Is there software that allows to combine slides and drawing on top of your slides (like Microsoft Paint)?

I found this website which says that you can draw (just like MS Paint) on top of your own PowerPoint slides and verified this does work. But I was wondering if there are other software that do this (perhaps better)?

  • $\begingroup$ One option seems to be https://nearpod.com/. "Nearpod is both an online tool as well as an iPad app. It allows teachers to turn boring presentations into interactive ones that engage students and encourage them to participate in their own learning. It also collects data on student responses so that teachers can check for comprehension." I myself have not used it, so take this with an appropriate grain of salt. $\endgroup$ Feb 11, 2018 at 23:35
  • $\begingroup$ What about LibreOffice? It's the open source equivalent of MS-Office, so I imagine every feature of MS-Office being there too. $\endgroup$
    – Dominique
    Feb 12, 2018 at 10:55

2 Answers 2


A couple of solutions come to mind:

  1. A solution similar to guest's answer is to print your slides out on paper, then use an overhead camera to project them. You can annotate the paper using normal human tools (like pens and pencils, rather than a stylus for a tablet, or a greasepaint pencil or wet-erase markers). I think that this is a better option than an overhead projector—my experience with overheads is that they are finicky to focus (though this can be true of cheap document cameras, as well), hard to read in a large room, block the view of students behind the overhead (since the overhead itself is tall and the instructor must stand next to it in order to write), and kind of loud (they get hot and have loud fans).

  2. If you are in a classroom with a projector and a whiteboard, and the projector happens to project onto the whiteboard, the solution is (I hope) obvious—project your slides onto the whiteboard, and annotate them there.

  3. The solution that I have been using recently is a tablet and Notability. Notability is not perfect, but it does a pretty good job. The general workflow is to create your slides and save them as a .pdf, then import them into Notability. As you go through your presentation / lecture, you can annotate the slides (the toolset is somewhat limited—you have pens and highlighters in the form of various sized circles to work with), and the annotated work can be exported and distributed to students. Notability works best on a tablet with a stylus, but it also runs on desktop machines and works reasonably well with a mouse and keyboard. On the downside, it only runs under Apple operating systems (iOS or Mac OS), so far as I know.

    While this is not entirely on topic, I have also been using a combination of Notability and Zoom to conduct office hours this quarter. This seems to work quite well, especially when there are large numbers of students—everyone can see what is going on equally well, and my tiny office doesn't get crowded.

  4. If you are using Microsoft's software already, I think that they have something that plays nice with their stuff (a quick Googling indicates that the software is called OneNote. I haven't used this software, but it seems to fit the bill.

  • $\begingroup$ Moral plus one. Stellar detail and organization. Loved the practical criticism of the fan noise and focus! (I can still remember the "always have an extra bulb in your pocket" advice, haha!) $\endgroup$
    – guest
    Feb 12, 2018 at 19:20
  • $\begingroup$ I can personally attest to Notability for writing on slides in class. I actually think it’s really nice for general PDF markup purposes, but produces significantly larger files than the only other annotation software I’ve tried, OneNote. I use OneNote for posting quiz solutions, but I haven’t tried it for real-time markup/slides. $\endgroup$
    – pjs36
    Feb 13, 2018 at 5:03

Print the slides on acetate. Show them on an OHP. Use a grease pencil to draw on.

I'm not just trolling you. It's actually more interactive with the students. Removes some technology barrier. [And it accomplishes mission of your question.]

  • $\begingroup$ I believe you are not trolling, but unfortunately this kind of technology is not even available to many people nowadays. I know that my institution does not offer this. Moreover, the Joint Math Meetings website says: "Overhead projectors are no longer provided as part of the standard audio-visual setup in any room." jointmathematicsmeetings.org/meetings/national/jmm2018/… $\endgroup$ Feb 12, 2018 at 17:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.