Microsoft Teams has proven to be an invaluable resource for companies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This video conferencing and collaborative service enables people to communicate via text, voice call, or video sessions.
The app provides rich HD video conferencing like Zoom and extensive text chat facilities like Slack, allowing users to enjoy the best of both worlds.
One of the tasks that Microsoft Teams has made significantly more effortless and enjoyable is giving presentations.
Nevertheless, one question that has users confused is, “Does Microsoft Teams have a laser pointer?”
To eliminate the confusion, Microsoft revealed the coming of a virtual laser pointer annotation tool in PowerPoint Live in Teams a few months ago.
The idea was to enable users to get even more interactive with their presentations. The new feature has been rolled out in the Teams desktop version.
Does Microsoft Teams Have a Laser Pointer?
Yes, Microsoft Teams has a laser pointer. The feature allows users to highlight or annotate particular parts of a slide during a presentation.
All you have to do is point the cursor at your chosen content part and pick your desired option from a wide range of colors and pen thicknesses to ensure your information stands out.
Apart from emphasizing your points, you can use a colorful laser pointer during a Teams meeting to engage viewers.
The ink can be seen by all the participants.
However, only the presenter can point to and leave marks on the slides.
How Do You Get a Laser Pointer in Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft rolled out the new annotation toolbar, which includes the laser pointer feature, in the desktop version of Teams.
You can enjoy the PowerPoint Live annotation experience when using Microsoft Teams on Windows or macOS desktop apps.
The laser pointer feature is also available for web users but it’s not yet supported by mobile devices. Microsoft may amend this soon.
The toolbar is only available for active presenters in a Teams meeting.
This eliminates any chances of disruptions from the viewers’ end.
Moreover, participants must join the meeting with the Microsoft Teams desktop version to see the ink marks made by the presenter.
To get a laser pointer, you must ensure that your Microsoft Teams app is up-to-date.
When you open a PowerPoint presentation on Teams in presenter mode, you’ll see the annotation toolbar beneath each slide.
After clicking on the laser pointer and picking a color of your choice, you can make temporary marks on the current slide.
You simply have to move the mouse around the target area if you want to create a short line.
On the other hand, you should press and hold the mouse button to highlight the content with a long line.
The mark will be removed as soon as you release the mouse button.
Please note that if you make several marks on a single slide with the laser pointer, viewers will be able to see all of them at the same time.
The marks will even fade away together.
If you want to erase an ink mark, you should tap on the eraser and then click on the mark.
To remove all the marks at once, select “Erase all ink on the slide”.
Pro tip: Make sure none of the people attending the meeting are using the Teams mobile version, as they won’t be able to see you using the laser pointer.
That being said, even if some participants are late in joining the meeting, they’ll be able to see the ink marks you’ve already created on the current slide.
This is because the edits or highlights remain present until the presentation is over.
The changes are, however, not saved permanently in the PowerPoint file.
It’s not clear whether the edits will be sent to the participants after the meeting is over.
Let’s discover some additional features recently introduced by the company.
Other Additions Have Been Made to Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams has made a series of additions to PowerPoint Live as it positions itself as the go-to platform for online meetings and presentations.
A few months ago, Microsoft decided to introduce a live slide translation feature to make meetings more inclusive.
This feature allows users to translate the slides during a meeting instantly.
Both presenters and attendees can translate the content privately.
All they have to do is right-click on the presentation and choose the “Translate slides” option.
Moreover, the seamless integration of various software products allows presenters to start presentations in Microsoft Teams meetings directly.
They don’t need to share their screens with the participants.
As the lead presenter, you just have to click on the “Present in team” button in PowerPoint.
The virtual laser pointer tool is one of the best features Microsoft has introduced for added user convenience and flexibility.
Thanks to the new PowerPoint Live annotation experience, presenters can make meetings more interactive and engaging for attendees.
The laser pointer allows presenters to make colorful ink marks on each slide to draw the audience’s attention or clarify particular sections of the PowerPoint deck.
This feature helps replicate the in-person presentation and meeting experience, proving a useful tool for companies who haven’t entirely returned to the office yet.
Keep in mind that the tool can be used by the lead presenter only.
Moreover, it is currently supported by Microsoft Teams desktop version.
So, make sure you have all the participants join the meeting through the desktop app.
Otherwise, there will be a disconnection between you and the attendees, ultimately compromising the engagement level.
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Vance is a dad, former software engineer, and tech lover. Knowing how a computer works becomes handy when he builds Pointer Clicker. His quest is to make tech more accessible for non-techie users. When not working with his team, you can find him caring for his son and gaming.