How to Use PowerPoint 2019’s Presentation Tools

By Doug Lowe

Presentation View in Microsoft PowerPoint 2019 has several icons that are useful during your presentation, as described in the following sections.

How to use the Laser Pointer feature in PowerPoint

The Laser Pointer feature displays a bright red dot on the screen, which you can move around by moving the mouse. It’s not quite as good as using a real laser pointer, but if you don’t happen to have one, the PowerPoint laser pointer will do. The following figure shows the laser pointer in action.

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Using the laser pointer.

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You can activate the laser pointer in three ways:

  • The first is to click or tap the Pen and Laser Pointer button in Presenter View (shown in the margin) and then choose Laser Pointer. Then, use your mouse to move the laser pointer around on the slide.
  • The second way to activate the laser pointer is to hold down the Ctrl key, then click and hold the left mouse button and move the mouse. The laser pointer will appear on the screen and move as you move the mouse.
  • The third method applies only if you’re using a tablet computer or a computer with a touch-screen monitor: Just press down firmly on the slide; the laser pointer will appear. You can then drag it around with your finger. Lift your finger off the screen to hide the pointer.

When you release the left mouse button, the laser pointer disappears.

How to scribble on your PowerPoint slides

You can doodle on your slides to draw your audience’s attention to a particular part of the slide. For example, This figure shows a slide on which I’ve drawn two circles to indicate the parts of the Psalm 46 that show Shakespeare’s name.

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Using the pen tool.

To use the pen tool to draw on a slide, click the Pen and Laser Pointer button in Presenter View and select the Pen tool. Then, use your mouse to draw on the slide, holding down the left button and dragging the mouse around as best you can to leave your mark.

Here are some additional thoughts worth mentioning:

  • Instead of a solid pen, you can also use a transparent highlighter. Just choose the Highlighter tool instead of the Pen tool, then use the mouse to mark on the slide. Note that the Highlighter tool works best on slides that have a light background.
  • If you want, you can change the color of the marks left by the pen tool. Click the Pen and Laser Pointer button, and then choose Ink Color and select the color you’d like to use.
  • When you finish your presentation, you are given the option to keep your doodles as annotations in your presentation. Then, you won’t have to redraw the doodles next time.
  • On a touchscreen device, you’ll find additional buttons in the bottom-left corner of the presentation to call up the laser pointer, pen, highlighter, and so on.