Top PowerPoint Shortcuts for efficient work

Today everyone is familiar with Microsoft PowerPoint, some more than others. As you read this you might be thinking that you are on the top tier when it comes to fully exploiting PowerPoint capabilities.

We don’t doubt you are proficient, but you might be surprised by the wide array of keyboard combinations that you can use to work more efficiently. Much like Excel shortcuts keys, these shortcuts allow users to work uniquely with their keyboard and therefore achieve tasks faster.

Now, the idea is not that you memorize each keyboard combo : that seems a bit difficult ! Each user has individual needs and when it comes to creating your sales collateral maybe some shortcuts will seem more useful to you than others. Even if you end up picking up just one or two shortcuts, it will make a difference.

Moreover, if keyboard shortcuts are not your thing, this article still has a trick for you : create your own custom toolbar for PowerPoint, to keep the features you use the most just a click away.

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PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts

General shortcuts

Let’s get started with a few basic keyboard shortcuts that will help you opening, closing and navigating PowerPoint.

  • Ctrl+Tab: Switch between different open presentations
  • Ctrl+N: Create a new presentation
  • Ctrl+O: Open an existing presentation
  • Ctrl+Q: Save and close a presentation
  • Ctrl+S: Save a presentation
  • Ctrl+Y: Repeat last action
  • Ctrl+W: Close a presentation
  • Ctrl+Z: Undo an action
  • Ctrl+F: Search in a presentation or use Find and Replace
  • Ctrl+F1: Show or hide the ribbon
  • Ctrl+F2: Print Preview View
  • Alt+F2: Open the Save As dialog box
  • Alt+F: Open the File tab menu
  • Alt+A: Go to the Animations tab
  • Alt+G: Open the Design tab
  • Alt+H: Go to the Home tab
  • Alt+K: Go to the Transitions tab
  • Alt+N: Open the Insert tab
  • Alt+Q: Go to the “Tell me what you want to do” box
  • Alt+R: Go to the Review tab
  • Alt+S: Go to the Slide Show tab
  • Alt+W: Go to View tab
  • Alt+X: Go to the Add-ins tab
  • Alt+Y: Go to the Help tab

Selection and navigation shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts can also be of great help when it comes to quickly navigating throughout your presentation. The following shortcuts will enable you to select multiple objects on your slides, or move the slides inside the presentation.

  • Ctrl+A: Select all text in a textbox, all slides in a presentation or all objects on a slide
  • Tab: Select and/or switch to the next object on a slide
  • Shift+Tab: Select or move to the previous object on a slide
  • Home: Go to the first slide, or from within a text box, go to the beginning of the line
  • End: Go to the last slide, or from within a text box, go to the end of the line
  • Page Down: Go to the next slide
  • Page Up: Go the previous slide
  • Ctrl+Down Arrow: Move a slide down in the presentation (click on a slide thumbnail first)
  • Ctrl+Up Arrow: Move a slide up in the presentation
  • Ctrl+Shift+Up Arrow: Move a slide to the beginning of the presentation (click on a slide thumbnail first)
  • Ctrl+Shift+Down Arrow : Move a slide to the end of the presentation

Format and edition shortcuts

Editing and formatting your presentation has never been easier ! These shortcuts will make you a quick editing pro for PowerPoint.

  • Ctrl+B: Add or remove bold to selected text
  • Ctrl+C: Copy selected text, selected object(s), or selected slide(s)
  • Ctrl+D: Duplicate the selected object or slide (for the latter, click on a slide thumbnail first)
  • Ctrl+E: Center a paragraph
  • Ctrl+I: Add or remove italics to selected text
  • Ctrl+J: Justify a paragraph
  • Ctrl+K: Insert a hyperlink
  • Ctrl+L: Left align a paragraph
  • Ctrl+M: Insert a new slide
  • Ctrl+R: Right align a paragraph
  • Ctrl+T: Open the Font dialog box when text or object is selected
  • Ctrl+U: Add or remove underline to selected text
  • Ctrl+V: Paste selected text, selected object(s), or selected slide(s)
  • Ctrl+X: Cut selected text, selected object(s), or selected slide(s)
  • Ctrl+Alt+V: Open the Paste Special dialog box
  • Delete: Remove selected text, selected object(s), or selected slide(s)

How to build a custom PowerPoint toolbar ?

The Quick Access Toolbar

The Quick Access toolbar enables users to customize what should be displayed on PowerPoint’s toolbar. In other words, it can include your frequently used commands and make them available to you with a single click.

The process to build your QAT (Quick Access Toolbar) is actually very simple, and it can definitely help you build your sales collateral quicker.

Right-click on the command you want to add to your QAT
Select “ Add to Quick Access Toolbar”
If your QAT is hidden, you can make it visible by right clicking in the upper side of the window (above the ribbon) and select “Show Quick Access Toolbar”

Our top PowerPoint commands for Sales Collateral creation

You might be wondering which commands you should add to your QAT. Here are our 4 personal favorites, that make content creation and working with your sales collateral easier :

  • Align commands : These commands allow you to align to objects on the left, the right, the upper or the lower side.
  • Send object to front/back : These commands are very useful when working in layers and allow you to make more or less visible objects that are stacked on top of each other.
  • Group/Ungroup: The commands enable fast editing for multiple objects at the same time (for example when you want to stretch or shrink different shapes in the same proportion). Moreover grouping is also helpful when you wish to make one single object out of several layered shapes for example.
  • Distribute horizontally/vertically: These commands allow you to distribute objects at an equal distance from each other to create a neater appearance.

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