xannotate: Xlib Transparent Annotator

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xannotate is a simple program that opens a screen-size window over whatever is present and allows you to scribble over it. This is useful when you are doing a demo and you need to annotate parts of what is on-screen.


This program was not written from scratch, but rather just a hacked and trimmed-down version of WayV. All credits go to the authors of WayV. All I did was remove the unnecessary parts for my the simpler application goals, to just scribble over the screen.


The program takes no arguments and start immediately, without feedback. Use the mouse's Button 1 to scribble. Press the Escape key to exit silently.

Most typically, you would bind a function key in your window manager to invoke this during a demo.


A Mercurial repository can be found at:



Martin Blais did the hacking on WayV to dumb it down for the desired feature set of this specific application, otherwise all credits go to the original authors of WayV (Mike Bennett, Nick Rusnov, Simon Hart, Muhammad Hussain Yusuf). See wayv homepage for more details.