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Annotating Directly on PowerPoint Slides

In the Star Classroom training, we demonstrated many ways to annotate using the screen, and here is another technique using the built-in pen tool in PowerPoint.


Credit: Mr Willis, Havelock Academy


The ability to draw and highlight directly onto your slides has been available for a while now, although it may have not been a feature you would have needed or noticed, unless you had a board with good interactivity. To use the built-in pen tool, all you need to do is open a PowerPoint and go into Presentation Mode. You should now be able to see that there is a greyed out toolbox along the bottom or left-hand side of the slide (see image 1). You may need to hover your mouse over the slide if you can’t see it. Once the pen tool is selected, you can then draw over your slides - moving forwards or backwards whilst keeping the annotations intact. When you get to the end of the presentation, or if you click the Esc key, you will be prompted to decide if you want to keep the annotations on the slides or not. You can then use these annotations with another class, or keep them as evidence, if the work has been produced by the students.

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