Creating a PowerPoint presentation is no small task! It requires juggling all sorts of PowerPoint stuff like charts, tables, pictures, object formatting, text and shapes just to create your slides in the first place. Then there is the delivery of the presentation itself.
On top of that, companies, bosses and clients want everything done yesterday. For you as an employee (or contractor) that means expectations are rising. Getting more done in less time. That’s where PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts come to your rescue.
To help you out, I’ve pulled together this list of 80 PowerPoint shortcuts you can start using straight away.
With a little bit of practice, these PowerPoint shortcuts will seriously cut down your build time, make your slides look more polished and professional and get you to Happy Hour.
The Benefits of Using Keyboard Shortcuts
One of the main reasons to learn your keyboard shortcuts is they eliminate mental stress and anxiety.
Studies show that one of the main sources of modern stress and anxiety in the workplace is what researchers call Cognitive Load. The point being that your brain can only make so many decisions a day before it basically shuts down.
That’s why high profile leaders like Steve Jobs, Barack Obama and Superman focus on wearing one or two outfits everyday. It cuts down on the decisions they need to make, allowing them to focus on higher priority tasks.
How do keyboard shortcuts help you out here? They eliminate a bunch of micro-decisions and mental hoops your brain otherwise has to process to get a task done.
So instead of playing hide-n-seek in the ribbon for your command – let me see…where was that command again? – your fingers just hit the keys and get the task done. Decreasing your cognitive load.
In that sense, your keyboard shortcuts not only decrease your cognitive load, freeing up your mind for higher priority tasks, they also blast through your otherwise repetitive and annoying tasks for you, getting you to happy hour.
Tips for Mastering PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts
If learning your PowerPoint shortcuts was easy, everyone would already have their black belt in PowerPoint, but they don’t. So the very first rule is simply – COMMIT.
Here are a few other tips to make learning your PowerPoint shortcuts as easy as possible:
1. Set learning goals
Define your goals. If there are 100 keyboard shortcuts you want to learn and you can only learn 2 or 3 a day, break it up. Don’t worry about the 100, just worry about the 2 or 3 you want to learn that day (or that week).
2. Put your shortcuts to use
When you first learn a new keyboard shortcut, the most important thing is to start using it every single time you want to complete that task. A common learning mistake is not consistently using the shortcut right off the bat because it’s not comfortable.
Disclaimer: When you first start learning your keyboard shortcuts (for whichever program in which you are working), you might not feel any faster, or you might even feel slower. That's because it's new and uncomfortable.
But trust me, the fastest people in PowerPoint use shortcuts. And that can be you. Don't give up.
3. You Don’t Need to Learn All Shortcuts.
Just because a shortcut exists doesn’t mean you should learn it.
There are hundreds of keyboard shortcuts and thousands of commands you can set up as shortcuts in PowerPoint that you’ll never need to use.
That’s why I recommend that instead worrying about all of the available shortcuts, just focus on learning the keyboard shortcuts around the core activities you perform every single day.
PowerPoint Shortcuts for Working with Slides
1. Display the All Slides dialog box (slideshow mode)
While in Slide Show mode, to display the All Slides dialog box hit CTRL + S.
This dialog box allows you to visually see all the slides within your presentation and quickly jump around between them. This is handy when you want to quickly move forwards or backwards within your presentation and you don’t know what the slide number is.
2. Go to slide number (in slideshow mode)
Slide Number + Enter Key
When you give a presentation, your topic never goes in the order you planned. There are some situations when you require going to nonadjacent slides in your presentation. For instance, say you are on slide 50, and your audience puts a question that requires you to jump to slide 20. Pressing Page Up 30 times doesn’t seem professional.
For easily jumping to the 20th slide, simply press the slide number while in slideshow mode and then press the Enter key (20 + Enter).
3. Display a blank slide (in slideshow mode)
For a black slide, press B or . (period)
For a white slide, press W or , (comma)
Sometimes you may need to pause the presentation for lunch break or to answer a question unrelated to the presentation. In these situations, B and W shortcut keys to display a blank screen. Pressing B or W second time will pick up the show where you left it.
