A teacher recently contacted us with a problem using PowerPoint 2011 with Mac OS 10.8 on her SMART Board. If she used SMART ink to wrote over her PowerPoint Presentation the ink would almost immediately disappear. SMART told us this is a known issue and they are working on a fix. In the meantime, there is a temporary solution to make it work properly. Instead of opening the PowerPoint file by double-clicking in the Finder window, open PowerPoint and then click File > Open. Writing over PowerPoint in ink works perfectly when the program is opened this way.

Have you encountered any issues working on your SMART Board? It may have a simple solution that we can share here for everyone’s benefit. Let us know by commenting below. We are happy to help!


Bob Jackman

Bob Jackman is a native of Utah. He graduated with a BA in Music Performance with a teaching certificate from Southern Utah University. Bob taught at Fort Herriman Middle School for four years teaching instrumental music. During that time he earned a Masters of Music from the University of Utah. He spent two years providing Microsoft operating system technical support and 7 years providing technology support for teachers to help them more efficiently use technology to help students learn. This was done while he was in college and while teaching in Herriman. Bob loves technology and education and is excited to put the two together and help teachers use technology to improve student learning. Bob Jackman is the Education Consultant Supervisor at The Chariot Group, Inc.

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  7 Responses to “Simple Solutions: Ink Over PowerPoint on Mac”

  1. I have tried this and yet the writing still disappears.
    I also have mac 10.8, a multitouch 800 smartboard and powerpoint 11.
    I have also tried various combinations of turning on and off ink in system preferences.

  2. avatar

    Howard, what version of Notebook do you have? I am not sure why it isn’t working for you. Also, they have a new Notebook 11.2 that came out this summer. It is possible there are updates to that in there (Although I don’t have PP on Mac, so I can’t say for sure).

  3. We’re seeing the same issue at our school and this workaround DOES NOT fix the issue at all. Running the most recent version of the software doesn’t fix anything either – in fact that was where we first noticed the problem. I tried to contact SMART, but got zero response. I’m ready to start rolling back software/drivers to see if that solves any issues, and was just curious if the known issue was tied to a particular version of either?

  4. avatar

    I am pretty sure that the version that I had at the time was 11.1. I will remember next time to include that in the post so I don’t forget! We saw the success with this fix on three computers in two different districts. Matt, try rolling back to 11.0 or 11.1 and see what the results are. I don’t have a computer close to me to try it out on (that has Office 2011 on it). I will reach out and see if the ones that were having these issues are still having issues or if the fix is still working. It would not surprise me if Smart managed to make it worse with the latest update… I’ll keep looking and get back later next week. If anyone else has info, please share!

  5. The solution on our end was to roll back to 10 and the associated drivers & patch. On initial launch smartboard services wasn’t running, but connection wizard fixed that issue.

  6. The one and only solution to fix this issue is to avoid any special characters in the name of the hard drive (ä.ö. ! and even spaces!)
    - Tobias

  7. avatar

    Hi all, not sure if people are still following this, but I struggled with this issue all semester last year. I tried remove special characters and spaces from the name, I tried not opening files locally rather than from DropBox, I tried saving as ppt rather than pptx. Finally, I was able to get the ink to stay on the slide by opening my powerpoint files FROM the powerpoint application (using the file menu), rather than opening the powerpoint files directly (by double-clicking on them). This is working consistently now.

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