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Microsoft Windows Journal is a note taking application that is included in Windows 7 ,Windows 8  and Windows XP  Tablet PC. It allows the user to write the notes on his tablet using the stylus. You can also enjoy drawing and sketching on this journal with some basic options. It saves the files in the .jnt format which is a less popular format. You can also take notes or draw sketches using the mouse (hold the left click and move your mouse), if you have a non-touch screen.

Install Journal Note Writer

When you will open the Windows Journal for the first time, it will seek your permission to install the Journal Note Writer. Click install to complete the installation process. This writer will be used to print your text or image documents in the .jnt format.

Windows Journal Note Writer

Getting started with Windows Journal

You will come across a window which looks like a high school journal. You can enter the title in the title bar while date is automatically displayed. The menu bar consists of the traditional file, edit, view, insert, action, tools and help tabs.  You can zoom into the document by going to view -> zoom or select the zoom percentage from the ‘page width’ drop down list.

Microsoft Windows Journal Default Page

You can change the page layout, line style, line colors, and customize background of your choice.

Go to File -> Page Setup.

Microsoft Windows Journal Page Set up

Changing the pen color and tip style

There are not a variety of pen colors or style in this basic app. But, still we have five basic options for pen color and tip style. You may like to use different colors while you are sketching or drawing. Similarly, you may like to write something using a prominent marker.

  1. Click on the pen in the tool bar or go to tools -> pen.
  2. Make your choice.

Customize Microsoft Windows Journal Pen

Changing page templates

This simple app of Windows Journal is not totally option-less. Some of the options would let you say ‘Wow’ for sure. For example, you may not like the stationery paper look. Hold on, we have several other templates for you that will definitely lighten your mood.

  1. Go to Tools -> Options.
  2. Select Note Format bar -> Note template -> browse.
  3. A list of available templates is opened including calendar, to do list, graph, music, short hand, memo and some others.
  4. Click on the ‘New Note’ button in the toolbar to see the newly applied template.

Microsoft Windows Journal Page Templates

Using the Text box and the picture tool

Although the idea behind Windows Journal is providing the free handwriting tool, you may type neat and clean text using the Text box tool.

Microsoft Windows Journal Text Box

  1. Go to Insert -> Text box.
  2. Or right-click on an empty space in the journal document and select ‘Insert Text box’.
  3. This text box tool is identical to the one found in MS Paint.
  4. Draw the rectangular text box.
  5. Type in the text.
  6. You may like to adjust the text box width.
  7. Right click in the text box and select ‘Format text’ to apply formatting.
  8. You can change the font, font style, font size and the font color.

Microsoft Windows Journal Text Fromatting

Similarly, you can insert pictures in your journal. Go to insert ->picture. Note that this picture would not overlay your handwritten text. Rather, the text would be visible through the picture.

Insert Picture in Microsoft Windows Journal

Highlight or mark important notes as flags

Highlight option feels like a necessity while working with documents whether personal or official. We always want to highlight some points or underline to make them prominent. You can highlight the text or your handwriting using the Journal Highlighting tool.

  1. Click on the highlighter tool in the toolbar or go to tools -> highlighter.
  2. Move highlighter over desired part.

Similarly, you can insert different colored flags. For example use red flag for confidential note, green for any success etc. You can insert a flag in many ways.

  1. Click on the flag in the toolbar.
  2. Or go to insert -> flag.
  3. Or right-click -> insert flag.
  4. Move the flag and place it before desired note.

Use Flag in Microsoft Windows Journal

Searching for a word

Search or Find option in the Windows Journal is an advanced one. You can look for any particular word in the current note or search it in the previously saved notes as well.

  1. Click on the search tool in the tool bar or press ‘Ctrl + F’ to open the search bar.
  2. Type the word to be searched in the ‘Look for’ drop down bar. You can click on the down arrow to select any recently searched word.
  3. Select the search locations and folders using the ‘Look in’ bar.
  4. For example, I searched for ‘journal’ in ‘All recently used folders’. It highlighted the journal word in the current node and displayed the document which had ‘journal’ in its name.

Microsoft Windows Journal Search Option

Jump to any page

You can go directly to any page using the following technique.

  1. Go to edit -> Go to page or press ‘Ctrl + G’ to open Go to Page dialog box.
  2. Type the page number and there you go!.

Jump Pages in Microsoft Windows Journal

Convert Handwriting to Text:

Windows Journal uses hand writing recognition technology and therefore, you can convert your handwriting to the typed text any time.

  1. Select Lasso tool in the tool bar.
  2. Select the part of handwriting you want to convert.
  3. Go to Actions -> Convert Handwriting to Text’.

Convert Handwriting to Text Microsoft Windows Journal

It will display a ‘Text Correction’ window that has the converted text.Review the text and make sure that it has converted the text correctly. If you want to correct any word in the text:

  1. Place your cursor on the word.
  2. Replace it with the alternative.

Convert Handwriting to Text Microsoft Windows Journal

  1. Click OK.
  2. Select insert in the same journal note if you want to insert the converted text into current journal. Or copy it to clipboard.
  3. Click finish.

Replace Text in Microsoft Windows Journal

Import files As Windows Journal Notes

You can import files and images in your Windows Journal.

  1. Go to File -> Import.
  2. Select the file and click Import.
  3. You may also set file import preferences.

Import Files in Microsoft Windows Journal

This will display an error message because you can only import files which are in .jnt format. So, if you want to import any .docx file it should be printed using the Journal Note Writer first.

  • Go to file -> Print.
  • Select Journal Note Writer as Printer.
  • Save the file in .jnt format.

Print Files in Microsoft Windows Journal

You can see the converted ‘exercise’ journal document. Import and continue your work.

Import Files in Microsoft Windows Journal

We hope that you have found this tutorial helpful. Let us know if you find any difficulty and we will help you out.