4. Select all slides
You can select the slides all at once if your presentation is in slide sorter view. To do this, press CTRL + A.
Remember, this PowerPoint shortcut will work only if your presentation is in Slide Sorter View.
5. Duplicate active slides
To add the copy of the current slide in your presentation, press CTRL + SHIFT + D.
6. Start a presentation from the beginning
To view the presentation in Slide Show Mode from the very first slide, in all versions of PowerPoint, simply hit F5.
7. Start a presentation from the current slide
To view your presentation from your current slide (all versions of PowerPoint) in Slide Show Mode, hit SHIFT + F5.
8. Go to the previous / next slide
To move to the next slide, hit Page Down.
To move to the previous slide, hit Page Up.
PowerPoint Shortcuts for Working with Pointers
9. Using the built-in laser pointer
While in Slide Show Mode, hold down the CTRL key on your keyboard and click and drag with your mouse.
Holding the CTRL key and dragging around with your mouse turns on the laser pointer to draw your audiences’ attention to different aspects of your slide.
10. Writing on your slide with a pen (inking)
In the Slide Show Mode, to write on your slides with a pen, hit CTRL + P and use your mouse (or pen if you have a touch screen) to write and/or draw on your slides.
Hitting CTRL + P a second time will turn the Pen off.
11. Writing on your slide with a highlighter (inking)
In Slide Show Mode, to write on your slides with your highlight, hit CTRL + I and use your mouse (or pen if you have a touch screen) to highlight and draw on your slides.
PowerPoint Shortcut Tip
This is a great trick when leading online training and webinars, as you can add notes live onscreen and bring attention to different areas of your slides.
12. Hide and erase ink onscreen (inking)
While in slideshow mode, after using the pen or highlight shortcuts to add into your slides in Slide Show mode you can either:
Hit CTRL + M to hide the ink. And if you do so a second time, you will make the ink re-appear.
Press E at any time to erase all of the ink on that slide.
PowerPoint Shortcut Tip
Be careful when erasing the Ink on screen as there is no way to un-erase that ink. If you typically want to save the ink on yours, memorize the CTRL + M shortcut instead as it merely hides the ink.
13. Hide the pointer and navigation buttons
To hide pointer and navigation immediately, hit CTRL + H.
To hide pointer and navigation after 15 seconds, hit CTRL + U.
Pointers and navigation button could be annoying to the audience. So it’s important to hide while giving presentation.
PowerPoint Shortcuts for Working with Menus
14. Display the Shortcuts menu
SHIFT + F10
While in Slideshow mode, this command is the equivalent of right-clicking on the screen, displaying the different presentations options available to you.
15. Display the Slideshow Help shortcuts
While in Slideshow mode, this command display all the different slide show shortcuts you can use to quickly navigate your presentation. If you ever forget your shortcut, just hit F1.
16. Display the taskbar
While in Slide Show mode, you can display the task bar at the bottom of your screen by hitting CTRL + T.
Displaying your taskbar is a fast and easy way to navigate between different documents and files on your computer without closing out of your presentation.
PowerPoint Shortcuts for Working with Hyperlinks
17. Insert a hyperlink
Select the text on which you want to apply a hyperlink, and hit CTRL + K.
18. Select a hyperlink
While in Slide show mode, to go to the first or next hyperlink on a slide hit the TAB key.
While in Slide show mode, to go to the last or previous hyperlink on a slide, hit SHIFT + TAB.
19. Open a hyperlink
Once you’ve navigate to a hyperlink (using the above keyboard hot keys) you can activate it by hitting the ENTER key.
PowerPoint Shortcuts for Changing the Font and Paragraph Settings
20. Align a paragraph
First, select the paragraph for which you want to change the alignment and perform the following applicable operation:
Hit CTRL + L for left alignment
Hit CTRL + R for right alignment
Hit CTRL + E for center alignment
Hit CTRL + J for justified alignment
21. Jump to the end / beginning of a line
Hit the END key move to the end of a line.
