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Using the Pen and Highlighter Tools in Slide Show View in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

Learn how to use the pen and highlighter tools within slide show view in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac. These tools allow you to add annotations.

While presenting, annotation can play a large role in how you interact with your audience. In PowerPoint, you can use the Pen tool that can change your static slide into a whiteboard upon which you can annotate, simply by doodling or writing! In this tutorial, we will learn how to use Pen tool in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac. 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 highlighted in blue within Figure 1, below.

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

  4. Figure 2: Pen tool being selected
  5. Tip: You can also press the + P keyboard shortcut in Slide Show to change to the Pen tool. Press + A in Slide Show view when done to revert back to the default Arrow cursor.

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  6. 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.

  7. Figure 3: Doodle or write with the Pen tool
  8. 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. You can 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.



  9. Figure 4: Choose another Pen color
  10. Then, 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.

  11. Figure 5: There are number of colors to annotate with
  12. Unfortunately, as of now, that's all you can do with Pen tool in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac. There is no way to save the annotations, as you 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.

  13. Figure 6: All annotations are lost when Slide Show ended
Tip: Annotations saved in the Windows version of PowerPoint show on PowerPoint 2016 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 2011 for Mac
Using the Pen and Highlighter Tools in Slide Show View in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows