10 Keyboard Shortcuts for Working with PowerPoint Slides

Working with PowerPoint slides day in and day out can get tedious if you don’t utilize shortcuts to streamline your workflow. I often see people clicking through endless menus to access common features in PowerPoint when a simple keystroke would save them time.

In this article, I’ll share my top 10 keyboard shortcuts for efficiently working with PowerPoint slides. I use these all the time to zip through my presentations and you’ll be amazed at the time savings once you commit them to memory.

Navigating Slides

Jumping between slides is one of the most common actions in PowerPoint. Rather than tediously clicking the “next slide” and “previous slide” buttons on the toolbar, try these shortcuts:

  • Right arrow: Go to the next slide
  • Left arrow: Go to the previous slide
  • Ctrl + Page Down: Go to the next slide
  • Ctrl + Page Up: Go to the previous slide

You can also jump to a specific slide number by typing the number + Enter.

Manipulating Text

Managing text is a big part of working with PowerPoint. Here are some handy keyboard shortcuts:

  • Ctrl + B: Bold selected text
  • Ctrl + I: Italicize selected text
  • Ctrl + U: Underline selected text
  • Ctrl + Z: Undo last action
  • Ctrl + Y: Redo last action

I probably use Ctrl + B/I/U more than any other shortcuts. It’s so much faster than clicking the Bold, Italicize, and Underline buttons in the toolbar.

Copying, Cutting, and Pasting

The trusty copy/cut/paste shortcuts work in PowerPoint too:

  • Ctrl + C: Copy selected item
  • Ctrl + X: Cut selected item
  • Ctrl + V: Paste item

This lets you quickly duplicate slides, graphics, text, and more.

Deleting Items

Remove items quickly with:

  • Delete: Delete selected item
  • Ctrl + Delete: Delete current slide

Ctrl + Delete is great when you want to delete the slide you’re currently working on.

Undoing Actions

We all make mistakes. Thankfully you can undo your last actions with:

  • Ctrl + Z: Undo last action
  • Ctrl + Y: Redo last action

You can typically undo multiple steps sequentially by hitting Ctrl + Z repeatedly.

Aligning Objects

Struggling to get objects aligned properly on a crowded slide? These shortcuts help:

  • Ctrl+Left/Right arrow: Left align or right align selected object
  • Ctrl+Up/Down arrow: Top align or bottom align selected object

Resizing Objects

If you want to resize an object proportionally:

  • Shift+drag object corner: Resize object while maintaining aspect ratio

This keeps graphics and boxes from getting strangely distorted as you resize them.

Opening and Saving Files

Finally, keyboard shortcuts make quick work of opening and saving presentation files:

  • Ctrl + O: Open file
  • Ctrl + S: Save current file
  • Ctrl + N: Create new file
  • F12: Save As (create copy)

Remembering Shortcuts

That covers my top 10 go-to keyboard shortcuts for PowerPoint. Refer back to this list when you need a refresher. Consider printing a cheat sheet to keep handy until the shortcuts become second nature.

With practice, these keyboard shortcuts will accelerate your productivity by keeping your hands on the keys instead of clicking through menus and toolbars. You’ll zoom through PowerPoint tasks much faster!