Submission guidelines for Microsoft Office OneNote 2010 templates

 Important    This article provides submission guidelines and best practices for Microsoft partners who want to create Microsoft Office OneNote 2010 templates that meet the publishing requirements for the Microsoft Office Online Templates website. For information about how to create, modify, or apply templates, see Learn about templates in Office 2010, or visit the OneNote 2010 Help and How-to web site.

A Microsoft Office OneNote 2010 template is a page, section, or notebook file with pre-formatted content and design elements. This article provides guidelines for setting up your computer, creating and formatting content, and saving your work to the appropriate Office OneNote 2010 template file format. To help ensure that your templates are useful and popular, follow the best practices and guidelines in this document. When you create top-quality templates that get high ratings and great download numbers, you’re helping make people’s lives easier and showcasing your Office skills to people around the world. For partners, your templates can help build brand recognition and improve your customer relationships. For more information, see What makes some templates so popular?

Before you submit a template for publication online, we recommend that you read What to know before you create a template and Make your templates more accessible for users with disabilities.

 Note    If you’re interested in what’s new with templates on Office Online, check out the Templates Blog.

In this article

Setup requirements

Before you create or submit a template for publication on Microsoft Office Online, make sure that the computer you’re using meets the following operating system and application-specific requirements.

Operating system requirements

  • For security reasons, make sure that the recommended security settings for your operating system are turned on and that you’re running up to date antivirus software.
  • Make sure that the language in which you are creating a template is the same language that you’re using for your operating system and Office OneNote 2010.

OneNote 2010 requirements

  • We recommend that you use the default installation of Office OneNote 2010 only with no additional fonts or add-ins. This helps ensure that your templates will work on most customers’ computers.
  • Before you begin, decide which type of template best suits your content. A notebook should contain one or more sections and a section should contain two or more pages of related content. You can also create single page templates.

 Important    Your user name and initials will appear in each Office OneNote 2010 template that you create. To change this personal information to information that you want other people to see:

  1. Click File, and then click Options.
  2. In the Display pane, under Personalize your copy of Office, type the user name and initials that you want customers to see in your templates.
  3. Click OK.

Top of Page Top of Page

Creating a new template

We recommend creating a new notebook and using it to develop your template content, regardless of whether you plan to create a notebook, section, or page template. When you create a new notebook, using the option provided on the File menu, you'll be asked to choose a notebook title and a file name. Before you submit a template for publication, the notebook title and file name, and the names of any section or page template you create, should meet the Office Online requirements.

However, if you miss this step when you're getting started or if you prefer to make the title and file name compliant later, here's how:

  • Change a notebook, section, or page title by right-clicking the title tab and then typing a new title at any time.
  • You'll need to type a new file name when you save your work to the appropriate template file format as the last step when your content is ready to publish.

Notebook, section, and page colors

When you create a new notebook, you can choose a notebook color. Office OneNote 2010 automatically selects the colors for new sections and pages in the notebook for you. You can choose different colors at any time:

  • To change a notebook color, right-click the notebook title tab and then click Properties. Changing a notebook or section color will not change the color you’ve applied to any pages that the notebook or a section contains.
  • To change a section color, right-click the section title tab, click Section Color, and then select a new color.
  • To change a page color, use the Page Color option in the Page Setup area of the View tab.

Adding content to a template

Because notebook and section templates consist of pages, all other content guidelines are described in Setting up page templates and the subsequent sections of this document.

 Important    When creating a section template or notebook template, do not set a page as the template for all pages in a section. Before you submit your template, in the Templates pane, ensure that No Default Template is selected in the Choose default template list. If a page template is selected in the Choose default template list, your template will not work when used by other people.

Top of Page Top of Page

Setting up page templates

This section discusses commonly used options in the Page Setup section of the View tab. The information applies to all page templates that you create, including pages that are part of section or notebook templates.

Paper sizes

If you design a notebook, section, or page template to be viewed on a computer screen only, we recommend that you set the paper size to Auto. This is also the default setting for Office OneNote 2010 pages.