Hit the HOME key to move the beginning of a line.
22. Increase or decrease text list levels
To promote a paragraph, hit ALT + SHIFT + Left Arrow.
To demote a paragraph, hit ALT + SHIFT + Right Arrow.
These List Level Shortcuts are extremely effective when filling in company templates as it properly uses the bullet spacing set on your Slide Master. This is entirely different than the Promote and Demote paragraph shortcuts.
To see how to use these List Level Shortcuts to properly fill in a company PowerPoint template (and see how they are COMPLETELY different than the TAB and SHIFT + TAB shortcuts) see the short YouTube video below.
23. Promote and demote paragraphs
To promote a paragraph, hit the TAB key.
To demote a paragraph, hit SHIFT + TAB.
24. Move selected paragraphs
To move selected paragraphs up, hit ALT + SHIFT + Up Arrow.
To move selected paragraphs down, hit ALT + SHIFT + Down Arrow.
25. Select all text
When in a shape or text box, within text editing mode (blinking cursor), hit CTRL + A to select all the text.
26. Delete text (towards the left)
To delete one character to the left, hit the BACKSPACE key.
To delete an entire word to the left, hit CTRL + BACKSPACE
27. Delete text (towards the right)
To delete one character to the right, hit the DELETE key.
To delete one word to the right, hit CTRL + DELETE.
28. Change the font size
To increase the font size, hit CTRL + SHIFT + , (comma).
To decrease the font size, hit CTRL + SHIFT + . (period).
29. Open the Font dialog box
If you want to open the font dialogue box to performing font or font size changing operations, do the following:
To open font dialogue box to change formatting of the characters, hit CTRL + T.
30. Change the text case (uppercase, lowercase...)
While making a presentation, you frequently need to change the letters case between lowercase, uppercase, sentence case, etc. Knowing the shortcut will save time. Use the following command to perform change letters case:
Hit SHIFT + F3 to toggle the case of the letters between lowercase, sentence case or uppercase.
31. Make text subscript / superscript
Hit CTRL + = (equal) too apply subscript formatting with automatic spacing.
Hit CTRL + SHIFT + = (equal) to apply superscript formatting with automatic spacing.
32. Make text bold
Select the text, and hit CTRL + B to make it bold.
33. Make text italic
Select the text, and hit CTRL + I to make text italic.
34. Make text underlined
Select the text, and hit CTRL + U to give it an underline.
35. Open the spell check engine
To open up the spell check engine to double-check your spelling and grammar, hit the F7 function key.
36. Launch the thesaurus
To open thesaurus, hit SHIFT + F7.
PowerPoint Shortcuts for Working with Text and Objects
37. Select all objects on a slide
To select all the objects on a slide, with the slide space active (click somewhere on the slide to be sure), hit CTRL + A.
38. "Format Dipper", Part I - Copy the formatting of an object
To copy the formatting of text or of an object, select it and then hit CTRL + SHIFT + C.
39. "Format Dipper", Part II - Paste the formatting of an object
To paste the formatting of text or of an object onto another object, hit CTRL + SHIFT + V.
The "Format Dipper" is one of the fastest way to pick up and apply formatting styles throughout your presentation. It’s also extremely easy to learn as it mimics the standard CTRL + C to copy and CTRL + V to paste shortcuts (just add in a SHIFT in the middle). Easy as pie!
40. Open the Paste Special dialog box
CTRL + ALT + V
The Paste Special shortcut gives you a variety of pictures format paste options for your content. To use the shortcut first CTRL + C to copy something in PowerPoint, then hit CTRL + ALT + V to open up the Paste Special options.
The Paste Special dialog box is where you can find the WMF and EFM file formats for breaking apart your copied PowerPoint Tables and PowerPoint charts.
41. Group objects on a slide
To group selected objects on a slide, hit CTRL + G.
42. Ungroup objects
To ungroup objects (including grouped objetcs, SmartArt graphics, EMF and WMF objects), select them and hit CTRL + SHIFT + G.
