Vista InkPad Sidebar Gadget download


Before I go off to do some Christmas shopping I thought I’d post at least the executable for the InkPad Sidebar Gadget I mentioned yesterday.

Here’s a zipped copy of the gadget (

* To install the gadget you’ll need Windows Vista RTM, which is available online for MSDN subscribers. I’m not sure the gadget will work with any of the beta versions. Let me know if it does.
* Unzip the file to the folder: Program FilesWindows SidebarSharedGadgets as shown here.


* Wait about 30 seconds or so (to give Vista a chance to detect the added gadget) and then tap on the “+” icon (Add Gadgets button) in the toolbar at the top of Vista’s Sidebar. This will display the Gadget Gallery shown below. You should see an icon for the InkPad Gadget.


* To add the InkPad gadget to you sidebar double click on the InkPad icon or drag and drop the InkPad icon to the sidebar.

The InkPad gadget should now appear in the Sidebar:


You should be able to ink in the white area of the InkPad now. To make the inkable area larger, move the cursor to the top-right edge of the InkPad (there’s a five-pixel, black border around the InkPad), and a handle will appear that you can use to drag the InkPad off the Sidebar. At this point the InkPad will grow in size making it easier to jot down notes. To dock the InkPad again, reverse the process. Move the pen to the top-right, five-pixel border of the InkPad, which will display the handle that you can use to drag and drop the InkPad to the Sidebar.

As I mentioned yesterday, this is more of a proof-of-concept that a fully-functioning utility. It doesn’t persist the ink or provide any user options, for instance. I’ll post the source code after I get back from shopping. Maybe someone can figure out how to persist the ink or add some user options.

Let me know if this works or doesn’t work on your system. It’s literally a one day project so I haven’t even had a chance to test it on different systems. Hopefully it runs :-). I don’t know what happens, for instance, if you run the Gadget on a non-Tablet. I presume it’ll work.

Update: I’ve had more than one request to persist the ink. Makes sense. To do so though, I need to make a pretty significant change to the source code, so I’m going to make it first then post the code. I think the modified code will be more useful to everyone. It’s one thing to display the ink; it’s another to be able to keep the ink around.

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Shahn Hogan
16 years ago

I gave it a shot and it’s working fine here. I’m anxious to see the source. Should provide a good base to create a proper notepad with ink support.


16 years ago


I’ll post the code when I get back.

16 years ago

The install went fine and so did adding the gadget. However, on the Lenovo x41 with RTM (no glass, WEI of 1, 1.5GB RAM, 1.5GHz CPU) the gadget is just a black square. When I drag it out to the middle of the screen it remains black with the close button. Once or twice it shows a white area with ink but disappears then.

16 years ago

Lora, Warner Crocker (from Gottabemobile) says his Lenovo X60 runs the Sidebar gadget fine, so I wonder if there’s an issue if glass isn’t enabled or available.

Lora just IM’ed over a couple screenshots and to me it looks like a repainting bug.

Anyone else seeing a repaint problem with the gadget?

16 years ago

Loren, I just sent some screenshots over to you. If I scribble over the black thumbnail gadget then drag it out I can see ink. Although the painting of it isn’t quite right. Hope these screenshots help you track the bug.

16 years ago

thanks so much for doing this.

couple of issues:

1) having trouble resizing
2) how do you clear the ink?

15 years ago

Rob, currently the InkPad only has two sizes: a docked size and an undocked size. The undocked size (300×300) is about twice as large as the docked size.

There aren’t any controls to clear the ink, but you can erase it with the eraser tip, if your pen has one. And logging off will clear the ink too :-), althought that’s not a good feature either.

I realized as soon as I zipped up the gadget that scratchout would be nice too.

Sounds like more to do. Heh.