If your template is intended for printing, select a standard paper size for the locale of your intended audience and a size that best suits the template design (for example, letter, tabloid, or legal).

To help ensure the template will print correctly on most home printers, we recommend that you do not modify the default width and height settings for standard paper sizes.

Print margins

To prevent any portion of a template from being cut off when printed, use at least 0.4” margins on all sides. Make sure that no text, pictures, objects, or page borders extend past the 0.4” margin requirement.

Rule lines

Rule lines function like a background image and do not affect the text or positioning of images that are added to a ruled page.

If you want to set the order (front to back or back to front) in which content appears on a page, keep in mind that rule lines, when displayed, always appear overlaid on top of all other content on the page, regardless of the order you choose for other elements on the page.

Although useful as a design element in some templates, also remember that rule lines, like page colors, do not appear in print copy.

Page colors

If your template is intended for printing, although that might rarely be the case, keep in mind that page colors (like rule lines) appear only when your template is viewed on a computer and not when the template is printed.

If your template is intended for printing, make sure that you select a font color that will be visible without the background color when the template is printed. For example, if you select a dark page color and light font color, the font will be difficult to see when the template is printed. If your template is intended for printing, we recommend that you print out a test copy before uploading it, to ensure that there are no issues with text color and clarity.

 Note    Changing the section or notebook color will not change any page colors that you’ve applied.

Page titles

Page title content - the text box at the top of each page with the current date information immediately below - is displayed by default when you create new pages. Information that you type in the page title area is then displayed on the title tab to the right of the page, making it easier to find pages and information at a glance.

If you choose not to show page title content or if you do not type text in the default page title content on a page, the first line of text in your template will be displayed as the page title on the title tab instead.

Keep in mind, however, that using a page title can make it easier for customers to scan and find pages created using your template. If you choose to hide a page title after you've entered content in the page title area, your content will be deleted.

 Note    The date information displayed updates to the time and date the user creates a page using your template. It does not continue to display the time and date the template was created.

Using background pictures

Using a picture as a background image can enhance the visual design of a template but it can also affect file size and the way a template can be used (for example, text that you place over a background picture is converted to an image when the page is sent by e-mail to someone else).

We recommend using JPEG files for pictures and positioning pictures at the top, bottom, or sides of a page instead of behind text, unless it is essential to your design.

For more information about working with pictures and images in a template, such as aligning and sizing images, see Inserting pictures, background pictures, files, and screen clippings.

Top of Page Top of Page

Inserting pictures, background pictures, files, and screen clippings

You can insert pictures and files in a template using the options on the Insert menu. You can also copy and paste pictures and information to a page or use the Screen Clipping tool in Office OneNote 2010.

To format pictures and files that you've inserted, use the options provided on the Edit menu of the Draw tab, such as front to back Order.

 Important    Do not insert files as attachments in a template. Attachments cannot be published with the template on Office Online, and are lost during the publishing process.

Legal responsibilities for images

 Important    Before you choose images to include in a template, it is your responsibility to ensure that they are not protected by copyright or trademark and are suitable for public distribution.

About using pictures

Using pictures or pictures as a background image can enhance the visual design of a template but they can also affect file size and how a template can be used. When adding images to your template, be aware of your template’s overall file size. Larger files will take longer for users to download, and we recommend a maximum file size of 10MB. We recommend inserting pictures in JPEG file format and compressing them before you insert them if they are large images or high resolution images.

We also recommend that you position pictures at the top, bottom, or sides of a page instead of behind text, and that you set pictures as background images only when it is essential to your design.

Here's why:

  • Images increase the file size of template, which increases the download time and the memory required to store and use the template.
  • If someone chooses to reuse a page or template that contains background pictures, the picture file is duplicated each time the page is reused, increasing the storage space required on his or her computer.
  • If you insert a picture and then resize it, OneNote does not compress the image. We strongly recommend converting high-resolution images to JPEG files and if needed, compress the file size before inserting them in a template.
  • OneNote templates can be sent as e-mail messages, either by attaching the template file to a message or by using the Send options on the File menu in OneNote itself. If you or someone else adds text over a background picture, the text is converted to an image during the e-mail process. The text will no longer be searchable and can't be edited.

