All About: PowerPoint Draw & Inking Tutorial

About this lesson

Learn all about PowerPoint Draw and Ink enhancement and animation for both Windows and macOS. This comprehensive tutorial covers everything you need to know about this tool that can add personalization and focus to your slide deck.

Learn not just how to use the inking tools, but how to select the right drawing pen, including what the differences are between the three choices; and the various ways to erase with three different modes, plus how to add to animate a slide show.


00:00 Intro

00:36 Course Agenda

01:11 Versions

01:48 Hardware Required for Drawing

02:23 Starting Draw in PowerPoint

03:47 Changing Pen Color and Thickness

04:40 Pen vs Pencil vs Highlighter

05:28 Grouping and Timing of Drawing Strokes

06:40 Moving and Resizing Drawing Strokes

07:53 How to Select with Lasso Tool

08:39 Differences between Stroke Eraser, Point Eraser, Segment Eraser

10:08 Mac Erase Tool Differences from Windows

11:28 Undo Drawing

12:20 Draw Straight Lines with Ruler

12:30 Ruler is Missing in the Mac

13:19 Changing the angle of the Ruler

13:47 Convert Drawing to Shape or Text

15:09 Change the Drawing Color and Thickness Afterwards

16:21 Annoyance, Can’t Edit Text

17:17 Trick – Tracing

17:48 Trick – Handwriting Letters – Expand Letters

18:57 Ink Replay – The Good (and Bad for Mac Users)

19:38 Ink Replay Order Changes – Why?

20:28 Ink Replay Won’t Play in Slide Show

21:02 Fix Ink Replay by Animating for Slide Show

23:33 Wrap Up


Subject Microsoft PowerPoint

Software Compatibility The tutorial is done on PowerPoint 365 for Windows, but we show Mac menus where there are differences.


Course Completed

PDF Files There are not any files associated with this lesson.



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inking and drawing in PowerPoint, add personalization and emphasis to your slides. This built in tool to PowerPoint lets you add animated drawings and visual enhancements to your presentation to break away from the ordinary, and sometimes corporate look of PowerPoint. When you sparingly, you can add some visual interest. Or you can dive in and go, all custom drawn. Hi, this is Les from, where I will instruct you on everything about PowerPoint and this time around we’re, we’re featuring PowerPoint inking and drawing. Specifically, we’re going to cover the versions of PowerPoint, and the hardware needed. Examine the various drawing tools with available modifications, we’ll show you some tricks and some gotchas plus how to use the ruler, converting shapes and text. Plus a better understanding of how the replay tool works and does not work and how to employ your drawings in a slide animation on your presentations. So let’s power up to inking and drawing in PowerPoint. First off, the tool got started with basic capabilities in office 2013. For Windows only, no Mac version.

