Smart Notebook ExpressIf you had to list software that school’s can’t live without somewhere just below Microsoft Word and Excel would sit SMART Notebook, the companion software for the popular SMART Board interactive whiteboard.

SMART Notebook has, until recently, only run on Windows and Mac computers, but with more schools choosing Chromebooks over standard desktops SMART has had to keep up with the game and released two versions of SMART Notebook for the web.

The first is SMART Notebook Express — a cut down version of the full desktop software — and the second is SMART Notebook Web — which promises to be a fully featured version of Notebook. Chromebooks don’t currently support SMART Board hardware — you can’t connect your interactive whiteboard to a Chromebook at all — but the web versions of Notebook at least let you view and edit files on the go.

How to open SMART Notebook files on your Chromebook

SMART Notebook Express

SMART Notebook ExpressSMART Notebook Express is a cut down version of the desktop equivalent designed to let you open Notebook files and make minor changes in your web browser.

It supports features like the Screen Shade, the pen, and eraser, but outside of that it’s fairly limited. But if you want to be able to quickly open Notebook files without installing the full desktop application or run it on your Chromebook, SMART Notebook Express is perfect.

Express is also great if you’ve got lesson reources in SMART Notebook that you want to share with your class, as it’s accessible for free from any computer with a web browser.

SMART Notebook Web

Smart Notebook WebSMART Notebook Web is a beta version of what is likely set to replace the desktop equivalent. At the moment the software is extremely limited, you can’t even save files, but it shows promise and actually runs better than the desktop version.

If it remains free, SMART Notebook Web will be an extremely popular tool in schools, but it’s very likely that SMART will start charging for this version of Notebook once it’s out of beta. Make your choice!

Links: Smart Notebook Express | Smart Notebook Web


About Author

Profile photo of Karl Rivers

Karl is an award winning Director of IT for the Royal Grammar School Guildford, based near London, England. He has been working in education for more than ten years and founded ClassThink in 2013 to share technology best practice with other schools. In 2014 he won the NAACE Impact Award for support services in schools, and writes edtech articles for Education Executive Magazine.


  1. I know I am a few months late on responding but!

    We are running the Dell Chromebooks with our Smartboards sucessfully, the usb connection translates as a mouse so you still get the robust touch features, but you may loose the use of the pens and have to rely on your hands.

    We used the Smartboard Notebook Web app but it is currently offline so instead we use Ginzy. Which works well enough.

    • The projector on your smart board should be able to use the chromcast but I don’t quite understand the goal. You would still have to plug a computer into the smart board to use the touch features. Since the USB from the smart board to a PC is just a mouse extension.

  2. Hi Karl,
    Great article! I’m wondering if since you wrote this piece if there’s a way to connect Smartboard to a Chromebook and have tactile enabled on the board? I’ve been trying with no luck. I used Express and like it, but it’s not perfect because I can’t use the pens or the touch screen or present. Any tips or tricks would be appreciated to link the two with functionality.

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