PowerPoint Tips: 15 Shortcuts You Should Be Using

By Robert Half on August 18, 2014 at 7:00am

Administrative jobs frequently involve creating and updating PowerPoint presentations. But sometimes, frustration builds when creativity and technical skills clash. Knowing the right PowerPoint tips can streamline your work and creative process, and better guarantee your next presentation is a success. Here are 15 PowerPoint shortcuts every admin should know. 

You've been assigned a large PowerPoint presentation, and the deadline is looming. Fortunately, you've already read through our PowerPoint tips to help you through the design process. Now you need some timesaving techniques so you can work quickly and efficiently. Read on for 15 critical shortcuts that can help you create and present your deck — and impress the boss. 

PowerPoint tips to speed up your work

You know what you want to create, now it's time to get to work. Use these 10 shortcuts when building your next PowerPoint deck:

1. You want to create a new slide. Press Ctrl+M to set you on your way. (Mac users: Follow the same instructions.)

2. You want to undo edits you made on a slide. It happens to the best of us. Press Ctrl+Z for this. (Mac users: Cmd+Z)

3. You want to redo edits you made on a slide. On second thought, press Ctrl+Y to replace the edits you made. (Mac users: Cmd+Y)

4. You want to copy a slide. If you want to use a slide as the basis for another one, press Ctrl+C while in the Slide pane. (Mac users: Cmd+C)

5. You want to paste the slide you just copied. Press Ctrl+V. You can determine the slide placement when in Slide or Outline view. The slide you’re pasting will appear after the one you click on. (Mac users: Cmd+V)

6. You want to change the font size. Press Ctrl+Shift+> to increase the font size or press Ctrl+Shift+< to decrease it. (Mac users: Cmd+Shift+>, Cmd+Shift+<)

7. You want to duplicate a selected shape, image or chart. Press Ctrl+D. (Mac users: Cmd+D)

8. You want to use the font formatting from one part of your deck in another part. Copy the text that contains the format you want. Press Ctrl+Shift+C to copy the format. Then, select the text and press Ctrl+Shift+V to change to the desired formatting. (Mac users: Sorry, there’s no shortcut available.)

9. You want to insert a hyperlink in your presentation. Select the text that you want to hyperlink and then press Ctrl+K to link the selection to a web address. (Mac users: Cmd+K)

10. You want to italicize, underline or add bold formatting to text. Select the text and press Ctrl+I to italicize, Ctrl+U to underline or Ctrl+B to make the text bold. (Mac users: Cmd+I, Cmd+U, Cmd+B

And one bonus tip for Windows users: PowerPoint 2013 includes a feature called a ribbon to help make your job easier. Press Alt to access it. Small boxes with numbers and letters will appear. Press the corresponding number or letter to complete the task you want. 

PowerPoint tips for presenting your deck

Finally, it's showtime. Here are five PowerPoint tips to present your deck in a smooth and confident manner:

11. You want to start the show. It all starts here. Press F5 to begin your PowerPoint presentation (Mac users: Command + Return). If you want to begin from somewhere other than your first slide, simply press Shift+F5 (Mac users: Command + Shift + Return) to start the slideshow from your current slide.

12. You want to advance to the next slide or perform the next animation. You have options: Press Enter, Page Down, Right Arrow, Down Arrow, Spacebar or click the mouse. Choose the one that works best for you. (Mac users: Spacebar, N or Right Arrow)

13. You want to go back to the previous slide or repeat the previous animation. You have options again: Press P, Page Up, Left Arrow, Up Arrow or Backspace. (Mac users: Delete, P or Left Arrow)

14. You want to return to the first slide. Press the Home button while in slide sorter view. (Mac users: 1 + Return)

15. You want to stop or restart your automatic slide show. Press S or the plus sign (+). (Mac users: Follow the same instructions.)


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