In this article, you’ll learn all the different tricks for how to start a slideshow in PowerPoint (including some hidden keyboard shortcuts).  As you will see, there are a variety of ways you can start (or jump back into) your PowerPoint slide show depending on:

  • Where you want to start your presentation from (from the beginning or from your current slide)
  • Which PowerPoint view you want to present in (the Slide Show View or the Presenter View) you want to run your slide show in
  • How good at keyboard shortcuts you are (there are shortcuts for everything if you want to use them)

The reason there are so many different ways is to cover all your bases. The more options you have, the easier your life will be as there will always be a way to start your presentation the way you want to (or jump back into it when you need to).

See all the options below and find the method that works best for you and let the slide show begin!

To expand your knowledge and learn how to draw and annotate on your slides in Presentation View, read our guide here.

Start Slide Show From Beginning

To start a slide show from the beginning, click the Slide Show tab and select From Beginning

To start a slideshow from the beginning of your presentation using the ribbon, simply.

  1. Navigate to the Slide Show tab
  2. Select From Beginning

Selecting From Beginning starts your presentation from the very first non-hidden slide in your presentation, regardless of which slide you are currently inside of your deck.

You can also start your slide from the beginning of your presentation by hitting the Slideshow From Beginning keyboard shortcut, F5.

Regardless of which method you use, this is the classic way to start your presentation in full screen from your first title slide (regardless of where you are in your slide deck).

Let the slide show begin!

To expand your knowledge and learn how to use PowerPoint’s built-in laser pointer to point things out during your presentation, read our guide here.

Start Slide Show From Current

To start a slide show from the current slide, click the Slide Show tab and select From Current Slide

To begin your slide show from the slide you are currently on using the ribbon, simply

  1. Navigate to the Slide Show tab
  2. Select From Current Slide

Selecting From Current Slide starts your slide show from whatever slide you are currently on, even if the slide is hidden.

You can also start your slide from the current slide you are on by hitting the Shift+F5 keyboard shortcut.

Because it’s often easiest to catch errors when building your slides in this full screen mode, I highly recommend learning the Shift+F5 shortcut and using it frequently as you build your slides to spot them for errors.

If you don’t want to bother learning the From Current Slide shortcut, you can also start your slideshow by clicking the Slide Show icon at the bottom of your screen.

This is a fantastic way to spot check your slides as you are building them. On top of that, it’s a fast and uncomplicated way to re-start your presentation from where you left off after demoing something on screen.

Start a Mini-Slide Show in PowerPoint (Hidden Shortcut)

You can also use the following hidden PowerPoint shortcut to run a mini slide show over the top of your current deck.

To run a mini slide show, simply:

  1. Hold down the Alt key on your keyboard
  2. With your mouse, click the Slide Show icon

Doing so starts a small slide show of your presentation that you can see below, from the current slide you are on.

Example of running a mini presentation over the top of your PowerPoint slides

How to open Presenter View in PowerPoint

The Presenter View is an alternate way to run your presentation in PowerPoint. In this view, your slides are projected on screen, and the details of your presentation are displayed on your computer as pictured below.

Example of running a PowerPoint presentation in Presenter View

The presenter view includes your next (non-hidden) slides that is coming up, your current slide projected on screen, how long you’ve been talking and your speaker notes.

To run the presenter view from the current slide, click the Slide Show tab, hold the Alt key and click the From Current Slide command

To launch the Presenter View from the beginning of your presentation using your Ribbon, simply:

  1. Navigate to the Slide Show tab
  2. Hold down the Alt key on your keyboard
  3. Click From Beginning

Holding down the Alt key and clicking From Beginning, the Presenter View will launch from the very first (non-hidden) slide in your presentation.

To expand your knowledge, see our guide on how to print your speaker notes in PowerPoint.

You can also launch the presenter view from the beginning of your presentation at any time by clicking Alt + F5 on your keyboard.

To learn other great PowerPoint shortcuts like this, see our shortcut guide here.

5. Start Presenter View in PowerPoint From Current Slide

To start your slide show from the current slide using the presenter view, click the slide show tab, hold the Alt key and click

Did you know that you can access different views in PowerPoint by adding keys as you click commands in the PowerPoint ribbon?