There were some additional features added in office 2019. But inking took full form with Office 365 for both the Mac and Windows. For the Mac. There are a few small menu differences, but all the features that are there on both platforms, and I will highlight the menu differences differences when they arise. Before we get going with the hands on portion. Let me point out that this will work with a mouse or the touchpad on your laptop or with one of these like the Logitech wireless touchpad. Or if you have a touchscreen you can use your finger or in my case here, I use a stylus with my favorite Microsoft Office Surface Book touchscreen. The stylus I’ll be using for demonstration. So let me break out of this slideshow mode. And on to the hands on segment, I am running the latest version of Office 365. On Windows. I’m clicking on the draw Ribbon Menu to uncover the drawing tools. As a comparison, here’s also the Mac version of the same window and they are very very similar. Just a slightly different rearrangement in the icons look a little different also to draw. I’m clicking on the purple pen with my Microsoft laptop stylus. Note that my stylus will show up as a small dot indicator where I’m about to draw unlike an arrow that shows up when using your mouth. So I will provide some extra emphasis of an overlay pencil icon. As I placed my stylus on different parts of the screen canvas. This overlay was added after the tutorial was captured. It is just that easy. Select the pen and draw. Let me switch to the blue pen by clicking on it to draw some more. Note that having a steady drawing hand, more so than mine, will give you smoother results. My custom PowerPoint background shows a huge boxes of different colored crayons. But we have many more choices and sizes in PowerPoint inking. Just click the tool and then find the V arrow to expand the menu for each pen type. And here I’m using an ink pen, we have the choices of width and color. Let’s try out several different thicknesses. I will select and then draw so you can see it on the screen. Note that they are pre set sizes. So you just need to work with those five choices, which are the same on the Mac, only five thicknesses to select from. Now let’s select a different pen, purple, and change the thickness plus the color. I’m going to select green. Note how the pen color also changes in the menu to green. So we have choices of line thicknesses, and pen colors and even some textured colors. But we also have three different types of drawing tools. Up to this point. We have only demonstrated the ink pen but there’s also the pencil which is a smaller thickness. Even when you choose large thickness. It is still a smaller size line and also is not an even flowing look like the ink blind but what textured, sort of like using real charcoal based pencils. Even when I switched from gray to black, it is still a lighter shade than the solid ink black line. And the third drawing tool is the highlighter, which is a transparent marker for you to see the object or text underneath the drawing line. If you plan to just illustrate your slide and not worry about showing the animation later, then this next topic may not be as of much interest unless you later plan to move objects around. We’re looking at how PowerPoint groups your drawing strokes together based on the elapsed time between the drawing of each of the lines. To better understand this concept. Watch as I draw two objects back to back, the number one and a circle around it. Then I’m going to wait for a few moments of time to let it lapse. And then I’m going to draw four items close together in time a number two plus a circle, a number three and a circle. So how are these six lines grouped together? Let me switch out of the drawing mode by clicking on the arrow. Otherwise, if I click or tap on the screen, you’ll continue to draw with more lines. So in this selection mode, not draw. When I tap the number one, see how both drawing strokes are grouped together. And because I waited before drawing the next set of objects, PowerPoint groups them as a group of four items. So an elapsed time between drawing will determine what is grouped automatically by PowerPoint. And why is this of interest? Well, once drawn, the object can be manipulated such as moving the number one and the circle combined together to a new location. The concept of grouping is a core tool in PowerPoint for many other activities. And there’s a technique to group and ungroup objects. Watch as I switch from the stylus back to my mouse and I am going to select the number two and then number three, and then with a right click on the group, I’m going to find the menu of group and then the ungroup command to break them apart. ungroup and group can also be found on the tap menu under the Home ribbon tab and clicking on the arrange action icon to find the group command choices. And once the previous group drawing strokes are now ungroup I have four objects that can be independently selected and moved and even resized. Now the lines rows are broken apart. Let’s see about grouping them back together. And for that, I’m introducing the new topic of lasso select. This lasso tool will let us select just the line drawings, not any other PowerPoint objects. So it is a specialized drawing Select Tool and it operates slightly differently. In that you need to click at the top corner and then draw in a circular motion to select the drawing strokes of interest. There is a bit of wiggle room here as you don’t need to always need to lasso the complete line strokes. But it’s best to try to capture as much as possible. And Once selected, the object can now be moved or grouped back together into a single object for future manipulation. Now let’s look at fixing things. Mistakes are part of life and PowerPoint. At least PowerPoint has some easy tools to correct our drawing errors. for drawing we had two separate techniques, the erase and the undo. Let’s start with the Erase tool for Windows is an upside down pencil

