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One Note, Note Taking and Powertoys

TreeView : Beta

Posted by anirudhsaraf on November 4, 2007

Updated Post : TreeView

Here is a Beta version of TreeView. I guess labeling it Beta absolves me of all the errors and exceptions the program might throw. I am realizing a very stripped down version of TreeView I envisioned since I feel that the navigation alone is very useful, specially in full screen mode. I have ton’s of features I am working to implement into the TreeView control. However the pressure to keep up with classwork is getting to me and therefore this must be put on the back burner for a week or so till I get done with my midterms. In the meantime however, I would appreciate if people gave suggestions as to what features they would like implemented into the TreeView Control.

Some of the Features I might implement :

1) Drag and drop functionality to reorder pages.

2) Copy hyperlink to page without having to navigate to the page ( thereby making it easy to hyperlink the current page to some other pages.)

3)Create / Delete page.

4) Dynamic update of TreeView ( No. It doesn’t have it in this version unfortunately. Therefore if you create a page it will NOT show up in the TreeView unless you restart the control.)

5) There is no validation checks for the change notebook name and sections. Also you might get an error due to malformed XML once in a while when you try to change the page title. I am still trying to figure out why it does this.

Feedbacks would be appreciated :).


The Program is being taken down due to  the numerous uninstall issues people had. Unfortunately, due to various other commitments I am unable to continue development further at the moment ; I might or might not fix it and release a newer version.

Changing Color :

So this was completely unintentional, but it seems that due to the choice of color I made, users have the option of changing the background color on the control. The color it uses is the desktop color set under the display properties. To get there right click on the desktop -> goto properties -> Display tab -> color on the bottom right corner. So if you are getting some background which makes it impossible to read the text, go ahead and change the desktop color to change the background color on the control :).

Issues with Vista

So some people(2 has been brought to my attention) seem to be having issues with it under Vista. Did anybody get it to work under Vista? Under XP? I have only heard from people who didn’t get it to work, what about hearing from some people who did get it to work ?

Control doesn’t stay on top

Also while using it I noticed that the window stays on top only when you launch it the first time. If you close it and relaunch it, it minimizes to the taskbar. You then have to quit onenote, kill the process and then restart TreeView for it to stay on top and not mimimize. I have no idea why it does this, so if anybody has any clue as to why this might be happening let me know. I am using form.topmost = true in a timer event to make it stay on top.

if (GetWindowText(ihandler, sBuff, cChars) > 0)
String activeWindow = sBuff.ToString();
if (activeWindow.Contains(“Microsoft Office OneNote”) == true)
mainForm.TopMost = true;


Also if you like the control and would like to help its development do consider donating whatever amount you can :). Below is the link for Paypal donation.

41 Responses to “TreeView : Beta”

  1. […] has released a beta version of his TreeView PowerToy, which launches a navigation window for OneNote. Far more condensed and quicker to expand/condense […]

  2. […] here to […]

  3. Scott Klein said

    I have the program installed and a button appears among the icons at the top, once clicked it does nothing. What have I missed?

    onenote 2007 and vista ultimate

  4. anirudhsaraf said

    I am not really sure. It works fine on my machine… I would suggest
    quiting onenote completely ( make sure a process is not running) uninstalling and installing again ( make sure you are installing it as an administrator under VISTA ( I use XP so maybe it is because of the OS ? ) … let me know if you get it to work …

  5. Scott Klein said

    So far not able to get it running

  6. anirudhsaraf said

    Anybody else having the same problem? Anyone has it working under Vista? let me know so that I can figure out whether its a problem on Vista or Scott’s individual computer.

  7. I cannot get it to run either. I installed it under Vista as an Administrator.

  8. John said

    Hi Anirudhsaraf,

    Thank you very much for this potentially great PowerToy.

    I installed it in XP, and was expecting it to appear as shown in your video when I re-open OneNote again, unfortunately, nothing appeared.

    Are there specific steps I need to take to activate the tree view? I didn’t see any indication of such in your blog, so I just assumed that it will automatically appear when OneNote is re-opened.

    I am a huge fan of tree view and would love to get this powertoy working.

    Best regards

  9. anirudhsaraf said

    No, you do not need to activate anything. After Installation a button in OneNote saying TreeView should appear. Does that button appear? IF not something went wrong with your installation. Quit Onenote (make sure the process is not running) -> uninstall and reinstall. Let me know if that helps.


