The 20 Most Useful PowerPoint Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are a great way to improve your productivity with PowerPoint. Why? Because usually, you already have your hands on the keyboard. There is no need to disrupt your workflow by reaching for the mouse and moving the mouse cursor across the screen.

This post will introduce you to twenty very useful keyboard shortcuts for PowerPoint 2013/2016 (Note: Please note that I don’t include common Windows shortcuts such as Ctrl+C (copy) and Ctrl+V (paste) in the list).

Working with Shapes and Slides

  • Ctrl+D: Duplicates the selected item (shape, slide, etc.), which is much faster than copy and paste.
  • Ctrl+G: Groups the selected shapes together (use Ctrl+Shift+G to ungroup them).
  • Ctrl+Y: Redoes the last action.
  • Ctrl+Shift+C: Copies the formatting of a shape (use Ctrl+Shift+V to paste it to another shape).
  • Ctrl+Alt+V: Opens the Paste Special dialog box.

Formatting and Editing text

  • Ctrl+Shift+>: Increases the font size of the selected shape (use Ctrl+Shift+. on a QUERTZ keyboard).
  • Ctrl+Shift+<: Decreases the font size of the selected shape (use Ctrl+Shift+, on a QUERTZ keyboard).
  • Ctrl+B: Applies bold format to the selected text/shape.
  • Ctrl+I: Applies italic format to the selected text/shape.
  • Ctrl+E: Centers the text in the selected shape.
  • Ctrl+L: Left-aligns the text in the selected shape.
  • Ctrl+R: Right-aligns the text in the selected shape.
  • Shift+Enter: Creates a line break in the text (instead of a paragraph break that is inserted when simply pressing Enter) at the current position.

Navigating

  • Ctrl+F1: Hides/unhides the Ribbon (very useful for quickly freeing up space on small screens).
  • Ctrl+Shift+Tab: Switches between the Thumbnail Pane and the Outline View Pane.
  • Alt+F10: Shows/hides the Selection Pane.
  • Alt+F5: Shows the presentation in Presenter View.
  • Shift+F5: Starts the presentation from the current slide.

While presenting

  • +: Zooms into the slide (up to three zoom levels), once zoomed in, you can pan the slide with the mouse cursor or the arrow keys.
  • : Zooms out of the slide to provide an overview of all slides of the presentation (including sections).
  • B: Blacks the screen.

(Bonus) Combined mouse-keyboard shortcuts

  • Shift+Select Item with Mouse: Adds the item to the current selection (makes it easy to quickly select multiple shapes on a slide).
  • Ctrl+Move Item with Mouse: Duplicates the selected item.
  • Shift+Move Item with Mouse: Restricts movement of the item to straight up/down or left/right.
  • Alt+Move Item with Mouse: Moves the item with Smart Guides and Snap to Point features turned off (can be helpful when making small position adjustments).
  • Ctrl+Resize Item with Mouse: Resizes the item around its center.
  • Shift+Resize Item with Mouse: Keeps the original proportions of the item while resizing it.
  • Alt+Resize Item with Mouse: Resizes the item with Smart Guides and Snap to Point features turned off.