Display a Laser Pointer During a PowerPoint Slide Show (and Choose Red, Green or Blue Pointers)
by Avantix Learning Team | Updated September 14, 2023
Applies to: Microsoft® PowerPoint® 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, 2021 and 365 (Windows)
During a PowerPoint slide show, you can change your mouse into a laser pointer to focus attention on a specific area on your slide. You can show or hide the built-in laser pointer using keyboard shortcuts or by using the context menu.
Recommended article: 10 PowerPoint Slide Show Tips and Tricks
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There are 4 common ways to start a slide show in PowerPoint:
- Click the Slide Show button on the bottom right of the screen
- Click the Slide Show tab in the Ribbon and click From Beginning or From Current Slide
- Press F5 to start a slide show from the beginning
- Press Shift + F5 to start a slide show from the current slide
Change the mouse into a laser pointer using a keyboard shortcut
To change the mouse pointer into a laser pointer using a keyboard shortcut:
- Start a slide show.
- To display the laser pointer, press Ctrl + L. Press ESC to hide it.
Change the mouse into a laser pointer by dragging
To change the mouse pointer into a laser pointer by dragging:
- Start a slide show.
- Press and hold Ctrl and then click and drag the left mouse button to point to the contents on the slide that you want to focus on.
Change the mouse into a laser pointer using the context menu
To change the mouse pointer into a laser pointer using the context menu:
- Start a slide show.
- Right-click on the slide. A drop-down menu appears.
- Select Pointer Options and then Laser Pointer.
- Press ESC to hide the laser pointer.
The context menu appears as follows when you right-click during a slide show:
Change the color of the laser pointer
By default, the laser pointer is red. However, you can change it to green or blue.
To change the color of the laser pointer:
- In Normal View or Slide Sorter View, click the Slide Show tab in the Ribbon.
- In the Set Up group, click Set Up Slide Show. A dialog box appears.
- Under Show options, select the color that you want from the Laser pointer color drop-won menu.
- Click OK.
The Set Up Show dialog box appears as follows:
Record laser pointer movements
To record your laser pointer movements for a self-running slide show:
- Click the Slide Show tab in the Ribbon.
- In the Set Up group, click the arrow beside or below Record Slide Show. A drop-down menu appears.
- Click either Start Recording from Beginning or Start Recording from Current Slide. If a dialog box appears, select the Narrations and laser pointer check box.
- Click Start Recording or Record. To pause the narration, in the recording controls, click Pause. To resume, click Resume.
- Display the mouse pointer using the methods outlined above. Press ESC to hide the pointer.
- Click the right arrow to move to the next slide.
- Move through the presentation and show and hide the laser pointer when needed.
- To end the slide show recording, right-click the slide and then click End Show. The recorded slide show timings are automatically saved and the slide show appears in Slide Sorter view with timings below each slide.
- To view the slide show with the pointer movements and timings you recorded, on the Slide Show tab, in the Start Slide Show group, click From Beginning or From Current Slide.
- To redo the laser pointer movements or slide timings, repeat the steps above.
You can also display a pen or highlighter during a slide show. Check out the article How to Highlight or Draw on PowerPoint Slides During a Slide Show.
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