Navigate PowerPoint with a Built-in Laser Pointer

Last Updated Jun 27, 2010 11:37 PM EDT

In my office's conference room, there's a laser pointer built into the remote control that operates the projection system. Nice in principal, but there are two problems with this solution: The remote is tethered to the conference table with a short retractable cord, and the batteries are almost always dead.

Since I don't carry my own laser cat with me, I was thrilled to recently discover a laser pointer built into PowerPoint 2010 itself. Here's how to use it.

First, note that this is a new feature in PowerPoint 2010, so if you're still using an older version, you can't play along until or unless you upgrade.

Have PowerPoint 2010? Great. When you're in Slide Show mode, just press the Ctrl key and the left mouse button. You should see a simulated laser pointer appear on your slide, which you can move around with your mouse.

Of course, this only works in Slide Show mode - so if you're one of those people who leaves the deck in edit mode while delivering a presentation, stop that, because it looks unprofessional, and also because the laser pointer won't work in that mode.

Want to edit the color of the laser? On the ribbon's Slide Show tab, click Set Up Slide Show and then choose a different color for the laser pointer color.