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For my presentation I am not interested in using a laser pointer. Instead, I'd like the mouse pointer to be a colored dot (just like a real laser pointer).
I'd like to do this in Adobe Acrobat XI on Windows 7.

Is there a program that can do this? Or is there an alternative PDF reader that has this feature built-in?

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I know that you said that you want to use Acrobat but this page, Use Mouse as Laser Pointer in a PowerPoint Presentation, shows you how to do it in PowerPoint, using an inbuilt function, without the need for extra/third party software (always a bonus).

You have a presentation to deliver in few minutes and you just realize that you forgot your laser point in home because you were in a hurry. Don’t Panic. PowerPoint has an amazing feature using which you can turn your mouse pointer to a laser light pointer.

When you are presenting a slideshow, hold down the Ctrl key and press the left mouse button. You will notice that the regular mouse pointer will disappear and a laser like dot appears on the screen. Once you see the laser pointer, you can move it across the screen to explain the viewers certain aspects of your presentation.

Laser Pointer in powerpoint

To use mouse cursor again release the control key. That’s all.

By default the color of laser pointer is red but you can change it to green and blue if it’s camouflaging with the slide background. To change the color, expand the Slide Show menu and open the Set Up Slide Show window. On the window you will see the option Laser Pointer Color. Click on the dropdown menu and select the color you would like and save the settings.

change laser color

Keep in mind that when you are controlling your presentation using mouse, always remember to press the Ctrl key first or you might skip a slide there.


You could convert the PDF to a PPT file (see also How to export PDF to Word, Excel or PowerPoint using Acrobat XI) and use the laser pointer method described above.

Alternative

You don't say which OS you are using but if you are using Windows, and you don't mind a bit of prep work, you could create your own laser pointer cursor.

Go to the Mouse properties control panel, in the Devices and Pointers control panel section, click on the Pointers tab. Under the Customise scroll box there is a Browse... button. Clicking this allows you to select a .cur file to change the cursor's appearance. However, the built-in cursor files do not provide a laser-like cursor. This is where you have to create your own.

In MSPaint, you can create a laser-like "red dot", on a canvas with a size of 32 pixels square (32x32), save it as a bitmap file, i.e. laser.bmp. Then in Windows Explorer, right click that file, select Properties and change the file extension from .bmp to .cur, so that you end up with laser.cur.

Now, go back into the Mouse control panel, Pointers tab, browse for your laser.cur file and select it.

Your mouse cursor is now a laser, just as you wanted for your presentation, with the bonus of not requiring extra software AND you can use Acrobat for your presentation, without having to resort to using PowerPoint.

Alternatively, you could always download a custom cursor .cur file, such as the Predator 3 Dot Laser Cursor.

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I recommend Presentation Pointer Software.

The Presentation Pointer Software:

  • Adds cursor highlighting abilities and more visual and audible mouse click effects
  • Displays your keystrokes in an overlay at the bottom of the screen.
  • Allows you to draw on a “live” screen to point out whatabouts and whereabouts of the things you are demonstrating.
  • Allows you to zoom in and zoom out the screen and still use its usual utilities.
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