Support for drawing/hand-writing

I have been using an iPad with a pencil for a very long time. I love taking notes this way. I do not convert my handwritten notes to typed text, using OCR, but rather enjoy the freedom to supplement my notes with doodles, diagrams and, generally, a 2D layout.

I also love Kinopio. Its light-hearted layout and love for details. Its support for collaboration on visual spaces. Its open API. It already works pretty well on my iPad.

However, it doesn’t support my pencil to write or draw in spaces. I would love to see support for this. Kinopio & handwritten input seems like a match made in heaven :slight_smile:


I’ve handwritten in cards with the native ipad scribble feature, I should make a video on this in the future but in the meantime here’s how it works:

  • tap with your pencil or finger to make a card
  • in the card input field you can handwrite inside it and that’ll get turned to text, it’s p cool
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Yeah, scribble works pretty well. I’d use it more if I used my iPad and Pencil more :slight_smile:

But I think what @olav is asking for is the ability to doodle, draw, handwrite (without it getting converted to text). Two avenues I can imagine this are:

  1. A new edit mode that allows you to draw (pencil, finger, cursor) freehand. This would then get converted to an svg?
  2. Screen painting: I know an idea you have considered. This would be interesting for annotating spaces. But this is a new “type” of object in the Kinopio world. How would you get into this mode? It overlaps with paint selection right now.

These both sound like big features :slight_smile:

direct space drawing is def a big feature, it’s planned, but it’ll be a while


I’ve always imagined drawing would be contained to a card somehow.

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tell me more? how would this work/look in your eyes?

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I think this would have to follow resizing in some form or fashion.

But the idea would basically be: instead of typing, you turn a card into a “drawing card” and can resize a little bigger to make it easier to draw on, but all drawing would be within a grey card.

This would allow you to move your drawings around easier too and since they are a card you can use connections and other things that live within a card. Maybe some text still too.



To boil down what you’re asking for: if Kinopio supported a way to easily hand draw something and upload it to a space, everything else is already in place (once card resizing is implemented).

In other words, the behavior of a “drawing card” (once created) sounds exactly the same as a card with a URL to an image. The main thing is, how do you create or get that image into Kinopio? And then, also support editing the image.

How would you use such cards? What would you draw/write on them? How big would they need to be?

Being able to draw anywhere on the canvas is much more compelling to me. It feels like it would have to be another primitive alongside cards and connections.


So no uploading like an image card… you’d be drawing directly into Kinopio the same way I imagine you are thinking of drawing anywhere on the canvas; you’d just be limited to the card (which can be resized to your liking) for each drawing.

But ultimately I don’t have a strong opinion, this was just how I imagined it when I heard the idea of hand-written input / drawing in a space.

With spatial tools, you (or at least I am) are constantly moving things around. If you are drawing anywhere directly on the canvas, how do you move things? How do you ensure relationships? How do they interact and become intertwined with everything else you have on the canvas? I guess a lasso tool?

If you are just looking for a canvas to draw with images and text, Muse exists on iPad already.


ideally I’ll do both, but I’ll do canvas drawing first because it opens up a lot more use cases and potential creativity.

On the shop space I just created ( I would’ve loved to be able to draw on the space to add a more inviting/personal feel to the space (like stepping into a real pop up shop)


more thoughts on this:

Initially I said/thought I’d implement this as the ability to draw anywhere on the background of a space but this has the downside of not being able to move a drawing around with the same ease that you can draw a card around. Traditionally, drawing apps introduce additional selection tools to move stuff around but it’s awkward compared to moving a card around.

So ya when I do explore this , the first thing i’ll do is figure out how the ui for adding a drawing to a card should work?

how is the dimensions for a drawing adjusted? Dragging to resize a card changes the size proportionally, but it’d be a real hassle to have to fundamentally rework this for cards w drawings…

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So ya when I do explore this , the first thing i’ll do is figure out how the ui for adding a drawing to a card should work?

I‘d love it exactly like that: Draw on a card. I often have to scribble wireframes or screens and would like to do that from within Kinopio.

Resizing the card could only create more or less free space around the drawing, without actually resizing the drawing itself.

In addition, my overly creative half likes to think of hotspots within the drawing, similar to an image map, that I can link to and from. But maybe this makes the whole thing too foreign to the existing concepts.

what would you expect making the card smaller to do to the drawing? would it be destructive to the stuff at the edges?

this case might work better by linking to/from specific cards/drawings (which you can do via card->share). especially this first iteration will have only the bare minimum drawing tools (eg color, maybe brushsize)

out of curiosity, what do you currently use for this

I would use boxes as the reference point now instead.

So you can create a “drawing box” and re-sizeing the box doesn’t resize the cards (or drawings) inside of it.

So for when the box gets too small, you have two options:

  1. the drawing sticks out of the box if you go smaller than the drawing
  2. portions of the bottom/right side of the drawing start to get hidden away
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good pts, i lean towards hiding

@kordumb what do you mean by “drawing box”?

@pirijan would this be a card in terms of the data model? or an entirely new entity?

Just using the frame of reference of “boxes” instead of “cards” for how they should work.

Resizing a “card” effects the contents inside… resizing a “box” does not—the user can create any size “box” they want in Kinopio without relying on the content inside.

So I think if drawing on Kinopio is limited to a specific user defined area, I would lean in to the “box” and how it works, is created, and used, rather than the “card” model.