PowerPoint Shortcut Keys

It is a presentation tool that generates a slide show of significant data, graphs, and pictures for a presentation

Kevin Henderson

Reviewed by

Kevin Henderson

Expertise: Private Equity | Corporate Finance


September 12, 2023

What are PowerPoint shortcut keys?

Users can use the program's features more effectively by using the shortcut keys. Like Excel shortcut keys, they allow users to keep their hands on the keyboard and complete tasks more quickly. For instance, users can duplicate slides without using a mouse by pressing Ctrl + D.

People have used Microsoft programs for many years, which are incredibly popular. However, the diversity of keyboard shortcuts you can use to expedite your work may surprise you, even though you may believe you are acquainted with the program.

The most critical key shortcuts for Microsoft PowerPoint that you should be aware of are listed below. 

In addition, you can use the following shortcuts:

  • Slide keyboard shortcuts
  • Object keyboard shortcuts
  • Text keyboard shortcuts
  • Format keyboard shortcuts
  • Alignment shortcuts with PowerPoint Shortcut Tools

In this article, you will discover every shortcut for Microsoft PowerPoint. This is significant because, in our experience, the average user only knows ten to thirty shortcuts.

This shortcut guide covers many PowerPoint shortcuts that will increase your productivity!

This article is intended to be a useful handout, so choose an activity you frequently do and learn its shortcuts to save time. And once you've mastered one activity's shortcuts, return to the previous one.

Utilize this shortcut guide for presentation software to shine by learning how to use it properly. It's imperative to become familiar with shortcuts, including some sneaky and dangerous ones, if you use PowerPoint at work.

Key Takeaways

  • Microsoft PowerPoint is a widely accepted and popular presentation tool used for business and academic presentations.
  • PowerPoint is part of the Microsoft Office suite and can be purchased and installed on your computer, but there is also a free online alternative called Google Slides.
  • Shortcut keys can be used to navigate and perform tasks in PowerPoint more efficiently, saving time and improving productivity.
  • PowerPoint offers various features like slide animations, transitions, layouts, and templates that enhance the visual appeal of presentations.
  • PowerPoint allows users to export their slides in different file types, providing flexibility in sharing and distributing presentations.

Basic shortcuts for PowerPoint

Let's quickly review some of the most fundamental or common keyboard shortcuts for opening, ending, switching between numerous presentation documents, and navigating the ribbon.

  • Create a new presentation document using Ctrl + N
  • Open an existing presentation document with Ctrl + O
  • Save a presentation using Ctrl + S
  • To open the Save As dialog box, press Alt + F2 or F12
  • To end a presentation, press Ctrl + W or Ctrl + F4
  • Save and exit a presentation with Ctrl + Q
  • Reverse a decision, Ctrl + Z
  • Redo an action with Ctrl + Y
  • Print Preview View with Ctrl + F2
  • Launch the Help window, F1
  • To access the "Tell me what you want to do" box, press Alt + Q
  • Verify your spelling, F7
  • Show or hide the ribbon using Ctrl + F1
  • To search within a presentation, locate and replace, use Ctrl + F
  • Opening the File tab menu with Alt + F
  • To access the home tab, Alt + H
  • Opening the Insert tab with Alt + N
  • To access the Design tab, Press Alt + G
  • To access the Transitions tab, press Alt + K
  • To access the Animations tab, press Alt + A
  • To access the Slide Show tab, press Alt + S
  • To access the Review tab, Press Alt + R
  • To open the View tab, Shift + W
  • To access the Add-ins tab, press Alt + X
  • To access the Help tab, Press Alt + Y
  • To switch between open presentations, press Ctrl and Tab
  • Turn the key tips to "on" or "off" with Alt or F10

The Select item on the Ribbon's Home tab can be used to open the Selection pane, as can pressing ALT+F10. It's the Find & Select tab in Excel.

The list's first item is the most recent addition. When two or more objects overlap, the overlapping objects are listed from top to bottom in the visual stacking order. It is compatible with PowerPoint for Microsoft 365, Word for Microsoft 365, and Excel for Microsoft 365

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Shortcuts for different PowerPoint functions

There are many helpful keyboard shortcuts available for quickly navigating a document.

A) Text selection and object navigation shortcuts

You can use these shortcut keys to quickly and easily select text from text boxes and other objects on a slide.

  • Ctrl + A will select every item on the current slide
  • Shift + Tab, Choose or navigate to a previous slide object
  • Home button, Go back to the slide's start
  • END button, Go to the slide's conclusion
  • PgDn, Move to the following slide
  • PgUp, Go to the previous slide
  • Up/Down + Ctrl, you must first click on a slide thumbnail in the presentation file to use the shortcut arrow to move a slide up or down
  • Shift + Ctrl + Up / Down Arrow, and click on a slide thumbnail to move the slide to the beginning or the conclusion of your presentation document

B) Edit and Formatting Shortcuts

You'll save time using the keyboard shortcuts listed below to edit and format quickly!

