Twenty Easy Steps ActivInspire

Root Folder > White Boards > Promethean Board
 20 Easy Steps to Using ActivInspire

1.  How do I open the software and calibrate the board?
  • Double click on the ActivInspire icon on your desktop to open the software.
  • To calibrate the board, right-click on the ACTIVControl icon in the system tray.
  • Choose “Calibrate” and touch the arrows around the board with the pen.

2.  How do I use the Activpen and/or the Activwand?

  • The Activpen is a wireless, battery-free mouse-pen. You can use it to write like you would with a pen, however it also acts as a wireless mouse. Tapping the tip of the pen to the board is the equivalent to a left-click.
  • The orange button on the Activpen is equivalent to a right-click on a mouse.
  • Double click with the pen to activate websites or applications like you would with your mouse.

  • The Activwand is also a battery-free mouse. However, tapping the wand to the board does not left-click like the pen. Instead, you need to click the orange button when you touch the wand to the board to left-click on the screen.
  • The Activwand does not allow you to right-click.


3.  How do I open a new flipchart?
  • When Activstudio first opens, it defaults to a new flipchart page. You will see the toolbox and the dashboard. Close the dashboard so that it does not obstruct the flip chart.
  • Another way to open a new flip chart is to click the “Main Menu” button, then click “File” > “New Flipchart”.

  • On the main toolbar, you will see the buttons “Next Page” and “Previous Page”, which will allow you to move back and forth between the pages of your flipchart,
  • Use the “Next Page” button to add a new flipchart page.


4.  How do I write on the flipchart with the pen?  Change colors?  Change thickness?
  • Click the "pen" button.

  • Use the pen to write or draw on the Promethean board.
  • To change the pen color, make sure the pen is selected.
  • Pick a color from the "Color Palette" to change the color.
  • If the color you want isn't on the color palette, right-click on any of the colors and a larger palette will open.  Then click the color wheel for even more choices.
  • To change the thickness of the pen, choose one of the pre-selected thickness circles or slide the "Pen Width Selector" to the size yo desire.  (This tool will also change the thickness of the highlighter and the eraser.)


5.  How do I use the highlighter?  (Highlighter Tool)
  • Select the "Highlighter Tool."
  • Use the highlighter to draw over text or images.
  • You can change the color of the highlighter by selecting a color from the "Color Palette."
  • You can change the width of the highlighter by sliding the "Pen Width Slider."

6.  How do I erase what I've written?  (Eraser Tool)
  • Select the "Eraser Tool."
  • "Erase" over any mistakes you have made with the "Pen Tool" or the "Highlighter Tool."

7.  How do I undo and redo?

  • To undo a mistake or mistakes, click the "Undo" button once or multiple times.
  • To redo a mistake or mistakes, click the "Redo" button once or multiple times.

8.  How do I erase text and objects?  (Clear Tool)

  • Click on the "Clear Tool."

  • You will then be given options as to what you would like to clear.
  • You can also clear most objects in ActivInspire by clicking the object so that it is selected and clicking "delete" on the keyboard.
  • Finally, you could select the object, and drag it into the trashcan to delete it.  If the trashcan does not appear on your flipchart page, go to "View" on the top toolbar, and select "Flipchart Trashcan."


9. How do I change the background color? (Color Palette and Fill Tool)

  • To change the color of the background on your flipchart, select a color from the “Color Palette.”

  • Click on the “Fill Tool.”

  • Click on the flipchart page and the color will change.
10. How do I add text to my flipchart? (typing)
  • When ActivInspire opens, the default profile (called “At the Board”) does not show a text tool button. To make the button visible, you will need to switch profiles. To do this, click the “Profile” button at the top of your main toolbar.

  • Then select the profile that says, “Authoring”.

  • Click the “Text” button on the main toolbar.

  • Click on the flipchart page where you want the text to appear. You will see this appear on the flipchart:

  • Type your text. When you are finished click the “Text” button again to turn off the text tool, otherwise you will continue to add textboxes to your flipchart page.

11. How do I edit text (change font, size, color, rotate, move?)

  • Double-click your text box to select it. The formatting toolbar will appear at the top of the flipchart. Select your text. Choose a button from the formatting toolbar to change your text.


  • To move or rotate your textbox, click the textbox with the “Select Tool” to select it. Handles will appear around the textbox. Click and drag the handles in or out to decrease or increase the size of the box.
  • Note: The “Spell Check” button only appears on the toolbar for textboxes, and not on the object toolbar.


12. How do I add shapes? Change color? Size?

  • Click on the “Shape” Tool.

  • Click on the desired shape.
  • Select the color you would like for the inside of the shape.