  10. John said

    OK, thanks.

    Now I see that button and upon clicking on it, the treeview opens, but into a separate window, not nicely integrated into the left side of the note as shown in your video. What can I do to integrate it? Also, the background of the treeview window is bright green, what can I do to change that to a more neutral color?

    Thank you again.

  11. anirudhsaraf said

    due to an error on my part, the treeView Control’s background color is the same as your desktop background color. Read instructions in the post above if you want to change the background color.

    Since treeview is a plugin it will open in a separate window. You can drag it and place it near the toolbar. Clicking in an empty area in the treeview makes it hidden, while clicking on it again expands it. If you read the post above, you’ll also notice that there is an apparent problem with the treeview opening minimized (actually behing the one-note window). Apparently, this is a bug in OneNote and the way it decodes .NET code. I am trying to resolve that. In the meantime if it does start minimized you have to follow the process mentioned above to make it stay on top.

    let me know if you have any more problems.


  12. NW said


    Working on XP on both home and work computer, but other than giving it a quick try haven’t used it that much due to the colour problem – I have a minimalist black desktop and don’t want to change it. I look forward to a version that resolves the colour issue as I think it is a potentially very useful addition to OneNote.

  13. John Guin said

    I have it working on Vista. Other than the focus problem and the color problem, it seems to work great and is very fast.

    My standard toolbar is getting pretty full. Any chance of changing the text label to an icon instead (16×16)?

    This is cool. And I’m really amazed to see how fast it is.


  14. Renger said

    I installed it under Windows Vista, but the button appears, you can click it, but nothing happens. I am curious how John got it working. Furthermore, if I try to uninstall it I get the message “Could not open key: HKEY CURRENT …Verify that you have sufficient access to that key. (I have administrator rights).


  15. Scott Klein said

    Okay it is somewhat working in vista I have a black background with blue text that only shows when you hover over it.. so Black text with blue hover? I will attempt to change the windows BG color to see what happens. It loads behind everything else that is open and seems to only show on the task bar after it is selected for the first time. Once ON is over it it seems to take on transparency and not return to a solid.

  16. Scott Klein said

    Changing background color did the trick for that issue. Are we supposed to be able to change the level of a page beyond what is built into onenote? Page>Subpage>subpage>sub-page would be nice. Onenote outliner anyone?

  17. Scott Klein said

    Also solidness of the plugin returned after reopening it and so far hasn’t reexhibited that problem again in the last few mins.

  18. Bobby said

    Thank you so much for developing this useful component to OneNote!

    I use OneNote everyday (for class and work)and find myself constantly switching between notebooks to find information or to rotate from one project to another and then back again. With all that navigating, it’s very easy in OneNote to lose track of where things are with so many sections and pages.

    Thanks for making this app to help solve some of my frustrations with the limits of the program. Keep up the good work!

  19. Ian Ralston said

    Thank you for the work.

    I tried installing as administrator sub normal user, but the install did not work, then tried to uninstall (again choosing to run as an administrator) which had some issues with the removal of registry keys and removed all references to .lnk files, I then restored the registry and system state, reinstalled onenote and so on and tried install when logged on to an admin account, this worked fine and the viewer works well–doe not remember its location and surprised me a bit when I right clicked on it and it went transparent, but is very handy.

    Would suggest caution if trying to use the uninstall…

    Sadly, it only shows up when running one note as the admin account (yes, I did choose to install for all users). Is not seen as an add in on the normal user account.

    As a comment I would also like to see the ability to add further sub levels in one note, and if this utility can do it that would be excellent.

    Look forward to a future version.

  20. Wayne Hyrkas said

    Sir; I was not able to uninstall to reinstall your application due to error: Could not open Hkey_current user\software\microsoft\protected storage…..

    I am unable now, to remove the application, nor is it working in OneNote. Please advise.

  21. Ian Ralston said

    As an update I tried the uninstall logged on as an administrator account, and it did the same thing as before only worse–registry was seriously damaged and I had to boot into another OS and run a registry restore from there this time–the program had removed the refs that allowed all .exe to run (including, of course, the \sysem32 exes…

    Might be worth looking at this issue at some point?