To start the Presenter view from your current slide using your Ribbon, simply:

  1. Navigate to the Slide Show tab
  2. Hold down the Alt key on your keyboard
  3. Click From Current Slide

Holding the Alt key and clicking From Current Slide launches the Presenter View from your current slide. So, this is another way you can quickly practice your presentation, see your speaker notes and see what’s coming up next.

You can also launch the Presenter View from the beginning of your presentation at any time by hitting Alt+F5 on your keyboard.

Showing and Hiding Presenter View

Regardless of which view you start your PowerPoint slide show; you can switch between the two different slide show views without exiting presentation.

To show or hide the Presenter View, right click your slide show and select either show or hide presenter view

To switch between the two slideshow views (while giving your presentation), simply:

  1. Right-click your slide in whichever presentation view you are currently in
  2. Select either Show Presenter View or Hide Presenter View

When would you use a feature like this during a presentation? One example is if you want to view your notes without leaving the slide show mode.

Note: The letter r for both Show Presenter View and Hide Presenter View is underlined. This means that it is a keyboard shortcut. So, if you want to quickly flip between these two presentation views, you can simply right-click your slide and hit the letter r on your keyboard. Doing so automatically switches the view you are in.

Controlling how your presentation runs

Another way to control how your presentation runs (including the default laser pointer and pen color), is the Set Up Slide Show dialog box.

Click the slide show tab, and select the Set Up Slide Show command to control how your PowerPoint presentation runs

To open the Set Up Slide Show dialog box, simply:

  1. Navigate to the Slide Show tab
  2. Select the Set Up Slide Show command

Doing so, opens all your PowerPoint slide show settings and options as pictured below.

Inside the slide show settings dialog box, you can select:

  1. How your presentation runs (full screen, window or in kiosk mode).
  2. Your default pen and laser pointer color options (see our laser pointer article here).
  3. Which slide you want start from, or which slides you want to show. You can also setup a custom show here.
  4. How your slides progress (manually or using slide timings).
  5. Which of your computer monitors (or screens) your slide show runs on.

The Set Up Slide Show dialog box is also the secret to running multiple presentations at the same time in PowerPoint. To expand your knowledge and learn how to set this up, read our guide here.

Setup Slide Show SECRET Shortcut

Hold the Shift key and click the reading view icon to open the set up slide show dialog box

To use the SECRET shortcut to open the Set Up Slide Show dialog box, simply:

  1. Hold down the Shift key on your keyboard
  2. With your mouse, click the Reading View icon at the bottom of your screen

This is useful when you need to quickly cycle through lots of PowerPoint presentations and change how those presentations run. Instead of wasting time clicking through the Ribbon, simply hold the Shift key and click the Reading View icon. This is also a friendly conversation starter with a fellow PowerPoint enthusiast at Happy Hour.

Note: The color of your Reading View icon might be different than in the picture above, as it is dependent on the Office Theme you selected for PowerPoint.

How to exit a PowerPoint presentation early?

Hit the escape key to exit slide show mode in PowerPoint

Regardless of how you start your full screen presentation, you can end your presentation at any time by hitting the Esc key on your keyboard.

Hitting Esc immediately takes you out of the PowerPoint presentation mode and back to the normal editing view of your slides, on whatever slide you were last presenting.

Here is how you can use a combination of all the different keyboard shortcuts to spot check and practice your presentation in full screen before you finalize your presentation.

  1. Hit F5 on your keyboard to start your presentation in full screen from the very first slide in your presentation. You can then use your arrow keys to advance, spot checking your slides for errors.
  2. When you find an error, simply hit Esc key to return to the normal PowerPoint editing view to fix your slide.
  3. When you are done, hit Shift + F5 to return the full screen presentation mode from the slide you just updated. You can then continue spot checking your presentation (without having to start over from the beginning).

In this way you can quickly work your way through your slides and practice your presentation, fixing and adjusting your content as you go.

Conclusion

Understanding how to run your presentations is CRITICAL to the success of your presentation. Not only in presenting them live, but also in knowing how to spot check your slides as you build them.

I personally find it easiest to spot check your slides and quickly fix errors by running your presentation in slide show mode (or full screen). The last place you want to discover an error is during your presentation.

Using the commands and shortcuts above, you can quickly start, exit and step back into your slide show. Once you have these commands and features down, you will also look like a whiz during your presentations.

If you enjoyed the depth of this article, you will love our other PowerPoint training courses and free resources. To learn more, visit us here.

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