Welcome to NetPen!

NetPen is a freeware whiteboard that multiple people can easily draw on and manipulate simultaneously over the network.  Also includes features for teachers such as class voting, and conducting/grading tests (see videos for details).

  Beta 0.97, 2/14/09
Features Videos: Basics, Editing, Testing, Grading
  • Any drawn element can be set to fade This is great to draw attention to something.
  • Use the Pointer to select and move items
  • It uses a simple client/server model, only one port is used
  • Any number of clients can connect to a host
  • Allows many pen colors and shape color fills
  • Has simple intuitive controls for lines, rectangles, circles, just click the button and use the shift, shift+ctrl, alt, and ctrl keys.   The cursor indicates what will be drawn.
  • Push the shift key down to toggle elipses and rectangles into circles and squares.
  • Draw from a wide variety of textures using the
  • Draw text anywhere just by typing!
  • Edit & Spell check text by double-clicking text
  • Use ctrl+space at the beginning of text line to get a check box
  • Text can be in any font , just point the mouse and type
  • Users can add images either by pasting (CTRL+V or CTRL+INS) or Edit->Load
  • Images can be loaded either locally or from remote servers
  • The background color can be changed from Edit->Set Background Color
  • Objects can be brought to the front or sent to the back using Edit from the menubar or CTRL+F/CTRL+B
  • Images can be copied and pasted to the same page or a diffent page using CTRL+C and CTRL+V
  • Erase by using the Eraser or hit the delete key on selected objects
  • A grid can be toggled on or off using the Grid Control
  • Use the concentric circles button to pinpoint something
  • Escape clears all selections, CTRL+A selects everything
  • Intelligent use of Bandwidth!  NetPen compresses any large transmissions.
  • "One click" resynchronization with
  • "Smart Mouse" drawing, also works with digital pens
  • Multiple pages provide an unlimited drawing area
  • Texture widths can be set via the mouse's scroll wheel or
  • Page zero is not saved or transmitted, it is an icon repository (use copy and paste elsewhere)
  • Negative pages are used as a staging area and are not transmitted, but they are saved.
  • Objects can be locked in place (indicated by the red border) using CTRL+L as a toggle.
  • A refresh button has been added on the toolbar just in case a client becomes out of sync with the server.
  • Double Clicking a .pen file will now open up a NetPen whiteboard on that file
  • Voting and Testing are now supported
  • The arrow buttons and mouse wheel can now alter selected objects (the   indicator shows what will be altered) as shown below (text in blue will be in a future release):
    Selected None Shift Ctrl Alt
    Nothing Default Size Default Color    
    Line Width Color Start cap End cap
    Text Size Color Italics/Bold/Plain Font
    Shape Scale Color Border Color  
    Image Scale      

It's event Driven! Instantaneous updates!

  • Objects surrounded by a light blue border can be altered
  • Objects surrounded by a red border can be altered, but not moved (you can toggle this on/off with ctrl+L).
  • Objects surrounded by a purple border can only be copied.

SpellCheck Dictionaries

NetPen comes with two english dictionaries, a U.S. and a U.K. version. The dictionary used must be located in the lib subdirectory of the installation directory. The .ini file can be modified to change the filename by changing the dict keyword.

A dictionary is nothing more than a list of correctly spelled words.  If you create a dictionary in a different language please send me a copy via email and I'll make it available from this site.

Download Safely from dlTube
Hosting & Clients

The dialog to the left is used to setup a host or a client and is brought up by clicking on the Connection menu item in the window above. To setup a host click the Hosting checkbox and enter the port to host on. Note that if you're behind a router you may need to setup a NAT translation for the router to forward the data to the port correctly.

To setup a client connection to a host you need to enter the port the host is using and either a URL to the server or the servers IP address.

Windows Installation

Installation is a snap.

  1. First you'll need the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) 6, Update 3 or later. If you already have a version of Java installed, the easiest and quickest way to get update 3 is by using the "Update" option from the Java Control Panel, which can be found in your system's Control Panel. If that doesn't work, try navigating through Sun's web pages, the top of the download section is here. Scroll about half way down until you see "Java Runtime Environment (JRE) 6 Update 3". By clicking the download button on that page for the JRE and following through the subsequent pages you can have Java up in no time (well, it is a 14 Mb download, so not quite as quickly as that). Here a link to Sun's Instructions for installing Java.
  2. Download NetPen's setup.exe file and double-click to install.

Non-Windows Installation

NetPen has only been tested on a Windows Vista and XP platform. Being written in Java it might work on other platforms. If you try it, please let me know the results. All you should need is the jar file. To run NetPen from the command line you'd type: java -jar NetPen.jar

Release Notes

Legal Stuff
All Software is Copyrighted by Paul Regenhardt, All rights reserved. Paul Regenhardt ("The author") provides the software "AS-IS" and without warranty of any kind, expressed, implied or otherwise, including and without limitation, any warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. In no event shall the author be liable for any special, incidental, indirect or consequential damages whatsoever (including, without limitation, damages for loss of profits, business interruption, loss of information, or any other loss), whether or not advices of the possibility of damage, and on any theory of liability, arising out of or in connection with the use or inability to use this software.