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PowerPoint Shortcuts: Quick and Easy Ways to Save Time

We all try to avoid it. No one likes to feel rushed when they’re working on something, especially if it’s a PowerPoint presentation. But sometimes, schedules are tight and presentation decks need to be rushed.

PowerPoint has always been great at allowing you to customize your presentations, but most of these tasks can be quite time-consuming. To solve that problem, we’ve compiled a few PowerPoint shortcuts to help you beat the clock.

PowerPoint Shortcut 1: Quick access toolbar

You’ll find the Quick Access Toolbar at the upper left side of your screen, right above the ribbon. Right now, you probably only have the icons for Save, Undo, and Redo there so add a few other commands.

Just click on the small drop-down arrow and choose More Commands. A dialogue box will appear where you can choose the commands you use the most.

powerpoint shortcuts - quick access toolbar customize

PowerPoint Shortcut 2: Mini toolbar

Thankfully, PowerPoint has already figured out which commands you’re most likely to use the most. If you want to be able to format text without dragging your mouse to the ribbon, you can simply use the mini toolbar. Select what you want to edit, right-click, and then the mini toolbar will appear nearby.

powerpoint shortcuts - mini toolbar

From the mini toolbar you can change fonts, including font color, increase or decrease indentation, send the text backward or forward, change alignment, paste text, and even add an outline and fill in shapes.

PowerPoint Shortcut 3: Right click

Similarly, right-clicking on objects can also give you quick access to certain commands. Right clicking directly on your slide also gives you the option to do several things like publish slides, adjust the ruler, add grids and guides, as well as change slide layout.

powerpoint shortcuts - right click

PowerPoint Shortcut 4: Keyboard shortcuts

I think the best way to save time when you’re working on the computer is to avoid the mouse altogether. Microsoft has a lot of keyboard shortcuts for PowerPoint that will become second nature once you’ve learned them. The most useful are the commands for cut, copy, and paste, considering you’re probably lifting a lot of stuff from other documents you have.

  • Cut: CTRL + X
  • Copy: CTRL + C
  • Paste: CTRL + V

You can also quickly save your work by hitting CTRL + S and launch your presentation with the F5 key. You can also hold down SHIFT while pressing enter to start typing on a blank line without a bullet point.

The Final Word

There are still a lot of PowerPoint shortcuts to learn, but these are the most basic way you can skip a bunch of repetitive clicking.

Keep working your way around PowerPoint to get yourself familiar with the program. The next time you’re pressed for time, you’ll be navigating through commands like a pro.


Featured Image: Alan Cleaver via Flickr

6 PowerPoint ‘Hacks’ for Confused First Timers

We talk a lot about helping you achieve the perfect PowerPoint presentations. Sometimes, these things are easier said than done. Microsoft PowerPoint can be tedious for many first timers.

You can use these PowerPoint hacks and shortcuts to help you through this new process. Hopefully, it’ll help lower your stress levels, too.

While making your presentation

1. Learn the Shortcuts

Holding down the CTRL key in combination with other keys will help you lessen the use of your mouse.

Copy something from a document you’ve written earlier by pressing CTRL + C and Paste it to your slide with CTRL + V. This might seem basic for long-time Microsoft users, but it’s so helpful that we can’t risk letting beginners miss out on it.

You can also hold down SHIFT if you want to avoid skewing images, or select multiple objects. Likewise, the FUNCTION keys at the very top of your keyboard can also prove to be a huge help. One of the most helpful keys in PowerPoint is F5, which is a quick way to start your slide show.

Read up on all of the useful PowerPoint shortcuts and over time, you’ll be able to memorize the ones that are most useful.

2. Use Grid and Guidelines

Misaligned images or text boxes can be distracting to some audience members. Avoid having to squint to make sure everything’s in perfect order by using PowerPoint’s Grid and Guidelines function.

Hit CTRL+G to display the Grid and Guidelines dialog box.

3. Edit Images to Manage the File Size

The images you use can bloat the file size of your PowerPoint presentation. It’ll be hard to share your presentation the size is too large. Fix this problem by selecting an image (or multiple images), then choosing the Compress Pictures option under the Format tab.

While in the Format tab, you can also edit the images by choosing Corrections, Color, and Artistic Effects. Just make sure that you have permission to alter the pictures you’re using.

During your presentation

4. Hide the Pointer

As we’ve tackled, audience members can be easily distracted by the smallest thing. Even a small, white pointer.

You can hide the pointer by pressing CTRL + H. Don’t worry, it’ll show up again if you press A.

5. Shift to a Black Screen

It’s important that you don’t let the slides do the talking for you. If you feel like you’re losing your audience to the screen, just press B or the period keys.

Go back to your presentation by pressing N to move on to the next slide, or P to come back to the previous one.

6. Skip to Any Slide

If anyone in the audience raises a point you discussed in a specific slide, you can skip to it by pressing the slide number then hitting enter.

For example, if Slide #5 holds the answer, just press 5, enter, and you’re there. This tip will be even more effective if you have handouts of your slides printed out with you.

Consider this guide a starting point to your PowerPoint efficiency. Remember that as with everything, being an effective PowerPoint user will take time. Just be patient!



25 PowerPoint™ Tips.” Jolene Morris. Accessed June 08, 2014.