I am looking for multiplatform desktop screen annotation software.
I am conducting lectures on multiple platforms, sometimes it is windows, sometimes windows, and sometimes macosx.
Recently I was performing the classes using text editors, paint/gimp, etc. but I find it hard sometimes to explain some things this way, it would be really nice to have some tool that gives me the opportunity to draw on the screen and use the same tool on all platforms.
I made some research and found some tools available online.
- EpicPen – it is the first result Google returns. It is available only for windows and maxosx and the functionality is quite limited (for example drawing lines, squares is not possible, there are only 16 colours and whiteboard/blackboard are not available). The EpicPen pro on the other hand is available only for windows (https://epic-pen.com/).
- Windows Snipping Tool – this one as most of you know is a windows tool, it is quite constrained and available only for windows (obviously).
- ppInk – another annotation software for Windows, this one looks interesting but I had some troubles using it, and it sometimes hangs on my machine, nevertheless it is only for Windows (https://github.com/pubpub-zz/ppInk).
- gInk – similar to above, again only Windows (https://github.com/geovens/gInk)
- live-draw – only windows, requires .net (https://github.com/antfu/live-draw)
- OpenBoard – only whiteboard tool but cross-platform (Windows, Linux, macOS) (https://openboard.ch/index.en.html)
- SnagIt – it’s more screen shoot maker, quite expensive, and only for windows and mac (https://www.techsmith.com/screen-capture.html)
- UltimatePen – commercial, only free trial, only for macOS (http://www.snowmintcs.com/products/ultimatepenmac/)
- TuxPen – author claims that is it not completed and some functionality looks not working (https://github.com/csgn/TuxPen)
- ScreenPen – multiplatform, requires Python, installation with pip, supports charts using matplotlib, but it’s mentioned that the support should be improved (https://github.com/rsusik/screenpen)
- Draw Over – only windows and Linux (mac is not listed) (https://gilzoide.itch.io/draw-over)
- Sharex – only windows, also file sharing tool (https://getsharex.com/)
To summarize I created the below table:
|EpicPen||Partially||Yes||No||Yes (only basic)||Yes||Paid|
|Windows Snipping Tool||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No|
I marked bold those that look promising in my opinion (multiplatform and free is the priority). The OpenBoard is the only whiteboard tool, so in some cases, it has limited functionality (and maybe shouldn’t be enumerated here). The tuxpen is NOT completed and even the author writes in README that there are functions not working. The screenpen looks very interesting, the matplotlib support sound very good, but seems it is not a mature software, so I guess some bugs or crashes are possible. Similar case with draw over, which looks like experimental software (written in game engine) and also has limited functionality (no whiteboard, and no macos support).
I would like to know your recommendation especially those who have already used any of these tools or maybe there is someone who tested them already and made the decision which one to use.
Disclaimer: I prepared this table only for my use cases, there are some functionalities that I didn’t enumerate here and may be important for someone else. Please let me know if I missed any software that is worth adding to this list. I used google and GitHub for searching the software