Although other products have been on the market for many years,
we think we've beat them with our very first version. And now at
version 3 we continue to innovate. There are so many great reasons
to choose Canvastic. We couldn't list them all here. But, we've
selected some of the top features. If you'd like to learn more,
please download a demonstration
version of the product and see for yourself.
See Version 3.5 notes just below.
Combined Text and Graphics
Students can use Canvastic to create graphic, text, and presentation
documents. Graphic documents can include editable text. And text
documents can include graphics. Combine them to create striking
class presentations. Integrating curriculum with text and graphics
is a natural for our students. When they draw what they know and
write about what they have created, their projects are better and
more complete. It provides full desktop publishing for K-8 users.
A Clear On-Screen Display
Canvastic's interface is pleasant easy to use. It is clear and
uncluttered. The tool icons are based on industry standards and
the screen is not messy nor is it trying to be "colorful."
The students add the color to the Canvastic screen! The students
love using Canvastic because they know how to use it very quickly.
Time isn't wasted in the classroom trying to explain "cute"
icons. The preview palette shows exactly what the next mark on the
canvas will be.
It Grows With the User
We deliver some example preference sets with the product. But
you are welcome to combine tools, color choices, palette positions,
default tools, default fonts, and palette visibility in any way
you choose. Create a separate set for each grade level or a special
sets for certain activities. You control the available options to
keep kids on task and increase their chances for success. Younger
students can taught the tools one at a time. Older students can
utilize more complex choices. Everytime we add a feature we add
the ability to customize it as well. For example, you can turn the
spell check feature on or off. If it is on you can turn off the
"learn" button to keep your dictionary from becoming corrupted.
Canvastic's interface is all business. There are no toy features
to waste the students' time. For example, there is no fun way to
destroy your document. There are no bombs, fire hoses or dancing,
singing clip art. Younger students are engrossed so quickly they
don't notice that they are having fun creating rather than playing.
The older students appreciate using a tool that wasn't designed
to appeal to babies but is still easy enough for them to use well.
We don't include excessive options that waste the students' time
either. For example, when creating a slide show the user is given
the option of choosing from just a few music loops, not thousands.
Kids should be encouraged to explore options when they are creating.
They shouldn't be restricted to only undoing their most recent action.
With virtually unlimited undo and redo options, students can move
freely backwards and forwards through all of the steps they took
to create their document.
The Preview palette displays a shape exactly as it will be drawn
on the canvas, given the current tool, color, and option selections.
Students will know what to expect before they click the mouse in
The Browser palette displays a set of thumbnail images, graphically
representing each of the open Canvastic documents. Simply click
on a thumbnail image to bring that document to the front.
Painting, Drawing, and Background Layers
The graphically advanced may refer to creation tools as bitmap
or vector based. The are sometimes called paint and draw. Painting
tools create shapes and pictures that are made of small colored
dots named 'pixels'. Each dot can be colored (or erased) individually.
Drawing tools create shapes (like rectangles, circles, and text)
that can be selected, moved, stretched, and modified as a shape
rather than a group of dots.
Canvastic provides both painting and drawing tools and keeps the
resulting graphics on separate layers in your documents. Combine
those layers with an independent background layer for displaying
a color or picture and you've got a strong foundation on which to
build some terrific documents.
Quicktime Movie Slideshows
Combine multiple Canvastic documents into an attractive QuickTime
slideshow. You control the timing between slides and the transition
effects between them. The resulting slideshow can be sent via email
or CD and played on any computer (Macintosh or Windows) with the
free Apple QuickTime application installed.
You can also give user controlled full screen presentations of
Export to Common Formats
When you save you create a Canvastic document but there are also
choices for exporting to common graphics file formats like jpg and
png. So if you want to include work done with Canvastic in another
program it is just an easy save.
What's New in Version 3.5?
The Audio Tool
The new Audio Tool adds a lot of new opportunities. Students can
do live recording so easily. Just click, record the sound and click
The sound becomes an object on the canvas
that will play with a double-click or automatically in a slideshow.
Songs from iTunes can also be added. Other downloaded audio can
be inserted just like images. It all creates a more rich multi-media
experience but with Canvastic's signature ease of use.
Songs from iTunes
Version 3.5 runs natively on Macintosh PPC and Intel computers
Version 3.5 runs natively on Windows computers from W2K including
Smart Spell Check
Canvastic's new spell checking feature is better
than any other for our students. First, you can make it available
or not depending upon who is using the program. Second when writing
or editing the entry box takes over most of the screen helping the
students focus on the task. The words found by the spell checker
are shown in full context. Finally, the Learn button can be turned
off! No more corrupted dictionaries!
Transparency and Tone Control
Every color can be adjusted using transparency sliders
for some fantastic art effects. The sliders are easy to use and
adjust the line, the fill and the text colors.
Sensible Brush Shape Choices
The paint brush now has four shapes to make graphics
more detailed. As usual the choices are limited to an appropriate
level to keep students on task and selection is intuitive, just
click the shape next to the line size choice.
The new Eyedropper tool allows students to add colors
to the Colors palette with a click. Very useful for customizing
colors with photographs.
Open Folder... Command
Why can't you open all the documents from a project
all at once? You can in Canvastic! File Menu . Open Folder... and
your project is on-screen.
Insert Photographs and They Automatically Scale Themselves
Digital photos are everywhere and often hard to manage in other
applications. Now when you insert a photo it will shrink to fit
your Canvastic document automatically. Use the Open Folder... command
on a folder of photos and they will all be opened and inserted into
New Templates, Backgrounds, and Clip Art
Canvastic's graphics that support the curriculum have been enhanced.
For example the new Speckles clip art allow students to add color
without wasting printer ink. For primary students, there is a representative
picture for every letter of the alphabet in English and Spanish.
A "speckled" sky.
C is for Cow and V is for Vaca.
Version 2 Upates?
Version 2 of Canvastic brought over 40 new features, refinements
and fixes to the program. Version 2 was a free upgrade for all registered
- Word Processing Tool : Now there is a tool
which allows more control over the text that students add to their
documents. Text entered into the new word processing objects can
be independently formatted with common text choices such as color,
font and style. The Text tool is still available for primary students
and for use in labeling, titling or for short sections.
- Multiple Folders in Clip Art: Now you can organize
clip art into folders for easy organization. Clip art should still
be stored in the Art folder within the Canvastic folder. Now the
included images are organized into three folders; Basic Clip Art,
Drawing Aids, and Math. To add your graphics to the program just
add folders containing the art to the Art folder and restart Canvastic.
Template Files: Canvastic documents
that are opened from the new Templates folder will open as new,
untitled documents. There are many templates included with Canvastic
but to add your own, just prepare the template and save or copy
it into the Templates folder. There are nine full book publishing
sets included for both portrait and landscape orientation.
- Document Palette: With a click on the new Document
palette you can create new, open, save and print. This palette
may be a good choice for younger students' preference sets.
- Network Location of Preference Sets: Your preference
sets can now be stored on a network server rather than in the
Preferences folder within the Canvastic folder. In an intelligent
fashion, if the network server is not available, the program will
look in the original local Preferences folder. This allows for
immediate changes to the working environment for your students
at any work station.
- Slide Shows and Movies: You can now
create live full screen presentations with a few clicks. Sound
tracks are now supported on Slide Shows. Four default choices
are included; Jazz, Rock, Country, and Pastoral. Exporting to
QuickTime movies is still supported as well.
- Teacher Control: Teachers now have a keyboard
shortcut for quickly and temporarily "unlocking" palettes
without editing the preference set. Now if you need to make a
quick adjustment for a particular student you can do so quickly.
Option Control click for Mac and Ctrl Alt click for Windows.
- New Preference Settings: There are new settings
for enabling/disabling the color picker, linking colors, and enabling/disabling
the contextual menu.
- Canvastic documents can now be inserted as graphic elements
into other Canvastic documents.
- Canvastic documents can now be used as backgrounds for other
- Art tools now remember the settings you last gave them. For
example if you changed the line tool to thick and red, then used
the rectangle tool with other settings the line tool will revert
to thick and red when you next choose it.
- Selection tools now show a preview in the Preview palette.
- Text boxes automatically shrink to enclose just the text entered
when the user has clicked to set its location but hasn't dragged
to define the shape.
- Text boxes and Word Processing objects are now automatically
selected when they are created. This allows for instant editing
of the object without having to switch tools.
- Inserted and pasted items are now controlled by the
tool you have selected. For example, if you want to take a part
of the paint layer to the object layer. Select it, copy it, and
choose an object tool, then paste. It will come in as an object.
The opposite is also true. To take an object to the paint layer,
select it, copy it, and choose a paint tool, then paste. It will
come in as painted graphics. This now works for inserted items
as well as pasted ones. This allows you to turn any object into
bitmap grahics and any painted graphics into vector objects.
- You can easily add all open documents or all the contents from
a chosen folder to a slide show or movie.