Annotate slides while presenting PowerPoint slideshow

icons shown on slideshow, with Inking icon highlighted
Look for this icon at the foot of your slideshow

We are often asked for advice about annotating slides and pointing out things on slides during a lecture. This is often in connection with recording the lecture with Panopto, where pointing at something shown on the projector screen using your finger or laser pointer, for example, is not recorded – and, therefore, is not of much use to the students watching the recording.

One way of getting around this issue is to use a tool in PowerPoint 2016 called Inking. You will find the icon to start Inking at the bottom of your screen when in slideshow mode. Inking allows you to use the mouse (or a finger with touch screens) to point at, write on and highlight anything in your presentation at the podium, and it shows up both on the projector screen in the classroom as well as on the Panopto recording.

The benefits:

  • Clear pointing with a virtual laser pointer
  • Write, draw or highlight something on a slide while you are presenting, reducing the need to switch between applications or use the document camera
  • Stay facing the students throughout the presentation

All of the above benefits are visible to students in the room as well as anyone watching the recording.


  • Using a mouse it can be difficult to write or draw with precision – or at least without a lot of practice.

How do I use Inking?