Academic Technology Center
Teaching with Technology Collaboratory

Using the Sympodium Interactive Pen Display

Benefits of Using the Sympodium:


The Sympodium Interactive Pen Display is currently installed in most electronic classrooms. There are some rooms that instead are now equipped with Wacom DTU1631's. Please contact if you have questions about one of these rooms.

Please also note that in the latest version of this software, you may see some pen input settings you would like to disable. Please see these pages for instructions:

Disable the Pen's Right Click Menu

Disable the Pen Input Panel

To contact a member of the Technology for Teaching and Learning Team with questions or ideas, please email

Sympodium ID370

Using the Sympodium

You can either use the tool buttons on the Sympodium itself, or launch a floating toolbar that appears on the screen. Either option allows you to switch between "mouse mode" and "pen mode."

Using the Tool Buttons

Pen Tools

  1. To switch from mouse mode into pen mode, open the application or file you plan to discuss and mark-up. If the file is a PowerPoint presentation, you must start the slideshow.
  2. Select a pen color from the top of the Sympodium in the Pen Tools area.
  3. Begin marking up your screen. The pen is located at the top of the Sympodium. You can also use the mouse as pen.
  4. To switch back to mouse mode, simply press the Select button on the Sympodium.

Function Tools

The Right Mouse button works only in pen mode. When you press the button, the pen's next contact with the screen is interpreted as a right-click with a mouse. This allows you to do limited mouse functions with the pen.

The Keyboard button launches an on-screen keyboard.

The Notebook button launches the Notebook software, which allows you to add content and mark it up with the tools, much like a blank page in a notebook.

The Capture button launches the Capture toolbar, which is used for taking screenshots of your markups. See the instructions below on capturing screen shots.

The Tools button launches the floating toolbar, which offers much of the same functionality as the tool buttons, as well as some additional functionality.


Using the Floating Toolbar

By default, the following Floating Toolbar should appear on your screen.

The floating toolbar can "float" anywhere on the screen, meaning that you can click on the gray area of the toolbar with the mouse and drag it to a different location on the screen.

The Select tool allows you to work in mouse mode using either the pen or the mouse.
The Pen tool allows you to markup the screen, using either the pen or the mouse.
The Line tool allows you to draw customized lines, using either the pen or the mouse.
The Shape tool can also be customized to create pre-formed shapes.
The Highlight tool allows you to highlight areas of the screen, using either the pen or the mouse.
The Eraser button allows you to erase markups on the screen using either the pen or mouse.
When you press the Right Click button in pen mode, the pen's next contact with the screen is interpreted as a right-click with a mouse.
The Keyboard button launches the onscreen keyboard - not needed when there is an actual keyboard present.
This button launches the SMART Notebook Software.
The Undo button allows you to undo an action or markup.
The Customize button allows you to personalize this toolbar with a wealth of additional tools.


In MS PowerPoint Slide Show/Presentation Mode, you will see the following toolbar. The bottom arrow on this toolbar opens a menu that allows you to access MS Ink features, as well as the "Insert New Slide" option.


To show or hide the Floating Toolbar from view, select the SMART Board™ icon located in the lower right of the screen - the Windows Notification Area. Then select Show/Hide Floating Tools.



Some of the more advanced tools (some Shapes, dotted lines, etc.) do not work when in the Presentation Mode of PowerPoint by default. There is a work-around for this issue - contact for more information.

Capturing Screenshots of Mark-ups

  1. Press the Capture function button to launch the Capture Toolbar on your screen.
  2. Select the appropriate capture option from the Capture Toolbar. The first button captures an area of the screen, the second button captures an entire window, the third button captures the entire screen, and the fourth button captures freehand drawings.
  3. If you selected the the first option to select a capture area, you must click and drag the mouse to select an area of your screen to capture. Otherwise, the software automatically captures your active window or whole screen.
  4. Save your capture.


If you are in an electronic classroom, make sure you save image captures to your local Network drive!


Smart Technologies (2007). Sympodium ID370 interactive pen display. Retrieved July 2, 2007 and

SMART Technologies Support for Notebook Version 10 (2009) Retrivied January 14th, 2009.

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Last modified: Jan 16, 2013, 10:35 EST
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