I had a client who gave day-long training courses and his presentations were 200-300 slides long. He spent hours changing individual slides–mostly time he could have saved with these 3 shortcuts.
You, too, can save a lot of time using these shortcuts to avoid endless fiddling.
1. Format the slide master
The slide master lets you format the basic settings of your slides all in one place, so you don’t have to fuss with individual slides as much. Using the slide master wisely saves LOTS of time. It also makes your slides more consistent.
To get to the slide master, click the View tab and then choose Slide Master. Each theme in PowerPoint has its own Slide Master.
When you open the Slide Master, you’ll see a left column with a Master at the top (it’s a little larger) and all of the layouts that come with that theme. The Master controls the rest of the layouts and so that’s where you should start.
You should customize the font, font color, font placement, font size and any graphics you want to put there.
For more information on how to customize the theme in the Slide Master view, see these two older blog posts:
2. Use the Format Painter
Even if you customize the Slide Master, you’ll want to add text, graphics, etc. on individual slides and a common task is to format one object to match another. The Format Painter makes this easy to do.
By the way, the Format Painter is available in Microsoft Word and Excel as well.
To use the Format Painter, select the object that has the formatting you want, such as fill color or outline color, and click the Format Painter button on the Home tab. Then click the object that you want to match the first object.
The Format Painter becomes really powerful when you double-click the Format Painter. Then, you can select as many objects you want to make them match the first object. This makes quick work of your formatting.
When you’re done, click the Format Painter button one time to turn off that process.
3. Repeat actions with the F4 key
The third shortcut is to use the F4 key to repeat your last action. For example, if you change the color of one shape to purple, you can then select another shape and press F4 to change that to purple, too. Or if you change the size of some text to 36 points, you can select some other text and press F4 to change that text to 36 points, too.
You can save a lot of time clicking objects and pressing F4 instead of repeating the action from scratch by clicking a button on a ribbon, typing in a value, etc.
Check out “10 Hacks for Better Slides in Under 5 Minutes“
I have some free training with even more shortcuts. You can register for it here.
It’s about 1 hour long. One person said, “Your webinar was the BEST that I have attended!!!! I can use EVERY hack that you taught us.”