Find answers to frequently asked questions related to Tagtool.


Does Tagtool run on Android devices?

Currently, our focus is on developing and maintaining the iOS, macOS and Windows versions of Tagtool. We don't have plans for development of an Android version in the near future.

How can I find nearby Tagtool artists to collaborate with or hire?

The best way is to ask in the Tagtool forum to see if any Tagtool artists are available near you. Alternatively, you can also reach out to us directly to inquire about contacts in your region.

How to become a Tagtool Beta Tester?

We periodically invite users to help us test beta versions of Tagtool before we release them to the public. When beta versions for the iPad app are available, they are distributed via TestFlight. Keep an eye on the Tagtool Forum for news and updates regarding the beta test program, or drop us a line if you want to be added to the beta tester group.

What is a DIY Tagtool?

The story of Tagtool began many years before multi-touch tablets became widely used. The first Tagtools were home made wooden boxes containing haptic control elements such as knobs and faders to calibrate the brush. Painting was done with a graphics tablet, and animations were created with a gamepad.

Development and maintenance of the DIY Tagtool project were paused when the focus shifted to the iPad version. However, we are considering making it possible again to use DIY Tagtools with the current Desktop versions of the app.

Tagtool for iPad

Which iPad models run Tagtool?

To run Tagtool on iPad, any device compatible with iPadOS 12 or later will work. For a good experience, we suggest using iPads from the 9th generation (2021) onwards. For more advanced use cases, consider using iPad Pro models with an M1 chip or later.

How to connect an external display to an iPad?

You have multiple options:

  1. Connect an iPad directly with an HDMI video adapter. There are adaptors available from Apple and other brands, both for iPads with Lightning and USB-C connectors.
  2. Use Airplay to share the Tagtool video output by screen mirroring over the network.

Alternatively you can connect your iPad over the network to a multiplayer session running the Tagtool desktop version on a Mac or PC, and handle video output on that computer. This method requires some technical knowledge but has advantages for advanced use cases (such as Syphon/Spout support for integration with other visual software, and more connectivity options).

How to share Tagtool content between iPads?

In Tagtool, sharing content is simple within multiplayer sessions. You can place items into the shared scene for other players to access and save on their devices. You can also transfer a deck item directly into the currently open deck of another player. To do this, select an item in the Deck library, and choose the Share button.

Alternatively, you can share entire deck folders using the iPadOS Files app, which are located at Locations > On My iPad > Tagtool > decks. Simply copy these folders to another device, making sure to keep the same directory structure.

How to back up my Tagtool content?

You can access the Deck folders containing your saved artwork using the iPadOS Files app, under Locations > On My iPad > Tagtool > decks. Back up important artwork by copying these folders to a backup location, for example another device, an external hard drive or cloud service. You can restore the backed up artwork by copying the folders back into the decks folder on the iPad, making sure to keep the original directory structure.

We recommend regular backups of your artwork, for example before important shows or Tagtool app updates.

What is the Tagtool SE app?

Tagtool SE (Tagtool School Edition) is the full version of the Tagtool app without the need to upgrade using an in-app purchase. It offers the exact same features as the Tagtool Pro upgrade of the standard app. The SE version is intended for schools and universities using the Apple School Manager, which is not compatible with in-app-purchases. The SE and Pro versions can be used interchangeably in multiplayer sessions.

Tagtool Desktop

What is the Tagtool Desktop app?

Tagtool Desktop makes it possible to run the Tagtool app on Windows and Mac computers. While painting and animation usage is severely limited on desktop computers without a multi-touch interface, Tagtool Desktop offers advantages and additional possibilities as a server for multiplayer sessions. This means you operate Tagtool on one or more iPads that join the multiplayer session running on a desktop computer, which is connected to a projector or display. 

Here are some of the advantages of Tagtool Desktop as a multiplayer server:

  • The possibility of using Syphon/Spout to integrate the Tagtool output with other visual software, including transparency information. This makes it possible to integrate Tagtool with projection mapping or interactive visualisation techniques.
  • Increased robustness for complex scenes in mission critical environments. By using a powerful computer with lots of memory and a fast CPU, the session will keep running on the main display even if a mobile client device crashes.
  • Desktop computers are easer to integrate into professional media pipelines and workflows in the events industry.

Creating a stable and performant network setup requires some technical knowledge.

Please note that we Tagtool Desktop is currently offered for free and without guarantees or support. If you would like to use Tagtool Desktop for a professional project and need technical support, please get in touch.

Can I use Tagtool with the Desktop version only?

Not really. To utilize the Tagtool controls based on multi-touch gestures, an iPad is essential for the full experience. Tagtool Desktop is currently intended to run as a multiplayer server, which allows joining with one or more iPads over the network.

Does the Tagtool Desktop version integrate with other visual software?

With Tagtool Desktop, you can share the video output using Syphon on Mac, or Spout on Windows. This provides a low-latency, full resolution video feed of the Tagtool canvas to other compatible apps running on the same computer, which can include transparency information (alpha channel). This is a well tested and stable way of integrating Tagtool with projection mapping software, for example.

