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How to Draw in PowerPoint (w/ Keyboard Shortcuts)


In this post, you'll learn how to draw in PowerPoint using the inking features.

On top of that, you will learn the useful keyboard shortcuts to make drawing on your PowerPoint slides easy. I call these the PIES shortcuts, and you can use them to add ink to your slides during your slide show.

To learn all of the different ways to start a slideshow in PowerPoint, read our article here.

[Watch] How to draw in PowerPoint

To learn other useful PowerPoint keyboard shortcuts like this, read our guide here.

The Pen Shortcut

hit control plus P on your keyboard to draw on your PowerPoint slides with the pen

Using the Pen shortcut (Ctrl + P in in Slide Show mode) 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

hit control plus I on your keyboard to activate the highlighter shortcut in PowerPoint

Using the Highlighter shortcut (Ctrl + I in Slide Show Mode) allows you to highlight things on your PowerPoint slides using a stylus, pen or finger.

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.

Hit control plus E to activate the eraser in PowerPoint to remove ink from your slides

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.

Hit control plus S to active the All Slides dialog box when giving a presentation

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 PowerPoint 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. See video below to see this keyboard shortcut in action.


So those are keyboard shortcuts that allow you to draw in PowerPoint with the ink features.

After you draw on your slides, you will be given the option to save the ink to your presentation as you exit the Slide Show view.

As you are only given this option once, make sure you select save as you exit this view, otherwise you will lose all of your work.

If you enjoyed this article, you will love our other PowerPoint tutorials and free resources that you can learn about here.

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Updated on September 22, 2019

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