View the notebook synchronization status and resolve conflicts

When you work in notebooks that are stored on your computer, Microsoft Office OneNote 2007 continually and automatically saves changes so you don't have to use the Save command. However, when you and other people simultaneously work in a shared notebook — a notebook that is stored in a shared location — saving and managing everyone's changes is more complex.

To save simultaneous changes to a shared notebook, OneNote periodically synchronizes the notebook on each user's computer with the notebook files that are stored in the shared location. You can adjust the settings that govern this process. To ensure that the shared notebook accurately captures everyone's changes, you can also resolve certain conflicts that can arise.

What do you want to do?


View the synchronization status

Under normal conditions, OneNote automatically synchronizes shared notebooks at regular intervals. On the Notebooks navigation bar, OneNote displays a synchronization status icon to indicate the current synchronization status for each shared notebook.

Icon image  OneNote is synchronizing changes    This icon is displayed whenever OneNote attempts to synchronize the changes that you made with those of other users who are editing the shared notebook at the same time. During synchronization, it is best not to disconnect from the network or to shut down your computer.

Icon image  OneNote has finished synchronizing changes    This icon is displayed when the changes that you made to the shared notebook have been synchronized with the notebook file in the shared location. When synchronization is successful, other users can see the latest version of your notes.

Icon image  OneNote could not fully synchronize changes    This icon is displayed when you are not connected to the location where the shared notebook is stored or if errors occurred during the most recent synchronization attempt. To view the reason for a failure, pause the pointer over the notebook name on the Notebooks navigation bar, and wait for a ScreenTip to appear. If you are not connected to the shared location, you can still edit your local copy of the selected notebook on your computer. The changes that you make offline will be automatically synchronized the next time you connect to the shared location.

 Note   OneNote must be running in order to synchronize shared notebooks. If your computer is connected to the shared location on the network, but OneNote is closed, shared notebooks will not be synchronized on your computer.

View the synchronization errors

  1. On the File menu, point to Sync, and then click Notebook Sync Status.
  2. In the Shared Notebook Synchronization dialog box, click the Errors tab.

 Note   If a particular section in a shared notebook fails to synchronize properly, OneNote will still synchronize the other sections in the same notebook.

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Change the synchronization settings

Although in most cases, it is best to automatically synchronize notebooks, you can control when you want OneNote to synchronize your changes to a notebook at its shared location. This is useful when you want to ensure that synchronization occurs quickly (for example, right before you shut down your computer). You can also suspend automatic synchronization when you do not want other notebook users to see your changes or additions until you are ready to make them public.

Manually synchronize a shared notebook

  • On the File menu, point to Sync, and then do one of the following:
    • Click Sync All Notebooks Now to synchronize all shared notebooks listed on your Notebooks navigation bar.
    • Click Sync Current Notebook to synchronize only the notebook that you are currently editing.

Turn off automatic notebook synchronization

Automatic synchronization of shared notebooks is turned on by default. If you do not want others to see the changes that you make to shared notebooks until you are finished editing them (for example, while you are still checking facts), you can disable automatic synchronization.

  1. Open the shared notebook for which you want to disable automatic synchronization between your computer and the shared notebook file.
  2. On the File menu, point to Sync, and then click Work Offline.

 Important   When you work offline, OneNote no longer attempts to synchronize any notebook changes that you make on your computer, even if you exit and restart OneNote at a later time. No one else can see your changes to the notebooks until you turn the automatic notebook synchronization feature back on.

Turn automatic notebook synchronization back on

  1. Open the shared notebook for which you want to enable automatic synchronization between your computer and the shared notebook file.
  2. On the File menu, point to Sync, and then click Notebook Sync Status.
  3. In the Shared Notebook Synchronization dialog box, click Sync automatically, and then click Close.

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Resolve any synchronization conflicts

Interrupted connections to shared notebook locations and network conditions can make it necessary for the notebook owner or other users to manually resolve any synchronization conflicts.

Version conflict messages typically appear if you and another user attempt to change the same paragraph of notes at the same time, or if you make changes while another user's changes are being synchronized. You may also receive an error message if you and another user changed the same paragraph while you were both offline.

In such cases, an error message appears on the yellow Information bar. You will also see an icon on a page that has the conflict.

To manage a shared notebook conflict in OneNote, do the following:

  1. Click the yellow Information bar at the top of your page to view a page that lists the conflicting changes (highlighted in red).
  2. Incorporate the changes into the main page, if necessary.
  3. When you finish incorporating any changes, delete the Conflicts page by right-clicking its page tab and then clicking Delete on the shortcut menu.

 Note   It is not necessary to resolve conflicts immediately. Pages that caused specific conflicts will continue to be synchronized whenever you or other users make additional changes to the shared notebook. The pages that list the conflicts remain in the notebook section until you decide what action to take about the conflicts. Conflicts pages for a particular shared notebook are visible on each user's computer, so anyone who is using the shared notebook in question can resolve the conflict.

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Review any misplaced sections

Misplaced sections may appear when OneNote attempts to synchronize changes that were made to a notebook section whose section file cannot be found. In such cases, Misplaced Sections appears near the bottom of the Notebooks navigation bar, above the All Notebooks icon.

Misplaced sections may also appear in the following situations:

  • You made changes to a section that was deleted in the shared location by another user.
  • You made changes to a section that was moved to a different location by another user. If the section was moved to another shared notebook that is open on your computer, OneNote can rediscover the section file and properly synchronize your changes to it at the new location. In this case, the Misplaced Sections icon disappears after the changes are synchronized.

Misplaced sections remain in the shared notebook until OneNote discovers the new location of the section, or until you or another user deletes or moves the misplaced section.

Delete a misplaced section

If a section in a shared notebook was intentionally deleted and you no longer need to synchronize or save your changes, do the following:

  1. At the bottom of the Notebooks navigation bar, click Misplaced Sections.
  2. In the list of misplaced sections, right-click the name of the section that you want to delete, and then click Delete.

 Important   When you delete a misplaced section, the information it contains is permanently discarded. If you are not sure whether to permanently discard a misplaced section, you can move it to another part of your notebook instead of deleting it.

Move a misplaced section to another notebook

If a section in a shared notebook can no longer be synchronized but you want to keep the information that it contains, you can move the unsynchronized section to another notebook. This removes it from the shared notebook while preserving its contents.

  1. Right-click the tab of the misplaced section that you want to move, and then click Move on the shortcut menu.
  2. In the Move Section To dialog box, do one of the following:
    • To move the current section in front of another section tab, click the target section tab in the list, and then click Move Before.
    • To move the current section behind another section tab, click the target section tab in the list, and then click Move After.
    • To move the current section into a section group or into a notebook without any existing sections, click the target section group or notebook in the list, and then click Move Into.

 Tip   To create a new section group, select a location in the list, and then click Create New Section Group before you move the current section.

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Applies to:
OneNote 2007