  • To change the outline color of the shape, click on a color on the “Main Toolbar.”

  • Click on the flipchart page and drag with your mouse until you get the size of the shape that you wish to create.
  • To change the size of the shape at anytime, click on the “Select” tool.

  • Select the shape.
  • Click on any of the four corners, to change the size. Select the lower, right-hand corner to keep the aspect ratio.


13. How do I use the connector tool?

  • Place shapes on your flipchart page using the “Shape” tool.
  • The Connector allows you to connect objects together, thus establishing relationships. Click on the “Connector” tool.

  • Select the Connector that meets your needs.



  • Gently mouse over the shape you would like to add a Connector to and select the Shape Point you would like to attach the connector to.
  • Attach it to another Shape Point on another shape.

14. How do I use the ActivInspire tools with other applications on your desktop?

  • Use the “Desktop Annotate” button to use ActivInspire tools with websites and software applications. When the “Desktop Annotate” button is selected, a transparent flipchart is created. You can then write, highlight, etc. on top of websites and software programs.

  • When you save a desktop flipchart, it only saves the objects onto an invisible background, omitting the desktop image.
  • To go back to your flipchart, simply click the “Desktop Annotate” button again.

15. How do I hide ActivInspire and use the Desktop to use tools such as Camera and Screen Recorder?

  • Clicking on the “Desktop Tools” button allows users to quickly hide ActivInspire and access the Desktop.

  • The following icon will appear in which you can drag to anywhere on your screen.

  • The “Desktop Tools” button expands to bring you more tools -

16. How do I see all of my flipchart pages? Move a page? Delete a page?

  • The “Page Browser” button allows you to see all of your flipchart pages as thumbnails.


  • You can adjust the thumbnail view by clicking on the slider in the lower right-hand corner of the “Page Browser” viewing window.

  • To move a page, drag the thumbnail to the desired location in the “Page Browser” viewing window.
  • To delete a page, select the flipchart page you would like to delete in the “Page Browser” viewing window and click on the icon in the top-right corner.

  • Select “Delete” from the list.
  • There are also many other options for you to pick from such as “Duplicate,” “Copy,” etc.



17. How do I get to the Resource Browser to add images, backgrounds, and other media?
  • Click on the “Resource Browser” button.

  • You can access images, games, flipcharts, backgrounds, etc. by clicking on the category of your choice, selecting an item, and dragging it onto the flipchart page.
  • By selecting on various buttons in the Resource Browser, you can access different resources.The icon you want to select to access all of the content from the software is “Shared Resources.”

18. How do I access additional tools?

  • Click on the “Tools” icon to access valuable tools such as Magic Ink, Handwriting Recognition, Shape Recognition, the Revealer, the Spotlight, etc.  Some featured tools that you may want use are -

Use “Magic Ink” to make any ‘top layer’ object invisible. Add an image, draw over it with the “Pen” and use the “Magic Ink” to reveal the object underneath. You can also add two images place one image on the top layer and on top of the other image. Use the “Magic Ink” to reveal the image underneath.

With handwriting or shape recognition, you can write on the board and your handwriting will turn into text. You can also draw a shape and it will turn your drawings into shapes. You do not need to be connected to the board for this to work!

Reveal part of the flipchart page at a time. Pull up the “screen” from the bottom, top, right, or left. Allows educators to hide content to be revealed later on in the lesson.

Put the “Spotlight” on important information in your lesson. You can pick between the following spotlight options:  If you would like the spotlight window smaller or larger, touch your pen to the board and drag using this icon.

Move the spotlight around using this icon. 


To turn off the spotlight, click on the icon next to it and select “Close.”


19. How can I open another flipchart? Save a flipchart? Get “Help” on a question?
  • To open another flipchart, click on the “Main Menu” button and select “File.” From the file menu you click “New Flipchart” to make a flipchart from scratch, “Open” to get to another flipchart, click “Save As” to save a flipchart to a specific location, click “Print” to print your flipchart.

  • To get help click on the “Main Menu” button and select “Help” and the click on “Contents.”

20. How do I switch my profile to have quick access to the tools I need?

  • Click on the “Switch Profile” button to switch your profile to access tools that are customized to/for various content areas:
  • When you switch your profile, you will notice that the tools change.

Additional Resources

  • A free Foundation Skills course is offered through Promethean Learning, http://www.prometheanlearning.com/us. You will need to create an account and sign up for the course. You can take the course online for free, anytime and anywhere with an internet connection.

  • Register for an account on Promethean Planet, http://www.prometheanplanet.com/ and gain access to thousands of resources to use with your Promethean board.