Image file format

For optimal image quality and file size, we strongly recommend that you use one of these image formats:

  • JPEG File Interchange Format (JPEG, JPG, JFIF, or JPE files, recommended)
  • Portable network graphics (PNG files)
  • Windows Enhanced Metafile (EMF files)

Image resolution

Resolution values depend on how you intend a template to be used. Remember that we recommend a maximum file size of 10MB for templates.

  • If you intend a template to be viewed online only, use a resolution of 72 DPI.
  • If you intend a template for print or for print and online use, use a resolution of 150 or 200 DPI, which should still be compatible with most home printers and display clearly on most monitors.
  • To test image resolution, print the template on a home printer. Commercial printers use a resolution of 300 DPI but most home printers can print 150 to 200 DPI only.

Sizing and inserting background pictures

To retain the original image quality when you insert it as a background picture, we recommend resizing the image to the size you want to use before inserting it in your template. Use any program that you prefer.

Using files and screen clippings

You can insert files and screen clipping using the options provided on the Insert menu.

 Tip    If you’re running Microsoft Internet Explorer 8, you can quickly copy a web page or any content that you’ve selected on a page to OneNote by clicking the Send to OneNote button on the browser toolbar. OneNote will save the web page content as a new page in your Unfiled Notes where you can easily copy or move it to another location. You can also create a screen clipping by pressing the Windows logo key+S and then selecting the area you want to clip.

If you insert a file as a printout or if you insert a screen clipping in your template, OneNote displays the content like a picture but with some important differences:

  • You cannot change screen clippings or files that you insert as printouts to background pictures; any other content that you want to add will need to be placed above, below, or beside these images. (Images that you send or "print" to OneNote from another program, however, can still be set as background pictures.)
  • You can add text over a file that you insert as a printout but the text might be difficult to read, depending on the file’s contents.
  • You can make text in screen clippings searchable, like regular text, but text in screen clippings cannot be modified after the clippings have been added to a page.
  • Other people can copy text from printouts and screen clippings, including formatting, and then modify it so make sure you don’t include text that you wouldn’t want other people to use outside the context of the image.

 Important    Do not insert files as attachments in a template. Attachments cannot be published with the template on Office Online, and are lost during the publishing process.

Tips for aligning pictures, printouts, and screen clippings

Each Office OneNote 2010 page has an implicit grid. Any content that you insert will automatically snap to the grid. To make it easier to manually align pictures, files as printouts, and screen clippings, we recommend turning on rule lines on each page by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+R.

Top of Page Top of Page

Inserting hyperlinks between sections or pages

If you’re adding hyperlinks to a template, you can link to online content such as a web site or multimedia file or you can link from one page, section, or notebook to another within your OneNote template.

You can link to sections, pictures, or paragraphs in the page by selecting the section tab, objects, or paragraphs as hyperlink targets. However, it might not be obvious which part of the page is meant to be displayed when customers follow the hyperlink, so we recommend linking to pages by using the page title tabs only. To insert a hyperlink, click Link on the Insert tab.

Top of Page Top of Page

Using tables

Options for inserting and formatting tables are available from the Table menu on the Insert tab in Office OneNote 2010. For help with using tables, see Basic tasks in OneNote 2010 on the OneNote 2010 Help and How-to web site.

Tables can be useful for clearly grouping related content on a page. They are also useful for laying out text, shapes, and pictures in relation to each other when you don’t want that content to be moved independently on the page.

Using tables can also help customers recognize which content to modify and where to add content of their own. Keep in mind these guidelines for adding tables to your template design:

  • Use table cells primarily for indentation and to help align related information.
  • Minimize the interaction that customers must have with tables by making it clear where they should add or modify content, for example, by placing titles and corresponding check boxes in different rows or columns, or by placing pictures and related text in different cells.
  • Format text in table contents to emphasize different types of information, such as headings or lists.
  • If your template is designed to be modified and printed, make sure you test it by adding and removing text, changing formatting or pictures, and printing the template using the page setup options you’ve selected.

