84 PowerPoint Shortcuts To Improve Your Presentation Game

November 14, 2017
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Presentations take a lot of time. There’s just no getting around that. There’s planning, creating the content, organizing it, designing the actual presentation and preparing to deliver it. Anything that can save some of that time is a blessing for any professional, or generally, for any human being tasked with doing this. Luckily for all of us, there are a number of PowerPoint shortcuts that can help shave off a large portion of time. In fact there are so many, that they’re very hard to remember so we’ll list the ones that we think are most useful.

If you’re a person who likes to use shortcuts, this will be a great resource to absorb and remember. If you haven’t been using shortcuts, there’s no time like the present to get started. Using shortcuts is a great way to eliminate many micro-decisions and mental stops that you have to go through every time you add or move something around.

Some of these shortcuts have been included in our roundup of 15 Powerpoint Hacks That Will Help You Save Hours And Wow Audiences, but most of them are mentioned for the first time on our blog so keep on reading to find out the easiest way to design presentations.

For efficiency purposes, we’ve grouped our PowerPoint shortcuts into the essential stages of a presentation, which are creation and delivery.

I. PowerPoint shortcuts for creating a presentation

Let’s go through some of the most common actions you would normally when creating a presentation:

ActionShortcutGeneralCreate new presentationCTRL + NCreate a new slideCTRL + MDuplicate slideCTRL + SHIFT + DDuplicate presentationCTRL + SHIFT + NMove slides upCTRL + “↑”Move slides downCTRL + “↓”Move slides to beginningCTRL + SHIFT + “↑”Move slides to endCTRL + SHIFT + “↓”Switch to slide outline viewCTRL + SHIFT + TABSwitch to slide master viewSHIFT + Normal view icon bottom leftEdit header/footer/dateALT + SHIFT + DSwitch between open presentationsCTRL + F6Search in presentationCTRL + FSave as… presentationF12Save presentationCTRL + SClose presentationALT + F4Print presentationCTRL + PObjectsDuplicate objectCTRL + DGroup selected objectsCTRL + GUngroup selected objectsCTRL + SHIFT + GRegroup selected objectsCTRL + SHIFT + JSelect all objectsCTRL + ARotate objectALT + “→” /” ←”Show/hide gridlinesSHIFT + F9Show/hide guidelinesALT + F9Show/hide rulersALT + SHIFT + F9Copy objectCTRL + CCut objectCTRL + ZPaste objectCTRL + VTextIncrease font sizeCTRL + SHIFT + ”>”Decrease font sizeCTRL + SHIFT + “<”Change fontCTRL + SHIFT + FBold formatCTRL + BUnderline formatCTRL + UItalic formatCTRL + ISubscript formatCTRL + “=”Superscript formatCTRL + SHIFT + “+”Align leftCTRL + LAlign rightCTRL + RAlign centerCTRL + EJustify alignmentCTRL + JBreak lineSHIFT + EnterInsert hyperlinkCTRL + KCopy text formatCTRL + Shift + CPaste text formatCTRL+ Shift + VGo to beginning of paragraphHomeGo to end of paragraphEndSelect text until beginning of paragraphCTRL + Shift + HomeSelect text until end of paragraphCTRL + Shift + End

Aside from these general shortcuts, there are other less known shortcuts that will help you design your slides quicker and better. For example:

Draw horizontal or vertical lines

Press and hold the Shift key while inserting lines to make sure they are perfectly horizontal, vertical or at a 45-degree angle. If you’ve already drawn a line and you want to make it shorter or longer, hold down the Shift button and it will maintain its angle.

Powerpoint Shortcut - Draw horizontal or vertical lines

Keep objects in proportion

Press and hold the Shift key while creating or resizing shapes and other objects to keep their proportions consistent. This is handy if you want to resize a circle without accidentally turning it into an oval.

Powerpoint Shortcut - Keep objects in proportion

Keep objects centered

When creating a new shape, hold down the CTRL key to have your shape centered where your cursor clicks. If you combine this shortcut with the previous one, you can create a new shape that is both centered and proportional by holding CTRL + Shift down.

