New notebooks that you create with Microsoft OneNote 2013 are automatically saved in the new OneNote 2010-2013 file format. This format is required for all of the features in OneNote 2013 to work properly. As the name of its format implies, OneNote 2013 can read notebooks that were created with either OneNote 2010 or with OneNote 2013.
OneNote 2013 can also open, view, and edit any notebook files that are saved in the older OneNote 2010 and 2007 file formats.
If you are upgrading from OneNote 2007 to OneNote 2013, your existing notebooks in the OneNote 2007 format are not automatically converted. This is to make sure that you can use OneNote 2013 for all of your notes you may be working in, including collaborative projects with people whose shared notebooks are saved in the older OneNote 2007 format.
To check which file format a particular notebook is saved in, do either of the following:
- In OneNote 2013, 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, click File > Info. Next to the name of the notebook you want to check, click the Settings button, and then click Properties. In the Notebook Properties dialog box, note the Default Format to see what format the current notebook is saved in.
Tip If sharing notes with people who use OneNote 2007 isn't important to you, it is recommended that you convert your existing notebooks to the new OneNote 2010-2013 format so that you can enjoy all of the features that OneNote 2013 has to offer.
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Manually converting notebooks between file formats
By default, new notebooks that you create in OneNote 2013 are automatically saved in the new OneNote 2010-2013 file format. However, OneNote 2013 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 2013 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 2013.
To manually convert an existing notebook to the format you want, do the following:
- Click File > Info.
- Next to the name of the notebook you want to convert, click the Settings button, and then click Properties.
- In the Notebook Properties dialog box, note the Default Format to see what format the current notebook is saved in, and then do one of the following:
- To convert a OneNote 2007 notebook to the newer OneNote 2010-2013 format, click Convert to 2010-2013.
- To convert a OneNote 2013 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, and version history — and any notebook content created with these features may be affected or disabled. For this reason, consider making a separate backup copy of your OneNote 2013 notebook before converting it to the older OneNote 2007 format.
If a notebook contains individual notebook sections that are stored in the older OneNote 2007 format, or if you try to move a page or a section from a notebook in one format to a notebook in another format, OneNote 2013 will display a warning to alert you of any discrepancies.
Note The OneNote 2010-2013 file format cannot be used by OneNote 2007. If you have already upgraded a notebook to the OneNote 2010-2013 file format and you need to revert to the older 2007 format, simply follow the previous steps to convert the notebook back again.
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Upgrading from OneNote 2003
OneNote 2003 was created nearly a decade ago and therefore cannot read the file formats or understand the features in the three newer OneNote versions that have been released since then.
If you are upgrading from OneNote 2003 to OneNote 2013 and you want to be able to edit your existing notes, you will need to upgrade your entire 2003 notebook to either the OneNote 2013 or the OneNote 2007 format. To do this, open the 2003-formatted notebook in OneNote 2013 and then click the information bar near the top of the page that prompts you to upgrade the notes.
Note If you upgrade your OneNote 2003 notebook to the OneNote 2007 format, several OneNote 2013 features will still be unavailable — including math equations, linked note-taking, and notebook version history.
Once your OneNote 2003 notebook has been converted to a newer format, it cannot be changed back. If keeping your OneNote 2003 notebooks in this old format is important to you, consider first making a backup copy of it before converting your working copy to the newest format.
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