Top of Page Top of Page

Formatting text and objects

Text and object formatting options are available on the Home tab on the OneNote 2010 ribbon, or by right-clicking the object or selected text. For help with formatting content in OneNote, see Basic tasks in OneNote 2010 on the OneNote 2010 Help and How-to web site.

Fonts, bullets, numbering, and lists

Use fonts that ship with Office OneNote 2010 only. If you download and use additional fonts, your templates might not print or display correctly for customers who haven’t installed those fonts.

You can modify bulleted or numbered lists by clicking the desired option in the Basic Text group on the Home tab on the OneNote 2010 ribbon.

 Tip    For more control over formatting in your template, modify text, pictures, and objects using another program such as Word or Publisher, and then copy the formatted information to your OneNote template.

Top of Page Top of Page

Using placeholder and sample text

Placeholder and sample text should clearly indicate the type of information that customers need to modify or provide when working with a template:

  • Place placeholder brackets to indicate that customers should type over the text, for example: [Your business tag line here], [Company Name], and [1234 Main Street, Bothell, MT]. You do not need to use brackets for sample text such as “Jonathan Haas” as a sample name or “4567 Oak Street” as a sample address.
  • Use either instructional or sample text but be sure to use them consistently within a template. For example, use “Street Address, City, ST” or “1234 Main Street, Bothell, MD” but do not use both in the same template.
  • Make sure that sentences and phrases use editorially correct capitalization and punctuation.
  • For more information about legal naming requirements, see Street addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses below.
  • If you prefer to use placeholder text instead of sample text, use the texts and construction provided in Generic placeholder text below.

Street addresses, telephone numbers, web sites and e-mail addresses

 Important    For copyright, trademark, and privacy reasons, make sure that any person or company names, addresses, telephone numbers, web sites, and e-mail addresses in your templates comply with these legal naming requirements for text and construction.

Street addresses

  • Use sequential numbers
  • Use common street names
  • Use a ZIP Code that does not match the state listed in the address, for example: 4567 Main Street, Buffalo, NY  98052

Telephone numbers

  • Use an area code that does not match the state listed in the address
  • Use the prefix 555
  • Use suffix numbers between 0100 and 0199, for example: (425) 555-0150 where 425 is not the correct area code for the state you have selected

E-mail addresses

  • Use This address has been reserved by Microsoft for use for sample purposes.

Names in the public domain

Places such as parks and other public city locations are in the public domain. You can refer to these names without trademark issues. If you are not certain, however, please request permission from the appropriate contacts or contact your Microsoft representative.

You can also use publicly disseminated information such as The American Heart Association Food Guidelines, but you must credit the organization. If you are not certain whether information or company names are in the public domain, please contact the organization to obtain permission.

Company names and web site addresses

To create fictitious company or person names and web site addresses:

  • Avoid any name or web site address that you know to be real, especially in combination.
  • Use generic or descriptive names such as The Dental Office or The City Planning Office
  • Use the names of trees, for example, for fictitious educational institutes such as Elm High School or Maple University.
  • Thoroughly research your fictitious name by going online, using telephone service publications, and other publicly available resources.

Generic placeholder text

To help ensure that placeholder text is consistent across all templates on the web site, use the text and construction provided in the table below.

