Keyboard Shortcuts to Make PowerPoint More PowerFull

 If you're a keyboard fanatic like I am you'll be glad to know there are a few keyboard shortcuts that can really help you get around in PowerPoint more quickly. Here are a few of my favorites...

Copy and Paste Formatting

If you're a format painter Picasso like I tend to be you'll be glad to know you can give the mouse a rest and use CTRL+SHIFT+C to copy just the formatting from some text and then CTRL+SHIFT+V to paste that formatting onto other text.

Quickly Access the Font Dialog

Need to modify a font on a slide? Select your text then press CTRL+SHIFT+F to open the Font dialog box where you can change the typestyle, color, size and a few other characteristics quickly.

Advance to the Next Slide

There are a whole bunch of keys you can press to advance to the next slide or animation when giving your presentation. You probably know about Page Down and maybe Right Arrow but did you know that Spacebar, Down Arrow and even the letter "N" will do it too?

Moving back to the previous slide or animation has a similar cast of keystrokes. Page Up and Up Arrow are sort of obvious. Left Arrow slightly less so. Backspace and the letter "P" though are often overlooked.

Jump to a Specific Slide

If you happen to know the number of the slide you want to go to just press that number plus Enter to jump right to the slide.

Mute the Show

Perhaps for some reason you want to blank the screen temporarily. If you press B or Period PowerPoint will display a blank, black, slide. If you press W or Comma it will display a blank, white, slide. Press it again to resume the show.

I most often see people use this trick accidentally...hitting "B" when they were reaching for "N" or the Spacebar and then wondering where their presentation went.

Tip: If you anticipate using this often consider creating a custom "Please Stand By...we'll be right back!" slide (or whatever you want it to say) and then marking that slide as hidden. As long as you know what number the slide is you can use our previous trick (typing that number then pressing enter) to jump to and display your "Hold on a second folks!" slide, then use the same trick to jump back to where you were when you're ready. At least it will be more interesting than a blank black or white slide.

Speaking of Hidden Slides...

If you've inserted a hidden slide into your presentation (perhaps you anticipated a particular question?) and decide to show it when you get to that point of the slide deck obviously "N" or "Page Down" isn't going to work. PowerPoint will just skip right past the hidden slide, that's what hidden does. To show it rather than skip "H".

Drawing on Your Slides

Need to annotate something on the slide while it's on screen? Press CTRL+P to change your arrow to a pen that lets you draw. CTRL+M will hide any ink you draw on the slide if you need to quickly "clear it".

The mouse is sometimes awkward to use in Microsoft PowerPoint - especially when you're at a podium presenting in front of an audience. Use these keyboard shortcuts to make your presentations sharper and easier.