How To Use the Laser Pointer Feature in PowerPoint

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published March 25, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

PowerPoint is software you can use to present information in a way that's easy to read, project and share. Businesses and schools use PowerPoint for presentations because they can compile information in one place and include various media types to communicate more effectively. Learning what you can do with PowerPoint, like using the laser pointer feature, can help you familiarize yourself with the software. In this article, we discuss this tool, show why you may want to use it and explain how to use the laser pointer in PowerPoint.

Read more: How To Make a Good PowerPoint

What is the laser pointer in PowerPoint?

The laser pointer in PowerPoint is a built-in feature that you can use to direct the audience's eye to important information during your presentation. PowerPoint allows you to turn your mouse cursor into a dot that is either blue, green or red. You can control the dot by moving your mouse around the computer's screen display to host the PowerPoint. The movements of the cursor dot mirror the laser on your presentation and the rest of your slides.

Microsoft created this feature to mimic an actual laser pointer that became popular with in-person presentations. It's easy to include a lot of information on a slide deck, all of which can be relevant but may make it confusing for your audience to understand where to direct their attention. The laser pointer helps your audience follow along with your explanation by allowing you to point to each point on the slide as you address it. The laser pointer doesn't cast a shadow or disrupt the flow of the slide.

Related: How To Make a PowerPoint Presentation Into a Video in 6 Steps

What are the uses of the laser pointer in PowerPoint?

Here's what you can do with the laser pointer in PowerPoint:

  • Guide the audience's eye. When giving a long presentation, a laser pointer can guide the audience's eye along with the words you're referring to or the part of the slide you're addressing, creating.

  • Create a sense of pace. By directing the audience's eye, you can set the pace of your presentation through each slide, allowing the audience to focus on what you're saying and retain more information.

  • Highlight specific elements. You can point out specific aspects of your slide you want the audience to pay special attention to by pointing to them with your laser pointer as you address them. A laser pointer can be beneficial if there is a lot of other information on the slide and you want to indicate a specific section.

  • Remember your place. Giving a presentation can require you to focus more on speaking than the slides, so using a laser pointer can help you remember your place on the slide. It can also ensure you're engaging with the presentation by aligning what you're saying with the slides the audience sees.

  • Prevents visual interruption. The laser pointer feature inherent in the PowerPoint program can help you avoid the visual disruption that may occur from someone standing in front of the slides or pointing to something on the projection screen. With the laser pointer, there is no shadow or visual obstructions.

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How to use the laser pointer in PowerPoint

You can use the laser pointer feature in the following ways:

Turn on the laser pointer feature in PowerPoint

You can turn on your laser pointer by following these steps:

  1. Start your slideshow. To showcase your presentation, you can hit "F5" on your keyboard or follow the instructions in the program to start the presentation view and begin running your slideshow.

  2. Right-click a slide. Pick a slide in your presentation, and right-click until a drop-down menu appears with options for commands concerning your presentation. Some of the commands may be "Next," "See All Slides" or "Screen."

  3. Select "Pointer Options." In the drop-down menu, select the "Pointer Options" tab to trigger another drop-down menu.

  4. Select the laser pointer. The top option in the "Pointer Options" drop-down menu is the laser pointer. You can click this option to turn your cursor into a dot with a specific color.

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Change the laser pointer's color

You can change the laser pointer's color by following these steps:

  1. Open the slideshow tab. The "Slideshow" tab is on the toolbar at the top of the PowerPoint program. You can click the icon to open a new toolbar underneath with options about your presentation.

  2. Select Set Up Slide Show. Find the "Set Up Slideshow" tab on your toolbar at the top of the window. You can select this icon to launch a dialog box with options for show type, slides and options.

  3. Click laser pointer color. At the bottom of the dialog box, on the left side, there is a field called "Laser pointer color" with a paint bucket icon. Click on the paint bucket icon to access the drop-down of available colors.

  4. Choose your color. You can choose from red, green and dark blue. Click the color you want to use, and it closes the drop-down options.

  5. Select "OK." Once you select "OK," the dialog boxes disappear and you can save the changes to the default settings of your laser pointer.

  6. Double-check the color change. You may want to check your laser pointer settings are accurate by turning on your laser pointer. If the color is still the default red, you can try these steps again.

Related: How To Create an Outstanding PowerPoint Presentation

Turn off the laser pointer feature in PowerPoint

When you've finished using the laser pointer feature in PowerPoint, you can turn it off by hitting the Esc key on your keyboard. If you want to turn off the laser pointer by turning your mouse into something else, you can follow these steps:

  1. Right-click your slide. You can right-click the slide you're currently on with your mouse.

  2. Select pointer options. Then, you can select "Pointer Options" from the drop-down that appears after you right-click.

  3. Find "Arrow Options." Select a different cursor option from the drop-down list, including the pen or the highlighter, which you can use to make marks on your presentation. Alternatively, you can select the "Visible" option to turn the cursor back into the typical arrow cursor.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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