Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Speed up PowerPoint Presentations

Help to put together a slideshow quickly

Close-up of a person using a laptop

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When you want to quickly create a PowerPoint presentation and minimize the amount of time you spend with your mouse, learn to use keyboard shortcuts to speed up PowerPoint presentations and make your job easier.

These instructions apply to PowerPoint versions 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, and PowerPoint for Office 365.

How to Use the Keyboard Shortcut List

When the instructions show the keystroke combination Ctrl+C, for example, it means to hold down the Ctrl key and then press the letter C, holding both at the same time. The plus sign (+) indicates that you need both of these two keys. You do not press the + key on the keyboard.

General Keyboard Shortcuts

Certain key combinations are specific to PowerPoint, such as the F5 key to play a slide show. Many other shortcut combinations, such as Ctrl+C and Ctrl+Z, are common to a number of programs. Once you know these common ones, you will be surprised at how often you can use them.

Keyboard Shortcuts Using the CTRL Key

Here is an alphabetical list of all the letter keys that can be used with the Ctrl key as a keyboard shortcut to common tasks in PowerPoint as well as some other shortcuts using the Ctrl key.

Ctrl key on keyboard
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  • Ctrl+A: Selects all items on the page or the active text box.
  • Ctrl+B: Applies bold formatting to the selected text.
  • Ctrl+C: Copies the selected text or object to the Clipboard.
  • Ctrl+D: Duplicates the selected object.
  • Ctrl+F: Opens the Find dialog box.
  • Ctrl+G: Opens the Grids and Guides dialog box.
  • Ctrl+H: Opens the Replace dialog box.
  • Ctrl+I: Applies italic formatting to the selected text.
  • Ctrl+M: Inserts a new slide.
  • Ctrl+N: Opens a new blank presentation.
  • Ctrl+O: Displays the Open dialog box.
  • Ctrl+P: Opens the Print dialog box.
  • Ctrl+S: Saves the presentation.
  • Ctrl+T: Opens the Font dialog box.
  • Ctrl+U: Underlines the selected text.
  • Ctrl+V: Pastes text and objects from the Clipboard into the presentation.
  • Ctrl+W: Closes the presentation.
  • Ctrl+X: Deletes the text or object from the presentation and places it in the Clipboard.
  • Ctrl+Y: Repeats the last command entered.
  • Ctrl+Z: Undoes the last change.
  • Ctrl+F6: Switches from one open PowerPoint presentation to another.
  • Ctrl+Delete: Removes the word to the right of the cursor.
  • Ctrl+Backspace: Removes the word to the left of the cursor.
  • Ctrl+Home: Moves cursor to the beginning of the presentation.
  • Ctrl+End: Moves cursor to the end of the presentation.
  • Ctrl+Arrow keys: Move from word to word or from object to object on a slide.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Quick Navigation

To quickly navigate around your presentation use these single keyboard shortcuts or shortcut key combinations. Using the mouse can slow you down. These shortcut keys are located to the left of the number keypad on your keyboard.

  • Home: Moves cursor to the beginning of the current line of text.
  • End: Moves cursor to the end of the current line of text.
  • Ctrl+Home: Moves cursor to the beginning of the presentation.
  • Ctrl+End: Moves cursor to the end of the presentation.
  • Page Up: Moves to the previous slide.
  • Page Down: Moves to the next slide.

Keyboard Shortcuts Using the Arrow Keys

Keyboard shortcuts often use the arrow keys on the keyboard. Using the Ctrl key with the four arrow keys makes it easy to move to the beginning or end of a word or paragraph. These arrow keys are located to the left of the number keypad on your keyboard.

Close-up of man using computer keyboard
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  • Ctrl+left arrow: Moves cursor to the beginning of the previous word.
  • Ctrl+right arrow: Moves cursor to the beginning of the next word.
  • Ctrl+up arrow: Moves cursor to start of the previous paragraph.
  • Ctrl+down arrow: Moves cursor to start of the next paragraph.

Keyboard Shortcuts Using Shift Key

  • Shift+Enter: Creates a soft return to force a line break inside a paragraph. In a bulleted list, this creates a new line without a bullet.
  • Shift + another key: Selects a single letter, a whole word, or a line of text.
  • Ctrl+Shift+Home or Ctrl+Shift+End: Selects text from the cursor to the beginning or end of the document.
  • Shift+F5: Starts a slideshow that begins with the current slide.
  • Shift+left arrow: Selects the previous letter.
  • Shift+right arrow: Selects the next letter.
  • Shift+Home: Selects text from the cursor to start of the current line.
  • Shift+End: Selects text from the cursor to the end of the current line.
  • Shift+Ctrl+Home: Selects all text from the cursor to the beginning of the active text box.
  • Shift+Ctrl+End: Selects all text from the cursor to the end of the active text box.

Using Function Keys as Keyboard Shortcuts

The function keys or F keys as they are more commonly known are located above the number keys on the regular keyboard.

  • F1: Opens the Help pane.
  • F5: Starts the slideshow at the first slide and displays it in full-screen mode.
  • Shift+F5: Starts the slideshow at the current slide.
  • F7: Runs spellcheck.
  • F12: Opens the Save As dialog box.

Keyboard Shortcuts While Running a Slideshow

While the slideshow is running, you may need to pause to answer questions from the audience, and it is helpful to insert a simple black or white slide while you are talking. This gives you the complete attention of the audience.

Here is a list of several useful keyboard shortcuts to use during a slideshow. As an alternative choice to keyboard shortcuts, simply right-clicking on the screen will show a shortcut menu of options.

Spacebar or click the mouse: Move to next slide or next animation

Number+Enter: Goes to the slide of that number (for example 6+Enter goes to slide 6).

B (for black): Pauses the slideshow and displays a black screen. Press B again to resume the show.

W (for white): Pauses the show and displays a white screen. Press W again to resume the show.

N: Moves to the next slide or next animation.

P: Moves to previous slide or animation.

S: Stops the show. Press S again to restart the show.

Esc: Ends the slideshow.

Tab: Goes to the next hyperlink in a slideshow.

Shift+Tab: Goes to the previous hyperlink in a slideshow.