Erase Pen and Highlighter Drawings on Your PowerPoint Slides

By Peter Weverka

If you have used the pen or highlighter to draw on your PowerPoint slides during a presentation, you can save the drawings for the next presentation or erase them so the next time you show it you’ll start with clean PowerPoint slides. Follow these instructions to erase pen and highlighter drawings:

  • Erasing lines one at a time: Click the Pen button and choose Eraser. You can also right-click and choose Pointer Options→Eraser. The Eraser appears. Using the Eraser, click the line you want to erase. Press Esc when you’re finished using the Eraser.

  • Erasing all the lines on a slide: Press E or click the Pen button and choose Erase All Ink on Slide.

  • Erasing lines you told PowerPoint to keep: If you elect to keep them, the lines become part of your presentation, and you can’t delete them by clicking with the Eraser or by choosing the Erase All Ink on Slide command. To discard these lines, go to the Review tab, open the drop-down list on the Delete button, and choose one of these options:

    • Delete All Markup on the Current Slide: Deletes lines you drew on a slide you selected.

    • Delete All Markup in This Presentation: Deletes lines you drew on all the slides in your presentation.


Press Esc when you’re finished using a pen (but be careful not to press Esc twice, because the second press tells PowerPoint to end the presentation).

Pen marks are not permanent, although you can keep them. At the end of a presentation in which you have drawn on slides, a dialog box asks whether you want to keep or discard your scribblings. Click the Keep or Discard button. (If you prefer not to see this dialog box because you intend never to keep your drawings, click the Office button and choose PowerPoint Options. In the PowerPoint Options dialog box, select the Advanced tab and then unselect the Prompt to Keep Ink Annotations When Exiting check box.