Turn Your Mouse into a Laser Pointer in PowerPoint

Giving presentations can be nerve-wracking. You want to keep your audience engaged and guide their attention to key elements on each slide. A laser pointer is an excellent tool for accomplishing this, allowing you to highlight specific text, charts, or images as you present.

Fortunately, if you use PowerPoint, you already have a built-in laser pointer at your fingertips – your mouse! By following a few simple steps, you can turn your ordinary mouse cursor into a powerful, colorful laser pointer tool in PowerPoint.

Benefits of Using the Laser Pointer

Before jumping into the how-to, let’s look at some of the benefits of using PowerPoint’s laser pointer during your presentations:

  • Draws audience focus – The bright, moving laser pointer immediately catches viewers’ eyes, directing their gaze where you want it.
  • Enhances engagement – As you highlight key data and talk through your slides, the audience stays actively engaged, focused on each element you emphasize.
  • Adds energy and interest – The laser pointer brings movement and vitality to your presentation, making it more dynamic and interesting to watch.
  • Interacts with slides – Unlike a physical laser device, PowerPoint’s integrated pointer lets you directly interact with elements on your slides.

Step-by-Step Guide: Turning on the Laser Pointer

Ready to turn your mouse into a laser pointer for your next PowerPoint presentation? Follow these simple steps:

1. Start the Slide Show

First, open your PowerPoint deck and initiate the slide show by clicking “Slide Show” > “From Beginning” or hitting F5. The slide show opens in full-screen mode, hiding the cursor.

2. Reveal and Hold the Pointer

To make the mouse pointer visible, press and hold the CTRL key on your keyboard. While holding CTRL, left-click and drag the mouse. This turns the cursor into a bright red laser pointer.

3. Release to Hide the Pointer

When you release the left mouse button and CTRL key, the laser pointer will disappear, hiding the mouse cursor once again.

4. Repeat as Needed

Repeat steps 2-3 to temporarily reveal the laser pointer whenever you want to highlight a part of your slide. Each time, simply hold CTRL, click-drag, then release.

Customizing and Enhancing the Laser Pointer

Once you get the basics down, try customizing the laser pointer to suit your presentation needs:

Change the color – By default, the pointer displays as red, but you can adjust it to green or blue for more variety. On the “Slide Show” tab click “Set Up Slide Show” and pick a new color.

Add effects – For extra flair, set the pointer to sparkle, glow in the dark, or leave a trail. Access options under “Set Up Slide Show”.

Use the built-in pen – Alternatively, toggle the mouse to act as a pen for circling or underlining text on your slides.

Try different modes – Turn on the pointer in Reading View to draw attention to slides as you design them.

Keyboard shortcuts – Once in slide show view, press CTRL+L to activate the pointer instantly, no clicking required.

Present with Confidence!

With your new laser pointer skills, you can guide your audience, interact with key data, and present your PowerPoint slides with greater confidence and clarity. The built-in tool helps simplify and enhance all your hard work preparing presentation materials.

Try out these pointers for incorporating PowerPoint’s helpful laser into your next on-screen presentation. Within minutes, you can be highlighting key ideas and engaging viewers like a pro!