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Decluttering: New Office Shortcut (Finally) for Deep Work


I believe I just discovered THE best Microsoft Office shortcut ever…

And as it appears that Microsoft JUST SLIPPED IT IN without any fanfare or announcements (I haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere else online yet)…

I’m claiming early explorer rights in naming it. But first, why is it THE best shortcut ever?

Because it helps you focus on the #1 thing that advances your career like crazy.

What Carl Newport in his Wall Street Journal best-selling book simply calls: Deep Work.

Advance your career with 'Deep Work'

Carl Newport breaks down your daily grind into two categories of work:

#1: Deep Work – professional activities performed in a state of distraction free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill and are hard to replicate.

#2: Shallow Work – noncognitive demanding logistical style tasks often performed while distracted. These tasks tend to not create much value in the world and can be easily replicated.

And although I HIGHLY recommend reading the book on your own, the gist boils down to this:

Those who consistently carve out distraction free time to push their most important tasks forward – those Stephen Covey quadrant 4 activities – don’t just succeed in life…they CRUSH IT!

And that’s EXACTLY what this brand new Office shortcut helps you do by decluttering your screen, keeping you focused on the task at hand. So without further ado, I’d like to introduce what I’m calling:

"Distraction Free Mode"

Distraction free mode shortcut video tutorial

Shortcut Cheat Sheet PDF: Download 120+ PowerPoint shortcuts grouped by activity (making them easier to learn). It’s one of the easiest ways to double your productivity in PowerPoint. Try it out.

Distraction free mode step by step

Research shows that office clutter has a direct negative impact on your productivity (read more here). But until now, you’ve had no control over the clutter your Office screen, right?

Well now you can…

Just hit CTRL + SHIFT + F1 to Auto-Hide your Ribbon, or launch what I’m calling Distraction Free Mode.

Note: This only works for Office 365 users on PC, see below for the sister shortcut that works since 2007.

Hit it once to hide the Ribbon.
Hit it a second time to un-hide the Ribbon.

And notice that the shortcut doesn’t only remove all of the commands, but it also opens up 25% MORE space to zoom in on the stuff you’re working on.

You can even hide the thumbnail view on the left for even MORE distraction free space in PowerPoint.

That’s takes all of the clutter away, freeing up your brain space to focus. And it works in the other Microsoft Office programs too.

Just hit CTRL + SHIFT + F1 for:

  • Distraction free writing in Microsoft Word
  • Distraction free modeling in Microsoft Excel
  • Distraction free sliding in Microsoft PowerPoint

Note: This only works on Office 365 for PC. See below for the sister shortcut that works since 2007.

The less time you spend distracted while working in your documents, the more you’ll get done and the further your career will go.

Using CTRL + M to hide and reveal ink

This new Office shortcut has a sister shortcut that is easy to learn as it is almost the same (and why I recommend learning your shortcuts in groups).

Instead of decluttering all of the commands in your ribbon, the sister shortcut – the Ribbon Collapse shortcut – leaves the Ribbon tab names at the top of your screen and also doesn’t hide your QAT commands (which hopefully you already have set up).

Note: These shortcuts work ​​​​on all PC versions of PowerPoint since 2007.


Knowing your shortcuts is one of the fastest ways to DOUBLE your productivity in PowerPoint (even if you’ve been using the program for years).

So if you don’t have our cheat sheet with 120+ PowerPoint shortcuts yet, I highly recommend downloading it here.

What's next?

Updated on December 10, 2017

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