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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Known bugs in version 10

  2. The highlight is offset from the actual location of the mouse/pen.

  3. The pen is not detected.

  4. My anti-virus program says that there is a virus in the installer.

  5. I want a bigger pencil or pointer icon.

  6. I want to toggle the highlight on/off using a tablet button.

  7. PenAttention crashes when attempting to run

  8. PenAttention or CursorAttention crashes when attempting to run

  9. PenAttention installs but the cursor doesn't follow my pen

  10. The highlight lags behind my pen or mouse

  11. Lots of flickering/flashing using PowerPoint in full screen

Doesn't solve your problem or something else bugging you? Send an email to Kenrick at kenrick@acm.org


After running the program (by default, it is added to your startup folder so it will start automatically upon bootup), a new icon will be placed in the system tray. Click or right-click the icon to bring up a menu to select whether to display a highlight around the pen tip or draw a pencil or a pointer.

De-select all options or exit the program to revert to usual pen behavior without any special icon.

The "Highlight Settings" menu option allows you to control the color, opacity, shape, and size of the highlighted area. You can also select a checkbox to enable highlighting for the mouse in addition to the pen. If you enable the "Toggle Color on Right Click" option then right-clicking the mouse or pen will cycle through three sets of highlight colors. You can also select between CTRL-F9 or CTRL-ALT-F9 as hotkeys to enable or disable the highlight. If you have a tablet PC, you might want to map the hotkey to a hardware button in the control panel.

The "Display Scaling Factor" setting is to compensate for high-resolution displays that have per-monitor scaling enabled. This is set up in the Display Settings and is common for Surface Pro machines or other machines with high-resolution that makes text too small to read unless scaling is turned on. If you find that the highlight is offset from the actual position of the cursor then you can:

  1. In your Display Settings, set your scaling to 100%. You may need to reduce your screen resolution so your text is readable. If you choose this option then in PenAttention you should set the display scaling factor to 1.
  2. Set your display scaling factor to match your Display Settings. For example, if it is 200% then you would set it to 2 in PenAttention. You might need to make a small adjustment if the scaling is slightly off (e.g. 2.01 instead of 2).

The "Extended Monitor" option allows you to map the highlight to extended displays. This is useful for programs that use the projector as an extended display. Examples include Classroom Presenter in Dual-Monitor Output Mode and Microsoft PowerPoint in Presenter View mode. These modes display the projector output as a second display and the primary display is used for speaker notes and other controls. You must first select the "Configure Extended Monitor" option to select the area on the primary screen that maps to the secondary extended display.

Note: If you are inking in PowerPoint's Presenter View mode, make sure that "Advance Slide on Mouse Click" is unchecked for all slides under "Animations" from the menu.

If you would like to make a custom pencil/pen icon, then use a paint program and create a PNG image named "CustomPen.png" and put it in the PenAttention install folder. Normally, the install folder will be somewhere in your "Program Files" folder. The upper left corner of the image will map to the location of the pen or mouse. Make sure to include a transparent color if you want the background to show through. The installation includes a demo image named "RenameToCustomPen.png" that you can experiment with as a starting point. You will have to exit and restart PenAttention before any changes to this file will be visible in the program.

Email any questions or comments to Kenrick Mock: kenrick@acm.org