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Basic Keyboard Shortcuts in Microsoft PowerPoint

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 11/24/2008

Here are some of the more commonly used keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft PowerPoint.

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    PowerPoint has now become the standard in fields ranging from business to academia as a way to communicate colorfully during presentations. Most people are expected to know how to work with PowerPoint precisely and have the ability to do so quickly. One of the most essential ways to make your presentation creation go even faster is to learn the keyboard shortcuts.

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    Common Microsoft Shortcuts

    PowerPoint shares many of the same Microsoft keyboard shortcuts as the rest of the Office Suite:

    • Control + N for new document
    • Control + S to save the project
    • Control + O to open an existing one
    • Control + Z to undo the last action
    • Control + P to print the project

    Many of the edit functions are also the same, including:

    • Control + X to cut
    • Control + C to copy something
    • Control + V to paste
    • Control + F to find something in the document
    • Control + H to replace something
    • Control + A to “select all”

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    Functional Shortcuts

    The function of the software itself is very specific and not replicated by any other in the Office Suite, and therefore it has its own catalogue of keyboard shortcuts. Since PowerPoint is essentially designed to create slideshows you may want to view your project as a full screen slideshow while you’re working on it. This is easy to do by pressing F5. To create a new slide you just press Control + M. To move from one pane to the next you can do so in a clockwise motion by hitting F6, or counterclockwise by pressing Control + F6. If you are working with an outline as well you may need to switch back and forth between the views, which you do by pressing Shift, Control, and Tab.

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    Text Shortcuts

    The text you are working with in your project even has its own list of functions with associated keyboard shortcuts. If you want to change the font all you have to do is highlight the text and hit Control, Shift, and F. This will highlight the font menu above and allow you to select a new one. To change font size it is Control, Shift, and P. If you want to change the case of letters you can press Shift + F3, and to change their formatting it is Control + T. To make the text bold you hit Control + B, for underline it is Control + U, and italic is Control + I.

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    Using the Program

    These are just a few of the more basic shortcuts, but there are many more. Try these first and see if it makes the process smoother.