Applicable to: ActivBoard Touch, ActivPanel, ActivPanel Titanium.

This article does not apply to ActivPanel Nickel ActivPanel 1 as they are touch-only devices.

Windows support

Most hardware comes with a pen or stylus, but the way that Windows interprets the input varies by model.

Windows supports stylus, touch and palm erase inputs in extended desktop. Windows does not support mouse inputs in extended desktop, as they cannot be configured for more than one screen.

This article will explain the differences and help you choose the most suitable setup for your classroom.

Promethean hardware without ActivDriver (Plug and play)

ActivPanel and ActivBoard Touch are Human Interface Devices (HID-compliant). Windows manages HID-compliant devices very well in simple setups, and often, the Promethean hardware displays a duplicate of your computer screen.

You do not need to install ActivDriver; you can simply plug and play. Without ActivDriver installed on your computer, Windows recognises your ActivPanel or ActivBoard Touch pen as a stylus.

Extended desktop is a useful way to keep notes visible to you on your laptop, while showing other content on the front of class display. To do this, press the Windows and P keys together and select Extend. Windows will treat your display as a second screen, and stylus, touch, and palm erase inputs will work as expected.

Adjust your settings for additional displays in Control Panel | Hardware and Sound | Tablet PC Settings.

Promethean hardware with ActivDriver

There are two different input options in ActivDriver, and they control the way your ActivPanel or ActivBoard pen is recognised by the operating system.
In the system tray, click the ActivDriver icon and open the Control Panel. Select the Pens tab.

When the Tablet option is selected, Windows recognises your pen as a stylus, as if ActivDriver were not installed (see Promethean hardware without ActivDriver). Since Windows is controlling the inputs, you will be able to use both stylus and touch in native Microsoft apps such as PowerPoint. The Tablet option allows you to use extended desktop if stylus and touch inputs are sufficient, and you are not using ActivInspire.

The Mouse option is required when using ActivInspire on Promethean hardware. ActivInspire relies on ActivDriver to convert the pen input into a mouse input for precision when writing, and for premium features such as Handwriting Recognition and Dual User. This enables ActivInspire to differentiate between pen and touch inputs and allows you to assign default tools for each input. None of this is possible if ActivDriver is not installed or has been set to the wrong option.
However, Windows does not allow mouse inputs to be configured for more than one screen, which is problematic. When the desktop is extended, it simply gets wider, and Windows treats your laptop and Promethean hardware as a single screen.

In simple terms, with this setup you would be trying to interact with the whole desktop using an area that only displays part of it. Often, this results in inaccurate calibration when using a pen to interact with the display.

ActivInspire does not support a Windows stylus input, and instead uses ActivDriver to convert your pen input to a mouse input. Since Windows does not allow mouse inputs to be configured for more than one screen, ActivInspire is not supported in extended desktop. In addition, the camera, screen recorder and tickertape, amongst other tools, will only work interactively when ActivInspire is running on the primary display. ActivInspire is fully supported when the display mode is set to Duplicate or Second screen only.