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Ardesia turns your entire desktop into a touch-friendly sketchpad

Ever wanted to use your desktop as a sketchpad? And by ‘use your desktop’ I do mean quite literally!

OMG! reader Marko dropped us a tip on the following self-described ‘free painting software’ that allows you to use your fingers, mouse and/or graphics tablet to make free-hand sketches, notes and annotations upon your desktop.

No longer do you need to stay within the rigid confines of application windows or dedicated drawing canvas’ – you can now treat your desktop like a chalkboard with Ardesia.

Ardesia in action on a HP touchsmart and a bamboo tablet on Ubuntu 10.10 nightly

Ardesia works with most pointing devices – use your mouse, a touchscreen, a drawing tablet, or any other device supported by Linux. There is probably very little benefit using a mouse with the tool over, say, something like Shutter’s Editing feature, but if you have a touchscreen or a digital graphics tablet Ardesia can be both fun and helpful.

Your creativity/OCD can be let loose upon more than just the desktop – import image you want to annotate and away you go. Best of all, you can save, record and even stream your work as you  create it.

Features

I’ve loaded my feature-gun and here are the bullets: –

  • Recording feature (requires VLC)
  • Ability to stream ‘live’ screencast of your desktop as you use Ardesia
  • Save sketches as .pngs or .pdf’s
  • Draw freehand in any colour you like
  • Configurable brush size
  • Other tools include arrows, text and geometric shapes
  • Undo/redo feature

Coming soon…

There are also many more features due to be added in later releases including: –

  • ‘Stroke’ based virtual keyboard for entering text (like swype perhaps?)
  • Many extra tools for use in screencasts/presentations –
    • curtain for ‘hiding’ parts of your screen
    • Magnifier
    • Spotlight

Download

You’ll find .deb installers over on the projects’ page @ code.google.com/p/ardesia