This post covers some of the best free software that allow you to draw on the screen on your PC. An overlay is created to help you draw over any running software, opened window, application, etc., on the desktop screen. You can use a highlighter or pen to draw, write something on the screen, or mark areas. It can come in handy during presentations, online meetings, video conferences, and more.
There exist many free drawing software, but the feature to draw directly on the desktop screen is not present there. Therefore, we created this post to help you serve this purpose.
Draw on desktop screen in Windows 11/10
This post includes 5 free software to draw on Windows 11/10 screen, Windows Ink Screen Sketch has already been covered elsewhere on this site.
- Epic Pen
- Paint on Whiteboard Desktop
gInk is one of the best on-screen annotation software for Windows 11/10. It has three features that catch the attention. You can move annotations or drawings that you drew from one area to another. The feature to show/hide all the annotations is also there. Also, you can enable the mouse pointer to use desktop and other applications without losing the annotations. Later, you can use annotation tools again to begin from your left off. It has 10 different pens for on-screen drawing. By default, only 5 pens are visible on its toolbar, but you can access Settings to show more pens on its toolbar.
You can download this open-source software from GitHub. After running this software, you can click its system tray icon to access the available tools. You will see different color pens, an eraser tool to delete an annotation, an eye icon to show/hide annotations, a Pan tool to move annotations, screenshot capture to take a full-screen snapshot, or a specific area, undo tool, etc.
You can also access Settings of this software by right-clicking on its system tray icon and using Options. There, you will be able to set hotkeys for different pens, tick mark on pens and tools that you want to show in the toolbar, change the path to store screenshots, etc.
2] Epic Pen
Epic Pen is a popular screen annotation software. It comes with pen and highlighter tools to draw on the desktop screen. There are 16 different colors available for drawing. It also lets you pause/resume desktop drawing with a single click. There is also a screenshot capture tool using which you can capture the full screen along with your desktop drawing or take a screenshot of a specific area in PNG format.
When the software is running, its floating icon is visible on the desktop screen which you can place anywhere you want. Use the ink icon and then you can explore all the available tools. Just select any of the available colors and start drawing. It also lets you undo the actions or use Eraser. Pen or Highlighter size/width can also be adjusted using the tools menu.
If you want, you can also access Settings of this software using the menu icon in the tools menu and then set hotkeys to use a tool, toggle visibility, etc. Apart from this, it also provides whiteboard, blackboard, line, arrow, rectangle, and other tools but those are available in its paid plan. Still, the free plan is pretty good to draw on the desktop screen.
3] Paint on Whiteboard Desktop
Paint on Whiteboard Desktop is another good software to draw on Windows 10 screen. You can use the freehand tool and select any of your favorite colors for drawing. This software has an advantage over Epic Pen software as it lets you use line and arrow tools for free. Also, you can set opacity level and thickness for drawing tools.
You can grab this software here. It is a portable software and Java is needed to use this software. When you will launch the software, you will see its Toolbar on the left side. There you can use freehand, arrow, line tools, set width n opacity for drawing. Also, you can clear or wipe the entire screen using the available tool. It doesn’t come with undo or eraser tools so you must be careful while drawing.
A screen capture tool is also there to save the full desktop screen along with your drawing. All its features are good, but you can’t pause and resume desktop drawing when the software is active. So, you should first open the desire software or application and then launch this software.
LiveDraw is an open-source and one of the best screen annotation software. It has 12 different colors to draw on the desktop screen. You can also minimize this software to open other applications and hide annotated areas and then again start drawing on the desktop screen with pre-added annotations.
The most interesting and unique feature is you can save all the annotations or on-screen drawings with transparent background as a PNG image.
You can grab the portable EXE of this on-screen annotator software from GitHub. After launching this software, you will see 12 different color pens. You can use toggle more option using the given icon and then access other options like undo and redo actions, use the Eraser tool, clear screen, save ink or drawing as a transparent PNG image, show/hide ink or annotation, etc.
ZoomIt is actually a screen zoom and annotation software, but you can also use it to draw on your Windows 10 desktop screen. You can use its freehand tool and text tool to draw or write something on desktop screen. It provides only a red color for drawing but it successfully serves the purpose of drawing on the screen. In addition to that, it also comes with a basic break reminder software that you can use with custom time to take a break from work.
After downloading its zip file, you can run this portable tool. Now, use Ctrl+2 hotkey to activate its drawing tool. To use the text tool while drawing, you can press ‘t’ and then add a custom text. You can skip from drawing and text tools using Esc key.
If you want to use zoom-in feature, then press Ctrl+1 hotkey. Or else, you can also set custom hotkeys by accessing Options window of this tool. Simply right-click on the system tray icon of this software and click on Options to open that window and change hotkeys.
These are some helpful options to draw on Windows 10 desktop screen. gInk is definitely a bit better than other on-screen drawing software because of its unique features. But, other software are also good.