About file format changes in OneNote 2010

This article provides important information for OneNote 2007 users who have upgraded to Microsoft OneNote 2010, as well as for OneNote 2010 users who want to continue using and sharing notebooks that are saved in the older OneNote 2007 format. Information is also provided for OneNote 2003 users who are upgrading directly to OneNote 2010.

In this article

Overview of the OneNote 2010 file format

Manually converting notebooks between file formats

Upgrading from OneNote 2003

Overview of the OneNote 2010 file format

Microsoft OneNote 2010 uses a newer file format for saving notebooks than previous versions of OneNote. However, the OneNote 2007 file format has been preserved in OneNote 2010 so that notebooks saved in the older format can still be shared among multiple authors working together in different versions of OneNote.

Creating new notebooks in OneNote 2010

New notebooks that you create in OneNote 2010 are automatically saved in the new OneNote 2010 file format. This format is required for many of the new OneNote 2010 features to work — including math equations, linked note-taking, multi-level subpages, versioning, and the Recycle Bin. Using the OneNote 2010 notebook format also lets you share your notebooks on the Web, so they can be viewed and edited in a Web browser.

Converting OneNote 2007 notebooks to OneNote 2010

OneNote 2007 users will not be able to open and use notebooks that are saved in the newer OneNote 2010 file format. However, OneNote 2010 can open, view, and edit OneNote 2007 notebook files.

When upgrading from OneNote 2007 to OneNote 2010, your existing notebooks in the OneNote 2007 format are not converted automatically. This way, you can use OneNote 2010 for all of your notebooks and also collaborate in shared notebooks with people who still use OneNote 2007.

To check which file format a notebook is saved in, do either of the following:

  • In OneNote 2010, open a notebook, and then look at the title bar of the OneNote application window. If [Compatibility Mode] is shown next to the notebook name, then the notebook is saved in the older OneNote 2007 format.

  • In OneNote 2010, right-click the notebook's icon on the Navigation bar, and then click Properties. In the Notebook Properties dialog box, note the Default Format to see what format the notebook is saved in.

Tip: If sharing notes with other people who have an earlier version of OneNote isn't important to you, you should convert your existing notebooks to the new OneNote 2010 format in order to enable all of the new features that the new version offers.

Top of Page

Manually converting notebooks between file formats

By default, new notebooks that you create in OneNote 2010 are automatically saved in the new OneNote 2010 file format. However, OneNote 2010 also provides a conversion tool that lets you easily change any existing notebook from one format to another. This is useful whenever you need to share a OneNote 2010 notebook with people who still use OneNote 2007, or when you're done sharing a OneNote 2007 notebook and you want to be able to use all of the features in OneNote 2010.

To manually convert an existing notebook to the format you want, follow these steps:

  1. In OneNote 2010, on the Navigation bar, right-click the icon of the notebook that you want to convert, and then click Properties.

  2. In the Notebook Properties dialog box, check the existing notebook format listed next to Default Format, and then do one of the following:

    • To convert a OneNote 2007 notebook to the newer OneNote 2010 format, click Convert to 2010.

    • To convert a OneNote 2010 notebook to the older OneNote 2007 format, click Convert to 2007.

Converting a notebook to the older 2007 format will disable several features in OneNote 2010 — including math equations, linked note-taking, version history, multi-level subpages, Recycle Bin, and Web-based editing — and any notebook content created with these features may be affected or disabled. Specifically, math equations will be converted to static images, and any context links, version history, and Recycle Bin content will be permanently removed from the notebook. Consider making a separate backup copy of your OneNote 2010 notebook before converting its original version to the older OneNote 2007 format.

If a notebook contains individual notebook sections that are stored in the older OneNote 2007 format, an Information Bar will be displayed at the top of every page. You can click this bar and choose to convert that particular section or the whole notebook.

If you move a page or a section from a notebook in one format to a notebook in another format, OneNote 2010 will display a warning before attempting to convert its format.

Note: The OneNote 2010 file format cannot be used by OneNote 2007. If you have already upgraded a notebook to the OneNote 2010 format and you need to revert to the older format, simply follow the previous steps to convert the notebook back again.

Top of Page

Upgrading from OneNote 2003

OneNote 2010 can open and edit notebooks that are saved in the OneNote 2010 and OneNote 2007 file formats. However, it can only read the OneNote 2003 format.

If you are upgrading from OneNote 2003 to OneNote 2010, and you want to be able to edit your existing notes, you will need to upgrade your notebook to either the OneNote 2010 or the OneNote 2007 format. To do this, open the notebook in OneNote 2010 and then click the Information Bar that appears at the top of every page in your OneNote 2003 notebook.

Note: If you upgrade your OneNote 2003 notebook to the OneNote 2007 format, several OneNote 2010 features will be unavailable — including math equations, linked note-taking, multi-level subpages, versioning, and the Recycle Bin. You will also be unable to view, edit, or share your notebook on the Web.

OneNote 2003 cannot read OneNote 2010 notebook files. Once your OneNote 2003 notebook has been converted to a newer format, it cannot be changed back. Consider making a separate backup copy of your OneNote 2003 notebook before converting its original version to a newer format.

Top of Page

Share Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Email Email

Was this information helpful?

Great! Any other feedback?

How can we improve it?

Thank you for your feedback!

×