5 Best Free Open Source Screen Annotation Software for Windows

Here is a list of Best Free Open Source Screen Annotation Software for Windows. Using these free software, you can annotate your desktop screen as well as active windows and applications. These come with an open source license that allows you to download, study, and edit source code of these screen annotation freeware. Also, all software are portable and lightweight.

In most of these software, you get a standard pen tool that lets you draw over screen just like freehand drawing. Some software provide you an additional set of tools to annotate screen including basic shapes (rectangle, circle, ellipse, line, etc.), arrow, smilies, cliparts, number, text, eraser, and more. Apart from that, features to zoom desktop screen, highlight mouseclicks and keystrokes, move your annotation, and more are also available in a few software. You can customize options like pen color, pen width, font, and more before starting screen annotation.

These software let you assign hotkeys to start screen annotation and specific functions. You can also save screen annotations as images. All in all, these are handy software to draw over desktop screen for demonstration or any other purpose.

My Favorite Free Open Source Screen Annotation Software for Windows:

ppInk is my favorite software as it provides the most number of annotation features. Plus, you can add shortcut keys for almost all functions.

gInk is another good software to quickly annotate your desktop screen.

You may also like some best free Open Source Drawing Software, Remote Screen Annotation Software, and PDF Annotation Software for Windows.


ppInk is a free, portable, open source screen annotation software for Windows. It provides you a set of drawing tools to annotate screen or any active window. In it, you get annotation tools like rectangle, circle, ellipse, line, arrow, freehand drawing, numbered chip, text, multiple pens, eraser, smiley, cliparts, etc. Plus, magnetic effect, zoom, move drawing, mouse pointer, and more tools are also provided in it. It lets you save a snapshot of screen annotation in PNG format.

Before starting screen annotation, you can customize a lot of options. These options include color, pen size, text font and size, background board, etc. You can also assign hotkeys for specific functions or use default hotkeys to start a specific task. It also provides a video recording option with FFmpeg or OBS.

How to annote screen in ppInk:

  • As you launch this software, you will see a set of annotation tools. If you want to customize annotation settings, click on its icon from the system tray and click on Options.
  • Now, click on any of the drawing tools and start annotating your desktop screen or active window. You easily toggle between the annotation tools as per your requirements.
  • After that, you can save a snapshot of screen annotations as PNG image.

Additional Feature:

  • Save Strokes: It lets you save your keystrokes which you can load later.


It is one of the best open source screen annotation software which offers a variety of drawing tools and features.


gInk is another free open source screen annotation software for Windows. It provides all standard annotation tools to draw on your screen and demonstrate your thought instantaneously. You can find pen tools of different size and color that you can use to annotate screen. While screen annotation, you can continue working on different window or application.

Options like canvus cursor, custom pens, shortcut keys, pen width, and more can also be set up. It comes in a portable package, so use it on the go to perform screen annotation. Now, let’s have a look at the steps to annotate screen through it.

How to annotate screen using gInk:

  • Launch this software and from the system tray, right-click on it and go to the Options menu. You will be able to customize several annotation related settings from there.
  • Now, press on its icon from system tray and select an annotation tool from the opened toolbar.
  • Next, annotate screen as you want.
  • When done, you can save the screenshot of screen annotation in PNG format.


It is another good open source software that lets you annotate screen without much hassle.


LiveDraw is yet another free open source screen annotation software for Windows. It is a simple and portable application that allows you to annotate your desktop screen or any window. In it, you get only a basic pen tool to add a freehand drawing annotation to screen. Although, you can select a desired color for screen annotation from available colors.

It provides a Toggle more options feature that you can use to get more onscreen options such as eraser, clear screen, quick save, release/ recover control of drawing, hide ink, etc. At any point, you can save screen annotation as an image (PNG).

How to annotate screen using LiveDraw:

  • Start this software and choose a pen color to make screen annotation. You can easily toggle between different colors as you want.
  • If you want to keep the screen annotation and meanwhile work on other windows, click on the release/ recover control of drawing option. Use the same option to start annotating screen again.
  • Finally, you can save screen drawing to a transparent PNG image file using Export ink to image with transparent option.


It is one of simplest open source screen annotation software that provides few but effective drawing tools.


DemoHelper is the next free open source screen annotation software for Windows. It is basically a simple software that lets you zoom and annotate screen. It also highlights used keystrokes and mouse clicks in real-time. You can also configure application options like hotkeys (zoom mode, live zoom mode), draw mode, remove lines after, show/ hide keystrokes, show/ hide mouseclicks, configure colors, etc.

How to annotate screen using DemoHelper:

  • First, start this portable software and go to its icon in system tray and click on the Draw option.
  • Now, start annotating screen using freehand drawing tool.
  • When done, you can press Esc key to stop annotating screen.


It is an easy to use open source screen annotation software that also lets you zoom desktop screen and it shows mouse clicks and keystrokes.


ScreenDraw is one more free open source screen annotation software for Windows. It is a very basic screen drawing software. You get some standard colors in it using which you can freely draw over your screen. The final drawing can be saved to a BMP image. That’s it. It doesn’t provide any other feature.


If you want a lightweight portable screen annotation that provides a basic annotation tool, use this software.

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