Powerpoint Shortcut - Keep objects centered

Copy and paste formatting

If you want to format an object to look just like another object without reapplying all of the formatting by hand, use the formatting clipboard. Select the object whose formatting you want to copy and press CTRL+ Shift + C. Then, select the objects that you want to have the same formatting and press CTRL+ Shift + V to paste the formatting. This also works on the slide thumbnails if you have a slide background or theme that you want to copy from slide to slide. You can even apply it to text boxes.

This keyboard shortcut makes use of the Format Painter feature, which also allows you to copy formatting from one shape to another. The keyboard shortcut is a good one to remember since it packs even more power—once you’ve copied the formatting, you can paste the formatting onto as many shapes as you like without having to copy it again.

Powerpoint Shortcut - Copy and paste formatting

Clear formatting

To remove all formatting from selected text, press CTRL + SPACEBAR. This will reset the text back to the default formatting.

PowerPoint content placeholders have logic built in to make sure your text has the right size and formatting to match the rest of your presentation. If you’ve changed the formatting for some text or you have pasted in text that already had formatting on it, you can use the clear formatting shortcut to make the text match the design of the rest of your presentation again.

Powerpoint Shortcut - Clear formatting

Navigate the menu and ribbons

If you want to use your keyboard to navigate the menu and ribbons in PowerPoint, press the ALT key and you’ll notice a letter or number appear for every function in the menu. Press the one you want to use and that window will open.

For example, if you’re in the Home menu and you want to insert an image, press ALT and then press “N” and then “P”. This is a great hack if your mouse or touchpad malfunction and you need to move quickly.

If you’re pressed for time, press ALT + “Q” and write down the command you want to give, such as “Insert text box”.

Powerpoint Shortcut - Navigate the menu and ribbons

II. PowerPoint shortcuts for delivering a presentation

Your presentation is ready, the meeting is in an hour and you’ve rehearsed it until you almost know it by heart. But the reality of delivering any presentation is that there are often delays, logistical issues with the room or the equipment, people getting distracted and many more tiny details that can create a lot of stress and anxiety about the presentation delivery.

We’re going to arm you with some easy-to-remember shortcuts that will hopefully reduce some of that stress and help you move more efficiently through your slides, highlighting the key ideas of your presentation. Plus some of these can make you seem really cool.

ActionShortcutStart Slideshow mode from slide 1F5Start Slideshow from current slideSHIFT + F5Show presenter viewALT + F5While in Slideshow viewAdvance to next slide / perform next animationN / ENTER / SPACEBAR / PAGE DOWN / “→” / “↓”Return to previous slide / perform previous animation P / BACKSPACE / PAGE UP / “←” / “↑”Go to slide numberNumber + ENTERDisplay a blank black slideBDisplay a white blank slideWChange pointer to penCTRL + PChange pointer to eraserCTRL + EShow/hide ink markupCTRL + MGo to the next hyperlink on the current slideTABGo to the previous hyperlink on the current slideSHIFT + TABPlay or pause mediaCTRL + SPACEBARStop media playbackALT + QToggle between play and pauseALT + PIncrease the sound volumeALT + “↑”Decrease the sound volumeALT + “↓”Mute soundALT + UZoom in“+”Zoom out“-”Stop or restart automatic presentationSEnd presentationESCWhen in Presenter viewMove to next region of the Presenter viewF6Move from one tool to the next oneTABScroll down one line in the Notes paneCTRL + “↓”Scroll up one line in the Notes paneCTRL + “↑”Scroll down one screenful in the Notes paneCTRL + PAGE DOWNScroll up one screenful in the Notes paneCTRL + PAGE UP

Not everybody loves Powerpoint but those who end up getting to know all its secrets and shortcuts come to use it at its full potential and deliver excellent presentations. Try out these quick shortcuts the next time you’re creating a marketing presentation and let us know if they did end up saving you time.

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