I prepare my presentations using Beamer, making also use of overlays.

Now, my slides contain a lot of illustrations/diagrams, which I'd like to draw into the slides during my presentation using my iPad. The advantages for me are

  • Although I know TikZ quite okay, it's certainly much slower than hand-drawing
  • Doing the drawing live can make the presentation a bit more interactive.

However, which software would be capable of doing that?

Certainly, Notability, GoodNotes and many other note taking apps have a presentation mode that allows to import pdf files. However, all these are not aware of Beamer's overlays.

Is there any app that would allow me to draw into a slide, and have the drawings persist until the end of the frame? If necessary, I can also delete them at the end of the frame manually; but at least, an app with persisting notes.

  • I'm pretty sure I once came across an annotator with something approximating this, where the annotations were on a separate layer that could persist between slide changes. Might have been Explain Everything or iAnnotate (if either is still around). I did once write one myself using Codea, but it doesn't have the capability to do a second screen so I didn't finish it. Commented Oct 20, 2022 at 21:58

1 Answer 1


pdfpc is a presenter console that does exactly that (and more). You can draw with a "pen" or a "highlighter", as well as point with a "laser" or a "spotlight".


  • 1
    In the past I was already using pdfpc. The pen feature is not quite the same as what the note taking features in typical tablet apps can do, and it also makes no sense to write with the mouse I guess.
    – Bubaya
    Commented Dec 8, 2022 at 15:19

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .