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March 30th, 2007 at 3:00am — Rating: Firefox pointFirefox pointFirefox pointFirefox pointFirefox no pointLink

Whiteboard, whiteboards, whiteboards. Everyone is into whiteboards nowadays. On- and off-line.

FireDoodle isn't any different. FireDoodle takes existing web pages and makes a whiteboard out of them. Hey web designers, here's another tool for viewing marked up sites from clients.

Install FireDoodle and restart Firefox. To use FireDoodle, you need to create an account. Use the FireDoodle main page to create your account. Once you're registered, you can start using the extension.

Notice in the top right hand corner of FireDoodle, a login section is available. Left-click on the "Log In?" text and enter in your user name and password to access your existing doodles. Naturally, if this is your first time, you'll be starting with a clean slate (Yuck, Yuck, Yuck!).

FireDoodle has four icons in the toolbar that focuses on your highlighted web pages: New, Save, Cancel, and a dropdown of your saved whiteboards. We'll get to the other two icons in a little bit.

To start a new whiteboard, click New. When I started using the FireDoodle on DCS Media, the highlighter was off. I went to a couple other sites and noticed that it only happened on certain sites. This is one issue that needs addressed.

The hot keys for FireDoodle are defined below:

  • Number keys 0-9 set the color of the highlighter
  • Dash (-) and Plus (+) define the thickness of the highlighter
  • Left ([) and Right (]) bracket sets the opacity of the highlighter
  • 'C' clears the whiteboard without closing the highlighter

Now, to the other two icons to the right. An additional feature was added to FireDoodle that is great for long web pages as described in the YouTube video on the main page. Placemarks allow users to define "bookmarks" in web pages so you can jump directly to them later. I'd rather call them "User Anchors." If you're a web designer, you know what I'm talking about (<a name="number">).

FireDoodle is a great tool. As I mentioned before, it's great for web designers who want to draw on an existing web page to make notes while presenting the draft of a page to clients. Since it hasn't even hit the 1.0 mark (currently 0.5 Beta), the current version has great potential and I'm eager to see the released version.