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How to Open OneNote Files Without OneNote Being Installed: Open .one Files

Opening Microsoft Office OneNote files without OneNote being installed can be a bit of a pain but it is possible and therer are numerous options to do so. Below I will provide a couple different ways to go about reading the OneNote notebook or file. The first of which is if someone has sent you a .one (OneNote) file and you want to open it without having to ask them to provide a different format. The second method will be providing them numerous different formats that they could provide you the OneNote file in including Microsoft Word (.doc and .docx) and HTML.

The first method I will explain is opening the file without having to ask the person who sent you the file to do anything. Regardless of what method you want to use to view the files you will be required to download and install the trial of Microsoft Office OneNote that lasts for 60 days. After 60 days you should still be able to view files but you will not be able to edit them.

Installing the OneNote Trial: 

  1. Download OneNote Installer: First visit the Microsoft Office Trials download page here. The link to the OneNote trial installer is located near the bottom of the page under Other Products. Click on the “Try Now” link which will take you to the OneNote trial page where you will need to select your language (English or Spanish) and then click the Download Now button. Now fill out the registration form to begin the download. If you enter your correct email address the Trial Product Key will be emailed to you but if you do not then make sure to note the Product Key from the last page after registering.
  2. Double Click OneNote Installer:Now double click on the OneNote Trial .exe installer. This will launch the Microsoft Download Manager which will guide you through the process of installing your OneNote trial. You can choose default settings for each of the configuration windows through the install process.
  3. Launch OneNote:Now launch OneNote by clicking Start in the lower left hand corner of your Windows XP computer followed by selecting “All Programs” from the pop up. Now select Microsoft Office from the menu followed by Microsoft Office OneNote 2007 to launch the application. Now you can open the .one file from the OneNote application.

Ways to Convert OneNote (.one) Files:

  1. Convert To Word (.doc or .docx):More people are likely to have Word installed so if you needed to send these files to someone who does not have OneNote installed then you can save a OneNote file as a Word document. There will be two options which include .doc and .docx. The .doc files are for older versions of Microsoft Office Word and the .docx files are for Microsoft Office 2007 versions of Word. Once the OneNote Notebook is open click File in the top navigation menu and select “Save As” from the drop down. Here you will be able to select the type of file you are saving as by selecting the option from the “Save as type:” drop down.
  2. Convert To HTML:You can export OneNote Notebooks in a much more user friendly reading format by installing a plugin called OneNote Web Exporter which can be downloaded here. Once installed you will see a new icon in the OneNote top navigation menu that looks like a little world. The new icon is located immediately to the right of the Zoom drop down.
  3. Convert to PDF:You can also save as PDF but you will be required to install another add-in to OneNote. Click on File in the top navigation menu and select “find add-ins for other file formats” from the drop down menu. This will open a help window where you can scroll down and click on the “Microsoft Save as PDF or XPS Add-in for 2007 Microsoft Office programs” . Once the new Microsoft.com page is opened click the Download button to begin the installation which is under 1MB. After the installation is complete you can export to PDF by opening the OneNote file and selecting “Publish as PDF or XPS” from the drop down menu.

So if need be you  could also request that the person that has sent you the OneNote file actually convert the file for you so you don’t have to install the Trial version. You could provide them the instructions or link to the instructions above. Publishing to PDF appears to keep things in order the best and once installed is the easiest to complete.

If you would like to purchase OneNote click the below link:


List Price: $99.95 USD
New From: $79.99 USD In Stock
Used from: $35.90 USD In Stock

If you could like more information on OneNote check out the book below:

Special Edition Using Microsoft Office 2007 (Paperback)

By (author): Ed Bott, Woody Leonard


List Price: $39.99 USD
New From: $14.56 USD In Stock
Used from: $0.01 USD In Stock

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