A slide containing various Post-it note and sticker shapes. This slide is the one available for download at the bottom of the article.
A slide containing various Post-it note and sticker shapes. This slide is the one available for download at the bottom of the article.

How to use a Post-it note to add commentary to a document

Post-it notes are a staple of work life. No doubt you’ve seen them in countless workshops, brainstorming sessions, and agile delivery boards. Their very nature – stuck on stop of something bigger – makes them ideal as a visual cue in your slide documents.

For example:

To make a ‘voiceover’ comment on the slide content
To draw attention to something
To indicate that the content is draft, or uncertain
To present the results of a workshop 

And they are easy to create in a few clicks, thanks to the built-in folder-corner shape.

Step 1: create the note

Insert the shape: Home > Shapes Gallery > choose the Rectangle: folded corner shape. It’s right next to the smiley face.
Screenshot of where to find the folded-corner rectangle
Size roughly as needed and enter the text that you need, adjusting the note size and font size appropriately
Make the folder corner a little smaller if necessary by moving the little yellow handle

Step 2: Format it. 

Format the colour: a pale yellow is a good go-to, but try to stick with your template colour scheme. 
Set the outline colour to No outline.
Format the text: italic is a good default. A ‘handwritten’ font can work well too. Try Segoe Print or Ink Free.
If the text is more than a couple of words, left justify it and position it at the top – like you would write on a real Post-it.

Step 3: Give it a ‘stuck on’ look

Add a really subtle drop shadow: Home > Shape Effects > Shadow > Shadow options… (at the bottom). Set Distance to 1pt, and Blur to 2pt. The other values can be left as they are.
Rotate the shape very slightly. Around 3-5° works well. If you have more than one post-it on a slide, give them all different rotations.
Screen recording of the steps to create and format a Post-it note

If that feels like too many steps, download our free set of Post-it shapes below to paste into your deck. It includes callout and sticker shapes because the shadow and rotation can work well to separate commentary from content.

Alternatives

An example of slightly more photo-realistic Post-its from an image website

You may be tempted to find images of Post-its like the one here. But be careful; putting text on top of these won’t follow the curve of the note and it could look slightly jarring.

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Published:
February 24, 2021