OneNote Clipper now v2 but still very strange

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Microsoft has released v2 of the OneNote Clipper, a browser add-in to copy content from a web page to OneNote.  It has some nice new features but still has a fundamental flaw or at least a strange behavior.

New in version 2

There’s a different interface with more options.

The ‘Location Picker’ let’s you select the OneNote notebook that the clip should go to.  In the past, embarrassingly, all clips went to one location.  Microsoft has finally fixed this glaring omission in Clipper and has the gall to boast about the feature as if it’s some marvelous innovation.

Location Picker remembers your last notebook and saves later clips to the same spot.


The new region option lets you select part of a web page, much like a partial screen shot.

Clean up Content / Article option

OneNote clipper doesn’t just copy the web page.  Choose the ‘Article’ option on right and it tries to identify just the main article on the page.

Choose Clip and the article will be copied into OneNote.

Article option has one essential benefit; it copies the text and pictures from the page.  That might not sound like a big deal, but it’s a significant change in the OneNote Clipper.

For that reason we strongly suggest you use the Article option in Clipper instead of Full Page or Region.

Clipper Curiosity

The strange thing about clipper is the way it grabs data from a web page in Full Page or Region mode or in all cases for version 1.

Clipper takes a roundabout route to get web page text into OneNote.  Most web pages are a mix of text and images so it’s a (relatively) simple thing to copy the text/images from a page and into OneNote.  Simple, but not the way OneNote Clipper works.  The Clipper takes an image of the page, copies that image into OneNote then OneNote converts the image back into text!  Such a long-winded approach to bound to have problems because the OneNote system for converting images to text is good … but hardly perfect.  And why bother with OCR’ing images that came from text only seconds before?

The reason is that Microsoft’s v1 of OneNote Clipper was a hasty and quick fix.  Redmond needed something to compete with rivals so it rushed out the ‘screen shot’ system because it used existing technologies.  It let Microsoft boast about having a web page to OneNote add-in … never mind that it wasn’t very good.

Déjà vu for Evernote users

Evernote is the main rival to OneNote.  It’s not as fancy as OneNote but it does a more effective and useful job across many devices, especially with offline support.

None of the features in OneNote Clipper with be any surprise to Evernote users.  The Evernote Clipper has had location selection, article clean up and more for a long time.  Nice to see OneNote do a little catch up!

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