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:
|Create new presentation||CTRL + N|
|Create a new slide||CTRL + M|
|Duplicate slide||CTRL + SHIFT + D|
|Duplicate presentation||CTRL + SHIFT + N|
|Move slides up||CTRL + “↑”|
|Move slides down||CTRL + “↓”|
|Move slides to beginning||CTRL + SHIFT + “↑”|
|Move slides to end||CTRL + SHIFT + “↓”|
|Switch to slide outline view||CTRL + SHIFT + TAB|
|Switch to slide master view||SHIFT + Normal view icon bottom left|
|Edit header/footer/date||ALT + SHIFT + D|
|Switch between open presentations||CTRL + F6|
|Search in presentation||CTRL + F|
|Save as... presentation||F12|
|Save presentation||CTRL + S|
|Close presentation||ALT + F4|
|Print presentation||CTRL + P|
|Duplicate object||CTRL + D|
|Group selected objects||CTRL + G|
|Ungroup selected objects||CTRL + SHIFT + G|
|Regroup selected objects||CTRL + SHIFT + J|
|Select all objects||CTRL + A|
|Rotate object||ALT + “→” /” ←”|
|Show/hide gridlines||SHIFT + F9|
|Show/hide guidelines||ALT + F9|
|Show/hide rulers||ALT + SHIFT + F9|
|Copy object||CTRL + C|
|Cut object||CTRL + Z|
|Paste object||CTRL + V|
|Increase font size||CTRL + SHIFT + ”>”|
|Decrease font size||CTRL + SHIFT + “<”|
|Change font||CTRL + SHIFT + F|
|Bold format||CTRL + B|
|Underline format||CTRL + U|
|Italic format||CTRL + I|
|Subscript format||CTRL + “=”|
|Superscript format||CTRL + SHIFT + “+”|
|Align left||CTRL + L|
|Align right||CTRL + R|
|Align center||CTRL + E|
|Justify alignment||CTRL + J|
|Break line||SHIFT + Enter|
|Insert hyperlink||CTRL + K|
|Copy text format||CTRL + Shift + C|
|Paste text format||CTRL+ Shift + V|
|Go to beginning of paragraph||Home|
|Go to end of paragraph||End|
|Select text until beginning of paragraph||CTRL + Shift + Home|
|Select text until end of paragraph||CTRL + 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
|Start Slideshow mode from slide 1||F5|
|Start Slideshow from current slide||SHIFT + F5|
|Show presenter view||ALT + F5|
|While in Slideshow view|
|Advance to next slide / perform next animation||N / ENTER / SPACEBAR / PAGE DOWN / “→” / “↓”|
|Return to previous slide / perform previous animation||P / BACKSPACE / PAGE UP / “←” / “↑”|
|Go to slide number||Number + ENTER|
|Display a blank black slide||B|
|Display a white blank slide||W|
|Change pointer to pen||CTRL + P|
|Change pointer to eraser||CTRL + E|
|Show/hide ink markup||CTRL + M|
|Go to the next hyperlink on the current slide||TAB|
|Go to the previous hyperlink on the current slide||SHIFT + TAB|
|Play or pause media||CTRL + SPACEBAR|
|Stop media playback||ALT + Q|
|Toggle between play and pause||ALT + P|
|Increase the sound volume||ALT + “↑”|
|Decrease the sound volume||ALT + “↓”|
|Mute sound||ALT + U|
|Stop or restart automatic presentation||S|
|When in Presenter view|
|Move to next region of the Presenter view||F6|
|Move from one tool to the next one||TAB|
|Scroll down one line in the Notes pane||CTRL + “↓”|
|Scroll up one line in the Notes pane||CTRL + “↑”|
|Scroll down one screenful in the Notes pane||CTRL + PAGE DOWN|
|Scroll up one screenful in the Notes pane||CTRL + 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.