43. Regroup ungrouped objects
To reform an ungrouped set of objects, simply select a single object from the previous group, hit CTRL + SHIFT + J.
44. Rotate objects or text boxes
To rotate an object by 15° to the right, with an object selected, simply hit ALT + Right arrow.
To rotate an object by 15° to the left, hit ALT + Left arrow.
PowerPoint Shortcuts for Working with Tables
45. Moving the cursor from cell to cell
To move to the next cell, hit the TAB key.
To move to the previous cell, hit SHIFT + TAB.
46. Moving the cursor from row to row
To move to the next row, hit the Up arrow key.
To move to the previous row, hit the Down arrow key.
47. Add a new row (to the bottom of the table)
To add a new row at the bottom of the table, move your cursor to somewhere on the bottom row of your table and hit the TAB key.
48. Add an indent within a table cell
To insert a text indent in a table cell (like you would with the TAB key in a shape or text box), move to that cell and hit CTRL + TAB.
PowerPoint Shortcuts for Working with Charts
49. Format the selected chart element
With a charting element selected (such as the data labels or columns), hit CTRL + F1 to jump to the formatting options for that specific element.
This charting shortcut works in both PowerPoint and Excel, and is one of the fastest ways to drill down to the specific formatting options for your charts.
50. Moving a chart (nudging it) with your keyboard
To move your chart like any other object, simply hold the CTRL key down, and then click the chart with your mouse.
Doing so selects your chart like any other object, allowing you to use the Arrow keys to move it around on your slide.
PowerPoint Shortcuts for Navigating the Views
51. Switch between the Outline View and the Normal View
Hit CTRL + SHIFT + TAB to switch between the Outline and Normal View in PowerPoint.
52. Switch between the Slide Master View and the Normal View
Holding the SHIFT key and clicking on the Normal View icon in the lower right-hand corner of your screen will take you to the Slide Master View of your presentation.
Hit the shortcut again to come back to the Normal View.
53. Switch between the Handout Master View and the Normal View
Holding the SHIFT key and clicking on the Slide Sorter View icon in the lower right-hand corner of your screen will take you to the Handouts Master View of your presentation, where you can customize the handouts for your presentation.
54. Open the Set Up Slide Show dialog box
Holding the SHIFT key and clicking on the Reading View icon in the lower right-hand corner of your screen will open up the Set Up Slide Show dialog box, where you can choose to show your presentation in a resizable window, run custom slide shows, etc.
55. Close the Thumbnail View
Holding the CTRL and SHIFT keys, and clicking on the Normal View icon in the lower right-hand corner of your screen will close the Thumbnail View and give you more work space for your presentation.
56. Open the Outline View in full screen
Holding the CTRL and SHIFT keys, and clicking on the Normal View icon in the lower right-hand corner of your screen will open up the Outline View in full screen.
57. Run a mini presentation
In Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 and 2010, hold down the CTRL key, and in 2013 and 2016 hold the ALT key, and then select the Slide Show View icon in the lower right-hand of your screen to run a mini presentation in the upper left-hand corner of your deck.
Hit ESCAPE to move to that slide.
58. Switch between open presentations
If you have multiple presentations open on your device, you can switch among them by hitting CTRL + F6.
59. Switch between open PowerPoint windows
To switch between your active windows, hit CTRL + TAB.
60. View all active windows
To see all open and active windows on your computer, hit WINDOWS + TAB.
61. Cycle through content placeholders
To cycle through the content placeholders on your slide (built on the Slide Master), first click into a placeholder and then hit CTRL + ENTER.
Once you have cycled through your content placeholders, hitting CTRL + ENTER again creates a new blank slide, based on the slide layout you were just previously on.
62. Insert a new slide
CTRL + M
This shortcut adds a new blank slide to your presentation, based on the slide layout you were just on. The only exception is if you use this shortcut on the Title Slide within your layout, PowerPoint adds a new content slide instead of a new title slide (it’s smart like that).
