Activating Journal in Vista with a Wacom Bamboo

Mar 24, 2008 by

I have this great little Wacom Bamboo tablet which I use when I’m on my desktop at home and need to handwrite something. The only problem is finding a suitable program to write IN with the peripheral tablet. I could activate the pen tools in Adobe Acrobat – but that’s not exactly my program of choice for handwriting digitally.

The program I really like to use is Windows Journal because it’s really simple and easy to use. However, I was never able to find anyone who could figure out how to activate Windows Journal on a regular PC running Windows XP (it was only available with Windows XP Tablet, which was only available if you actually had a tablet PC).

So here’s a truly compelling reason to switch over to Windows Vista (besides the release of the first Service Pack to Vista): Windows Journal IS installed with Vista Home Premium (but not basic). The trick is just FINDING the program, which is hidden away somewhere … not in the standard program menu.

First, use the Vista Search box to search for the word “Journal” and … ping … there it is on your screen. At this point, you should be able to go back into your list of programs and move Journal from the “recently used” programs to the “permanent” list of programs by dragging and dropping it into the other list.

Next, you’ll want to turn on the color palette toolbar:

And voila! Now you can use Windows Journal with your Bamboo tablet on your regular PC. So, if you’ve been waiting for a reason to go from XP to Vista, I guess this is it (at least, if you have a Bamboo).

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  1. Clint Hamada

    A more powerful option to Windows Journal is OneNote, part of the Office suite. I use it extensively on my tablet. Combined with Cam Studio (or something equivalent), you have all you need to create simple video tutorials for solving sample problems.

  2. Maria H. Andersen

    What, specifically, do you like about OneNote? I’m curious, because I have a copy and can’t figure out any reason to like it better than Journal. I know it’s got more bells and whistles – but what’s useful about them? Maybe I’m missing something!

    I record examples in Journal with Camtasia too.

  3. Robert

    Great find Maria (thanks for sharing).

    I use the screendraw on Camtasia, but it doesn’t write as well as you can on Journal.

  4. NewSunSEO

    I too like OneNote. It is just an easy way to communicate with multiple people by sharing a notebook and also is good for integration of MS Outlook.

  5. Rose Jenkins

    As usual, right ontime. I was talking with a faculty member on yesterday about this type of writing tablet in general. I’m sure that she will find this info useful.

    Thanks for letting me know how to access Journal. I didn’t know that I had it.

  6. clint hamada

    I like being able to add screen clippings from documents or web pages (in an instant); printouts of word documents, .pdfs, etc; links to relavent documents on our school portal; the list goes on…

    I also like the idea of a collaborative notebook that I can share (next year, when all my students have tablets) with my class, although I won’t be able to see how effective that is until September.

  7. Wacom

    Great find, I like using my Wacom

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