to press a button create more work space. Of course, this is not a great solution (because it requires an additional action, and additional actions require time and effort). If I was a MS OneNote programmer I would change this immediately, and release an update. All it would take to fix this is a change a single variable.

But since we are powerless consumers we must figure out other ways to improve MS OneNote.

Ribbon Interface
The ribbon interface is meant to "speed up work" and in many ways it doesn't. If anything it can require more work, and it also consumes that space that we need to view our content. The solution to this is to hide the ribbon and utilize the Quick Access Toolbar (the buttons located on the title bar).

Default Page Template
The built in default page is limiting. It prevents you from scrolling up and down with the scrollbars, and because of that it requires you to use that hideously small button to create new work space. The solution is to create a page template that is long, and in this way you can scroll up and down and never have to use that small work space button.

How to Default Page Template:
  • Create a blank page
  • Modify the visual aspect if you like.
  • Press the Page Down key as many times as you need. (this creates easy to scroll up and down area)
  • Draw a little dot on the bottom part of the page.
  • Save the page as the Default Page Template.

Every time that you need a new page, the newly created page template will be used. This works better than having to press the new work space button.

Palm Clicks
While you can reduce the number of accidental palm clicks by disabling the multi-touch gestures, you will continue to have some single finger issues in MS OneNote (ie it draws instead of scrolls). A solution is to eliminate finger touch input all together and only depend on the digitizer. I recommend disabling single finger touch for at least inking in MS OneNote.

I recommend creating a shortcut to "ISD_TouchCPL.exe" and place it in the Taskbar. With this method you can enable/disable finger touch as you please. There is another method of quickly disabling the finger touch through the use of the rotation button, but I'll save that for later.

I hope this gives you some ideas and helps improve your X230T inking experience in MS OneNote. Sayonara!


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