PenAttention Solves the Tiny Cursor Problem in Tablet Software

Apr 22, 2008 by

A couple of weeks ago, I had a visitor from TechSmith in my classroom to observe Camtasia at work recording live lectures with a tablet. He made a comment about how difficult it was to see the tiny little dot on the screen where I was pointing (in tablet mode) during lessons. Now, it’s not a problem for the online students, because you can set Camtasia to highlight the cursor in the after-the-fact recording. But it is, ironically, a problem for the face-to-face students.

So, I went through all my settings for the mouse, tablet, and Windows Journal, looking for a fix to the problem. Then I looked in all those places again, unable to believe that there was really NOT a way to change the pinprick cursor problem for tablet software.

So I asked the only “tablet expert” I know, Kenrick Mock (from Teaching, Technology, and Learning), if he had found a solution to the problem. And Kenrick (god bless him) realized that he was perfectly capable of writing the much-needed program, and he has! This little piece of software makes the cursor (in tablet mode) bigger than a pinprick. In fact, Kenrick’s pointer is downright VISIBLE!! (see Kenrick’s images below)

The program, called PenAttention, is free and requires .NET 2.0 or higher and Windows XP Tablet or Windows Vista. You can download it from Kenrick’s blog post, found here, by clicking on the link for downloading the executable file.

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  1. Anonymous

    I am having problems with cursor flickering when I record using Camtasia. Is there a easy solution? Barb

  2. Maria H. Andersen

    I think it is really because the computer graphics card is just not powerful enough to run the tablet + the projection + Camtasia + whatever program you are using.

    I noticed that when I switched to using Windows Journal instead of Adobe Acrobat for my handwritten work on top of worksheets that the flickering problem lessoned quite a bit.

    I think that the more you can shut down in your resident memory, the less flickering you will get (but that’s really just my guess).

    Anyone else have any suggestions?

  3. Maria H. Andersen

    Well, it’s nice to know that I’m ahead of the Chronicle of Higher Ed.

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