The Best Keyboard Shortcuts to Master PowerPoint – Guiding Tech

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What’s the secret of a good presentation or a good presenter? Usually, a good presentation is low on words and high on pictures (could be animations, tables and charts too). It also depends on how well the presenter is able to put his point across through his oratory skills and making use of intelligent highlighting on the slideshow. So, even though it may not be a necessity, having proficiency in using the presentation tool helps.

Mastering the keyboard shortcuts is one way to gain that proficiency. Today we shall take up the best keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft PowerPoint (Windows), the undoubted leader in the world of presentation tools.

Note: These shortcuts are for PowerPoint 2013. However, most of them will work on lower versions as well.

Slide Shortcuts

These shortcuts will help you quickly navigate across slides when the presentation is on.

To Perform this ActionPress this Key
Start SlideshowF5, Shift + F5
Go to next slide/animationN, Enter, Page Down, Right Arrow, Down Arrow, Spacebar, Mouse Click
Return to previous slide/animationP, Page Up, Left Arrow, Up Arrow, Backspace
Go to specific slide(Slide) Number + Enter
End slideshowESC
Stop/Restart automatic presentationS
Go to next hidden slideH

Pen and Pointer Shortcuts

You can use the mouse pointer and different presentation pointer tools. These will help you make your presentation more interactive.

To Enable/Disable Pointer TypePress this Key
Change to PenCtrl + P
Change to LaserCtrl + L
Change to ArrowCtrl + A
Hide PointerCtrl + H
Change to highlighterCtrl + I
Change to EraserCtrl + E

Link Shortcuts

Your presentation might contain links to websites. Here are the quickest ways to play with them without the use of mouse.

To Perform this ActionPress this Key
Go to first/next linkTAB
Go to last/previous linkSHIFT + TAB
Mouse Click equivalent when link is selectedEnter
Mouse Over equivalent when link is selectedSHIFT + ENTER

Zoom Shortcuts

Who does not need to zoom in and zoom out at times on audience demand. Now, you can do it easily.

To Perform this ActionPress this Key
Zoom out of a slideCtrl + ‘-‘ or –
Zoom in to a slideCtrl + ‘+’ or +

Screen Blackout Shortcuts

Sometimes you need to hide the presentation so the the focus of the audience is on the speaker and not on the presentation. Here’s how to do it.

To Perform this ActionPress this Key
Display blank black slideB or Period (.)
Display blank white slideW or Comma (,)

Other Shortcuts

To Perform this ActionPress this Key
Toggle show/hide Windows taskbarCtrl + T
Display the shortcut menuShift + F10
Show all slides dialog boxCtrl + S

Media Shortcuts

Does your presentation has media embedded onto it? These controls will make the handling easier.

To Perform this Media ActionPress this Key
Play/Pause MediaAlt + P
Stop PlaybackAlt + Q
Go to nextAlt + End
Go to previousAlt + Home
Increase volumeAlt + Up Arrow
Decrease volumeAlt + Down Arrow
Fast Forward/BackwardAlt + Shift + Right/Left Arrow
Mute/Unmute mediaAlt + U

Bonus: Touch Gestures

Are you using a touch device? If yes, you will find these gestures really helpful and easy to use.

To Perform this ActionPress this Key
Go to next slide/animationSwipe Forward
Return to previous slide/animationSwipe Backward
Zoom out of a slidePinch
Zoom in a slideStretch
Show/Hide navigation buttonsTap
Zoom in/out of a slideDouble-Tap


Will these shortcuts help you present more productively? They definitely helped me. At times, my colleagues started to wonder about the way I used the keyboard during my presentations. It’s your turn to make an impression now.

Photo Credit: .faramarz

Last updated on 02 February, 2022

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