We’ve looked at cheeky shortcuts for creating hand-drawn effects and fonts in PowerPoint, but how about a freehand design or drawing? There are numerous methods for incorporating them into your PowerPoint depending on its purpose and how you wish to edit them, you don’t even need a stylus to create hand-drawn effects or designs in PowerPoint

Drawing with Ink Tools

PowerPoint’s Ink Tool are great for creating freehand designs and animation. To do so, first select Review on the right side of the menu bar. For Office 365 users, this may instead be a Draw tab. This contains the same controls normally included in Inking. If you do not see it, you may need to update your version of Office or the feature may not be supported on your system.

Click ‘Start Inking’ located on the right side of the toolbar to bring up a new set of drawing tools. Use the Pen button, on the left, selects the pen tool for making basic line drawings freehand.

The Highlighter button lets you draw transparent lines thicker than the default pen tool, which allows you to ink over text or other drawings without completely covering them.

Eraser removes drawn elements. Click and drag the cursor over lines to erase the drawn content. Clicking the down arrow on the Eraser button lets you select its thickness setting.

To change your tool colour, select the Colour dropdown in the Pen section of the toolbar to choose from a colour palette for different pen and highlighter colours.

Adjust your tool thickness by clicking the Thickness dropdown in the Pen section to select different circumferences of your pen/highlighter. You can also select colour/thickness presets from the menu to the left of the Colour and Thickness dropdowns.

The Select tool allows you to click and drag drawn items around the slide. You can also click Lasso to draw a circle around the area you are trying to select if you need finer precision. Lasso only works on drawn items.

Clicking Convert to Shapes will auto-adjust any shape approximations into its detected shape. If you’ve drawn a circle, PowerPoint will adjust the lines to be a perfect circle. Convert to Shapes also approximates a shape based on the number of lines drawn (four for a square or six for a hexagon). Shapes drawn before clicking Convert to Shapes will not remain changed. Same goes for Ink to Shape.

Using PowerPoint’s Ink to Text tool, you can turn handwritten notes into text easily. Just use the Draw tool, write your text using the ink tool of your choice, then select Ink to Text from the toolbar. Draw a Lasso around the words you wish to turn to text. PowerPoint will automatically turn the words into text, giving you spelling options in case it missed.

The Stop Inking button automatically selects the Select tool after making edits with your pen or highlighter. If no edits were made, this button will return you to the Review tab.

Drawing with Drawing Tools

Select Home tab in the upper left. All drawing tools appear on the right in the Drawing section of the toolbar. A list of shape and line tools appear on the left side of Drawing section of the toolbar. Click the down arrow to expand the list and see more shape/line options. To perform free-hand drawing, select the Scribble line option from tools list.

To draw, click and drag the cursor. A line or shape will be drawn depending on which tool you selected. You can also choose design presets from Quick Style, which is located on the right section of the toolbar. Options from the menu include different colour shadings and transparency settings for your line or shape.

Clicking Arrange in the right section will open a list of placement settings. Change how drawn objects overlap using Bring to front and Move to back.

Three buttons (Fill, Outline, and Effects) are listed on the right of the other drawing tools: Shape Fill opens a list of colour palettes to color in drawn shapes. Shape Outline opens a list of colour palettes for the outline of drawn shapes. Shape Effects opens a list of presets for shapes, such as Embossed, Glow, or Shadow. You can apply more than one of these to a shape, but these effects do not do anything to drawn lines.

For drawing your own lines and shapes without the help of Ink to Text or Ink to Shape, you can use the Ruler tool as the perfect, built-in straightedge. In the Draw tool, select Ruler from the toolbar. Drag the ruler around until you’re happy with the placement. Once your ruler is placed, select the pen tool of your choice, and create your line by tracing the ruler’s edge. When you’re done, simply select Ruler again to remove it from your screen.

Using hand-drawn designs can really improve the personality and approachability of your brand, particularly as digital technology becomes more prevalent in how we create and communicate. To stretch the possibilities of PowerPoint even further, why not download our pre-made PowerPoint templates, so you can make more impactful designs easily? Download it here.

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