Increased Presentation Impact with BigNote

Leon Bambrick and I recently came up with an idea for a tool to use during presentations  – essentially a big floating textbox that takes up as much room as possible on the screen. We also gave it a name – BigNote. The idea with BigNote is that instead of switching between on-screen subject matter (like visual studio, a web site or whatever) into PowerPoint and back you just ‘live annotate’ what is going on screen. This is similar in spirit to other tools like ZoomIt, which allows you to draw shapes over the top of things on the screen, but with the focus on text rather than images. A tool like this obviously isn’t going to suit every presenter, or every style of presentation, but since it was a really simple idea I went ahead and built it. I built it in WPF, and the first version was about 5 lines of non-generated code. After a few refinements like a global keyboard hook (so you can bring focus back to BigNote) and an animating viewbox to animate the re-sizing of the text. Here is a video of BigNote in action.

BigNote In Action

You can install it from codeplex (or download the code and hack on it if you want – as you’d expect from such a simple app the codebase is very small). I expect there’ll be a jQuery plug-in to do this in the future, and look forward to seeing how things like system-wide keyboard hooks can be implemented in javascript.


Jeff Grasty
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16/07/2011 11:21:03 PM
Add the ability to replay typing in a realistic manner and you may just have NotePud V2.0: :)

Sidenote: What’s the deal with the preceding comments?

17/07/2011 3:07:10 AM
Yeah, a transparent background to notepad would give you 80% of the feature-set of BigNote.
18/07/2011 1:44:24 AM