Google has introduced a new tool for Slides that can help you make your presentations more interactive and keep your audience’s attention. The new feature, a pen tool, lets you write on a slide in real time, so you can encircle key figures, draw arrows, underline important information and just generally scribble anything you want on the presentation while in the middle of a meeting or a report. While Slides has long had the ability to turn your mouse arrow into a laser pointer, you had to download a third-party tool to be able to actually write annotations in the middle of a presentation.
Slides’ new pen tool is built into the program, and there’s no need to download anything extra. To access it, you have to open your file in slideshow mode and then mouse over the bottom left side to see the three-dot menu. From that menu, you’ll find an option that reads “Turn on the pen.” You can choose the pen color you want to use — black, red, blue or green — from the panel that shows up, and you can also easily switch it off from the same location. If you want to erase what you’ve written, you just need to switch from the pen to the eraser tool in the bottom left corner.
Google says the feature will be available to all Workspace customers and users with a personal account, but it may take 15 days before it’s done rolling out the pen tool to everyone.