How to Replay Your Handwriting or Sketch in Microsoft Office

To understand something, you have to explain it again. Or show how it’s done one more time. Microsoft Office 2016 has a neat little feature that allows you to replay a drawing, sketch, or a handwritten note. In short, you can replay ink strokes in Microsoft Office with a touch of a button.

The Ink Replay feature is available for Office 365 users on Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and the OneNote Windows 10 app (but not OneNote 2016).

How to Enable Ink Replay in Microsoft Office

The Ink Replay feature is very useful when you want to playback how a specific process happened. It easily helps to communicate your idea with the help of a step by step rerun. Try it with a Math equation to see its instant value as a teaching aid.

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But in case you don’t see it on your Ribbon, enable it so that it shows up on the Ribbon.

  1. Go to File > Options.
  2. Select the Customize Ribbon tab in the Options dialog box.
  3. Go to the Customize the Ribbon column and choose Main Tabs or All Tabs from the dropdown.
  4. Select the checkbox for the Draw tab.
    Enable Ink Replay

  5. Click OK to close the dialog box.

The Draw tab is now displayed in the Ribbon with the different Pens and the Ink Replay button.

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How to Use Ink Replay in Microsoft Office

  1. Open a document and click the Draw tab on the Ribbon.
  2. Select a pen and a pen color, and then draw, sketch, or handwrite something on the page.
    Microsoft Office Ink Replay

  3. Click the Ink Replay button to see the illustration play out.

You can’t control the playback speed but instead, use the forward and backward playheads to move through the inking one step at a time. You can also drag the progress bar to any part of the animation that you want to replay.

The Ink Replay feature is designed to be used with Windows 10 touchscreen devices. But, you can apply them to non-touchscreen uses too, though it’s not that much fun.

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Note: Strangely, Microsoft OneNote 2016 does not yet have this feature. But, you can find the Ink Replay feature in the Windows 10 app of OneNote (just type “OneNote” in the Start menu, not “OneNote 2016”).

Ink Replay is a fantastic annotation assistant. Thank God, annotation is getting easier for all kinds of digital documents.

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