Saturday, November 27, 2004

PowerPoint and Interactive Whiteboarding

The question was asked over on the TabletPCBuzz Motion forum about whiteboarding during a PowerPoint presentation, specifically, how to go back and forth between a blank slide used as a whiteboard and the presentation itself. Here's what I've been doing.

First, create the whiteboard slide. Go to the end of your presentation and create a new, blank slide. I usually use the "Title Only" layout and use "Notes" for the title. Using a title makes the slide easier to find in the outline view. It also makes the next step a little easier.

Now edit the Slide Master (View > Master > Slide Master). Insert a new shape (I just use a rectangle) in the lower left corner of the slide. Leave some room below the shape so it won't overlap with the Slide Show toolbar during the presentation. You may want to make the shape transparent so it won't interfere with the presentation's design. Now create a hyperlink for the shape by right-clicking on the shape and selecting Hyperlink. In the Hyperlink dialog box, select "Place in This Document" from the "Link To:" list. Then select your Notes slide in the "Select a place in this document" tree. Now click on the "ScreenTip..." button and enter "Whiteboard" for the ScreenTip text. Click OK, and OK again, and close the Master View. You now have a link to your whiteboard slide from every slide in your presentation.

During your presentation, you can navigate to the whiteboard slide by clicking the shape in the lower left corner of the screen, just above the Slide Show toolbar. Even if you made the shape transparent, you'll still be able to see the ScreenTip text you entered when you hover the mouse pointer over the shape. (Once you get to the whiteboard slide, remember to choose a pen from the Slide Show toolbar to start inking.)

Once you're finished inking on the whiteboard slide, you can navigate back to wherever you were in the presentation by first selecting the Arrow tool from the Slide Show toolbar, then right-clicking (or your preferred pen equivalent) anywhere on the screen and selecting Last Viewed from the menu.

If this works for you, or if you have a better way to get the job done, leave a comment and let me know. Thanks.