Best graphics program to lecture students with graphics tablet

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Mrs. Chickpea, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. What's a good simple pen-writing display program (freeware?) that can show
    decent writing from a graphics tablet?

    I bought the Wacom Intuos 3 graphics tablet and the optional pen with ink
    refills for a class we're giving but the graphics are horrid for such an
    expensive program.

    We can't be assured our lecture room PCs (which are out of our control)
    will have anything on them so freeware drawing is preferred.

    We tried mspaint and ms powerpoint (assuming office is installed) but both
    were horrid to get the graphics to work right. For one thing, as soon as
    you lift the pen from the graphics tablet, you lose where you were even
    with the ink pen.

    Is there a better software program for simply relaying a teacher's drawing
    to the screen (we're currently using the Intuos 3 plus MS Paint)?
     
    Mrs. Chickpea, Apr 18, 2008
    #1
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  2. Mrs. Chickpea

    Rom Guest

    Rom, Apr 18, 2008
    #2
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  3. Mrs. Chickpea

    rich Guest

    I have a little Wacom Volito which came with ArtRage - excellent
    application but perhaps too 'arty' for your requirements. Gimp, as the
    other post said works with a tablet but the interface takes a bit of
    getting used to.

    I would have a look at Inkscape.
    http://www.inkscape.org/index.php?lang=en

    look at some of the screenshots
    http://www.inkscape.org/screenshots/index.php?lang=en&version=0.45

    there is one showing pen use about three quarters of the way down the page.

    Its quite a hefty application, the installer runs to 34 MB or you can go
    portable. The one I use is X-Inkscape from WinPenPack which is
    excellent, although size is about 40-odd MB.
    http://www.winpenpack.com/main/download.php?view.40
     
    rich, Apr 18, 2008
    #3
  4. Mrs. Chickpea

    Mike Dee Guest

    Mike Dee, Apr 18, 2008
    #4
  5. Mrs. Chickpea

    M.L. Guest

    M.L., Apr 18, 2008
    #5
  6. Mrs. Chickpea

    rich Guest

    Obviously it is in the mind of the beholder.
    What is difficult about selecting the calligraphy tool and writing on the
    tablet?
    As far as I can tell it does not suffer from "losing the place" when the
    pen is lifted off the tablet but as one poster pointed out that could be
    due to the tablet mode settings (ie could be in mouse mode).
     
    rich, Apr 18, 2008
    #6
  7. Hi there Frederick,
    Thanks for the help,

    I'll try "The Gimp" but I agree it's not simple. The ONLY reason we got
    this more expensive panel is we needed the 8.5x11 inch screen; it was the
    only one at Frys that had a large screen.

    The wierd thing is that the tablet size is WAY LARGER than the active area
    (I guess they try to make it look bigger than it is) because I first bought
    one about the size of 8.5x11 and the active area was about HALF that!

    I'll read the other suggestions first though as I've got to get this
    working today before shipping it out to the teachers (who will KILL ME if
    it's cumbersome to use as a writing display for the class!).
     
    Mrs. Chickpea, Apr 18, 2008
    #7
  8. Ah. That may be the pen-lifting problem. What we need to do is secure
    somehow (tape?) the 8.5x11 sheet of paper to the tablet and then when the
    teacher writes on the tablet, whatever they write is displayed on the
    screen (and captured to video for future replay).

    At first we looked at "document cameras" such as the ElmoUSA P10 and P30
    http://www.avtg.com/elmo-p30-document-camera.htm
    which work MUCH BETTER than the graphics tablet. But the cost was over
    $2000 dollars, which is way too much for our budget. At least the 8.5x11
    inch tablet was only $500 for the tablet and another $100 for the ink pen.

    We must be in "mouse mode". I have the tablet in the office and will see if
    there is a "control panel" in windows xp that will set this. I didn't
    install the two discs that came with it because I thought that was
    junkware.

    Is this "control panel" in the windows xp control panel or on one of those
    two discs?
     
    Mrs. Chickpea, Apr 18, 2008
    #8
  9. Mrs. Chickpea

    Sharon Guest

    If you're pushing powerpoint, then just switch to "pen mode" by right
    clicking on the slide presentation. Select your color and your type of pen,
    ball point or felt, for example, highlight or eraser, etc. and you're done.

    No need for any additional programs. When you're done, save the newly
    annotated powerpoint and you have an immediate record of all that you drew
    during the presentation.
     
    Sharon, May 26, 2008
    #9
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