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As you start teaching with your Promethean board and the ActivInspire software, one of the major tools that everyone uses are the writing tools. The writing tools not only allow us to add text information to our various pages, they also allow us to add real-time information to our pages during an actual class session. This way we can use our Promethean board the same way we use any whiteboard. All we have to do is add another page and write to our heart's content. Let's go and get familiar with the writing tools. To help model this and if you're following along, you need to create a blank flip chart. This blank flips chart I currently have open is called writing tools, and I've already saved it onto my computer.
You can see that there's only one page that's been added, and that page is entirely blank. Let's go and take a look at our toolbox, and figure out the various ways that I can add text and writing onto this particular page. On the right hand side, and what's typically selected, is the pen tool. Now, the pen tool allows you to freehand write on your board. With the pen tool selected, you can change the width of the pen all the way from 0 up through 100, or you can choose one of the four most common pre-selected widths which are 2, 4, 6, and 8. I'm going to go and select eig8ht.
And even though 8 looks like it's very large compared to the 2, notice where my slider's at. It's all the way on the left hand side of the slider. So by coming here and just draw a line that's using the 8 setting, you can see how thick it is. Let's go and take the slider all the way over to the 100 setting. And we'll draw a new line. In fact, you can see from the dotted arrows in the circle that it's a much thicker line. So not only does the pen tool allow us to write, but it also allows us to draw and even color things in, based on the thickness that we're using. I'm going to go ahead and click back to width of 8.
You can also change the color of the pen by using the color palette at the top of the page. I'm going to go ahead and select blue, and if I come back out here and draw another line, you can see that the color's been changed. Now, every single time that I make a mark with the pen tool, it actually creates an object out of that writing. So, if I head over and click on the select tool, I can come back out to the writing that I just did, and I can see that it's become an object. This object can now be moved around and positioned in various places on the page. And even though I made three pen strokes and that they appear to be one object, they're actually three different objects that have been auto-grouped for us.
If I only wanted to move, let's say, the inside purple line, I could go ahead and click the un-group button, select just the purple line, and choose to move that around as well. This becomes really important when we're writing text and we have multiple letters. I'm going to come back to the pen tool, and I'm going to go ahead and write our word. I'm going to write science. Now science is made up of seven different letters. And I intentionally have two of my letters touching. If I go to the select tool and I click on Science, you can see that I can move the entire word around. I'm going to go ahead and un-group it. Even though I have two letters that are touching, they are in fact individual and different letters.
In fact, I can slide this e out and reposition it. Now one thing to keep in mind is if I started moving individual letters around, they're still un-grouped. Which means if I click on the S, I can only move the S, I can't move the rest of the word. In order to make sure that science stays its own word, I'm going to go ahead and drag a box over the entire section, which will select all of the letters. And I'm going to come back up and re-click the group button. This will now allow me to move the entire word around on my page. In addition to being able to freehand write, we also have the ability to type.
Not every teacher has that wonderful ability to go to the board and have great-looking handwriting that students can read. My own students often ask me to type instead of write. With the text icon illuminated, we can then go ahead and add various styles. I can choose to bold or unbold the text. I can italicize it. I can underline it. I can do superscripts and subscripts. I can use the size of my text, or the color of it. If I'm writing a lot of text, I can also choose paragraph justification. I can change the spacing of the text, or even add bullets, the same way you would in Microsoft Word. I'm going to go ahead and click on the screen and start typing.
So you can see that as I typed, the text went a little bit off the page. I can always select the reposition tool and just simply move this text around to wherever I think that is appropriate. Once it's there, I can click outside of the text to make the editing option go away. If at any time I'd like to come back in and change this text, all I have to do is make sure that my text button is selected and click back on it. The last writing tool that I'd like to use is the highlighter. The highlighter can be used to highlight not only text, but any part of my particular page. When I come to the highlight tool, it has almost the same functions as the pen tool.
Here I can change the size of my highlight tool, I can select any color that I want to highlight. The difference is, is the pen is a completely solid color. If I go and select this red color, and then come down and decide to highlight the word lesson, you can see that I have kind of an opaque red. I can see through the red to whatever is directly behind it. This allows me to draw attention to certain words or graphics on a single page, without having to block them out. So using the pen, highlighter, and text tools in conjunction with each other allows you to quickly add information to your slides during an actual class lesson.
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