  22. anirudhsaraf said

    I don’t know why this might be happening… it works fine on XP machines. Since I don’t have a Vista machine to test it on, I don’t really know what might be going wrong. However, I am really busy this week ( finals week aahhhh) but once my holidays start i’ll definitely look into the various bugs that are there and hopefully will be able to release a more complete version.

    Till then, sorry for all the problems uninstalling the thing and I’ll let you guys know if I find what’s causing it.


  23. carmichael said

    n problem in vista for me. imtalled as normal user. Backbackground is difficut because I prefer it for desktop.

  24. carmichael said

    should be “no” poblem.

  25. Jeramie M Abel said

    I too have the same problems running Vista that others have posted including uninstall. Once installed the button shows on the toolbar but nothing happens when you click it except it becomes greyed out.

    Upon uninstall, same registry key problems, citing denied access. I have anti-virus software disabled, installed as administrator, and even changed keys to allow full access but still does not complete the uninstall. However, the add-in no longer shows up in OneNote even after the failed uninstall.

  26. Jeramie M Abel said

    I experienced the same problems as posted already running Vista Ultimate. TreeView button shows up in ON add-ins, and button appears but when clicked only thing that happens is it becomes greyed out.

    Upon uninstall, I experience the same denial of access to registry keys despite having installed it as an administrator. I even changed the permissions on the registry keys to allow full access but nothing seems to help.

  27. Jeramie M Abel said

    Follow up post:

    Apologies for the double post, I thought the first message did not go through since I had blocked the cookies to this page.

    A running of system restore has successfully restored my PC to the state it was in prior to initially installing the TreeViewer and recommend that to anyone having difficulty uninstalling the add-in until a version is available that Vista seems to like better.

  28. Ken Florian said

    Tried TreeView in OneNote 2007 / Office 2007 running Vista with all updates installed and UAC off…the “treeview” menu item appears grey….doesn’t work…but would gladly make a donation when this one is done!


  29. Klemens said

    Don’t provide a setup if it isn’t able to uninstall the piece

  30. Clemens said

    I had the same Problems as Ian Ralston! The uninstall killed my Windows XP! And the plugin didn’t even work!! After install, I opened OneNote 07 and the button was active for about half a second, it became inactive after that and stayed that way. I use the German langauge Version of ON (on German OS). Might that be an issue???
    But I would still love to use TreeView…! (without the unintall bug, of course)

    So, keep up the good work!!

  31. Brian Binder said

    If the uninstaller doesn’t work, you can do this to get rid of it:

    For those of you who need it uninstalled and are having problems…

    [Make sure you are out of OneNote while doing this, and close the task if necessary.]

    Navigate to:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\12.0\OneNote\AddIns\ There will be a sub-key named {2db3af59-336e-4509-ae2d-fd7c6328993b}

    Delete the entire key basically.

    As for the file (as there’s really only 1), you can delete the structure from C:\Program Files\OneNote Tree Viewer\One Note Tree Viewer\ and you’ll be all set.

    This took care of it for me and should take care of it for everyone else using Windows XP.

  32. michael said

    I installed on Vista. seems allright so far, but doesn’t come to top when being called. Also needs several clicks on Button but still rests in background. this is annoying as mostly OneNote is used in full screen mode, so TreeView must be fetched into foreground.
    the idea is great. Are you going on developing?

  33. anirudhsaraf said

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for the feedback. The background/foreground issue is annoying but I can’t seem to be able to do much about that. I tried a couple of things but it just doesn’t work. I think it works well for the first time? but if you close and relaunch it goes on the background. The workaround I have is killing dllhost.exe (it also hosts other addins so I don’t know how suitable it is) and then launching. This causes it to come on top. Let me know if that helps.

  34. Germo said

    about colors: is there another way to change the colors than changing the desktop color? My desktop is black and I don’t wont to change it. So I see nothing: black on black. Only the highlighted item can be read.
    I am also using Vista and using the treeview I often get some error messages. Somebody want’s to know them?
    I also have different strange diplay effects: scrollbars are not full visible, size of the window changes sometimes, the window got transparent, or I have more then one Treeview Window.

    And of course I have the same problems when uninstalling.

    The idea of this Powertoy is very good. But I would say it is still in alpha state. Will there be any developement or not?

  35. This software said

    Hosed my machine upon uninstall. Take some programming classes at The Learning Annex.