63. Open the Save As dialog box
Hi the F12 function key to save your presentation with a different name, in a different location on your computer, or in a different file format.
This is one of the secrets to protecting your presentation by saving all of your slides as pictures so someone cannot rip off your content.
64. Open the Save As options in the File area
Hitting CTRL + F12 will immediately open the Save As dialog box to open a file on your computer, without having to navigate through the back-stage view.
65. Open the Find & Replace dialog box
CTRL + H
This shortcut opens the Find and Replace dialog box, allowing you to quickly replace text throughout your presentation. Be careful when using the 'Replace All' option, as it not only will cycle through the Normal View of your presentation, but all your Slide Master Views.
66. Repeat the last find action
If you have closed the find dialogue box and now want to repeat the last find action, hit SHIFT + F4.
67. Capture a clipping of the screen as an image
To take a screen capture of the current screen to the clipboard, hit the PrtSc (Printscreen) key.
68. Capture the entire screen as an image
To copy the picture of a selected window, hit ALT + PrtSC (Printscreen).
69. Launch the Print dialog box
To launch the Print dialog box, hit CTRL + P. If you don't need to adjust the settings, you can immediately hit ENTER to print your presentation.
70. Open the Header & Footer dialog box
CTRL + SHIFT + F
This dialog box allows you to add and remove your date and time, slide numbers and footers.
To properly add your headers and footers to your slides you need to add them in twice - once on your Slide Master and once in the Normal View using the Header and Footer dialog box. For help on this, see this article on fixing your page numbers.
71. Close an active presentation
CTRL + W
This PowerPoint shortcut closes the active file you are using, without closing the PowerPoint application itself. This is an operating system shortcut, and works in all the Microsoft Office programs.
72. Close PowePoint
ALT + F4
This is a Windows-level operating-level shortcut and can be used with any program you are running on your computer. After closing out of all of your active applications, this shortcut can shut down or restart your computer too.
New PowerPoint 2013 Keyboard Shortcuts
Use the following shortcuts for the given tasks in the new PowerPoint 2013 version. Note, these PowerPoint 2013 shortcuts all work in PowerPoint 2016 as well.
73. Increase / decrease the font size
Hit CTRL + ] to increase the font size in PowerPoint 2013.
Hit CTRL + [ to decrease the font size in PowerPoint 2013.
Although these are new shortcuts, the old font size shortcuts still work: CTRL + SHIFT + , to decrease the font size and CTRL + SHIFT + . to increase the font size. However, because the shortcuts above work in a wider variety of programs, I recommend memorizing them instead.
74. Show / hide the Notes pane
If you want to show or hide the Notes pane in your presentation, simply hit CTRL + SHIFT + H.
75. Duplicate an active presentation
To make a copy of your current open presentation in PowerPoint 2013, you need to hit CTRL + SHIFT + N.
76. Add a section to your presentation
To add a new section in your presentation, hit CTRL + , (comma).
77. Zoom out of a slide in Slideshow View
To zoom out of a slide or to see all slides in Slideshow View, simply hit CTRL + - (minus). Once zoomed out, you can use your Arrow keys to navigate around.
78. Zoom into a slide in Slideshow View
To zoom into a slide in Slideshow View, simply hit CTRL + = (equal). Once zoomed in, you can use your Arrow keys to navigate around.
79. Hide the Ribbon
CTRL + F1
Hitting this shortcut once collapses your Ribbon commands into the top of your screen, giving you more uncluttered work space in PowerPoint. Hitting CTRL + F1 a second time un-collapses your Ribbon commands.
This is Microsoft Office shortcut, so it works in PowerPoint, Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.
New PowerPoint 2016 Keyboard Shortcuts
80. "Distraction-Free Mode" - Auto-hiding the Ribon
CTRL + SHIFT + F1
The NEWEST shortcut to hit the Microsoft Office suite delivering Distraction-Free Mode. Hit this keyboard shortcut to auto-hide your Ribbon commands, giving you a 100% clean working space. When you want to see all your Ribbon commands again, just hit this shortcut a second time.