Like all software, PowerPoint has keyboard shortcuts — in fact a lot more than I will cover here. It’s always worthwhile to learn a few shortcuts that you’ll use often because you’ll save time and aggravation.
I am still surprised at how many people save by going to the File tab and click the Save item. Or copy by right-clicking and choosing Copy. The keyboard shortcut is so much faster!
I don’t set a good example when I teach, because I try to use methods that people can see on the screen that I’m sharing. So I’ll right-click and choose Copy so my students can see what I’m doing but when no one is looking, I always use Ctrl+C!
The Shift and Ctrl keys are especially useful in PowerPoint, so here are my favorite PowerPoint keyboard shortcuts. Please add yours in the comments!
- Ctrl+C: Copy a selected object
- Ctrl+X: Cut a selected object (to move it)
- Ctrl+V: Paste the object you copied or cut
- Ctrl+D: Duplicate selected objects. If you do this additional times, PowerPoint remembers the distance and direction and creates a line of equidistant objects.
- Ctrl+drag: Copy and move the selected object at the same time. This is a real timesaver.
- Shift+drag: Constrains the movement of the selected object to vertical or horizontal
- Ctrl+Shift+drag: Copy and move the selected object, constraining the move to vertical or horizontal
- Ctrl+Shift+C: Copy formatting. This is a gem. It’s the same as Pick Up and often works better than the Format Painter, which is similar.
- Ctrl+Shift+V: Paste formatting. This is the same as Apply.
- Shift+resize with a handle: Constrains the object you’re inserting to a square, circle, equilateral triangle, etc.
- Ctrl+Shift+resize with a handle: Resizes the object from its center rather than from the handle you’re dragging
- Ctrl+A: Select all objects
- Ctrl+Z: Undo your most recent action. This doesn’t work all the time, but it works most of the time.
- Ctrl +G: Group multiple selected objects
- Ctrl+Shift+G: Ungroup the objects in a group
- Ctrl+Space: Play or pause media
- Tab: Indent selected text. I know, this doesn’t involve Ctrl or Shift but the next related item does.
- Shift+Tab: Outdent text (Move it to the left)
- Shift+F3: Toggle sentence, lower, and upper cases
- Ctrl+K: Insert a hyperlink
- Alt+Shift+C: Copy animation
- Alt+Shift+V: Paste animation
- Ctrl+S: Save. Use this often!
Want more keyboard shortcuts? I recommend “PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences,” an e-book by Geetesh Bajaj, a fellow PowerPoint MVP.
Please add your favorites in the comments and share using the Share buttons so others can save time, too!
I knew slide #+Enter would take you to a hidden slide (assuming you knew the slide number). But I didn’t know how to get back to the last slide until I asked Taylor Croonquist. While on the hidden slide (you just went to), right mouse click and hit V. Goes back to the previous slide. Great tip to know – though not one with CRTL or SHIFT.
One of my favourite shortcuts with Shift is Shift+F5, to start the slideshow at the current slide. That’s great for testing animation, and checking that everything looks right.
You’ll find just a couple more shortcuts here, including how to open the “Size and Position” dialog box (as it used to be).
By the way, Wilma, you can also press H to go to the next slide if it’s hidden, which avoids needing to know its number. You might also like these unique tips about hidden slides, including the one about right-clicking to get back to your last-viewed slide.
(Also, Ellen, I just published part 2 reviewing your “9 tips to design presentations for webinars”.)
Craig, glad you brought up Shift+F5, a good one!
[…] experts Laura Foley and Ellen Finkelstein both published blog posts about PowerPoint keyboard shortcuts. Laura’s post focuses on shortcuts […]