  36. Rick said

    So does this work at all? I really want something like this, but it looks like there are still a lot of issues with the current version. Have these issues been resolved in the past year? Is there any plan to do so? I really hope so. Thanks.

  37. Mike said

    I used tree view and like it. I would like to be able to install the output as a page in the project as a table of contents that would carry the links through as I publish the project as a pdf for long term archive.

  38. Jim said

    Hello anirudhsaraf,
    Its December of 2008 and I came across your site and app while doing some research.

    This is a good attempt. I commend your effort. Keep trying and work at this. It has great potential and your concept is sound. That being said I have some honest and harsh criticism.

    As you stated, this was a great first attempt, but only for you and other developers on a test boxes. You should NOT be distributing this code anywhere other than in developer and tester forums. Your previous posts and response indicate that you lack the means to provide solid support to end user. The general computer user isn’t capable of reverse engineering what your app does. Test on more than just your own box before putting apps like these out there in such public distribution channels.

    Your code is not safe under Vista, ESPECIALLY x64. You have issues with the Aero interface as the application window gets sent to the back and becomes transparent, and your window is buggy in the way it resizes. As previously state, aesthetically your interface is unusable as your background color sticks as black. Worse than all of this, your installer was done half hazard and cannot be back out.

    To anyone ready this, I only know what I am about to state in regards to Vista x64. (I did NOT test it under Vista x32, XP x32 or XP x64).

    THIS APPLICATION SHOULD NOT BE UNINSTALL ONCE IT’S IN PLACE. Anirudhsaraf’s TreeView installer ties into some very serious areas of the OS. The uninstall isn’t capable of backing itself out. Below is an output from process monitor. There may be more than what I captured here but it was enough to make me stop working on an UNINSTALL.

    Access Denied to the Following:
    Process Name, PID, Operation, Path
    svchost.exe, 724, SetBasicInformationFile, C:\Windows\SysWOW64
    svchost.exe, 724, SetBasicInformationFile, C:\Windows\System32\en-US
    svchost.exe, 724, SetBasicInformationFile, C:\Windows\SysWOW64\en-US
    svchost.exe, 724, SetBasicInformationFile, C:\Windows\winsxs\Manifests
    svchost.exe, 724, SetBasicInformationFile, C:\Windows\winsxs\Temp\PendingRenames
    msiexec.exe, 5488, RegOpenKey,
    svchost.exe, 724, SetBasicInformationFile, C:\Windows\winsxs\FileMaps

    Users that have installed it have 2 options:

    First option: Is ignore the application and forget it’s there. If the button in OneNote bothers you, do as stated by Brian Binder and delete the reg key at: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\12.0\OneNote\AddIns\.
    There will be a sub-key named {2db3af59-336e-4509-ae2d-fd7c6328993b}.
    Also blow away the folder at C:\Program Files\OneNote Tree Viewer\.
    (If your on x64 like me, it’s the:
    C:\Program Files (x86)\OneNote Tree Viewer\One Note Tree Viewer\).
    The app is suspect to use but should be benign.

    Second option: Is a system restore. If it’s been a while since you installed it, you’re reduced to the first option. If you just installed it and caught it, your are best to restore to a prior System Restore point.

  39. Leonard Sisson said

    I just downloaded,unzipped and ran Treeview. OneNote was already running. Seems to be working fine with limited testing. I am on Vista SP1 Home Premium 64bit. Wanted to give a good report 🙂
    Thanks for making this available. If you decide to make it open-source, I would be interested in studying the code as I have recently switched from the Java world to the .net world and am writing primarily web apps in C#
    I noticed this is a couple of years old. Are you still working on it or have plans to?
    Thanks again.

  40. Leonard Sisson said

    Wow! I submitted my previous post before reading the post warning about the uninstall. However, the version I downloaded doesn’t have an install but runs as a standalone app without messing with the registry, apparently. Anyway, the only thing I had to do after putting the app in a folder in Program Files(x86) was to give the user I am logging in under full permissions on that folder so Treeview.exe and write/modify in that directory. That’s it. Works for me. Thanks again.

  41. anirudhsaraf said

    Hi Leonard, thanks for the positive feedback. The version you have is actually just a couple of days old. This thread refers to an older version of TreeView which had some problems during installation. That’s the reason the new version runs as a standalone exe and doesn’t try to integrate into OneNote.

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