Google Slides introduces real-time collaborative mouse pointers.

Fri Sep 22, 2023 - 10:21am GMT+0000

Google Slides, Google’s alternative to PowerPoint, is introducing an exciting new collaborative feature: live mouse pointers. When multiple individuals collaborate on a presentation, they will have the ability to observe each other’s mouse cursors in real-time, akin to running a remote desktop session.

In contrast to Google Docs and Sheets, which have long featured typing indicators for each user, indicating the specific sentence or cell they are currently working on, this approach doesn’t translate well to presentations. Presentations often involve elements like images and the need to rearrange content in a free-form layout. Therefore, Google Slides will now provide live remote mouse pointers from other participants in the editing process. These pointers will glide across the screen smoothly, mimicking real mouse movements. While this feature may not appear particularly useful in isolation, it gains significance when combined with other forms of communication. If you are engaged in a voice or video call, the live cursor can facilitate easy pointing to elements while providing explanations.

In contrast to the collaborative indicators in Docs and Sheets, the sharing of one’s pointer location now requires an individual opt-in. To activate this, you can either click the new pointer button located in the top-right corner or access it through the menu at “View > Live pointers > show my pointer.” If you find the idea of brightly colored mouse pointers moving across the screen distracting, you can choose to hide other people’s mouse cursors by going to “View > Live pointers > show collaborator pointers.”

This feature will be rolled out to regular users within the next 15 days. Users on the business Workspace’s slow release schedule can expect to receive this feature in October.