  • To cut a text, object, or slide, press Ctrl and X keys
  • To copy the selected text, object, or slide, press Ctrl + C or Ctrl + Insert
  • Paste the chosen text, object, or slide by pressing Ctrl + V or Shift + Insert
  • To access the Paste Special dialog box, press Ctrl + Alt + V
  • Remove the chosen text, object, or slide, and press Delete
  • To make the selected text bold, press Ctrl + B
  • Turns the selected text into italics, and press Ctrl + I
  • Underline selected text with or without adding it, and press Ctrl + U
  • To center align the chosen text, press Ctrl + E
  • Justify the selected text using pressing Ctrl + J
  •  Left-align the selected text by pressing the keys Ctrl and L
  • Right-align the selected text by pressing Ctrl and R
  •  After selecting text or an object, display the Font dialog box and press Ctrl + T
  • To add a hyperlink, press Ctrl + K
  • Insert a new slide using Ctrl + M
  • Duplicates the currently selected item or slide, Ctrl + D. To select a slide, you must first click on its thumbnail.

First, the Duplicate shortcut is compatible with every Microsoft program version. It utilizes a Mac as well. Any PowerPoint object you have selected will be duplicated or copied when you use the duplicate shortcut (CTRL + D) (tables, charts, objects, slides, etc.). 

Right away, using CTRL+D is twice as quick as simply pressing CTR+C to copy something and CTR+V to paste it.

Keyboard shortcuts for slideshow in PowerPoint

These keyboard combinations should be helpful once you've finished creating your presentation and are prepared to view it.

  • F5 Start the presentation over
  • Shift + F5 will play the current slide of the presentation
  • While the slideshow is playing, press Ctrl + P to annotate with the Pen tool
  •  Press N or Page Down to advance to the following slide as the slideshow plays
  • P or Page Up while the slideshow is playing to return to the previous slide
  • B, during a slide show, make the screen completely black. Then, to return to the slideshow, press B once more
  • Esc, Stop the slide show

Thanks to the various shortcuts, you have flexibility in terms of where in your deck you are and which View you are in when you want to begin your slideshow.

Start Slideshow from the Beginning: F5 will launch your slideshow in presentation mode at the commencement of your speech. Your slideshow will begin from the current position in Presenter View by pressing ALT + F5.

Even if you only have one display, you can use Alt+F5 to launch a presentation in Presenter View. If Presenter View does not launch automatically with two displays, navigate to the Slide Show tab, check the Use Presenter View checkbox, and select the preferred monitor.

PowerPoint screen reader support is available in the following versions: PowerPoint for Microsoft 365, PowerPoint for Microsoft 365 for Mac, PowerPoint for the web, and PowerPoint 2021.

Alt + Shift + F5 will start your slideshow in the new Presenter's View from the current slide if you have an external monitor connected.

For spot-checking your content in full-screen mode and practicing independent slides in the new Presenter View, I find the Initiation from Current Slide option to be the most flexible.

The best practice when spot-checking your presentation for mistakes in Slideshow Mode is to go through your deck several times, each time searching for a different kind of error, such as titles that are not aligned, incorrect formatting, etc.

When you are narrowly focused on a particular error, it tends to make detecting embarrassing errors much easier, even though it might take more time.

Using a slideshow to navigate your slides

Slideshow Mode is used to navigate between the slides in your presentation.

There are two ways to navigate between slides in the presentation:

  1. Assuming you know the slide's number, enter it after pressing the corresponding number on your keyboard. For instance, to jump to slide number 11, press 11, then ENTER. This will cause you to jump to slide number 11. 
  2. If unsure of the slide number, you can navigate your presentation by pressing CTRL+S on your keyboard to display a list of all the slides in your presentation.
  3. Use hyperlinks, which you can access from your keyboard in Slideshow mode.

To conserve ink, use black-and-white screen shortcuts. For two reasons, it is preferable to use the "B" or "W" keys to turn your screen black or white while speaking than to include black or white slides in your presentation.

  1.  You have more control over when to handle your audience by blanking out your screen. 
  2.  If you use black slides to fizzle out your screen, it reduces the size of your board and SAVES your printer's toner cartridge.

I've witnessed people print presentations with many completely black slides when the presenter desires to pause during the presentation and destroy the printer's toner cartridge.

Shape Alignment

Making sure that everything is distributed evenly throughout a slide can take some time. By clicking on the ribbon, users can access PowerPoint's align feature. Setting the align attribute as a hotkey will enable users to reach it with a few keystrokes on the keyboard quickly.

To create a hotkey for the align function:

  1. First, select the "Home" tab.
  2. Select the arrange dropdown on the screen's right side by clicking there.
  3. The alignment tool can be added to Quick Access Toolbar by right-clicking (QAT). Select More Commands by clicking into the QAT, which is formed like a downward arrow and located near the save button at the top of the screen.
  4. The align objects tool is located on the right slide of the dialogue box; select it to open it.
  5.  Align Object tool can be raised to the top by clicking the up arrow.
  6. Put ALT + 1 together to get to the hotkey. After pressing ALT + 1, a box will pop up on the right side of the screen. Click the letter that corresponds with your preferred alignment.

PowerPoint is popular presentation software. It is a component of the Microsoft Office suite and can be employed for personal, commercial, or educational purposes. PowerPoint dominated the presentation game; thanks to its templates and ease of use, PowerPoint dominated the presentation game.

From novice to expert presenters, this software enables you to build your presentations with text, images, video, audio, and data tables. In addition, there are numerous animations and transitions available to assist you in presenting the information in the manner you desire.

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Researched and authored by Hala Kiwan | LinkedIn 

Reviewed and edited by Parul Gupta | LinkedIn

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