Freehand writing and drawing

Forms

Given its ability to read and edit PDF files, Xournal is also great for filling out forms digitally. Xournal places a second layer, where you make your entries, on top of the actual form. First, load the document into Xournal via File | Annotate PDF. Then fill out the form (Figure 3) with all the design and font elements at your disposal.

Figure 3: Fill out forms directly in Xournal.

When you've finished filling out the form, either save the entire document in Xournal's own file format using File | Save or save it as a PDF file in File | Export as PDF. Xournal merges the two layers, which transfers the manually filled areas to the new document.

Since Xournal uses its own format for saving content, you can only open, process, and print these files in Xournal. If you need to further process the files in a third-party application, choose the PDF option, which then lets you view and edit in any PDF editor. Xournal always stores the files as complete pages (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Exporting to PDF format makes the Xournal files usable in other applications.

Conclusions

Whether you are using Xournal in a virtual classroom or a team meeting, Xournal can help you communicate your ideas. With freehand drawing support, you can easily turn Xournal into a virtual whiteboard to supplement other online learning formats. With Xournal's PDF export option, you can also make your content available to other participants at the push of a button. You will definitely want to bring Xournal along to your next virtual meeting.

The Author

Erik Bärwaldt is a self-employed IT admin and technical author living in Scarborough (United Kingdom). He writes for several IT magazines.

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