Function Placeholder text and construction

To indicate person or company names, use these placeholder texts:

  • Recipient Name
  • Company Name
  • Your name here
Business tag line Your business tag line here
Company contact information

To indicate company contact information, use these placeholder texts:

  • Company Name
  • Street Address
  • Address 2
  • City, ST  ZIP Code

For example: 4567 Main Street, Buffalo, NY  98052

Telephone and fax numbers

To create a telephone or fax number:

  • Use an area code that does not match the state listed in the address
  • Use 555 as the prefix
  • Use numbers between 0100 and 0199 for suffix

For example, based on the address above: (425) 555-0150

E-mail and web site addresses

To indicate e-mail and web site addresses, use these placeholder texts:

  • E-mail address
  • Web site address
Recipient mailer information

To indicate recipient mailer information, use these placeholder texts:

  • Recipient Name
  • Street Address
  • Address 2
  • City, ST  ZIP Code

Top of Page Top of Page

How to save your template

 Important    After you save a notebook, section, or page as a template, you cannot modify it. Any changes you make will not be saved to the template file. Instead, if you need to make changes after you’ve saved a template, you must save a new copy of the template.

Before saving a template

Before you save your template, make sure that you complete these steps:

  • Make sure that you’ve checked for and removed any personally identifying information in your template. It is a good idea to review the template for hidden data or personal information that might be stored in the template itself or its properties. For more information, read about the OneNote 2010 Privatizer.
  • Make sure that you’ve included the user name and initials you want other people to see when they use the template.
  • Make sure that all text boxes, tables, shapes, and other objects are positioned correctly and in the correct order, back to front.
  • Restore the default zoom setting (100%), if needed. If the template does not display well at the default setting, adjust the zoom to make the template easier to view at first use.
  • If you intend the template for printing, print copies to check for font and margin issues and correct any problems.
  • Make sure that fonts are used consistently and that formatting is consistently applied to text, tables, and other content. This ensures a more positive visual impact and can improve readability.
  • Check spelling and grammar.
  • Immediately before saving your template, position your cursor in the title of each page and press CTRL+S to save the cursor position (or type and then delete a letter so that OneNote can automatically save the cursor position). Repeat for all pages in the template, without clicking anywhere else in a page. This ensures that when the template is downloaded, it will also open to the top of each page.
  • Only after you complete each step above should you save the template to the appropriate file format for a notebook, section, or page templates. For more information about how to save pages, sections, and notebooks as templates, see Create a template in Microsoft Office OneNote 2010.

Once you’ve saved the template to the appropriate file format, check it for viruses by running your antivirus software. Remember, if you modify a template after saving it to a template file format, you must repeat these steps before re-saving and submitting the template for publication.

Top of Page Top of Page

Submission requirements

The following requirements must be met for your template to be published on Office Online.

File format

Save and submit OneNote 2010 templates for publication using the appropriate file type for your design:

  • Save notebooks and sections as ONEPKG files, making sure that you select the appropriate page range, current section or current notebook.
  • Save a page or multiple page templates as ONE files.

File name

When you save a template, make sure that the file name:

  • Contains no more than 12 letters or characters before the file type extension, for example: WeddingPlan.onepkg
  • Does not contain spaces or special characters, including apostrophes; file names may contain hyphens, if needed
  • Contains sequential numbers for variations of a template where the content (text) of the template does not change but themes, images, or colors vary. Start by adding the number 2 to the end of each file name, for example: WeddingPlan.dotx, WeddingPlan2.dotx, WeddingPlan3.dotx

Template title

To ensure that template titles are consistent and easy for customers to review in search results and browse categories on Office Online, follow these guidelines:

  • Use nouns and modifiers instead of verbs or gerunds, for example: “Garden plan” (but not “Planning a garden”)
  • Place modifiers before nouns, if possible, for example: Third grade book report, Pet sitter invoice, Birthday and anniversary calendar
  • Capitalize the first word of a title only. Do not capitalize words within parenthesis, for example "Gift card (floral design)".
  • Use no more than 32 characters, if possible.

