PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts for Slide Show Presentations

Keyboard Shortcuts, Microsoft PowerPoint Tips & Tricks

Whether you use a mouse or remote control to navigate through a PowerPoint slide show presentation, one of the best ways to more effectively deliver PowerPoint presentations with greater engagement is to take advantage of handy slide show shortcuts.

Try this selection of PowerPoint keyboard shortcuts for your next in-person or virtual PowerPoint slide show (or watch my video of presentation shortcuts):

  • Run a slide show: [F5]
  • Run a slide show from the current slide: [Shift] + [F5]
  • Help during slide show (displays PowerPoint keyboard shortcuts): [F1]
  • Advance to the next slide (any of these): [Right], [Down], N (for Next), [Spacebar][Page Down] (or click the left mouse)
  • Return to the previous slide (any of these): [Left], [Up], P (for Previous), [Backspace][Page Up]
  • Go to the first slide in a presentation: [Home]
  • Go to the last slide in a presentation: [End]
  • Go to a specific slide number during a slide show: type the slide number and press [Enter]. This is one of my favorite tips to quickly skip past slides or to return to a previous slide. To create a list of slide numbers, print out your presentation as a handout; I choose 9 slides per page. Current versions of PowerPoint display the slide numbers on handouts. If this isn’t available, simply manually add slide numbers to your printout or create a simple hand-written cheat sheet.
  • What if you don’t know the slide number? Display the PowerPoint slide selector with [Ctrl] + S
  • To show a visual display of slides: press G
  • Display a black screen or go back to slide show: B or [Period]
  • Display a white screen or go back to slide show: W or [Comma]. (Use carefully as the bright screen can be distracting to an audience).
  • To draw on the screen (annotations), press [Ctrl] + P to enable the Pen mode. Use your mouse to draw directly on the slide. To change the pen color or to enable other tools (Laser Pointer, Highlighter) to emphasize your slide content, right-click on a slide and left-click on Pointer Options. From this menu, you can change the ink color.
  • To annotate with the highlighter: [Ctrl] + I
  • To clear annotations, press [Ctrl] + E to bring up the eraser to remove individual pen or highlighter annotations.
  • Erase all annotations: press E to erase at any time. Or, right-click on a slide and left-click on Pointer Options, where you’ll see options for the Eraser or to Erase All Ink on Slide.
  • To call attention to slide content with a laser: [Ctrl] + L
  • To switch from the Pen (or highlighter or laser) mode back to the Arrow, press [Ctrl] + A or [Ctrl] + U. Or even better, press [Ctrl] + H to hide the pointer or pen to avoid displaying a distracting or moving mouse pointer.
  • To turn live subtitles on or off: J. To change subtitles settings, either right-click on your slide show for Subtitles or find these options under the Slide Show Ribbon in PowerPoint.
  • Zoom In on a slide: +
  • Zoom Out on a slide:
  • End a slide show: [Esc]

More Tips: You can also right-click anywhere on the slide show screen for a shortcut menu with many of these same actions. Although your audience will also see this shortcut menu, this is a handy way to quickly choose presentation options.

Click here to download a handout of PowerPoint keyboard shortcuts and discover more PowerPoint tips and tricks.

© Dawn Bjork, MCT, MOSM, CSP®, The Software Pro®
Microsoft Certified Trainer, Productivity Speaker, Certified Speaking Professional

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