The Best Keyboard Shortcuts to Master PowerPoint

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 Action Press this Key
Start Slideshow F5, Shift + F5
Go to next slide/animation N, Enter, Page Down, Right Arrow, Down Arrow, Spacebar, Mouse Click
Return to previous slide/animation P, Page Up, Left Arrow, Up Arrow, Backspace
Go to specific slide (Slide) Number + Enter
End slideshow ESC
Stop/Restart automatic presentation S
Go to next hidden slide H


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 Type Press this Key
Change to Pen Ctrl + P
Change to Laser Ctrl + L
Change to Arrow Ctrl + A
Hide Pointer Ctrl + H
Change to highlighter Ctrl + I
Change to Eraser Ctrl + 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 Action Press this Key
Go to first/next link TAB
Go to last/previous link SHIFT + TAB
Mouse Click equivalent when link is selected Enter
Mouse Over equivalent when link is selected SHIFT + 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 Action Press this Key
Zoom out of a slide Ctrl + ‘-’ or –
Zoom in to a slide Ctrl + ‘+’ 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 Action Press this Key
Display blank black slide B or Period (.)
Display blank white slide W or Comma (,)


Other Shortcuts

To Perform this Action Press this Key
Toggle show/hide Windows taskbar Ctrl + T
Display the shortcut menu Shift + F10
Show all slides dialog box Ctrl + S



Media Shortcuts

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

To Perform this Media Action Press this Key
Play/Pause Media Alt + P
Stop Playback Alt + Q
Go to next Alt + End
Go to previous Alt + Home
Increase volume Alt + Up Arrow
Decrease volume Alt + Down Arrow
Fast Forward/Backward Alt + Shift + Right/Left Arrow
Mute/Unmute media Alt + 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 Action Press this Key
Go to next slide/animation Swipe Forward
Return to previous slide/animation Swipe Backward
Zoom out of a slide Pinch
Zoom in a slide Stretch
Show/Hide navigation buttons Tap
Zoom in/out of a slide Double-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.


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