icon showing the eraser. For the Mac. It’s a slightly different looking icon. Both give you more than one erase options. I’m showing this in the Windows and the Mac has almost but not quite identical features. Here I’m selecting a plum colored pen and drawing up a tic tac toe sketch. This is a great example with line crossing over each other in some independent objects. not pretty but it will be illustrative. Now I’ll switch out of the ink draw mode and select the eraser icon. And once I did I’m going to go back and click the down arrow to get my choices which will try out one at a time. The stroke arrays will remove the full stroke from when we click and drew the line. Watch as I click the far left line and click it’s gone. Let’s compare that to the point eraser selection. The point eraser tool will let you erase just a small portion Have a line at the end or in the middle, and you can choose the precision by selecting a size and Windows. The Mac choices are slightly different with just a small eraser and medium racer, which is the same as point arrays, but you only have these two precision thicknesses to select from. Now watch as I drag the bottom of the far right line up. To erase index I’m gonna jump up to the top x and erase that extra long line, click and drag using the same point eraser tool. I will now click in the middle of a line to break it into two lines. And the next action is to grab and shorten one of the line strokes. And again, click to break up the line and click and shorten with the point arrays tool. The third Erase tool is segment eraser. This will erase a line stroke up to where it intersects with itself or another line. Watch. If there is not an intersection, then the whole line will go away. But if I click a line with an intersection, such as my x, then just the one segments gets erased, or the next example is the middle of the far right line. There are two intersecting lines above and below. So just the middle section gets erased with a click Undo. This alternative technique won’t work if you just made the mistake, and you can immediately undo the action. See me shorten this line. And then I can use the Undo action icon command to reverse the change. Remember, for the keyboard Ctrl Z is the shortcut for undo. Here’s a side trip. My laptop is in Windows tablet mode. So I see a slightly different menu layout. Let me reconnect the laptop back to desktop mode and see the expanded undo set of commands. Now with a drop down list of previous actions, I can drag my mouse down to undo a full group of actions. In my case, all of my erase actions, get me back to my original Tic Tac Toe skit. Drawing perfectly straight lines can be almost impossible if you don’t have a steady hand. For window users only there is a ruler tool that can be dropped on your canvas area by just toggling it on and off. Then you can click on the ruler and drag it around on the canvas. Go ahead select the drawing tool. And here’s the trick. If you draw away from the ruler, the line is squealy. It’s freeform. But if you are able to get your drawing p3n just on the edge of the ruler, you can click and draw a straight line. Move the ruler, draw again and you can use either side of the ruler to draw the straight lines. At first you may struggle because if your pointer is not on the edge, but on the ruler, you end up moving the ruler and not drawing the line, you need to be on the edge just off the edge of the ruler. To rotate the ruler. There are multiple techniques. Depending on the tool you’re using. a stylus will let you click the red marker and rotate the ruler. If you’re using a multi point touchscreen, your two fingers can rotate the ruler and with the mouse, use your middle ruler button. And when done, just click the ruler icon again, to toggle it off. Here’s

a cutesy set of tools that will let you convert your sketches into shapes, text or equations. I do find it kind of hit or miss. Watch as they draw out for shapes. Next, I’m going to select what I thought was a circle drawing and click ink to shape. Oh my gosh, I hadn’t expected to see a heart to pop up. Okay, let’s try the next one. It looks like a square I’m going to use the lasso select and convert it to a square. Then I’m lasso the curve line. And when I convert that one I totally confuse PowerPoint. So it just gives up. Let me try again. I’m gonna draw a little straighter hand drawn line this time. And now PowerPoint Once selected, does converge to a straight line. And lastly, my knows what that strange shape is supposed to be. Except PowerPoint sees it as a cloud. So as we’ve demonstrated, you’ll see that your mileage will vary with different results sometimes what you expect and sometimes not. Lastly, let’s do a quick hack. handwritten conversion from ink to text. See, PowerPoint does a pretty good job, recognizing what is text and getting it right. At the start of our power up tutorial, we saw how to change the pen color and thickness. But it’s great to know that you can change your mind later on. Here, I’m drawing four lines of the same color thickness. Since they were all drawn quickly together, they are treated as a single group. Let me use our previous technique to select that group and then ungroup the objects in the individual lines. Now I’m going to select this second one. And Once selected, I’m going to find that the context aware menu of shape format pops up. And with the shape, and the shape Format menu selected, I can find this shape outline drop down action icon where I can bind, change colors, or wait for the object that had already been drawn. Let me speed through and reformat the other lines. But do know that the menu does show additional change to options. But these are grayed out, so your only choices are color and weight to make changes to your lines. Here’s an annoyance if you keep forgetting to turn off the pans, you must remember to turn off the pans before you interact with the rest of your PowerPoint slides. Watch how I draw on a shape. Then I go directly to the home Ribbon Menu in an attempt to edit my text. But when clicking on my text are red inking dots because my pan is still active. I’ll do a quick set of UNDOs then return back to the draw menu. To turn off the pen mode for Windows. I click on the white arrow select the icon for the Mac, I click on the draw icon. And then I go back to editing my slide deck. So remember to turn off the ink tools after using just like putting the caps back on your ink pens in real life. Now on to some tricks and tips. For both non artists and skilled inkers. A great technique is to use a template to work with here I have an arrow on my canvas, and I can use the inking pen to trace out the arrows outline. As you can see, my eye hand coordination could be better. But even in a quick sketch, I get an OK arrow, I can then move or delete the underlying arrow template to reveal just my artwork.