Template descriptions

Each template requires a description of up to 160 characters. These descriptions appear in search results, other search engines, and on the template's download page. To ensure that your template descriptions are easy for customers to review, follow these guidelines:

  • Do not restate or rephrase the template title in the description.
  • Do not use the description field just to list possible keywords, but do include important keywords in your description, for example “Tax checklist.”
  • Describe the purpose of the template.
  • Write from specific to general, for example, “Control your expenses with this one-year personal budget spreadsheet for Excel 2010; includes sparklines and charts.
  • Use action words. Emphasize how your template can help customers complete the tasks they need to do, rather than emphasizing the product features your template uses.
  • Do not follow the same pattern for all your template descriptions. If all your descriptions start in the same way, customers are much more likely to skip over them.
  • Mention the product and version if applicable.
  • Make each character count. Include only vital information--the less that customers have to read, the more impact what you do say is likely to have.
  • Make it unique to the template. A description that's already used by another template won't cause your upload to fail, but it will make your template less attractive to potential customers.

Functional testing

For any templates you create for publication on Office Online, make sure that:

  • If the template is intended for print, it displays correctly in print preview and prints correctly; margins are set to no less than 0.4" for use on personal or home printers.
  • If the template is intended for viewing online only, it displays correctly using the default settings for Internet Explorer.
  • If the template requires folding, cutting, or assembly, the template and instructions work as intended.
  • Tables, text boxes, lists, pictures and any portion of the design that will be modified work as intended if you add or remove text, replace pictures, and resize pictures or objects.
  • All objects and elements are positioned in the correct layering order, front to back, using the options provided on the Edit menu.
  • Background pictures or images that you reuse throughout the template, such as logos are aligned consistently on each page, when possible.
  • The template contains no blank pages or sections.
  • Font colors, pictures, and shapes are easily discernible from background colors when viewed online and also in print if intended for printing.
  • The cursor is positioned at the top of each page when you open each page in the template, and is positioned at the top of the first page of each section, if there is more than one page.

Top of Page Top of Page

OneNote 2010 template quick reference sheet

Review this checklist in conjunction with the functional testing and saving requirements to ensure that your templates are ready for submission. Make sure, also, that your template satisfies the important considerations for your content and audience that are described in What to know before you create a template and Make your templates more accessible for users with disabilities.

 Important    Except for creating a file name, you will need to complete these steps before saving your template. Remember that to make changes after you’ve saved your work to a template file format, you will need to create a new template file.

Guideline Details to check
Text and formatting
  • Placeholder and sample text are used consistently within the template and meet legal naming guidelines.
  • Template titles for notebooks, sections, and pages meet the Office Online requirements; titles for sections and pages within a notebook, or for pages within a section, may vary according to the contents of your template.
  • Spelling and grammar are correct.
  • Formatting is applied consistently to related content.
  • Only fonts that ship with your version of Windows and the Microsoft Office system are used.
Pictures and objects
  • Pictures are not protected by copyright or trademark and are suitable for public distribution.
  • Pictures are inserted as JPEG or another recommended file type; large images are not set as background pictures, especially on multiple pages of a template, if possible.
  • Images have a resolution of 72 dpi for on-screen use and 150-200 dpi if they will be printed.
  • Images have been sized and cropped prior to being inserted into the template.
  • No pictures or other files have been added to the template as attachments.
  • Pictures and objects are positioned in tables or in such a way that customers are easily able to modify content as needed.
  • Objects are set to the correct layering order, front to back, and related objects are consistently formatted and aligned on the page.
  • Cursor is positioned at the top of each page and pages open in the intended order, if there is more than one page in the template.
  • If using tables, pictures and related information are clearly positioned in relation to each other; headings are separated from text that will be edited when someone downloads the template, if suitable to the design.
  • If the template is intended for print, page margins are set to no less than 0.4" and all text and objects are positioned inside the margins.
  • If the template is intended for print, all content displays on the selected page size in print preview.
Submission guidelines
  • Template file is saved to the appropriate OneNote 2010 template file format for your content (.onepkg for notebook and section templates and .one for page templates.)
  • Template file name does not exceed 12 characters before the file name extension, and contains no special characters.
  • The name and initials that you want other people to see have been added to the OneNote 2010 display options.
  • Template title is no more than 32 characters, uses sentence caps, and uses only nouns and modifiers.
  • Template description is no more than 160 characters and describes the purpose of the template succinctly.

Top of Page Top of Page

Applies to:
OneNote 2010