For Seniors: How to Use the PowerPoint Slide Show Tools - dummies

For Seniors: How to Use the PowerPoint Slide Show Tools

By Faithe Wempen

When you’re working in the Microsoft PowerPoint Slide Show view, a very faint set of buttons appears in the lower-right corner. When you roll your mouse over these buttons, they brighten up so that you can see them better.


The buttons are

  • Previous: A left-pointing arrow. Use this to go to the previous slide.

  • Pen: Opens the Pen menu, which you can use to control a mouse-controlled “pen” that draws on the slides.

  • From the Pen menu, you can annotate a slide by drawing on it. You can use this tool to underline or circle certain important content, for example. Click the Pen button and then click one of the pen styles (such as Felt Tip). Then hold down the mouse and drag across the slide to “draw” on it. You can also change the ink color from the Pen menu.

  • Navigation: Opens a navigation menu,.


  • Next: A right-pointing arrow. Use this to go to the next slide.

You may wonder why there are so many different methods of doing the same things. For example, why is there a Navigation button that does nothing but duplicate the functionality of the right-click menu? And why are there Previous and Next buttons for moving between slides when there are at least three other methods of doing the same thing?

PowerPoint allows you to lock down or disable certain navigation methods in Slide Show view so that people interacting with your presentation at an unattended computer won’t inadvertently (or purposely) disable or damage the presentation. When one method is disabled, you might need to rely on another method to do what needs to be done.