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I am looking for multiplatform desktop screen annotation software (not communicator or screen recorder).

I am conducting lectures on multiple platforms, like Windows or macOS. Recently, I was performing the classes using text editors, paint/gimp, etc.

But sometimes, I find it hard to explain some things this way. It would be nice to have some tool that allows me to draw on the screen and use it on all platforms like Windows or macOS.

I researched and found some tools available online.

To summarize, I created the below table:

Name Free Windows Linux MacOS Shapes White/blackboard
EpicPen Partially Yes No Yes (only basic) Yes Paid
Windows Snipping Tool Yes Yes No No No No
ppInk Yes Yes No No Yes No
gInk Yes Yes No No Yes No
LiveDraw Yes Yes No No Yes No
OpenBoard Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Only
SnagIt No Yes No? No? Yes No?
UltimatePen No No No Yes Yes No
TuxPen Yes Yes? Yes Yes? No? No?
ScreenPen Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Draw Over Yes Yes Yes No Yes No?
Sharex Yes Yes No No Yes No?

I marked bold those that look promising in my personal opinion (multiplatform and free is the priority). OpenBoard is the only whiteboard tool. In some cases, it has limited functionality (and maybe shouldn't be enumerated here).

Tuxpen is incomplete, 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 and requires Python. Similar case with Draw Over. It appears to be an experimental software (written in-game engine), plus it has limited functionality (no whiteboard and 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 decided which one to use.

Disclaimer: I prepared this table only for my cases. There are some functionalities that I didn't enumerate here and maybe good for somebody 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

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  • On Windows only (that's why only a comment and not an answer) - ShareX is my go to tool. Why is it important for it to be multi-platform, if for each platform you'll get the 'best of class' there?
    – Lockszmith
    Sep 11 at 21:07
  • @Lockszmith Thank you for sharing it. I will add it to the list. Are you using this tool on a daily basis? Regarding "multiplatform", it's only because I don't want to learn a separate tool for each platform. It's nice to work intuitively without bothering with questions such as "where is that option in this tool?".
    – nosbor
    Sep 12 at 9:42
  • Yes, I use ShareX daily. I disable the automatic upload, and enable multi-region capture. This allows me to hit prtscr, and then select multiple regions as well as have the editor visible. --- Microsoft has a very good web-based (which also has an application in Windows) whiteboard which is free and allows multi-user realtime collaboration, so combining these 2 tools can probably give you a very powerful combination. --- While I hear you about wanting everything to be the same, there is a reason you use Linux and not Windows all the time ;)
    – Lockszmith
    Sep 12 at 17:04
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I found this link on Google - Click here

It lists the best screen annotation software. There are 10+ good screen annotation software on this site.

Zoom is actually an application for online classes or lectures. It has good screen annotation tools. But you have to use Zoom for your lectures to use the tools. Share the screen with your students and use the screen annotation tools!

Screen annotation tools of Zoom

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  • Right, Zoom is multiplatform but it is a communicator and not a screen annotation app. I use already a different communicator and not going to change it.
    – nosbor
    Sep 20 at 10:25

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