Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Laser Pointers No More

Laser pointers have been traditionally used in conjunction with electronic slideshow presentations as a means of emphasizing a specific part of a slide. Despite the usefulness of this tool, sometimes the red beam of light can serve as a distraction depending on the ability of the presenter. I have attended PowerPoint presentations where the bright red beam has erratically jumped all over the screen. Over the years I have owned several laser pointers and I found them useful when working with a much larger screen projection. In the past few years, I stopped using the laser pointer by replacing it with the insertion of non-filled shapes with brightly colored borders along with custom animations directly on my slideshow presentation. By using this method, I find that I have more control and I do not have to worry about holding the beam of light steady or circling a region continuously. The added bonus is that I don’t need batteries!

  1.  Click on the “Insert” tab
  2. Click on “shapes”
    • Choose the shape (I generally take a square or circle)
  3. Size the shape over the first region to emphasize by holding down the left side of the mouse while gliding the “+” symbol on the field until the desired size has been achieved
  4. Click on the "Shape fill"
    • Select no fill
  5. Click on "Shape outline"”
    • Select “color” in the drop-down box (bright red)
  6. Click on “Weight”
    • Select: 2 1/4-3 pt
  7. Click on the "Animations"  tab
  8. Click on "Custom animation"
  9. Click on drop-down menu on the "Add effect" button
    • Click on "Entrance"
    • Click on "Faded zoom"
  10. Click on drop-down box for first animation
    • Click on “Effect”
    • Click on drop-down box for “Don't dim"
    • Select “Hide on next mouse click"
  11. For highligthing multiple areas; copy the shape and re-size it over the next region (all animations will be duplicated)
  12. Recopy the shape as needed