Pencil 2D FAQ (now open)


Thanks for the help,
My computer run in Slackware, which is not a debian based distro, I have tried following this tutorial once but there wans’t any link to the source file, just a ‘coming soon’

I will try the latest Nightly build using the makefile. In the tutorial says Pencil2D must be built with the Qt 5, so that means I have to pass any parameters before running the makefile?


@dimstar Apologies for the late reply. I honestly do not know much about using Linux to build Pencil2D, however QT framework is the same everywhere, you need the QT creator which is a graphical IDE.

Once you install it with all it’s dependencies, open the Qt creator and you’ll be prompted to associate a C++ compiler with QT5, this will be asked automatically and most people recommend GCC compiler for linux distros.

You should be able to open the project file (.pro) that comes with the source however remember that to download the source code you have to get it via ZIP file from the github repository (you can find those links on the right sidebar on this site)

With QT creator you just have to press the green arrow button that says build and you’ll be able to run the latest incarnation of the source code. I do not know how to make binaries though, so maybe a wiser linux user or developer might be able to help you out.


Um, I have a question, If there is a way, How do I take a screenshot of one of my animation key frames?


@emilydragon7 Hi! Hmm if you mean to export / save a still image. You can do so by going to File > Export > Image … > Then you will get an option dialog that will allow you to select the resolution (camera size) and the format (file extension / image type). I recommend always export to PNG as it is a losless image format, howver bear in mind that you need a background on your pencil 2D. The white bg you see is just a representation of transparency. So if you exported PNG it would save your image drawing with a transparent background.

If you don’t mind about a little compression (images for web, for example) you can use the JPG / JPEG format.

I hope this solves your question. Also remember to always use the latest version of the program. Previous versions tend to crash a lot more than they do now.



I need help right now with my animation. I’m trying to export my animation into a movie, I’ve already got all the frames in place, but it won’t export. Whenever I try to export it, the export bar goes to 99%… then stops and crashes. Everytime. I don’t know how to do this and I worked really hard on it. I don’t want this effort go to waste.

What I’m thinking is that my animation is too long? It’s about 2857 keys/frames. I’m not sure if that’s too much, but it would be helpful if I could get a response.

I’ve also tried to export it as a image sequence, but it doesn’t work either. And I also don’t want to because I’ve already put all the frames in order to an audio that I pre-recorded.



Hello, i just downloaded Pencil2D, and it downloaded as zip, i cant find a way to actually open the program, i would love to get some help please.


@opaltb Hello Opal, normally a ZIP file is like a bag that contains all the necessary files to run Pencil2D, you have to extract it’s contents to a folder and then you will be able to run the program. On windows you have to take an additional step to ensure you are extracting everything correctly.

If you like there’s a video tutorial I created with this purpose which will guide you through these steps on Windows. If you have a MAC everything is more less the same, except you have to drag the only .APP file to your applications folder to “install” it.

Please let me know later if this was helpful to you.

Note: If you still can’t install it, please let us know which version of Pencil2D you are downloading (name of the file) and which operating system do you have along any error you get.


I just installed the new version and am totally freaking out as I had got so used to the old version and all its oddities.

I went to the pencil tool and it now works in colour. I had become so accustomed to it only working in black that I am having trouble coping… but
anyway. Thanks for turning out a new version and I am looking forward to getting to know it better tonight.


@felicity Thank you for letting us know. Hopefully the software will improve even further this year altogether. Pencil2D still has a few quirks, but hopefully you’ll be able to use without many issues. If you have a problem let us know to see if it’s possible to assist you with it :slight_smile:


I’m quite new to Pencil2D & have encountered a problem, I have accidentally removed all the toolbars and I can’t get them back, so I can’t change the size of my brush or anything, please help.
Thanks in advance


What does the range thingy do?


@StarBlu You should be able to get your windows back by clicking on the “windows” tab or the top menu if you’re on mac and choose “reset windows”.

@GameZonePlays the range is used to start an animation between two points on the timeline. say you want to check your animation between frame 10 to 25, you’d enable “range” and set the min and max to 10 and 25.


Do you know a way to listen to the audio when scrolling through the timeline? Like if you move from frame 1 top 10, you can hear the audio without playing it yourself. I am very new to Pencil2D, so help would be nice.



@glitchor55 Hey. I’m sorry to say that audio scrubbing is a feature Pencil2D currently does not have just yet, but it’s planned.

If you need to get a rough idea of your audio for lipsync try to use Papagayo, it’s a free program that let’s you import audio and analyze it to visualize the lipsync. There are two versions:

If you don’t want to use papagayo, you can also try a free video editor like KDEnlive

Ideally we want to support papagayo in the future to help improve a lipsync workflow but we’ll see what happens since audio scrubbing would be required to improve on that particular integration.


Thank you for the reply, and the info. I might try them out sometime. Meanwhile, I hope you and your team are having a good time adding in some new features!


Hello everyone,
Is a Wacom CTL-471 graphics tablet compatible with Pencil2D v I use Windows 10 64 bit OS.

Thanks in advance for any help! :slight_smile:



@TSHETEN Hi, any wacom graphics tablet will be compatible with Pencil2D and other open source programs because what these applications rely on is the “wintab” driver specification, not on the tablet consumer category.

Wacom itself has a problem with it’s drivers and it tends to disconnect the tablet from time to time (I too use the wacom brand) but this is a wacom problem and not a Pencil2D problem, just in case you’ve read upon people stumbling on those issues while using Pencil 2D.

If you ever encounter the Wacom driver bug where you end up restarting your PC, you can also try to “restart” the service that regulates the wacom driver:

You can follow this guide on how to restart a service and locate the wacom related service on it:


Color swapping hotkey is?


@MrRoastyToasty Hi. Currently there is no “color swap” paradigm in Pencil2D like in other software, that means it wasn’t considered on the original design but It has been discussed recently by the devs, however I’m not sure if it will be implemented because Pencil2D doesn’t recognize strokes from fills as separate elements just yet.

It has been proposed as well that we have at least a “previous color” functionality to go back to the last color that was used which could cover the use case one normally goes for in software like Flash or Harmony switching between a drawing and erasing color.

On a side note, the problem with having an “erasure” color is that the canvas is actually transparent, and the white background is just like that for visualization purposes, but when you export a transparent PNG you would only see the lines and fills you create.

To change how the background looks (can’t change the color for now) you can go to EDIT > PREFERENCES > GENERAL > Background section and choose the “alpha checkerboard” option (leftmost radial button)

If you want to export with a color card or a painted background you have to either create it in a different layer or import it into Pencil2D.


Thank you soo much!~ Pencil 2d is an extremely good program btw!~