You can start Syphon/Spout streaming by choosing  Main Menu > Start Syphon Server (on macOS), or Main Menu > Start Spout Server (on Windows).

Setting up a Tagtool session

What do I need to set up a Tagtool session?

All you need to use Tagtool is a compatible iPad with Tagtool installed, and you can start creating paintings and animations on your device. However, Tagtool is designed to be used with a video projector and in a team setting, with other players connected over the local network.

A full-fledged Tagtool multiplayer session requires the following:

  • Two or more iPads
  • A digital projector
  • An HDMI iPad adapter and HDMI cable (use them to connect your most powerful iPad to the projector)
  • A Wifi router

To create a Tagtool multiplayer session, you need at least one Tagtool Pro version. The other iPads that are joining the session can use the free basic Tagtool version.

What projector would you recommend for Tagtool?

Tagtool can be used with any video projector that connects to your device. We particularly favor 3LCD projectors, especially Epson models, for their vibrant colors and absence of flickering when video recorded. The resolution should be full HD or above and for outdoor use, opt for a model with a minimum brightness of 5000 ansi lumens.

How to create a a local multiplayer Tagtool session?
  1. Connect all devices to the same network and start Tagtool on all of them.
  2. On your most powerful device, start the session by tapping the network button (Wifi icon at the top center of the sidebar). Then choose New Session > Local Area Network. Your network button will turn yellow. This device is now the Tagtool server.
  3. On the other devices, join the session by tapping the Network button, and choosing Join Session > Local Area Network. The name of the server device should appear in the list of available sessions. Tap it to join the session.
How to create an online multiplayer Tagtool session?

Please note that the online multiplayer feature is provided as a beta feature without any guarantees. Test thoroughly before using it for important shows or events.

  • All iPads must be connected to the internet. The devices can be in different physical locations.
  • Select one of the participating devices as the master device and open Tagtool. On this device, tap the Network button (second icon at the top of the sidebar). 
  • In the network menu, tap the Region button and choose the region that is closest to the master device.
  • Go back to the network menu and choose New Session.
  • Choose Public Online Session or Private Online Session. Public sessions can be found by any Tagtool users around the world, private sessions are invitation only.

The other remote participants can now join the session by selecting Join Session > Online Session in the network menu.

If you created a public session, it will be available in the Join Online Session dialogue for any Tagtool users that have chosen the same region.

Private Online Sessions can only be joined by users who enter the exact session name under Enter Server Name. You can set the session name under My name is … in the network menu on the master device.


An open multiplayer session doesn't show up in the network menu on another device

Here are some things to consider when you can’t find an open Tagool session on another device in the local network:

  1. Ensure that all devices are connected to the same local area network.
  2. Make sure to grant Tagtool access to the network in the iPadOS settings.
  3. All devices must have matching versions of Tagtool installed (check the version number in the lower right corner of the main menu).

Here are some strategies you can try you followed these tips but you still can’t see the Tagtool session on another device:

  • Try restarting the Tagtool app and all devices.
  • If you are using Tagtool Desktop, turn of the operating system’s firewall or white-list the Tagtool app in the firewall settings.
  • Use the option to directly connect to the Tagtool master device by entering its IP address under Network menu > Join Session > Local Area Network > Enter IP Address.
My Tagtool session is running slow, and eventually crashes when I add more content.

The amount of content you create with Tagtool is only limited by the capabilities of your device. 

Pay attention to factors that might decrease performance, such as having numerous complex paintings with excessive paint and eraser strokes, a large number of animations, and large image files. Monitor performance by enabling the FPS counter (Menu > User Interface > Show FPS counter), and consider removing content from the scene.

With experience, you will learn how to create complex artwork in efficient ways.

Imported PNG files lose their transparency and have a white background.

This problem is often caused because the Photos app converts images when transferring them between devices. 

Go to the iPad Settings and look for the Photos app entry in the left-hand sidebar. In the Photos Settings, scroll down to the setting called Transfer to Mac or PC. Choose Keep originals to avoid automatic conversion. Then try transferring the images to your iPad again and import them into Tagtool.

I have trouble using the user interface because I am left-handed.

You can mirror the interface by checking Main Menu > Interface > Lefthanded.

My local multiplayer Tagtool session is lagging.

There are a few things you can do to make sure your local multiplayer Tagtool session is responsive.

  • Make sure all devices are close to the Wifi router.
  • Use an up-to-date Wifi router. Wifi 6 is supported by recent iPad models and will give you the best performance.
  • 5Ghz networks are best for responsiveness if all devices are close by. 2.4Ghz is slower but might give you better range.

Even though Wifi connections generally work well, you will get even better performance and stability using Ethernet cable connections. You can connect iPads via Ethernet by using adapters.

Strange things happen when I try to paint with four or more fingers in Tagtool.

To resolve this issue, uncheck the Four & Five Finger Gestures switch in the iPad Settings app (iPad Settings > Multitouch & Gestures > Four & Five Finger Gestures).

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