How to use the Pen tool in PowerPoint

As an alternative to laser pointers you might be interested in using Microsoft PowerPoint’s built in pen tool. In this video post I explain how to use the pen tool and how it could be used to explain code snippets.

[Update: RSS readers click here to watch the video]

This is my first screen cast, so feedback is appreciated. I can only get better! Check out Screen Toaster, the remarkably easy to use tool I used to produce this screen cast.

To see excellent use of the pen tool in a real presentation check out The Way of the Whiteboard: Persuading with Pictures a presentation Dan Roam author of Back of the Napkin, The: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures.

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  1. Martin
    Posted May 26, 2009 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    I’d not seen the pen feature before – that’s pretty cool, and more versatile and reliable than a laser pointer. I still reckon carefully layering up diagrams is the key though.

    I like the medium of the screen cast as well. However, it brought back a repressed memory of a trap I’ve fallen into before – I once left a web browser open in the background and then accidentally switched to it when I closed the presentation down at the end. (Don’t worry, it wasn’t porn though, just not related to the presentation). When you come out of the presentation at 3.03 the task bar suggests you were listening to some Coldplay while writing this blog post… whether that’s an embarassment or a hidden extra is a matter of opinion!

  2. Posted May 28, 2009 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    This is perfect.

    I have a personal hatred for laser pointers so refuse to make use of them in any of my presentations. This is a great compromise when you need to do a bit of ‘pointing’. Good tips, too.

    As for the screen cast: while I am strongly of the opinion that blogging is primarily a text medium, it is non-superfluous uses of screen casts (and other technologies) like this that I enjoy. Without the screen cast this post would have been infinitely more difficult to produce and as such I like it. The medium works better than any other you could have chosen.

    One tip: for RSS readers it would be nice to know the length of the screen cast. When I am forced to visit the site to watch or listen to a post and then discover it is 20 minutes long, I rarely return. Six minutes is an ideal length.

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