Fix Broken Handwriting on SMART Boards by @compmadesimp

A little off topic this one, but here’s the answer to something that’s been puzzling me for a while. Why is it you get gaps in the lines when you write on some SMART Board interactive flat panels and not others?

This is a re-blog post originally posted by @compmadesimp and published with kind permission.

The original post can be found here.

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I originally thought it must something obscuring the LEDs that run round the side of these flat panels, so I gave them a good dust. No joy. Then I tried fiddling about with the PC’s graphics properties, making sure my resolution was full HD, and the image was fitting the panel perfectly. No joy. So then I convinced myself it was the driver software, so reinstalled the latest version of it. Still no joy.

Finally, I realised the answer is simple: it’s the pen you are using. Teacher’s occasionally lose the two (yes two!) pens that come with SMART Board flat panels, so decide to use something else instead. Most of the time this is fine. A finger works perfectly. But occasionally, they decide to use something with a fine nib. Well, who doesn’t like writing with a fine-nibbed pen? And it’s the fine nibbed pen that causes the gaps in the lines. So there you have it, a simple solution to what at first appears a complex technical problem.

Not sure if this is an issue with all other flat panels/TVs, but I can say for certain it also happens with Prowise panels, because I tested one. So if your handwriting is breaking up, take a look at the pen you’re using first, before you spend hours working your way through technical fixes.


Old style (thin nibbed) SMART Board pens on the left don’t work well with interactive flat panels. Note that the new style pens on the right (they give you two to lose!) have much wider nibs.

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