You may know that you can draw on your slide while presenting in Slide Show view. Most people don’t use this feature very much, because the results look pretty sloppy.
I used the Highlighter option in this slide. As you can see, the circle is pretty messy, but might be OK for an internal presentation when you want to spontaneously emphasize something on a slide. However, if you know in advance that you’ll want to emphasize something, I’d recommend animating a circle around it. (See my tip, Circle an object.)
First, I’ll explain how to use the ink pen and then I’ll explain what I learned that I never knew before.
How to use the ink pen
- Go into Slide Show view.
- Right-click and choose Pointer Options, then choose one of the options. Here you see the options in PowerPoint 2010. PowerPoint 2003 and 2007 have an extra option, Felt Tip. (I wonder why that option was removed in 2010.) Here you see the Highlighter option selected.
Note: You don’t have the Pointer Options menu item if you’re not using Slide Show view full screen, that is, if you chose the Browsed by an Individual option in the Set Up (Slide) Show dialog box.
- Right-click again and choose Pointer Options> Ink Color, then choose a color. You need to choose a color after choosing an ink type. Note that you can only choose from the theme colors/color scheme or basic colors; there’s no option to choose any color you want.
- Draw away!
- When you’re done, you have a couple of choices to move to the next slide. The problem is you don’t have an arrow pointer, so you can’t just click to go to the next slide. One option is to use the keyboard. You can press the Down arrow or the “N” key, for example. On your next slide, your arrow is automatically back. Or, you can right-click again and choose Pointer Options> Arrow. I couldn’t figure out a way to keep the pen or highlighter for more than one slide.
- When you’ve finished your presentation and return to Normal view, you see this dialog box. Click Keep to save the ink.
What I didn’t know
You can change the color of the ink! You can edit the ink shapes!
When you return to Normal view and select your saved ink annotations, the Ink Tools Pens tab appears in PowerPoint 2007 and 2010. In PowerPoint 2003, you can right-click and choose Format Ink. (The Format Ink dialog box looks just like the Format AutoShape dialog box, but many of the options are unavailable.)
In the Pens group, you can choose a style, or use the Color drop-down list to choose any color you want. This option gives you more color choices than you have when drawing the ink annotations. You can also use the Thickness/Weight drop-down list to change the thickness of the ink. (The tab in PowerPoint 2007 has fewer options.)
Finally, you can use the grips to change the ink’s size and you can drag the ink annotation to change its location.
I haven’t been able to find a way to create ink in Normal view.
You can create a similar effect using the Scribble shape, but you can’t format the width to be as wide as the highlighter option.
I was trying to get a line that looked as if it was drawn with crayon, and the ink tools fit the bill perfectly!