When you use the Pen and Highlighter tools to annotate, you
are provided with an option to save those annotations when you exit
Slide Show view. If you do opt to save them, then you will actually
open doors to new capabilities that will allow you to edit these annotations – in fact you can also change these annotations to shapes and
work more with them!
Follow these steps to work with annotations in PowerPoint 2016.
- Open a presentation which has saved annotations. Navigate to the slide that contains annotations, as shown in
Figure 1, below.
Figure 1: Slide with annotations
- Now select any of the annotations -- and you will see the Ink Tools Pens contextual tab on the
Ribbon, as shown in Figure 2, below. We
selected annotations done with the Pen tool.
Figure 2: Ink Tools Pens contextual tab
- When you select the Ink Tools Pens contextual tab, the cursor will change to the Pen tool and the
annotations selected previously will get deselected. Just click on the Stop Inking button (highlighted in
blue within Figure 2, above) or just press the Esc key to come out of the
Inking mode and then select the annotation again. Now we can change the color and thickness of the selected annotation -- to change color,
click the Color button shown in Figure 3, below which brings up the Color drop-down
gallery -- you can choose any of the options here to select a color for the annotations.
Figure 3: Change the color of your annotation
You can also change the thickness similarly by clicking the Thickness button (highlighted in
red within Figure 4), below. This brings up the Thickness drop-down gallery
where you can choose to make your annotation thicker or thinner. Learn more in our
Formatting Outlines for Shapes in
PowerPoint 2016 -- Weight tutorial.
Figure 4: Change the annotation to be thicker or thinner
- Now, while there is a perfectly useable Convert to Shapes button available within the Ink Tools Pens
tab of the Ribbon (highlighted in green within Figure 2, shown earlier on
this page), you will notice that clicking this button doesn't make any difference to the annotations. You may also find this button greyed
A workaround for this issue is to copy your selected annotation to the Clipboard by pressing the keyboard shortcut
Ctrl+C -- you can also access the Home tab of the Ribbon and click the
- Navigate to another slide optionally. Thereafter press the Ctrl+Alt+V keyboard shortcut -- or access the
Home tab of the Ribbon. Then click the lower half of the Paste button (down-arrow), as
shown in Figure 5. Now click the Paste Special option.
Figure 5: Paste Special option
- Either way, this will bring up the Paste Special dialog box shown in Figure 6 -- scroll down to find
the Picture (Enhanced Metafile) option -- select it, then click the OK button.
Figure 6: Paste as an Enhanced Metafile
- This will paste the copied object on the active slide, as shown in Figure 7, below -- note that this is no longer an
Figure 7: Object pasted is no longer an annotation
- You can however not use this as a PowerPoint native shape. To do so, you will have to
ungroup the object twice in succession (you can use the
Ctrl+Shift+G keyboard shortcut to ungroup) as shown in Figure 8.
Figure 8: Ungroup option
The first time you ungroup, PowerPoint will ask you whether you want to convert it to a Microsoft Office drawing object (see
Figure 9) -- accept by clicking the Yes button. Now ungroup again for a second time.
Figure 8: Do you want to convert the picture?
- Ungrouped objects will result into multiple shapes as shown in Figure 10, below -- but the good news is that you
can now use all Shape editing tools in PowerPoint to edit them.
Figure 10: Ungrouped shapes
- Save your presentation often.
Edit Annotations with Ink Tools in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Edit Annotations with Ink Tools in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
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.