For text This works equally well as you can now make sure that your handwriting is using a straight horizon and not drifting. Plus, you can make sure that the spacing between characters are evenly placed. one extra trick that I’d like to change is the spacing between letters. Go to the Home Ribbon Menu. expand out the font dialog box and select the second tab called character spacing. Here I’m going to add extra white spaces between the letters by expanding out the point size to a larger number. This will make it easier for me to use the thicker pans to trace out the letters for the word. A second great technique is zoom in on the words using PowerPoint to give you finer control. With all those tips, I can do an okay job on creating handwritten text in PowerPoints. However, someone with more skill can do better. Just like my opening slide page, where I did get some help from a co-worker who has beautiful handwriting. Now on to some cool Windows desktop computer tricks. replaying your ink. Wash that go back to our previous page and click the replay button and you’ll see my arrow which I drew first get the automatic replay plus the text right afterward. This is not replaying my actions. Because if you remember I did move some of the objects like the arrow and text after I traced them. The replay will only reshow your drawing in the order that you drew them and play them out in an even fashion. But there are some footnotes here in that if you edit the drawings, it’s gonna mess with you. Watch as I draw a 1, 2, 3, 4 with circles in order and when I replay them, they work just right. But watch as I now mess up the replay order by erasing part of this circle around the number three and the next I’m gonna erase part of the number one and since they Last touched, they both will now play at the end, watch, circle, 2, 3, 4 and circle and one, once again is the house out of order. So be careful. However, in the end, it really does not matter. As if you run this in a slideshow, it won’t be animated. Hey Mac users, see, you didn’t miss out much with this missing feature. But ink animation can be cool. And that’s exactly how you need to implement inking into your slideshows through the animation tool. With the inking from the previous slide now copied, I’m going to paste them into this new page. And for some mysterious reason, this is fixed the play replay order. But we no longer care as we’re going to be moving to the animation tab in the Ribbon Menu and you’ll see that by trying to show this in my slideshow, it is not animated. So let’s do this. Because these were pasted in as a group, we need to break them up into individual linkings. So using the ungroup command that we’ve learned about earlier, we’ve now gone from one object to eight individual drawings. Next, I want to group the circles and run each of the numbers. So I’m going to speed through this step of grouping them four times. So now in the animation Ribbon Menu, I’m going to turn on the Animation Pane so that we can see the order of our animations. Look to the right of the screen. If you’re new to animation, see our Getting Started tutorial listed above. Next, we’re going to animate the text box bullet list to have them fly in paragraph by paragraph. And so we can see them listed as four items. I’m going to expand our group in the Animation Pane on the right, the top level bullet points will fly in with the click of a mouse. Now let’s move to the hand drawn number one inking. Now I want to move it up next to the first bullet point. Then I’ll move to number two. And for now let’s just locate three and four. Next, I’m going to select the hand drawn number one of the circle and choose the animation replay. It is scheduled to play last as seen in the Animation Pane. So I’m going to click on that one and drag it up so that it plays right after the first bullet line item.

Let’s repeat that for the hand drawn number two, and animat it as a replay. I’m going to move it up right after the quote. Use the animation menu quote bullet point. And just for our training purposes, I’m going to animate number three to replay and number four to replay leaving them as the last two items. And we’re ready to test out our slideshow. Using the animation in full screen into Canvas. Click there we get the first bullet item, click there’s get our dime drawn number one, click second bullet point, click number two, then we’re going to get the number three and number four animated exactly as we spelled it out. And those highly managed animation tricks will work for both Windows and Mac so that you can add a cool and different set of highlights to your slide deck. I suspect you’ll not be handwriting all your presentations. But add the inking and drawing tool to your bag of tricks. And when used sparingly it will add a sense of personalization and help focus on your key points. Do like and subscribe and share this tutorial. Look for other training videos such as our all you need to know about PowerPoint animation. To learn from our almost 100 PowerPoint tutorials, visit us at our free PowerPoint training website. Until next time, go power up