Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Sharing and Synchronizing Notebooks
Shared notebooks offer some interesting collaborative possibilities. When we were
researching this topic, for example, we used a notebook stored on a SharePoint site to
effortlessly share our discoveries with one another. And you don’t have to be online to
collaborate. OneNote keeps a local copy of each shared notebook, allowing you to work with
the most recently synchronized version even when you’re disconnected from the network.
When you reconnect, all of your changes and any changes made by other users are merged
so that the shared copy on the network and your local copy are once again identical.
The unusual nature of the OneNote data file format is tailor-made for fast synchronization
in the background. Each note container and each page are treated as separate objects,
which means that two or more people can add or change notes on the same page at the
same time with a minimal risk of collision. In fact, if you open a page in a shared notebook
on an active network connection at the same time that a coworker has that page open, you
can see her changes appear on the page seconds after she enters them.
INSIDE OUT How often does OneNote sync with a shared notebook?
OneNote has no Save button. Any additions, deletions, or changes you make to a page
or section are saved immediately to the local, cached copy of your notebook. This is
true even with a notebook that is saved on your PC and not shared with anyone else.
(You can view and change the cache location in the OneNote Options dialog box, at
the bottom of the Save & Backup tab.) The cached copy of each notebook section is
synchronized at regular intervals with the main copy. How regular? That depends on
the location of the main copy. For local files, replication takes place every 5 seconds.
For notebooks stored on a local network and accessed via UNC shares (\\ server_name \
share_name ), the interval is 30 seconds. Notebooks shared from a SharePoint library or
from a web-based connection are synchronized much less frequently—with sync
intervals of 10 and 30 minutes, respectively. If you’re collaborating with other people on a
shared notebook, keep these times in mind to avoid being surprised by changes that
appear later than you expect.
If you’re creating a new notebook, you can enable shared access from the start by saving it
in a network location, on a SharePoint server, or on Windows Live SkyDrive. On the Share
tab, click New Shared Notebook (or click New in Backstage view, which leads to the same
place). On the New Notebook tab, choose Web (to save the file to Windows Live SkyDrive)
or Network (to save to a shared folder or SharePoint site). Give the notebook a name, and
then click Create Notebook.
For details of how to create a new notebook, see “Creating and Opening OneNote Files” on