Key PowerPoint Shortcuts That Will Improve Your Next PowerPoint Presentation

If you're looking to display your PowerPoint presentation effectively, you should take advantage of the program's menu of helpful shortcuts.

Key PowerPoint Shortcuts That Will Improve Your Next PowerPoint Presentation

If you’re looking to display your PowerPoint presentation effectively, you should take advantage of the program’s menu of helpful shortcuts. Using shortcuts can help you easily navigate, annotate, and enhance your presentation with a few simple keystrokes. You can see a complete list of all available shortcuts by pressing F1 or right-clicking on your screen to see a shortcut menu.

Navigation Shortcuts

When you get started, press the F5 function key to launch your presentation. If you have to leave the presentation view temporarily but want to pick up where you left off, press SHIFT + F5 to run your presentation from the current slide.

If you’re running out of time and need to skip ahead to a particular slide, you can press the number of the slide and Enter to jump ahead. Or, if you’re asked to go back to a previous slide, use this shortcut to turn back the presentation quickly. It’s much easier to do this than leave the presentation view to try to navigate to the slide you need to get to. And if you have a copy of your presentation in Handout View, you’ll have a quick reference guide of what each slide is numbered.

But if you don’t know the number of the slide you need to display, you can click CTRL and S to display the Slide Selector, which will display a list of slides by number and title. You can move to the slide you want by selecting it and clicking the GO TO button at the bottom. Or you can right-click on the screen and click SELECT ALL SLIDES, which will display each slide as a small icon on your screen. Click on the icon to navigate to the slide you need. You can also quickly toggle to the first slide by clicking the HOME key and the last slide by pressing the END key.

Annotation Shortcuts

If you’d like to write on a slide, pressing CTRL and P will transform your mouse or mouse pointer into a PEN with which you can annotate your presentation. And if you need to erase something, click CTRL and E to change the mouse into an eraser. Clicking E by itself will erase everything you’ve written, so be careful when using these shortcuts.

You can also highlight sections of your presentation by using PowerPoint’s highlighter tool. Simply click CTRL + I to enable it. And to erase what you’ve highlighted, use the eraser shortcuts, either CTRL + E or E.

Special Effects

If you’d like to minimize distractions while you’re presenting, you can press CTRL + H to hide the mouse. If you’d like your cursor to be an arrow you can use to point to specific text, click CTRL + A or CTRL + U, either of which will unhide the mouse and turn it into an arrow. To draw even more attention to an aspect of your presentation, you should press CTRL + L to enable PowerPoint’s laser function. Or zoom in on specific text by pressing the + key repeatedly. Your cursor should become a hand icon, which you can use to shift your slide around until you get it into the desired position. Click the — key to zoom back out again.

You can also use live subtitles, which can help ensure audience members with hearing impairments can enjoy your presentations. Simply click J to turn subtitles on, and click it again to turn them off.

One little known shortcut: you can temporarily change the screen to black by pressing B. Press it again to return your presentation to its normal colors. You can also change it to white by pressing W (and again to restore your presentation). This feature can help you mark the ending of your presentation. Or, if you’re breaking for Q&A, eliminate the distraction of your last slide’s text, allowing participants to engage fully.

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