As promised Chris Pratley has posted some more really interesting stuff about features that will be in OneNote 12.
Chris talks about unifying the analog and the digital. What does this mean? Well an example of this you may already be using exists in OneNote today. OneNote takes your handwritten notes today (analog data) and converts them into searchable text in the background (digital data). Anyone who has used this knows what a powerful feature this is. OneNote 12 is going to take this much much further.
Today, you can send just about any content to OneNote by "printing" it to the Send to OneNote power toy. The printed document ends up in OneNote as an image and can be annotated and marked up - BUT - the resulting image includes the text in the original document that is not searchable. OneNote 12 will take this to the next level.
"OneNote 12 includes its own "OneNote Import Printer Driver" which captures the text of any document that is printed to it, and stores it with the images of the pages you print into OneNote. This lets you have not only images of printed pages, but you can search through the text in those images. This printer driver works for anything that can be printed, not just Microsoft applications or documents."
In addition if you scan a document into OneNote 12, take a screenshot or insert a photo of a document the text will automatically be recognised using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and will become searchable.
"For you existing OneNote users, that means the documents you have printed into OneNote already will all automatically become searchable!"
I can't wait to see how well the OCR technology works, but really even if it is not perfectly accurate it is going to be a huge leap forward. That said, it sounds like it is going to be pretty cool!
"In fact, we're including about four different OCR engines in OneNote, each one optimized for different types of images that contain text. We sniff the type of image and use the appropriate one automatically."
And as if all that is not cool enough you will be able to search audio and the audio from video because this is going to be indexed for seaching as well. How?
"The way this works is pretty cool. The audio is converted from waveforms to phonetic equivalents, and those are indexed. You can type your search term, then this is converted by OneNote into a phonetic equivalent which searches against the phonetic index of the audio. Actually this is a gross oversimplification but you get the idea."
Man - and I thought the current product was cool. Roll on OneNote 12!