10 Shortcuts when Creating PowerPoint Presentations (Plus: Free Cheat Sheet!)

Microsoft offers a  detailed list of shortcuts* that will save you stacks of time and plenty of nerves when creating PowerPoint presentations. Here we’ve picked our ten favorites, which we believe will provide the greatest benefits the next time you set about creating a PPT presentation. We are delighted to provide a  cheat sheet of this list in case you’re afraid you will read them once and then forget all about them. You can print and cut it out, take a fancy tape and stick it to the sides of your monitor.

*The shortcuts apply to PowerPoint 2013 and 2016. You need to set your PowerPoint language to English.

1 Get to things on the ribbon: Switching between the mouse and keyboard is one of the sneaky little time stealers. You can get to the things on the ribbon in PowerPoint presentations a lot easier – without taking your hands off the keyboard. Just press "Alt" and all the items on the ribbon will be tagged with a letter. Then assign a letter to the task you want to perform.

Shortcut 1/10: Get to things on the ribbon

Get to things on the ribbon

2 Insert an object: Sometimes a few keywords slapped on a slide simply aren’t enough. You might have to embed a calculation in an Excel spreadsheet or a larger amount of text in a Word document to ensure your colleagues understand fully what you want to get across. If so, put them in! Press and release "ALT", then "N", and "J" to select an object. Use the "TAB" key and then the arrow keys to navigate through the objects. Finally press "CTRL" + "ENTER" to insert the object.

Shortcut 2/10: Insert an object

Insert an object

3 Group objects: Grouping the objects in PowerPoint presentations is even easier. So what’s the deal with grouping? Grouping lets you change objects simultaneously as if they were a single object, e.g. rotating, flipping, moving, or resizing all shapes. "CTRL" + "G" is your open sesame.*

*This shortcut is only available for English keyboards.

Shortcut 3/10: Group objects

Group objects

4 Open the font dialogue box: Arial or Helvetica? Maybe font size 14 would look better. The combination of "CTRL" + "SHIFT" + "F" lets you open the font dialog box to change the font.

Shortcut 4/10: Open the font dialogue box

Open the font dialogue box

5 Copy and paste formats: PowerPoint Presentations appear a lot more professional if they have a uniform look. When you are under time pressure in particular, you probably aren’t eager to apply formats manually on each slide. Well, don’t. Select a format, copy it by pressing "CTRL" + "SHIFT" + "C" and paste it into a new slide using "CTRL" + "SHIFT" + "V".

Shortcut 5/10: Copy and paste formats

Copy and paste formats

6 Insert a hyperlink: The shortcut "CTRL" + "K" saves you two clicks when you want to insert a hyperlink.

Shortcut 6/10: Insert a hyperlink

Insert a hyperlink

7 Position a paragraph: Left, right or center? No, we don’t care about your political views. In PowerPoint presentations, however, it might help to see which position best highlights the message you want to get across. Press "CTRL""E" to center a paragraph, left align it with "CTRL" + "L" and use the combination of "CTRL" + "R" to right align a paragraph.

Shortcut 7/10: Position a paragraph

Position a paragraph

8 Justify a paragraph: Nothing is prettier than properly justified typeface, don’t you think? Press "CTRL" + "J" to make your text neat and tidy.

Shortcut 8/10: Justify a paragraph

Justify a paragraph

9 Add a new row at the bottom of the table: This is the ultimate quick fix among shortcuts. It takes just one finger. "TAB" in the bottom right table cell to extend a table.

Shortcut 9/10: Add a new row below the bottom row of a table

Add a new row below the bottom row of a table

10 Open Paste Special dialog box: And this one is for the pros. Press "CTRL" + "ALT" + "V" to open the Paste Special dialog box in PowerPoint presentations.

Shortcut 10/10: Open "Paste Special" dialogue box

Open "Paste Special" dialogue box

 If you prefer to have a regular refresher for these PowerPoint shortcuts at your monitor, you may want to print and cut out this  cheat sheet, find a tape and stick it on.

Leipzig, 08.08.2016

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