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How to Draw in PowerPoint (Slideshow Mode)

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Do you deliver your presentations live and wish you could make them more interactive and natural? Now you can - by drawing on your presentation!

In this post, we bring you some of the useful keyboard shortcuts that will let you scribble text and sketch figures on the go without leaving you presentation...I call these the PIES shortcuts.

Use these PIES shortcuts to draw on your PowerPoint slides and get hooked on your keyboard. No, you don’t need anything fancy like a pricey stylus, but you do need a laptop with a touch screen to draw on.

PIES shortcuts are simple and here is how you can use them.

[Video] Slideshow Inking Options

The Pen Shortcut

  • Ctrl + P for the Pen


Using the pen shortcut allows you to draw on your PowerPoint slide with your stylus, pen or finger.

Before you start drawing, you can also choose the ink color you like. This shortcut makes hosting webinars and seminars easy for you as you can circle things, check boxes, cloud the important stuff, and underline things...as you speak and demonstrate.

The Highlighter Shortcut

  • Ctrl + I for the Highlighter


As you press Ctrl+I on your keyboard, you are immediately going to jump on the highlighter option. You can click down below, change the color, and then highlight the important points on your presentation.

It's pretty easy and straightforward!

The Eraser Shortcuts

This shortcut is one you need to be careful with, because there is a huge difference between pressing Ctrl + E and pressing just plain E.

  • Ctrl + E for the Eraser
  • E to erase all ink on your slide


If you use Ctrl+E, then you can use your mouse cursor as you eraser, and it will only erase the specific data according to you.

If you just press the E key… BOOM! It will erase everything you have written (using the pen and/or highlighter) on your slide, and then there is no way to go back.

Note: Keep in mind that if you press the Escape key to end the presentation, you will be given two options – either to keep your ink annotations or to discard them.

  • If you click on Keep, then you will be able to save all your ink scribbles and sketches in the Normal View, and you will be able to move and format it, just like other PowerPoint objects. You can always delete the ink later in the Normal View of your presentation.
  • If you click on Discard, all the ink is permanently removed from your presentation.

The All Slides dialog box

This is the final shortcut in the PIES shortcut series, and this one allows you to jump back and forth between your slides, while you’re in the middle of giving your presentations.

  • Ctrl + S for the All Slides dialog box


By using this shortcut, you can see all the slides in your presentation, and jump to one you’d like to move to.

Note: In the bottom of the dialog box, it will display the number of the last slide you were on before opening the All Slides dialog box. So in case, if you get lost while making a lengthy or complex presentation, Ctrl + S is there to the rescue!

ALL your slideshow shortcuts in one

If you ever forget any of these shortcuts, you can always find them by hitting F1 on your keyboard in Slideshow mode.

That gives you 32 slideshow shortcuts (for review) with one PowerPoint shortcut.

Ahem... awesome!

What's next?

Updated on May 22, 2019

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