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How to Start a Slideshow (Ultimate Guide)

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In this post, you'll learn all of the different tricks for how to start a slideshow in PowerPoint.

There are a variety of different ways you can do this depending on:

  1. Where from within your presentation you want to start
  2. Which view you want to run your slide show in
  3. How you want your slide show to run

The reason there are so many different ways to start a slide show in PowerPoint is to cover all your presentation bases. The more options you have, the easier your life will be.

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

If you want to learn 15 different techniques for how to start your presentation (content wise), see our guide here.

Start Slide Show From Beginning

To start your presentation from the beginning, navigate to the Slide Show tab and select the From Beginning command

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.

F5 is the full screen shortcut in PowerPoint, starting your presentation from the first slide in 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!

​Slide Show Help Shortcuts

Once you are in the PowerPoint Slide Show mode, you can hit F1 to see all of the different PowerPoint slideshow shortcuts.

So if you ever forget a shortcut (like how to turn your screen black or you simply want to learn a new one), simply hit F1.

To display your slide show help shortcuts, hit F1 on your keyboard in slide show mode

Just remember that this shortcut only works after you have launched the slide show mode of your presentation using one of the techniques in this article.

Start Slide Show From Current

To start your presentation from the current slide, from the Slide Show tab in PowerPoint select the From Current Slide command

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.

Hitting Shift plus F5 on your keyboard will start your presentation in full screen from the current slide you are on

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.

You can also start your presentation from the current slide with your mouse by clicking the Slide Show icon at the bottom of your screen

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 great way to spot check your slides as you are building them. On top of that, it's a fast and easy 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-presentation of your slide show, hold the Alt key on your keyboard and click the slide show icon at the bottom of your screen

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 a mini-presentation running over the top of your PowerPoint slide in the upper left hand corner of your screen

To learn other hidden PowerPoint shortcuts like this, see our tutorial here.

Setting up Presenter View to run automatically

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 what the presenter view looks like in PowerPoint with presentation timings, speaker notes, etc.

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 start the presenter view from the begging of your presentation, from the Slide Show tab, hold the Alt key and click the From Beginning 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.

The presenter view from beginning PowerPoint shortcut is Alt plus the F5 key on your keyboard

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

Start Presenter View From Current Slide

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 anytime by clicking Alt + F5 on your keyboard.

Switching Between Slide Show Views

Regardless of which way you start your Slide Show in PowerPoint, you can always switch between the two different slide show views without exiting presentation mode.

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

  1. Right-click your slide

  2. Select either Show Presenter View or Hide Presenter View

PowerPoint Slide Show Settings

Another way to setup how your presentation runs during your presentation, is the Set Up Slide Show dialog box.

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 up all of 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 Pen and Laser pointer colors
  3. Which slide you start from (or run a custom show)
  4. How your slides progress (manually or using timings)
  5. Which monitors your presentation will run on

The Set Up Slide Show dialog box is also the secret to running multiple presentation as the same time as well, which you can see how to do here.

Setup Slide Show Dialog Box Hidden Shortcut

To use the hidden 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

How to get out of full screen?

Hit the Esc key to exit out of the full screen slide show mode in PowerPoint

Regardless of how you start your full screen presentation, at anytime you can return the normal view in PowerPoint by hitting the Esc key on your keyboard.

Hitting Esc will immediately take 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 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 the presentations you build is CRITICAL to the success of your presentation.

That's why it's important to understand all of the different ways you can start a slideshow in PowerPoint. As you saw in this post, there are a variety of ways you can use these shortcuts to not only deliver, but improve your presentation.

To learn more about our PowerPoint training courses, visit us here.

What’s next?

Updated on July 2, 2019

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