Useful Keyboard Shortcuts in PowerPoint

Here’s my attempt to compile the best list of keyboard shortcuts I use that can help you become more efficient in PowerPoint. These keyboard shortcuts and other tools make the development process a little less painful, and it will open doors for using some of the advanced features which make PowerPoint an extraordinary presentation tool.

In a future blog post, I will focus in on keyboard shortcuts (and keyboard/mouse command pairs) for images and objects. There are so many ways to make your presentation look stellar. It makes me feel soooo good when someone asks if we outsource our presentations to a professional designer. Nope! One of my secrets is being efficient with all the little stuff, freeing up my time to get graphics and other details in order.

Common keyboard shortcuts to speed up everyday tasks (these work in many software applications):

  • Undo: Ctrl + Z
    Note: I use this at least 50 times per day! You can set the number of “undos” to a max of 150 from Office Button > PowerPoint Options > Advanced. Undo should be your best friend!
  • Redo: Ctrl + U
  • Edit inside of a text box (when an object is selected): F2
    Also is a lifesaver when editing cells in Excel!
  • Save:   Control + S
  • Save As (to save in different formats): F12 (function key)
  • Screen capture the window that has focus: Control + Alt + Shift + PrintScreen: Screen captures the window which has focus (not your entire screen, which PrintScreen alone does)
  • Switch between 2+ open documents:  Alt + Tab
  • Switch between open PowerPoints: Ctrl + F6
  • Quit editing text in text box (and to select the whole box object): Escape
    Note: Escape is my favorite button – it gets me out of trouble in many applications 🙂
  • Copy/Paste:  Ctrl + C to copy; Ctrl + V to paste
  • Cut/Paste: Ctrl + X to cut; Ctrl + V to paste
  • Print: Ctrl + P (opens print dialog box)
  • Make font size bigger: Ctrl + Shift + >
    Note: Will work with either text or an object with text selected
  • Make font size smaller: Ctrl + Shift + <
  • Bold: Ctrl + B
  • Italics: Ctrl + I
  • Add a hyperlink to selected text/object: Ctrl + K
  • Select text one character at a time: (position your cursor, then) Ctrl + left/right arrow key
  • Select text one word at a time: (position your cursor, then) Ctrl + Shift + left/right arrow key
  • Duplicate a selected object: Ctrl + D
  • Duplicate an entire slide: Ctrl + Shift + D

Explore These! Other Shortcuts to Try Out

  • What to do when there is no obvious keyboard shortcut? Press the Alt key on your keyboard once. Notice that letters appear on your PowerPoint ribbon. For example, notice that the letter “F” appears over the Office button in the top left corner. Press the “F” key, and the menu will open! Try pressing “Alt” on your keyboard and then see how using other letters will open different tools.
  • See available shortcuts by hovering over items in PowerPoint. If there is a keyboard shortcut, it will be displayed in a little pop-up message. Hover over the Bold tool in your Home ribbon. What does the pop-up say? Does it show the same keyboard shortcut noted in the list above?

Do you have a PowerPoint shortcut to share? Please leave it in the comments! I’ll try to return back to this list to update it with the latest and greatest from the professional world.



3 thoughts on “Useful Keyboard Shortcuts in PowerPoint

  1. Two more great shortcuts that beat out the format painter:

    CTRL + SHIFT + C for pick up style
    CTRL + SHIFT + V for apply style

    The advantage is you can do a bunch of stuff in-between picking up the style and and applying the style, something you can’t do with the format painter.

  2. Pingback: Working with Lines in PowerPoint: Group your lines to resize many lines at one time |

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