How to Skip the Backstage Area in PowerPoint 2013

The Backstage area in PowerPoint 2013 provides access to various options for saving, opening, printing, and sharing presentations. However, some users find it inconvenient to go through this intermediate screen every time they want to open or save a file.

Fortunately, there is a way to skip the Backstage area when using keyboard shortcuts to open or save files. Here’s how to do it:

What is the Backstage Area?

The Backstage area, accessed by clicking the File tab, is a view that contains commands related to managing your presentation files rather than editing slides.

Some key things you can do in the Backstage view:

  • Create new presentations
  • Open, save, print, share presentations
  • Change options and account settings
  • View information and properties about the presentation

So essentially, it covers everything you do to the presentation, rather than editing tasks done within the presentation.

Why Skip the Backstage Area?

The Backstage seems designed more for tablet users for easy touch access to file management features.

But for mouse/keyboard users working on desktops, having to click through this intermediate screen to get to the Open or Save dialog can feel slow and disruptive to workflow.

Fortunately, there is a way to skip it and go directly to the dialogs when using keyboard shortcuts.

How to Skip the Backstage Area

To skip the Backstage area when opening or saving files using keyboard shortcuts:

  1. Click the File tab
  2. Click Options
  3. Click Save on the left sidebar
  4. Check the box for Don’t show the Backstage when opening or saving files Save options dialog
  5. Click OK

Now when you use the keyboard shortcuts:

  • Ctrl + O to open files
  • Ctrl + S to save files

You will go directly to the Open or Save As dialog box rather than going through the Backstage screen first.

So for mouse users, the Backstage area still appears when clicking on File > Open or File > Save As. But keyboard users get to bypass it.

Important Notes

  • This only works when using keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+O and Ctrl+S
  • If you click on File > Open or File > Save, you’ll still see the Backstage view
  • It applies to all Office 2013 programs, including Word and Excel

Customizing Backstage View

In addition to skipping the Backstage area, you can also customize what commands show up in it:

  • Click the File tab > Options > Customize Backstage
  • Check or uncheck the boxes to show/hide various Backstage view options

For example, you can remove Print, Share, Export and other commands if you don’t use them often.


The Backstage area provides easy access to file management and sharing options. But requiring an extra click-through can disrupt workflow for some users more than help.

Fortunately, with a quick settings tweak in Options, you can easily bypass Backstage and directly open/save files using keyboard shortcuts instead.

This allows you to work faster while still keeping the Backstage features accessible through the File tab if needed.

So in PowerPoint 2013, don’t feel trapped by the Backstage view – customize or skip it instead for a workflow that matches your style!