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Using the Pen Tool in Slide Show View in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Learn how to use the Pen tool within Slide Show View in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.


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Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2011
OS: Mac OS X






While presenting, annotation can play a large role in how you interact with your audience. In PowerPoint 2011, you can use the Pen tool that can change your static slide into a whiteboard upon which you can doodle and write! In this tutorial, we will learn how to use Pen tool in PowerPoint 2011 -- follow these steps to learn more:

  1. Open any existing presentation and change to Slide Show view. Now hover your cursor to the bottom left area of the projected slide to see some navigation icons in the bottom left corner, as shown in Figure 1, below.

    Navigation icons in Slide Show View
    Figure 1: Navigation icons in Slide Show View
  2. Among these icons, click on the Pen icon to bring up the fly-out menu that you see in Figure 2, below. Choose the Pen tool for now from this menu.

    Pen tool being selected
    Figure 2: Pen tool being selected

    Tip: You can also press the +P keyboard shortcut in Slide Show view to change to the Pen tool. Press +A in Slide Show view when done to revert back to the default Arrow cursor. Want more keyboard shortcuts? Get a copy of ourĀ  PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts Ebook.
  3. The cursor changes to a small pen icon. Start doodling or writing on your slide now, as shown in Figure 3, below -- notice that the default color used is red.

    Doodle or write with the Pen tool
    Figure 3: Doodle or write with the Pen tool
  4. Now navigate to the fly-out menu again -- now choose the Pen Color option to reveal a sub-menu that you see in Figure 4, below. Notice that you can choose from the nine colors listed in this sub-menu for your pen. Now choose any other color by clicking on the color name. Selecting the Reset option in this sub-menu will change the pen color back to red.

    Choose another Pen color
    Figure 4: Choose another Pen color
  5. Now doodle or write again -- this time you will see your annotations in the color recently chosen. You can change the Pen Color again if required and doodle on the active slide, as shown in Figure 5, below.

    There are number of colors to annotate with
    Figure 5: There are number of colors to annotate with

    Unfortunately, that's all you can do with Pen tool in PowerPoint 2011. There is no way to save the annotations, as you can do in the Windows versions of PowerPoint. So when you end the Slide Show or press the ESC key, the presentation will go back to the Normal view with all annotations lost! Figure 6 shows how our sample slide looked when we ended the Slide Show. Compare it with the same slide in Slide Show view, shown in Figure 5, above.

    All annotations are lost when Slide Show ended
    Figure 5: All annotations are lost when Slide Show ended
Tip: Annotations saved in the Windows version of PowerPoint show on PowerPoint 2011 for Mac -- but they cannot be edited.

See Also:

Using the Pen and Highlighter Tools in Slide Show View in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Using the Pen and Highlighter Tools in Slide Show View in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Using the Pen and Highlighter Tools in Slide Show View in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2016, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003 for Windows
PowerPoint 2016 and 2011 for Mac

Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado? Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?

Go and get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences ebook.



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